A couple of weeks ago, I was starting my work for next year’s courses and one of the courses I will be teaching is Entrepreneurship & Business Management. I have been incorporating the practices in my Business Basics, Multimedia and Consumer Education classes. However, being able to full teach entrepreneurship is a challenge I am looking forward to teaching and I wanted my students to really dig deep into the fastest growing types of business management and entrepreneurship and one of them is Entomology or The Study of Bugs. While I teach high school there are many ways to bring Entomology into the classroom from Littles to College level. Continue reading “Getting Buggy in the Classroom”
A few days ago while I was on Spring Break, I was asked to help tutor some upper elementary students. While I was working with them, they were asked to help define the main idea of a story. They showed me their reading room wall that showed them thriple scoop of ice cream that was divided as shown below.
Last night I was having a problem falling asleep, so I was doing some work on a new lesson I want to introduce to my students after Spring Break. Just then, I saw a notification go off on one of my Donors Choose Facebook Groups that I belong to. I had seen on my Donors Choose Page earlier in the evening that it was down and that there was some large announcement happening on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I figured it was similar to what had happened before when Colbert was partnering with Donors Choose to help so many teachers and their students get needed supplies, equipment, ect. I was in complete shock when I saw that Ripple announced to Founder and CEO, Charles Best that Ripple had funded every SINGLE Donors Choose project, which over 35,000 projects and 29 million dollars. I couldn’t believe it! Continue reading “Thank you Ripple and Donors Choose for giving my Students a Voice”
About two weeks ago, I received my copy of Google Apps for Littles by Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler. Many ask me: “Ryan, you are a high school teacher, what could you possibly use from GAFE 4 Littles?” Something that many do not realized is that any lesson can be adapted for any grade level. Truth be told, I have high school students who have never worked on a collaborative document or haven’t since they were in 8th grade. While that might not seem that long ago for say my Freshman or Sophomores, it does make a difference when it isn’t done consistently or regularly. Having not taught in a high school environment for almost 3 years and not in a regular classroom role in 5 years. I had a take a step back and realized many of my students did not use GSuite for EDU regularly in their curriculum. To start the process of making it a more regular part of our classroom day, I introduced all my classes to HyperDocs. As HyperDocs when done correctly involves inquiry and collaboration and really promotes Student Centered Learning. Christine created a fantastic “Who Is Telling the Story” HyperDoc that I knew I had to adapt for my students.
Since 2014 I have been smashing Apps and other resources for my students and my co-workers. Leading to the creation of App Dice and inspiring many classrooms and teachers for student choice and creation. In the last couple of years, Dee Lanier has taken the use of App Smashing to the next level with Smashboard EDU. Smashboard combines the incredible use of App Smashes and DOK into incredible learning for both students and teachers. In the past month I have been taking the Smashboard and combining it with some gamification and eXPlore like a Pirate ideas and I came up with a Smashboard version of Kaboom.
A few days ago, I had something happen to me, I had two Donors Choose projects end without making their goal. For the first time in almost two years, I didn’t have a project make it’s goal. I didn’t get upset about it, but it made me really think about why they didn’t get funded? The first usually is: “it was too high of a goal.” One of the main reasons that a lot of Donors Choose do not get funded is because it’s too high of a goal. However, my goal was in the less than $200 range and I had a donors match too. Those usually get funded in just a few weeks if you set it up right. So my next question was: “What didn’t I do to get enough attention for my project?” Which seem to be the answer, I was basically saying: “I don’t have a budget and I really want to help my students learn with tools that I can’t afford.” Which does rub the wrong way, so I decided to think about what was important to my students and it didn’t take long before some of my students came to me during a project on Tuesday and said: “Mr. Read, I love using Flipgrid, but recording them isn’t really convenient for me.” That’s when it hit me. Continue reading “Starting the Flipgrid Recording Studio”
A couple of years ago, I was reading a post on Erintegration by Erin Flanagan on the game Scoot. The game works with students answering one question at their desks and then move to the next seat when the teacher calls “Scoot.” This usually works by giving students blank paper or whiteboards and have them write questions or have them all turn to the same page in a workbook and Scoot to complete the page. The questions can range from: “Today I feel?” to writing down an adjective to describe an object or picture. Erin created a great way of playing Scoot using both iPads and Chromebooks and playing a special playlist on with songs cut to be 3 minutes long each so students work until the song ends and then Scoot. The last couple of weeks, my division leader and I have been using the Pair Programming Method. Click on the video below to see how the Pair Programming Method Works.
Many know that having a degree in Instructional Technology, I loving using technology in my classroom. Being a business & technology teacher, the two are interwoven greatly than they were about 30 years ago. However, technology is just a tool and how you apply and utilize it in your classroom is where magic can happen. A while ago, I came across Tony Vincent’s Print Costume Sticky Notes. As Tony stated: “Post-it and other brands of sticky notes are put to good use everyday by teachers and students.” In fact there are over 35 uses for post-it or stickey notes in the classroom from book marks to exit tickets. Something I wanted to encourage with my students was rapport with each other and also looking for great ways for them to have “brain dumps” after I was finished teaching a lesson.
A few weeks ago, I received my copy of Code Breaker by Brian Aspinall. As many of you know, I currently work as a business and technology teacher. When I took the position this past fall, one of my new classes to teach was computer programming. I had been teaching students to code for almost three years by this point, but I had to start with Python for my new students. This was a bit of a learning curve as I had not really used Python on a regular basis in a few years. I also wanted my students to explore beyond simple Python coding and we branched off into GSuite Coding, Robotics and yes, Scratch. My students enjoyed using Scratch 2.0 a lot, especially in making games, but I wanted to move beyond that and I made it one of my top goals to learn more various ways to code in engaging ways in 2018. Then this wonderful book came into my hands.