Tripoly in the Classroom

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 6.21.12 PMHello Everyone,

A few days ago, a family friend passed away and while I was getting some pictures found for the family I came across our box of the game, Tripoly. For those wondering, Tripoly¬†is essentially three card games in one: Hearts, Poker and Michigan Rummy. The game requires a 52-card deck with no Jokers. The Tripoley game board that has labeled sections like “Pot,” “Kitty” and numerous card values. Chips are placed on those sections while players try to win them through the game. Gerry a few years ago during a party at his daughter’s house showed us how to play Tripoly as he had played it several times¬†before. We had a wonderful time that night, I even beat Gerry twice during two hands. We never got a round to play it again as we wanted Gerry to help us get started, but sadly the chance never came up again. Finding the box the other day brought back a ton of memories and I also realized you can use it in the classroom for Math. So, here are a few math lessons you can teach using Tripoly.

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The Office Remodel Part 1


The other day I said I was going to start remodeling my office to be more inviting to students and staff alike. While I planned on doing this slowly over the next few weeks. As they say, time waits for no man and I ended up getting an earlier start due to an accident occurring during some regular checks, such as my entire shelf collapsing (don’t worry, I’m OK). So, after a few hours of moving, cataloging, archiving and a few other things here is the start to my remodel.

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The great room remodel

This past weekend, I attended a session by Michael Jaber about getting the Lead out in Leadership. Basically, the classic get the lead out, hence get moving faster. While Michael had plenty of ideas and many I am going to apply in the next school year. One that did stick out was about remodeling your office or classroom to be more inviting to students and staff alike. Last September, I left my job of over three years due to budget cuts and luckily landed a new one a few weeks later. While I moved my stuff into my new office and organized it to my liking, I still felt like I was the new guy who moved into someone else’s space. In my three years at CLS, my office was very inviting to students and staff, I had various pictures, sayings, collectibles and tech that actually had several students wanting to spend their study hall time in my office to work on their lessons and projects. Now, while I have been at Jackson, I have had a similar experience with my students and staff, they want to see my tech or some of the ideas I’m working for lessons and projects. However, many times they say they say they enjoy the air conditioning more. So, after Michael’s session this past weekend, I knew it was time remodel my office.

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My trip to USM Summer Spark

This past weekend, I packed up the family and a lot of my STEAM and headed off to the University of Milwaukee in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. A beautiful school campus and full of awesome teachers and administrators. The trip was especially exciting for me as I finally met many of the Teach like a Pirate Crew. Shelly Bugress, Quinn Rollins, Michael Matera, Matt Miller, George Couros, Don Wettrick, Jason Bretzmann and more. I was also reunited with Andre Kornowski, James O’Hagen, Michael Jabar, Ben Brazeau and more. I lead three sessions, the most I have ever done for any type … Continue reading My trip to USM Summer Spark

Using Google Sheets to make Pixel art and then 3D Prints

For the 10th Anniversary of Google Sheets. A group of my students made 8 bit pixel creations using the spreadsheet program and transformed a few of them into 3D prints using perler beads. You can also do the same with qixels for your classroom. Thanks again Alice Keeler. Continue reading Using Google Sheets to make Pixel art and then 3D Prints

Finding the Pennies in your Lesson


Happy Monday everyone! Its the final week of school for me and while many are in the same boat and others are already ahead of the curb. It won’t be long before we are sitting down again trying to work new ideas into our lessons. Now, many of us know, that as teachers or educators when we find something that works, we usually keep using it, but we also know that after a while, a lesson or project might start to become outdated, but that’s not true. Several years ago, when I was working just after my undergraduate days from college. I worked in kitchens and of course just like in every kitchen, you had to clean up at the end of the day or when the main meals were complete. There was an old term called: “Finding Pennies”. This was based on an old kitchen cleaning trick to see who was doing well at their job. Basically, a crew leader or manager would take a handful of pennies and throw them in various areas where sweeping should be performed daily. If the manager came back the next day and found the pennies still where they were tossed, then the employee did not do a good job sweeping.

A few years ago, I did this same idea with a set of lessons that seemed to be a bit outdated with classrooms and started using it for a daily practice.

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Using Keynote to create Instagram Edu Videos

The past week, I have been sharing mini videos on my Instagram account on using various devices for coding and STEAM in your classroom. I use my Instagram account for both educational and personal use. I usually divide my educational postings using the hashtag: #DiceUPtheClassroom. I love using Instagram for many of my quick posts as I can link it both with my other social accounts and using IFTTT to post on my other channels as full images and not just a link to my accounts In the last couple months thanks to Tony Vincent and Michael Buist I have been trying to fine tune my postings on Instagram with animated images on the tech I love to use in the classroom or types you should try out with your students and staff. Many have asked me how I did this?

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Avoiding Summer FOMO

still-life-1037378_1920The school year has come to an end once more, students have graduated, classrooms are cleaned up and there is that short miniature break before getting ready to play for the next school year. However, as we know during the Summer the classic FOMO (fear of missing out) does rear its ugly head a bit more than it does during the regular school year. I know I have my experience of FOMO both during and after the school year has wrapped up. More so in the summer than during the fall or spring. So, how can you avoid those FOMO blues? Here are a few types and ways to still bring a smile to your face even if you are not there.

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