A few months ago while I was looking for a new school, I came across Books in a Jar at a local library. Books in a Jar was started back in 2013 when a student thought it would be fun to take pieces of a torn up book and put sentences, words, phrases, ect in a mason jar and then have students try and guess the story it was from. Kind of like a game of Clue, but with torn to deconstructed pieces of a book. At the time, I thought there be a great way to turn this into a STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, art and mathematics) project/activity. However, I was so busy at the time looking for a new job and recreating some older lessons over the summer, I filed it away. This past week a few teachers were talking about it on Twitter and I grabbed my old notebook and came up with this awesome lesson/project you can do with students K-3.
Since the last six months have been on and off on my blog, I decided to wrap up 2017 with a post using one of my favorite two things. Coding and Robotics. As many of you know I started the #RobotEDU hashtag earlier this year. As I talked about how to use various robots in education from Wonder Workshop to Ozobots. My son and his friends, who are all like extended family to us love coming over and programming out robots from BB-8 to our two Ozobot Evos. My son and one of his friends are great at math, but a few of his other friends are ok, but can program like no one’s business. So, I created this fun lesson using Google Math and Programming.
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?”
The last couple of weeks, I have been adding new and exciting books from the Dave Burgess Consulting Inc. library. These books have been just amazing (not that they haven’t been in the past). They have really been fueling my passion for education these last few weeks. So much I decided to start “Book Smashing” them. If you don’t know the term, similar to App Smashing, Book Smashing is when you combine one or more books lessons, ideas and more together to create an amazing lesson or project. Not really a new concept as I remember my two of my former teachers in grade and middle school doing something similar, but it has become a bit of a lost art in the last decade or so. So, to get things kicked off, I wanted to start off with one that I came up with the other night that I’m sure you will love that combines: HyperDocs, Digital Citizenship, Mapping and engagement into one.
The last couple of weeks, I have been having one word on my brain. No, it isn’t dissertation, even though that is requires a lot of thinking in my case. It’s been Math, in fact I have had so much Math on my brain lately, I have been ordering books like: Table Talk Math and Google Math. After all, when you talk STEM, STEAM and STREAM, the M stands for Mathematics. I’ll give everyone a little confession, I was that kid who heard the “M Word” and would just shutter. Yet, now here I am promoting mathematics constantly with students from basics to slope. If my old Freshman Math Teacher could see me now. He be either very proud of me or very frighten. So, I’ve decided to kick off the month of May with, you guessed it, MATH!
This past weekend, I attended Edcamp Chicago and one of my sessions I proposed was Unlocking the Magic of Google Drawings and we created some Magnetic Poetry. Originally, Kasey Bell from Shake Up Learning came up with the idea for some Halloween Magnetic Poetry. I lead a collaborative Magnetic Poetry during my session, which I am planning to do with my students later this week. It’s pretty simple to do, first create your template in Google Drawings. I used a slide from Slides Carnival and made it my background. Continue reading “Fun with Magnetic Poetry”
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been using Bitmoji in my lessons with my students a bit more. The one thing I love about Bitmoji just like emojis is the wide range you can use them for. However, the last few days I have been using Bitmoji with Google Drawings for some very effective lessons and come up with some great ideas along the way. If you have read my previous posts about using Play like a Pirate by Quinn Rollins you know I have been using both is LEGO and create your own action figures to heart. I … Continue reading Bitmoji and Google Drawings
The last few days, I have been working with my various students to create Pixel Art Game cards. So many of my students, especially my Middle Schoolers love creating pixel art with Google Sheets. I based the project from Alice Keeler’s post a while ago on using Google Sheets for Pixel Art. You can read all about it, including getting the template here. Originally, during my STEAM enrichment class, we were using the pixel creation and then shifted it to creating 3D prints. Allowing my students to create in digital form and then transfer and scaffold with their designs into … Continue reading Pixel Art Game Cards
Hard to believe that Pokémon Go has been around almost a week and of course like anything new with mobile technology. We are seeing the pros and cons with the game in both daily life and in education. I usually like to focus on the pros and the many ways that the way Pokémon Go is showing us the future of mobile learning. After work today, I found myself with a half an hour to myself, so I went on a Pokémon walk to find new Pokémon and maybe even a few PokéStops along the way. I came to a regular one where I encountered several high school students that had placed a Lure on the PokéStop. For those who don’t know, a Lure can be placed on a PokéStop for a half an hour. It then has pedals and hearts fly around it and it attracts all Pokémon in the area from common to rare. During the Lure time, many groups get together to not only capture Pokémon and also do Gym Battles, but also start discussing and sharing. Something that Pokémon Go has done is create a wonderful social gathering ability and a few of the students knew me from the area. They stopped by and asked if I wanted to join and to see if I could help them and that’s when something pretty amazing happened.
For the 10th Anniversary of Google Sheets. A group of my students made 8 bit pixel creations using the spreadsheet program and transformed a few of them into 3D prints using perler beads. You can also do the same with qixels for your classroom. Thanks again Alice Keeler. Continue reading Using Google Sheets to make Pixel art and then 3D Prints