#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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Smashboard EDU Kaboom

Since 2014 I have been smashing Apps and other resources for my students and my co-workers. Leading to the creation of App Dice and inspiring many classrooms and teachers for student choice and creation. In the last couple of years, Dee Lanier has taken the use of App Smashing to the next level with Smashboard EDU. Smashboard combines the incredible use of App Smashes and DOK into incredible learning for both students and teachers. In the past month I have been taking the Smashboard and combining it with some gamification and eXPlore like a Pirate ideas and I came up with a Smashboard version of Kaboom.

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Scoot Reflection

A couple of years ago, I was reading a post on Erintegration by Erin Flanagan on the game Scoot. The game works with students answering one question at their desks and then move to the next seat when the teacher calls “Scoot.”  This usually works by giving 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. The questions can range from: “Today I feel?” to writing down an adjective to describe an object or picture. Erin created a great way of playing Scoot using both iPads and Chromebooks and playing a special playlist on with songs cut to be 3 minutes long each so students work until the song ends and then Scoot. The last couple of weeks, my division leader and I have been using the Pair Programming Method. Click on the video below to see how the Pair Programming Method Works.

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Teaching your Way

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”

Perler Bead your Bloxels

For the past year and a half, I have been opening students and teachers up to perler beads. The story began in late 2015, when I was looking into a new hobby as I worked towards finishing up my dissertation proposal. Just after New Year’s 2016, I bought a set of grids and a large mixed bucket of perler beads that was being sold at a swap meet and away I went. A few days later, I was working on a project with two of my friend’s children and they were coming up with crazy designs using graph paper and were bringing them to life with the perler beads. I realized this was a great way to teach students about pixel art and doing 3D printing on a more manageable budget.  The idea took off with my students and I started sharing out classroom ideas and STEAM lessons on my social networks and have refined the lessons to a more digital format thanks to both Alice Keeler and Christine Pinto over the last year. In the last few months, I was able to learn how to use Bloxels to create 13-bit video games. As a result, I decided to merge them both into an amazing lesson that promotes group work, digital citizenship and STREAM

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Gafe 4 Littles App Spinner

Based off of the upcoming book by Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler. I created this fidget game spinner based on Sydney Musselwhite‘s App Spinner. It’s a great way to teach Littles free choice and create amazing App Smashes with GSuite. You can make your own copy here. Continue reading Gafe 4 Littles App Spinner

Ozobot Coding Cards

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Since starting Robot Edu, I have been trying to think of new and inventive ways to use gamification and centers with our various robots for our students. A week ago, my instructional coach, Joe Sloan and I came up with using coding cards for our students to use with Ozobots. The concept works pretty simply:

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Mega Awesome Lessons

Many of you know I am a classic game player, loving the classic NES Games. One who has had my heart for a long time is Megaman. The fighting robot out to save the world from the evil forces of Dr. Wiley. Back in October, I was able to acquire two Funko Pops of the Blue Bomber and his robot dog, Rush. I knew I wanted to use them for my STEAM classes and finally this past week I was able to incorporate them with my students.

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Teaching Code with Superhero LEGO Game

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The other day, I was looking through my PBL and I came across a way to teach students basic coding with LEGO and super hero action figures. My son, Tyler saw what I was looking at and wanted to build with his LEGO table set upstairs. When I told him how the game works he said they needed the super heroes fight the supervillains and the two of us created a fun game you can use with your students to teach coding.

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