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.
Summer is here, like many educators, we look at the days of the 3 other Rs: Refuel, Recharge, and Read. Summer was always a time of reading for me, back to the day where I would sit on the front porch in summer reading comic books or the latest novel that caught my interest. In the Summer of 2014, something drastic happened, as many of you know as the school year came to a close in 2014 I was feeling burned out. I wasn’t feeling very motivated, I was more of an administrator than teacher and I would go into my office and just look at my screen after finishing paper work and go: “Now what?” However, it was that Spring I discovered Teach like a Pirate by Dave Burgess and things completely changed. I found a re-ignition of passion and began buying every book that would be released by Dave Burgess Consulting Inc and they became my constant PD books during the summer. In the past two months thanks to Dave and Shelly Burgess, Jay Billy, Wendy Hankins and some well timed Amazon Gift Cards. I started my Summer of 2018 reading list in early May of a whopping 8 books. I’m here to give a brief review of them, what I found amazing about each one and a little sneak peak at home I’m using them in the classroom this upcoming school year as I begin building the Classroom of Pixels (#PixelClassroom).
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”
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.
A few weeks ago, I was talking with some friends of mine and we brought up Todd Nauck. For those who don’t know Todd, he is a career comic book artist who has worked on everything from Spider-Man to Batman. I’ve been a fan of his since the 90s and Todd is always doing a “retweet” contest on Twitter when he is at a comic con. We were talking about how he has created some amazing work with his twitter posting and how we could use that for the classroom and a great idea came to me.
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.
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.
As we wrap up, I is for Innovation, I thought I would leave things with some innovative tools you can get for your classroom and some ways you can use them. Perler Beads: We know this would be my first pick. I have really gotten into using Perler Beads with my teachers and students as our way of having our own 3D Printer. We currently do not have the funds to get the emerging technology in schools. While my nieces and peers have access to one at their schools. I stumbled on using Perler Beads due to health advice from … Continue reading Innovative Tools in the Classroom
My Top 10 Posts for Dice UP the Classroom for 2015. SAMR App Dice Beginning your Makey Makey Classroom Welcome to the Emoji Classroom Makey Makey iPad Tech Smash Setting up a PE Google Classroom Fitness Tracker Rolling Out App Dice Facebook Page Emoji Classroom Exit Tickets My Top 20 Comic Book Apps and how to use them Making Digital Bulletin Boards in the Classroom Making the Digital Smash Book Continue reading My Top 10 Posts of 2015
Hello Everyone, Something funny happened to me this morning, I woke up and I looked at the date and I remember it was five years since I lost my job that lead me to where I am now. Granted, I had already started on the path in March of 2010 when I decided to switch to education as my career but it was the lost of that job that lead me to where I am now. I decided to craft a story using emojis in Pic Collage and cleaning up in Halftone 2 on my iPad. I thought: “What an … Continue reading An Emojinal Story