Taking the Five for Five Challenge

Hello Everyone,

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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#DBC50Summer Reading


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).

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The Office Remodel Part 1


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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Pirate Duck is on an adventure with Emojis



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You are probably thinking right now: “Oh no! Ryan is at again and now he’s made a new character out of Perler Beads, what can he be doing now.” As many of you know for the last two years, I have been reading and practicing the Teach like a Pirate way by Dave Burgess. Just this last week, the newest book, Play like a Pirate by Quinn Rollins was released. Sadly, I’m still waiting on my copy (errr!) to arrive, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start using a little PlayLap, XPLAP and Tlap together to create a fun writing lesson.

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Scoot the Emoji

Welcome back to school everyone! To kick off our return to the classroom after winter break I have decided to to do a full month of eXPlore like a Pirate lessons and projects. Since June of 2014, I have been loving the Teach like a Pirate books from Dave Burgess, Paul, Solarz and now Michael  Matera. EXPlore like a Pirate brings Gamification to your school and classroom and as many of you know, I’m a big fan and user of Gamification. So, to start things off right for 2016, I’m going to bring in an awesome game of, Scoot to your classroom. What is Scoot you might ask? Scoot is a game usually played with a set of task cards, each with a question on it, that are placed on student desks.  Students answer one question at each then move to the next seat when the teacher calls out: “Scoot.”  You can even give students blank paper or whiteboards and have them write questions or have them all turn to the same page in a workbook and Scoot to complete the page. I did this activity years ago when I was in grade school. We didn’t call it, “Scoot” back then.

A few weeks ago, I was doing my usual searches on Pinterest (Thanks Erin Klein) and I came across this amazing activity using Scoot for iPads by Erin Flanagan and she has created several awesome Scoot lessons for your students on Teachers pay Teachers. What really caught my eye on this was how she had students use sticker emojis for most of her games with Pic Collage since answers can be text, drawings, and even images right from the web. So, I wanted to take these amazing lessons and move them towards the Emoji Classroom. So, here are some awesome ways you can incorporate Scoot into your classroom from iPads to Perler Beads. Yes, I did say Perler Beads.

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My Top 10 Posts of 2015

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

Decorate the Halls with Emojis

Fun little challenge you can do with your classroom before break hits. Take a picture of an undecorated tree or holiday item and then have students finish decorating it with emojis. I went a bit further with mine and used Photo Funia and Font Candy to make mine look like an animated Christmas picture to Santa Claus. Continue reading Decorate the Halls with Emojis