Happy Retirement to Mom

I decided to do something a little bit different today. You see, my mother is retiring tomorrow, Tuesday, June 30th after thirty-three years at Northern Illinois University. Many don’t know that it was my mom that originally got me into computers and technology when she started working at NIU. I remember working on the original Apple II, doing some programing and doing digital drawings. This continued over the years as I worked with programs from Apple to IBM. I was always excited to be heading into our old school library that housed a whopping 4 Apple computers since my private … Continue reading Happy Retirement to Mom

Be Bold with yourself

A few months ago I talked about finding your Grit Story, what is your Informal Indomitable story of what you do. I also talked about the Smile File, a file that can be paper or digital that you fill with moments that make you smile as an educator to remind you of why you do what you do. Here, I’m giving a challenge to yourself. Everyone knows that my life hasn’t been the most even and sometimes we have to reflect on what to be thankful and blessed with in life to remind us that good things occur during hard … Continue reading Be Bold with yourself

The Backwards Smash

Have you ever looked at something and either gone: “How did they do that?” or “What is the end goal?” That’s called Backwards Planning or Mapping. Its when you see the end goal in mind and then work your way backwards in designing a lesson or project. As you move backwards you ask the questions: “What do I want them to learn?” “What do I want them to understand?” “How will I do it?” “How will I create something that is my own?” There is a wonderful TeDx talk on it. As we all know, I love App Smashing because … Continue reading The Backwards Smash

Creating a Digital Classroom Balloon Release

I was just on Periscope talking about how you can create a digital classroom balloon release. When I was in grade school and so were my siblings and my wife and her siblings, schools would release balloons to fly where the winds took them. Each balloon would have a small note card attached with contact information where whoever found the balloon could write back to. However, over the years balloon releases have become used less and less due to environmental laws, student and school privacy and air traffic laws. However, we live in an age where classrooms and students are on Twitter, Google+, Periscope, Meerkat, Educlipper, Remind and more. I was at the pool looking up in the sky where I saw a balloon get away from a person and the idea hit me. Creating a digital classroom balloon release is extremely simple.
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Teaching students numbers, colors and beginning with Apps

Over the last year my teachers and I found a great teachers blog known as: A Cupcake for the Teacher. My former vice principal discovered the website from Teachers pay Teachers and later we discovered her Pinterest board. I was doing my regular Pinterest viewing when I discovered the Rainbow writing exercise. I loved the idea but wanted to do more with it than just simple color with words and then I was talking with one of my teachers who was organizing her room for the summer and she had brought out her number flip board. If no one knows … Continue reading Teaching students numbers, colors and beginning with Apps