Welcome to the Summer Flipgrid

Hello Everyone, I’m here today to talk about Flipgrid. Yes, that wonderful interactive student/teacher voice platform that is becoming very popular right now. I started using flipgrid a few months ago with my Middle School STEAM students and they have … Continue reading Welcome to the Summer Flipgrid

Super Sons EDU

I’ve been asked for years now: “Ryan, when are you going to make a super hero fan page again?” For those who don’t know the story, it was 1996, I was a freshman at Northern Illinois University and I had just been given constant access to the internet. To a kid of 18, this was a wide new world to me, but I did something that was very new at the time, I made a comic book fan page. In 1996, there were maybe just over 80 pages of comic book fans creating their own webpages, early wikis and message boards on their favorite characters. I didn’t have any classes to go to or was signed up at the time (I was a theatre and business major). So, I had to learn everything about HTML and basic coding myself. Flash forward to late 1997, and I had one of the most visited Thunderbolts fan sites around. I continued focusing on Spider-Girl (MC2) and Thunderbolts up until 2006 and then I shifted over to podcasting and my new blog, The Green Lantern Spotlight. Then in 2010 something happened. I lost my job. I decided to stop “wasting” my time as I was told constantly told and try and get a job and finish my master’s degree.  Something I regretted to this day.

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LEGO Brick Headz as a Biography

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As many of you know, since 2014 I have been Teaching like a Pirate and in just three years I have expanded my collection with all the various books from the Burgess Consulting Company. However, the two I have been using a a lot over the last year have been: eXPlore like a Pirate and Play like a Pirate. The last few months I have been incorporating both into my STEAM Enrichment classes and my students can’t get enough. A couple of weeks ago I was in the LEGO Store and I came across their Brick Headz sets.

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How Teach like a Pirate changed my practice as an Educator

 

It was April of 2014, I was just a month and a half from completing my second year at Christian Life Schools and something happened. I felt burnt out. I had barely been in education for almost four years and I remember sitting in my office. I was fixing a few forgotten gmail passwords and was told on twitter: “You have to do something else with your App Dice, they are getting boring.” I had no other major planned classroom lessons happening until close to May 1st and I had just sent off my clean up for iPads for classrooms and final eRate quotes to be reviewed and I looked at my blog and went: “What can I do?” “What is the point, if I’m not in the classroom.” “I’m just another tech guy with no classroom and nothing better to do.” “I’m not good enough to do anything innovative or new.” Then I had Barbara Gruener point me towards a guy named, Dave Burgess and his book, Teach like a Pirate.

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Booksnaps and Funko Pop!

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For those who don’t know, Tara Martin a few months ago started Booksnaps. The idea of #BookSnaps was by documenting key takeaways between face-to-face meetings and adding them to our “Snap Story” for daily viewing using Snapchat or related apps. This allows the reader to connect an idea or thought by creating a digital visual representation. The visual representation solidifies the text content within the mind and signals the brain to retrieve the idea from memory. Something I have been doing since Booksnaps was publically revealed and I have been trying to do various Booksnaps with my students using Seesaw. Going back about another month before that, Quinn Rollins, Mr. Play like a Pirate himself, talked about using Funko Pop! for biographies. The idea behind Funko Pop! figures are creating  simple biographies of characters they’re learning about in class. Historic figures, great inventors, characters in novels — anything in your curriculum that has a human in it.  Continue reading “Booksnaps and Funko Pop!”

TLAP for my Teachers GoFundMe

Hello Everyone,   Well, this weekend I was talking with some of my various coworkers and they talked about wishing they had access to all the Teach like a Pirate and Hack Learning books that are around. So, with some … Continue reading TLAP for my Teachers GoFundMe

The Classroom Friend

If you are like me or other educators, you know that classroom management can some days be a struggle. No matter how many years you have been teaching or administrating, it just seems that there can be a lost in the classroom when it comes to work stations or behavior. As many of us know, there has been quite the influx of Elf on Shelf and even Mensch on a Bench. The basic concept for the characters is they appear in a different spot each day and children can’t touch or move them. The idea came to me late last year with my own son during Elf on a Shelf. We had our Elf showing up in areas that he had a problem of getting into. Our Elf (Elfy) would show up in spots around the house where he shouldn’t be doing, it worked great. Continue reading “The Classroom Friend”

Dash and Dot for Kinders

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Image from http://www.tech-fairy.com

Hello Everyone,

Last week, I had such an amazing thing happen. Both my Donors Choose projects were fully funded. Bringing Ozobots, LEGOs and a 3D Printer (still waiting on it) to be brought to my students for STEAM. In the last couple of days, I have seen my students come to life with our new tools and having them bring new innovation to their learning and understanding. Well, I was working with my Kinders and something very interesting happened. They had a problem with coding with their Spheros and Ozobots. Not because of the ability to code, but due to the size. That’s when I had to jump into action to bring coding and robotics to my Kinders with their new LEGOs.

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The Office Remodel Part 1

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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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Finding the Pennies in your Lesson

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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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