Building the Odyssey in Mario Maker


As many of you know, I have been creating and making Perler Bead badges for my staff and students the last few weeks. On the other side, I have been making various characters and art pieces for my family and friends using perler beads. Its become a fun and exciting hobby for me as of late (doctor’s orders). I’ve turn around and transform the hobby into making it great for schools who do not have the budgets or funds for 3D printers for their district. I have received tweets and emails about how they had their perler beads just sitting around in storage in their schools with barely any use. They have no turned around and started using their perler beads for these creations. Well, I have one that will have you jump up and say: “Wahoo!”  Continue reading “Building the Odyssey in Mario Maker”


Building a STEAM Art Room


This past November, I had learn from our local tech club that was held at our school every Tuesday and Thursday that they had Sphero and an Ollie, but had not unboxed or knew how to introduce them to students. I worked out a plan to bring them into our school just before our Science Fair and for our Holiday Art. With our two art teachers we started using the Spheros to start creating art in many forms with our students as shown below. Continue reading “Building a STEAM Art Room”

Dear Classroom…


So, how do you start building? Years ago, around third grade, my teacher wrote us a letter and ironically enough, my professor (last night) did this exact same activity. The teacher letter is similar to the introduction letter most teachers write at the beginning of the school year. The teacher letter is designed as a basic assessment of students. It can start both students and teachers on the same level. The letter is pretty basic, the teacher writes about themselves to the students. Talk about who they are, what they like, what they don’t like and in turn the student writes a letter back. This has become a great activity with in the digital age using everything from Google Docs to Livebinders for students to respond. A simple letter back to the teacher gives the teacher an insight into their students before the school year starts. However, a few years ago, I did something a bit different, I wrote a letter to the classroom or my office since I didn’t have a classroom of my own. That’s right, I wrote a letter to the room. It went like this:

Continue reading “Dear Classroom…”

Build like a Pirate: Finding your UP


“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.”

~David Allan Coe


 Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask & Analyze, Transformation, Enthusiasm. That’s what Pirates have. Education was not my first career choice. I never loved school but I never hated it either. I was the student who tried his hardest in every subject but yet never felt I could accomplish the grades and success my peers seemed to show when it came to report cards or with the honor roll. Even worst, I had teachers who felt that if I didn’t match with the traditional way they taught I would fall behind the rest of my class. I felt every time I received a low grade or didn’t ace a project I was doomed to not being anything more than the kid who needed help. Then something changed my life for the better when I reached 5th grade. We had a new teacher join the school that year, Mrs. Larson. She was around my mother’s age at the time, had two young boys that were only a couple of years younger than me. I remember on the first day of school she was going over who she was and what we would be learning during the school year. The usual speech every teacher gives but then she said something that changed the way I would learn from then on: “We are going to make this fun and different.” While every student wants to hear that from your teacher back during the late 80s most of us didn’t know what “fun and different” would mean. That changed when she said we would be doing our first book report and had to use puppets. Continue reading “Build like a Pirate: Finding your UP”

Blackout Poetry Gamification

This Friday, I am introducing students to Blackout Poetry. Blackout Poetry is when a person rearranges words to create a different meaning. Also known as newspaper blackout poetry, the author uses a permanent marker to cross out or eliminate whatever words or images he sees as unnecessary or irrelevant to the effect he’s seeking to create. The central idea is to devise a completely new text from previously published words and images, which the reader is free to interpret as he wishes. I started working on a digital version of this last year using Apps like Skitch, Pic Collage, Google Drawings … Continue reading Blackout Poetry Gamification

You made a Difference

We all know that students and teachers matter, but some times we don’t always feel like we do. Long hours, different environments and more; affect how teachers view their teachings style and if we truly are making a difference. Many of us keep Smile Files, folders either paper or digital that we can turn to when we wonder if we are making a difference with our students or even with our peers. However, we still wonder if we make an impact with others and aren’t just being “there”. As many of you know, this past September  after over three years, … Continue reading You made a Difference