For the last few years, I have written a “Dear Classroom” this is a personal letter to my classroom. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but bear with me for a bit. This is similar to a letter a student writes to themselves at the beginning of the year.The first day of school is tough and this gets the students talking, sharing and writing. You usually provide the students with neat stationary, an envelope, pens and stickers. Explain to the students that they will be writing a letter to themselves and they will open it in June, on the last day of school. Continue reading “My “Dear Classroom” Letter this Year”
The new school year has begun and for many of us, that means starting with welcoming in new classes, reuniting with old friends and starting new beginnings. In my case, I did all three. As many of you know, … Continue reading New classes, old friends and New Beginnings
On June 30th, after two years, I left Jackson Charter School, entering a time of uncertainly as I applied to several schools and districts. I am happy to announce that I have taken the position of Teacher of Business and … Continue reading New School, New Classroom, New Adventure
The last week, I have seen some amazing accomplishments happened. After seven years, I was able to get my full state licensure in teaching. I completed my Google Educator Level 1 Certificate and my sunflowers just bloomed for the first time. The first two are long time accomplishments, but it is the sunflower that is the real story.
For the past year and a half, I have been opening students and teachers up to perler beads. The story began in late 2015, when I was looking into a new hobby as I worked towards finishing up my dissertation proposal. Just after New Year’s 2016, I bought a set of grids and a large mixed bucket of perler beads that was being sold at a swap meet and away I went. A few days later, I was working on a project with two of my friend’s children and they were coming up with crazy designs using graph paper and were bringing them to life with the perler beads. I realized this was a great way to teach students about pixel art and doing 3D printing on a more manageable budget. The idea took off with my students and I started sharing out classroom ideas and STEAM lessons on my social networks and have refined the lessons to a more digital format thanks to both Alice Keeler and Christine Pinto over the last year. In the last few months, I was able to learn how to use Bloxels to create 13-bit video games. As a result, I decided to merge them both into an amazing lesson that promotes group work, digital citizenship and STREAM
The other day, I was checking some shared articles in my PLN, when one shared by George Couros stood out to me. 15 Habits of People with Depression, an article about signs of people who are dealing with depression. I read the article and it is pretty spot on. Why? Because it has happened to me. During my sophomore year in high school, I dealt with the usual problems all 15 year olds deal with. Popularity, grades, learning to drive, peer pressure, ect. However, like some teenagers that age, I was that percentage that was not handling it very well. In fact, I was down to thoughts of suicide, leading to a lot of counsoling and seeking God’s help to get me through those days. Something that slowly started turning things around. However, depression isn’t always something that is cured with time, sometimes the effects can last a life time.
Based off of the upcoming book by Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler. I created this fidget game spinner based on Sydney Musselwhite‘s App Spinner. It’s a great way to teach Littles free choice and create amazing App Smashes with GSuite. You can make your own copy here. Continue reading Gafe 4 Littles App Spinner
In this screencast I explain how to create Snapcode App Dice. You can make a copy of the Google Drawings template here. You can find Dice and 3D shapes templates at Korthal Saltes. Continue reading Snap Code App Dice
In the last few weeks I have been getting in the amazing books from Dave Burgess Consulting Inc and the new IMpress. After I finish reading the books, I always go over them several times and stack them on each other. My son the other day was taking one of his toys and seeing if he could match the toy height with the books to make a tower. I asked him how many books he had to use to get them even. He went through various books trying to get the right height for the stack of books to his toy. He finally put up: Lead like a Pirate, Table Talk Math (ironically), Unmapped Potential and Teacher Myth to get he hight right for his 6″ toy. I told him good job and then asked him how many pages that was. He looked at me with an: “What?” look on his face. the later flipped to the back and told me the page numbers. So, this got me thinking of a great challenge you can do with students.
The last couple of weeks, I have been adding new and exciting books from the Dave Burgess Consulting Inc. library. These books have been just amazing (not that they haven’t been in the past). They have really been fueling my passion for education these last few weeks. So much I decided to start “Book Smashing” them. If you don’t know the term, similar to App Smashing, Book Smashing is when you combine one or more books lessons, ideas and more together to create an amazing lesson or project. Not really a new concept as I remember my two of my former teachers in grade and middle school doing something similar, but it has become a bit of a lost art in the last decade or so. So, to get things kicked off, I wanted to start off with one that I came up with the other night that I’m sure you will love that combines: HyperDocs, Digital Citizenship, Mapping and engagement into one.