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.
Continue reading “Taking the Five for Five Challenge”
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).
Continue reading “#DBC50Summer Reading”
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”
As the first semester draws closer to an end (6 weeks for me). Teachers reach that moment where they start to reflect on their classroom teaching or the 90 Day reflection. As many of you know, I returned to the classroom this year after serving as an administrator and enrichment teacher the last few years. I went from reaching a large range of students in a small capacity to teaching high school students in six different sections on a Block Schedule. To say the least, it was not the easiest transition, especially taking the position just a little over two weeks before the new school year started. I was fortunate to have a portfolio from previous school years about the material that needed to be cover. However, after the first month, I felt that I wasn’t teaching the classroom the way I wanted to teach it. Don’t get me wrong, my new students enjoyed the fact that I wouldn’t lecture constantly, gave extra time to work on assignments instead of having extra homework. They also loved my XP Power ups (they still do). Yet something was still missing. Continue reading “Teaching your Way”
Last week, I was wrapping up first quarter on STEAM with my kindergarten class and something that was a big hit was having a compliment read to them or them reading one themselves. I had used one of Tony Vincent‘s random HTML compliment QR Codes since we were learning about how to use QR Codes in the classroom and I also used my own random compliment QR Code. Some of the students just wanted to keep scanning or hitting the reload button to get a new compliment. Taking a page from Master the Media by Julie Smith. Julie pointed out in Chapter 8 about teaching a person how to navigate the internet or use proper tools associated with the internet will help them understand more.
Continue reading “How one compliment can make a student’s day”
Have you ever read the book: Have You Filled a Bucket Today? The short book explains to students that we all carry an invisible bucket in which we keep our feelings about ourselves. When our buckets are full, we are happy; when they are empty, we are sad. It is important that students learn that when they fill a friend’s bucket, they also fill their own bucket because it feels good to make others happy. Usually this is done with the traditional way of paper, coloring and scissors. I decided to try it with a digital sense with Seesaw. The activities remains the same, … Continue reading Have your Students Filled a Bucket with Seesaw
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”
Starting in January, I’m kicking of “Tech Like a Pirate” where you I talk about several ways you integrate technology into your classroom while you Teach Like a Pirate. To get things kicked off, I have made a Top 10 list or in a way kind of a top 40 list to show you what Apps work the best with all the Pirate Hooks. So, let the fun begin. 1. You. Yes, you. Who knows what tech to use in their classroom the best but you the teacher. What programs do you use every day? Do you have a digital … Continue reading Top 10 Ways to Tech Like a Pirate
Greetings everyone and Happy Hump Day. If you are look at the top image and seeing Teacher Andy up there you are probably saying: “Wait what?!” or “Why are you displaying android, IOS and GAFE up there?” Well, its pretty simple, I was working with a few students of mine the other day and we were going over Evernote. For those who don’t know, Evernote is a great productivity App that can be used for note taking, journaling, presenting and voice notes and synchs across all platforms from mobile to desktop. Two of my teachers decided to have students start … Continue reading Taking Apps out of the Useless Folder
Monday is here, a new week, a new lesson and a new hook to Teach like a Pirate. If you read my previous post, I took a trip to our local train museum this weekend and one of the features that stood out the most to us was a restored red caboose. My son, Tyler was wondering where cabooses were when he sees a local train come by. My mother-in-law told him they don’t have cabooses anymore at the end of trains. He was wondering why since they have them with his Thomas Train Sets and of course famous … Continue reading Where’s the Caboose?