August 1st, yes the unofficial getting ready for the school year (though I know some of my friends are already back in school). I have lessons and projects set up and putting some special fun for my students this fall and of course I have to test one of them out and of course, two of my favorites, Flipgrid and Spark Post turned into something really great that you can use for your classroom.Continue reading “App Smash Flipgrid with Adobe Spark Post”
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.
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).
A few days ago, I received my copy of: Let Them Speak by Rebecca Coda and Rick Jetter. Let Them Speak! is an amazing book on how to find out what your students really think, feel, and need, and what to do with the feedback you get from students, and how to use student voice to improve education and school culture. As many of you know, I have been a big advocate for Student Voice for a few years and in the last year, I have used Flipgrid to amplify Student Voice. So much, I am working on several Donors Choose projects to turn half of my classroom into a Flipgrid Recording Student. You can learn about that more here. As inspiring of the book is and the many notes, I have taken, I wanted to try something a little different to give students a focus on what they want to speak about. Sometimes students know what they want to talk about, but are not sure if it is: a question, idea, an thought of change or something completely innovative and I found just the thing with a little Pixel Classroom and Perler Beads.
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”
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”
Ozobots, small little robots you can code a number of ways. Great for K-college and more. As many of you know, I love using Robot EDU, where you use robotics to challenge and engage students. Using STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts & mathematics). I have had students creating amazing projects with Ozobots over the last year. One of the greatest ways to generate creativity is to tell a story with an Ozobot is by creating a Skin for them. Skins are usually cut outs that students and teachers can attach to Ozobots to dress them up to look like animals, people or objects. Many classrooms love to use Makerspaces with Ozobots using 3D printers and 3Doodlrs (I know I have). Giving such a unique look to their Ozobots. However, as we know many schools do not have 3D printing, butttttt…. many schools have Chromebooks.
Fall is here, leaves are changing colors, the air is a bit colder and it’s a great time to App Smash. As many of you know, I use Flipgrid for all of my classes, I love using Flipgrid for student reflection, engagement and reporting. In the last week, I have introduced my students to Canva. Canva is a program that allows you to design for both the web and print. If you are a GSUITE for EDU school like mine, students can sign in through Google (have to be 13 or oder) and download the app. While I have used Adobe Spark Suite with my students in the last couple of years, I have been slowly returning Canva for my image creation for my business classes. Recently, I started introducing our Job Unit to my Consumer Ed students and I wanted to bring Canva to their learning and add to their creative tool bag. Continue reading “Can your students make the pitch with Flipgrid and Canva?”