Giving Students Learning Opportunities with Donors Choose

A few days ago, I was thrilled to see that one of my Donors Choose Projects, The Flipgrid Studio part 2 was fully funded. Allowing me to get the needed materials to start giving students more of a voice in my classroom through Flipgrid. The plan for the recording studio was to be the start of what I’m hoping will lead to students to be more creative in the classroom. In Sparks in the Dark by Travis Crowder and Todd Nesloney, the two talk about giving students new learning opportunities that are not available to them. Using resources such as Donors Choose and other school funding when there are limitations. Most of the time those limitations are placed on ourselves when we don’t think outside the box. I started using Donors Choose almost three years ago when a fellow teacher and I wanted to start bringing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & mathematics) to our art curriculum. Something that was unheard of and we didn’t have the budget to get the needed items to start using drones and spheros in the classroom. We went with Donors Choose and while we had a high goal we had to accomplish. We were able to do it with a few weeks left in our project and our student and school were better for not giving up. It lead to many of our fellow teachers working their own Donors Choose Projects and through a lot of networking and hard work. We usually got them funded. However, there were still nay sayers going: “What do you have to prove, sometimes kids just can’t get the resources they want or need.” That was a challenge I took to heart.

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Thank you Ripple and Donors Choose for giving my Students a Voice

Last night I was having a problem falling asleep, so I was doing some work on a new lesson I want to introduce to my students after Spring Break. Just then, I saw a notification go off on one of my Donors Choose Facebook Groups that I belong to. I had seen on my Donors Choose Page earlier in the evening that it was down and that there was some large announcement happening on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I figured it was similar to what had happened before when Colbert was partnering with Donors Choose to help so many teachers and their students get needed supplies, equipment, ect. I was in complete shock when I saw that Ripple  announced to Founder and CEO, Charles Best that Ripple had funded every SINGLE Donors Choose project, which over 35,000 projects and 29 million dollars. I couldn’t believe it!  Continue reading “Thank you Ripple and Donors Choose for giving my Students a Voice”

Starting the Flipgrid Recording Studio

A few days ago, I had something happen to me, I had two Donors Choose projects end without making their goal. For the first time in almost two years, I didn’t have a project make it’s goal. I didn’t get upset about it, but it made me really think about why they didn’t get funded? The first usually is: “it was too high of a goal.” One of the main reasons that a lot of Donors Choose do not get funded is because it’s too high of a goal. However, my goal was in the less than $200 range and I had a donors match too. Those usually get funded in just a few weeks if you set it up right. So my next question was: “What didn’t I do to get enough attention for my project?” Which seem to be the answer, I was basically saying: “I don’t have a budget and I really want to help my students learn with tools that I can’t afford.” Which does rub the wrong way, so I decided to think about what was important to my students and it didn’t take long before some of my students came to me during a project on Tuesday and said: “Mr. Read, I love using Flipgrid, but recording them isn’t really convenient for me.” That’s when it hit me. Continue reading “Starting the Flipgrid Recording Studio”

2018 One Word: Hourglass

The past week I have been looking back at 2017 and looking at all the good that happened. While I have talked about how 2017 has been one of the most difficult years I have faced in a decade. I have made it through (well in 4 days fore sure). When 2016 was coming to an end, I was looking at my “One Word” for 2017, which was Passion. What is the One Word?  The “One Word” approach is choosing a word that is a driving force for the year, rather than creating a list of  New Year’s resolutions, the One Word has been my go to the last two years.  However, in year’s past I’ve settled on “a word” for the year, but I never really get it move past the first five months. When January 2017 began and news of my mother’s health had come out. I fell back on my One Word and focused on my drive as an educator and technology. It was one of the few things that was getting me through the first few months of 2017 as more bleak news kept coming at me. Especially when July 1st rolled around and I was refocusing on changing my teaching style as I searched for a job. I also focused on my One Word as I went back into the classroom in August and tried to keep it alive as the days went on. The problem was, I kind of went with my One Word on a semi basis instead of a plan or driving points.

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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

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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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 Red Clock has started on my Donors Choose

Found out today my first donors choose is officially on the Red Clock. That means there are less than 45 Days left to get funded. My Ozobot and 3D Printer Donors Choose for my students is only 25% funded. I received over 200 votes for the Limeades for Learning for Sonic’s and I’m still have not had any backers in almost three months. Caring Classrooms will not feature my project since there is more than $500 remaining. Please, help my Donors Choose get funded. My students are ready to have more with their STEAM and coding and it’s a great … Continue reading The Red Clock has started on my Donors Choose

Building STEAM with LEGO

  Hello Everyone,   I know, two blog posts in the last three days, I must be catching up on my posts. Anyhow, I wanted to share my second Donors choose Project, Building STEAM with LEGO. As many know, I launched my first Donors Choose almost a month ago, and I’m 25% funded and even getting several votes thanks to Limeades for Learning. A few months ago, I was reading Play like a Pirate by Quinn Rollins and my love of LEGO was reawaken in the classroom. The last few months, I have been slowly moving LEGOs back to my … Continue reading Building STEAM with LEGO