Ozobots, small little robots you can code a number of ways. Great for K-college and more. As many of you know, I love using Robot EDU, where you use robotics to challenge and engage students. Using STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts & mathematics). I have had students creating amazing projects with Ozobots over the last year. One of the greatest ways to generate creativity is to tell a story with an Ozobot is by creating a Skin for them. Skins are usually cut outs that students and teachers can attach to Ozobots to dress them up to look like animals, people or objects. Many classrooms love to use Makerspaces with Ozobots using 3D printers and 3Doodlrs (I know I have). Giving such a unique look to their Ozobots. However, as we know many schools do not have 3D printing, butttttt…. many schools have Chromebooks.
As the first semester draws closer to an end (6 weeks for me). Teachers reach that moment where they start to reflect on their classroom teaching or the 90 Day reflection. As many of you know, I returned to the classroom this year after serving as an administrator and enrichment teacher the last few years. I went from reaching a large range of students in a small capacity to teaching high school students in six different sections on a Block Schedule. To say the least, it was not the easiest transition, especially taking the position just a little over two weeks before the new school year started. I was fortunate to have a portfolio from previous school years about the material that needed to be cover. However, after the first month, I felt that I wasn’t teaching the classroom the way I wanted to teach it. Don’t get me wrong, my new students enjoyed the fact that I wouldn’t lecture constantly, gave extra time to work on assignments instead of having extra homework. They also loved my XP Power ups (they still do). Yet something was still missing. Continue reading “Teaching your Way”
Fall is here, leaves are changing colors, the air is a bit colder and it’s a great time to App Smash. As many of you know, I use Flipgrid for all of my classes, I love using Flipgrid for student reflection, engagement and reporting. In the last week, I have introduced my students to Canva. Canva is a program that allows you to design for both the web and print. If you are a GSUITE for EDU school like mine, students can sign in through Google (have to be 13 or oder) and download the app. While I have used Adobe Spark Suite with my students in the last couple of years, I have been slowly returning Canva for my image creation for my business classes. Recently, I started introducing our Job Unit to my Consumer Ed students and I wanted to bring Canva to their learning and add to their creative tool bag. Continue reading “Can your students make the pitch with Flipgrid and Canva?”
Over the last few years, many have asked me who influenced my teaching and many times I have brought up my middle school science teacher, my 5th grade teacher and one of my history teachers. Sad to say, my high school history teacher, Larry Coots passed away this weekend. I didn’t take his class until my sophomore year of high school and while I have gone on record many times about how difficult my sophomore year in high school was. Mr. Coots was one of the few shining lights during that time. I remember first meeting him when I came into his classroom, seeing this very tall man, who was calm and laid back, wondering what to expect. My middle school teacher, Ms. Roach had turned to my bane of social studies around three years earlier and I was loving history, social studies and early consumer education in middle school. At first, his class seemed to be like any other history class, there were textbooks, talk about what we would be covering and so forth. However, he then paused and mentioned we would do a few things different. That there would be videos, music and interaction. Something that really perked my interests.
The question always go in the first 30 days of the new school year of what happened in the process of getting started? After the last month of creating lesson plans, Breakout EDU, tech problems, evaluations and yes, even tests. There is always that feeling of trying to catch up on things. I’m not talking about grading or spending time with family, I’m talking about the things you usually do. One of my two biggest issues the last 30 days is my blog posts and working with new tech.
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