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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Creating beauty with the Darkside

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Secret Socks go Darkside

Friday is here and on Friday I like to do some fun stuff. I’m not talking about dancing into the weekend or heading out to my favorite local grill. Taking a page out of Play like a Pirate I like to do a theme with my Secret Socks. What are Secret Socks? Well, the socks you wear that are special when you are dressed for success. My Secret Socks usually range from comics to sci-fi to emojis (don’t tell Melissa). As you know, we had our Donor Choose fulfilled thanks to amazing donations from people like you (No, I don’t work for PBS). As we were showing our students how to create art with our Spheros and Drones, I decided to code some artwork with spring colors using our Ollie Darkside. I also asked the question: “Why was the Empire really formed in Star Wars?” Most students answered because Palatine was a Sith Lord and wanted power. Which, I did answer was true, but really, the Empire was originally created to bring order to chaos, even if those who ran it had a pretty warped sense of order.

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Sphero STEAM Art Creation

Over the last few days, Mr. Smetana and I have been introducing our new Spheros and Darkside Ollies into the classroom. Using a few coding dice (see below), I have created some abstract art pieces using the Spheros for our new STEAM Art Curriculum. This has really engaged the students on a whole new level and they can’t wait to start creating with coding and drones.

The Coding Dice below are pretty simple to use .You roll them and then use the command that pops up. As you see with the Ollie, I had a lot of free choice commands and did some of the Ollie tricks for making the second art piece. The Spheros were more set control, I also used the App, Tickle for the Spheros rolls and jump tricks with the paint.

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Coding Dice

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Starting a School Newspaper with Adobe Slate

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Hello Everyone,

Usually my blog posts are daily, but with so much PD going into our new STEAM Art curriculum, I have fallen behind a bit outside of my social networks with Twitter and Instagram. I am excited to post about a new project we planning at my school using Adobe Slate for a School Newspaper. Something I have loved about Adobe Slate is how seamlessly you can incorporate images, text and now videos into a presentation that just pops to the viewer like a webpage. What’s even better is that Adobe Slate can be shared on almost every network as an embedded file and not just a link. Continue reading “Starting a School Newspaper with Adobe Slate”

Coming to an Art Room Near you!

    Happy Monday Everyone! I am pleased to announce that this past Saturday afternoon, while on a quest to find some Star Wars The Force Awakens action figures at a Super Target, my iPhone went off. I looked at the notification and it told me that our Donors Choose had been funded. Extremely ironic since I walked down an aisle that had both Sphero SPRK and Ollies on the shelf as I read the notification. As I smiled like I had found a BB-8 marked down to $2, I immediately sent a Snapchat to my fellow teachers and they … Continue reading Coming to an Art Room Near you!