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”
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”
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”
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).
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.
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.
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”
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
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