The past couple of weeks, I have been dealing with a large amount of writer’s block. It happens to all of us, you are just trying to string together a set of ideas and no matter what, it just won’t go from your head to your finger tips. In fact, I was planning about six blog posts the last couple of weeks and couldn’t come up with anything outside of: “hello”. No really, that’s all I could get out of my head. I even tried to do a vlog and that was just as much of a disappointment as anything. So, I just focused on some lesson plans and projects I have coming up, but still nothing. Then this weekend, the family and I headed to NIU STEM fest and not even three steps in I saw it. Albert Einstein created with dominos using. Immediately I had ideas brewing and after visiting a few notes I had taken for Computer Programming this Spring I remembered Erintegation’s Coding with Text Art: ACSII. Continue reading “LEGO ASCII Coding”
The past couple of weeks, I have been reading over Make Learning Magical by Tisha Richmond and also looking over some notes I had taken from Let Them Speak by Rick Jetter and Rebecca Coda. One of the biggest pieces that have stood out to me the last few days is: “Create a Memorable Experience” and “Listen to what your students say.” My big project this year in Building the Pixel Classroom is really focusing on all the letters: Passion, Innovation, X-factor, Enthusiasm and Listening. I was going through my notes when I came across my old friend, Plickers. Plickers had a major update in the last few weeks, so much that two of my co-workers decided to dust off their own laminated Plickers cards and use them in class. However, they didn’t really go over all the updates, and of course struggled with teaching high school students in using them again. It was then I had an idea to use Plickers back in my classroom.
This past weekend, I received my copy of Make Learning Magical by Tisha Richmond. I pretty much dove into this book late Saturday Night and read it along with my morning Coffee on Sunday after my bike ride. Just wow! As you know, I did my Five for Five Challenge last week using tips from Tisha and book end each day with books from DBC Inc Publishing. I have started using Pear Deck this semester after my district purchased the site license for all teachers. I have been using Pear Deck in two of my main classes and stated branching off into my other two. I decided I was going to introduce Pear Deck as one of our new Reviewing for our Unit Test and boy was it a success. Here is how: Continue reading “Making Reviewing Magical with Pear Deck”
I reflect on my Five for Five Challenge on Making Learning Magical and bringing Enthusiasm and Listening to the classroom. Continue reading Five for Five Challenge Day 5 and Reflection
Day 3 of my Five for Five Challenge of Making Learning Magical to my students. Today, my classes were booked end with Ditch that Homework by Matt Miller and Alice Keeler and Kids Deserve It by Adam Welcome and Todd Nesloney. Something you think is by the time you get to Day 3 of the Five for Five Challenge you start to get into the groove of things. I learned first hand that is not always the case. Continue reading “Five for Five Challenge Day 3”
As I mentioned on Saturday, I have taken on the Five for Five Challenge. I’m doing a full #MLMagical week in all of my classes. I’m book ending (pardon the pun) with two books from the Dave Burgess Consulting Inc on each day with a secret on Friday. Today was Day 1, I choose eXplore like a Pirate and The Wild Card. So, what did I do for my first Challenge Day you make ask? Continue reading “Five for Five Challenge Day 1”
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.
This past week, I completed my first room transformation for the new school year with the Settlers of Catan. Room Transformations aren’t really that new of a concept. I remember way back when my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Larson did a Read by the Fire transformation when our winter book reading project began. It wasn’t nothing crazy, she had a sweater on, had her cup of coffee, made one of our bulletin boards look like a fire place with marshmallows and ready us a few short books that day. She was very encouraging with us to read everything from classics to yes, comics. Earlier this year, The Wild Card by Hope and Wade King was released by DBC Inc Publishing and the Kings are very well known for their room transformations. From having everyone dress up to perform “Sentence Surgery” to STEM balloon racing set up like NASCAR. After reading the book, I set up to make my own room transformations. Such as a Project Runway to teach students proper business attire. Setting up my room to be like an auto office to teach about the different types of insurance and even transforming my 3D printing lesson to look like we were in an 80s Arcade. This year I started my Consumer Education student with the basics of Global Markets and the Barter System. Using the game, Settlers of Catan. My Students LOVED this set up and walked out not only engaged, but talking about what they learned. How did this all happen? Let me explain my set up. Continue reading “Settlers of Catan Classroom Transformation”
Late last year, I was working with my Multimedia students and I really wanted to do something different with their projects. I have always given my students choice with their passion projects, but many were really wanting to start using stickers with their projects. It was then that I remembered a post from my friend, Tony Vincent in the early spring of 2017 on Printing Custom Sticky Notes with Google Slides. I had been showing my students how to use Google Slides for more than presentations from creating their own costume posters to creating animated GIFS. They LOVED using Post-Its to create their own brand of stickers. Creating everything inspirational messages to later building Pixel Art with them. It was then that I knew I wanted to take Post-Its Education to a new level in my PIXEL Classroom building project and I didn’t have to look any further than a Nativity Polaroid post-it holder. Continue reading “Post-It Snapshot”
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).