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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Teaching Code with Superhero LEGO Game

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The other day, I was looking through my PBL and I came across a way to teach students basic coding with LEGO and super hero action figures. My son, Tyler saw what I was looking at and wanted to build with his LEGO table set upstairs. When I told him how the game works he said they needed the super heroes fight the supervillains and the two of us created a fun game you can use with your students to teach coding.

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My Black Friday Tech Wish List

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I know, you are probably reading the headline and saying: “Don’t you mean Christmas Wish List”? Kind of, but for the last few years, I have always seen great sales for items I would love to have for my students and classroom and eventually, they find themselves to my students (sadly not by Christmas). So, being the #STEAM teacher and trying to transition my students to STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, art and mathematics). I came up with a great wish list this year.

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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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The great room remodel

This past weekend, I attended a session by Michael Jaber about getting the Lead out in Leadership. Basically, the classic get the lead out, hence get moving faster. While Michael had plenty of ideas and many I am going to apply in the next school year. One that did stick out was about remodeling your office or classroom to be more inviting to students and staff alike. Last September, I left my job of over three years due to budget cuts and luckily landed a new one a few weeks later. While I moved my stuff into my new office and organized it to my liking, I still felt like I was the new guy who moved into someone else’s space. In my three years at CLS, my office was very inviting to students and staff, I had various pictures, sayings, collectibles and tech that actually had several students wanting to spend their study hall time in my office to work on their lessons and projects. Now, while I have been at Jackson, I have had a similar experience with my students and staff, they want to see my tech or some of the ideas I’m working for lessons and projects. However, many times they say they say they enjoy the air conditioning more. So, after Michael’s session this past weekend, I knew it was time remodel my office.

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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!

March Madness Bracket Coding

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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”

Innovative Tools in the Classroom

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

Tic-Tac-Smash

In late 2014, when I was working on my Appification (App Smashing with Gamification). One of the games I created was Tic-Tac-Smash. The object was similar to Tic-Tac-Toe with a twist. Students had to try to keep from getting three Apps in a row. The object was, once a student had aligned three Apps in a row either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. The player had to create a lesson or project from those three Apps created. The game would then start again with two more students. This was design to have a more student lead classroom, as students were in … Continue reading Tic-Tac-Smash