I hope the new school year is off to a great start. I am heading into my fourth week of the school year and I’m pretty excited for what I have coming up this week. I’m taking the Five for Five Challenge. The #Five4Five Challenge is an initiative created by fellow educator and author Michael Matera (eXPlore like a Pirate) who encourages others to commit to doing one new-to-you (often creative) endeavor each day for five straight days. This isn’t my first #Five4Five Challenge. I did my first one this past summer when I reviewed Run like a Pirate by Adam Welcome. I reviewed and blogged about Run Like a Pirate each day and how each chapter resonated or challenged me through the reading. I had never at that point ever tried to do something like that before. Sufficient to say, it was truly amazing. I picked up a new level of reading enjoyment and applying the book to not only my classroom, but also my life. The last couple of weeks, I have been trying to figure out what a Five for Five Challenge should be for me this school year and I found the answer right in Kids Deserve It, also by Adam and Todd Nelsoney and a sticker from Tisha Richmond from her upcoming book, Make Learning Magical.
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This past week, I completed my first room transformation for the new school year with the Settlers of Catan. Room Transformations aren’t really that new of a concept. I remember way back when my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Larson did a Read by the Fire transformation when our winter book reading project began. It wasn’t nothing crazy, she had a sweater on, had her cup of coffee, made one of our bulletin boards look like a fire place with marshmallows and ready us a few short books that day. She was very encouraging with us to read everything from classics to yes, comics. Earlier this year, The Wild Card by Hope and Wade King was released by DBC Inc Publishing and the Kings are very well known for their room transformations. From having everyone dress up to perform “Sentence Surgery” to STEM balloon racing set up like NASCAR. After reading the book, I set up to make my own room transformations. Such as a Project Runway to teach students proper business attire. Setting up my room to be like an auto office to teach about the different types of insurance and even transforming my 3D printing lesson to look like we were in an 80s Arcade. This year I started my Consumer Education student with the basics of Global Markets and the Barter System. Using the game, Settlers of Catan. My Students LOVED this set up and walked out not only engaged, but talking about what they learned. How did this all happen? Let me explain my set up. Continue reading “Settlers of Catan Classroom Transformation”
Every year for the last few years, I have written a “Dear Classroom” letter for my upcoming school year. The last couple of years I have been blessed with my own classroom. It’s a great way to reflect on your goals for your classroom in the upcoming school year. Here is this year’s letter: Continue reading “Dear Classroom 2018-2019”
The past few days, I have been working on my summer reading and in the past few days I have been reading: Lead with Culture by Jay Billy and just recently started The Pepper Effect by Sean Gaillard. In Lead with Culture, Jay talked about being intentional with our actions. He highlighted a great point in chapter 8 on page 68 about a teacher who used a Letter–type format for students to practice. The original intention was for students to practice spelling. The teacher saw the activity on Pinterest and thought it would be fun and it was. In the classroom. When it was given as homework it lost it’s purpose and really rang true with me. Something I try to avoid is busy work for students, but a trick is make activities and lessons with a purpose. I’m currently working on a Donors Choose to get a full classroom set of Bloxels for my students for the spring of 2019. My past students found Bloxels amazing, as they were able to create their own games. However, reviewing my past students, many students just saw using Bloxels as making games and weren’t finding the main purpose in their learning with Bloxels. So, I began to do research on how to make learning with Bloxels have a larger purpose with my high school students when we get our Bloxels and I didn’t have to look much farther than The Pepper Effect.
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Have you ever played kerplunk? It’s a great game where the object of the game is to skillfully remove the sticks from the tube while dropping the fewest marbles possible. The translucent tube stands upright on a base that contains four separate numbered trays. The winner has the fewest marbles fall. Tumbling Monkeys is very similar, but the monkeys have small tails that can hook on the various sticks and who is having the fewest monkeys to win can change very quickly. Both games teach strategy but they also can teach much, much more.
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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.
Continue reading “The Office Remodel Part 1”
The past week, I have been sharing mini videos on my Instagram account on using various devices for coding and STEAM in your classroom. I use my Instagram account for both educational and personal use. I usually divide my educational postings using the hashtag: #DiceUPtheClassroom. I love using Instagram for many of my quick posts as I can link it both with my other social accounts and using IFTTT to post on my other channels as full images and not just a link to my accounts In the last couple months thanks to Tony Vincent and Michael Buist I have been trying to fine tune my postings on Instagram with animated images on the tech I love to use in the classroom or types you should try out with your students and staff. Many have asked me how I did this?
Continue reading “Using Keynote to create Instagram Edu Videos”
A while ago, I posted about using social media in the classroom. Mostly by using the various features of Instagram along with sister Apps. Well, as many of you know, Instagram and its sister Apps had overhauls on both designs and features. I’m going over a few ways you can use Instagram in your classroom and using the various sister Apps both with and outside of Instagram.
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March Madness is here again and so are everyone’s favorite brackets. Now, everyone knows that brackets are set up to show what teams are playing who and the winner of each round will go to face off the team that advances. Well, being in the spirit of March Madness and of course Teach like a Pirate (you knew it was coming). I have decided to create a type of Bracket set for coding. As many know, I am trying to get our Donors Choose funded by next Wednesday and the clock is ticking. I wanted to show everyone how you could integrate brackets into your Sphero Edu or Coding classroom. Continue reading “March Madness Bracket Coding”
Welcome to the month of March, the month where Spring begins, the weather starts to take an upswing and my birthday (March 1st). With all the lessons and projects I have been doing lately, especially Build like a Pirate. I thought I would turn things down a bit and look at a great debate going on in classrooms right now. What is the difference between an Infopic and a Memes? An infopic is a photo with text layered on top that is designed to communicate a message. The message might be a summary, quote, definition, notes, data, weblink, hashtag, or other information. A meme, a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users, but has an underlining message in it that you can relate to.
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