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
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:
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.
Based on ST Math Kickbox activities, here is a great project/lesson you can do with your students using Spheros, Ozobots, Dash and Dot and even Bee-bots that promotes critical thinking, PBL and STEAM with gamification. Continue reading Kickbox Coding Challenge
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.
I know, you are probably reading the headline and saying: “Don’t you mean Christmas Wish List”? Kind of, but for the last few years, I have always seen great sales for items I would love to have for my students and classroom and eventually, they find themselves to my students (sadly not by Christmas). So, being the #STEAM teacher and trying to transition my students to STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, art and mathematics). I came up with a great wish list this year.
Last week, I was doing my weekly PD with my fellow teachers and one of our coaches had us play, I have/You have card game. Those who are unfamiliar with it here is how it works: Distributing Cards: Distribute one card to each student, then distribute the extras to strong students in the beginning and to random students as the class becomes more familiar with the deck. Class Play: As you distribute the cards, encourage students to begin thinking about what the question for their card might be so that they are prepared to answer. When all … Continue reading I Have… Who Has? Coding Cards
The last few days I have been working on a set of images using Adobe Draw on my iPad. Taking a note from Tony Vincent‘s making your own Clipart and from Quinn Rollins Play like a Pirate I decided to combine them along with Julie Smith’s Master the Media and some of Michael Matera’s eXPlore like a Pirate. (Yes, I made these first for a reason).