Pepper Effecting Bloxels

The past few days, I have been working on my summer reading and in the past few days I have been reading: Lead with Culture by Jay Billy and just recently started The Pepper Effect by Sean Gaillard. In Lead with Culture, Jay talked about being intentional with our actions. He highlighted a great point in chapter 8 on page 68 about a teacher who used a Letter–type format for students to practice. The original intention was for students to practice spelling. The teacher saw the activity on Pinterest and thought it would be fun and it was. In the classroom. When it was given as homework it lost it’s purpose and really rang true with me. Something I try to avoid is busy work for students, but a trick is make activities and lessons with a purpose. I’m currently working on a Donors Choose to get a full classroom set of Bloxels for my students for the spring of 2019. My past students found Bloxels amazing, as they were able to create their own games. However, reviewing my past students, many students just saw using Bloxels as making games and weren’t finding the main purpose in their learning with Bloxels. So, I began to do research on how to make learning with Bloxels have a larger purpose with my high school students when we get our Bloxels and I didn’t have to look much farther than The Pepper Effect.

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Thank you Ripple and Donors Choose for giving my Students a Voice

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”

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”

Digital Valentine’s

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As January comes to a close, we start looking ahead towards that 14th day of February, Valentine’s Day. For years, students and teachers have made Valentine Cards from paper to stickers. In the last few years, thanks to various mobile technology, classrooms have started creating Valentine Cards with video and various mobile Apps. Why not? Using tech to create something from the heart let’s students discover their creativity and innovation in new ways. Here are three ways to bring the love of creation to your classroom this February.

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How one compliment can make a student’s day

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Last week, I was wrapping up first quarter on STEAM with my kindergarten class and something that was a big hit was having a compliment read to them or them reading one themselves. I had used one of Tony Vincent‘s random HTML compliment QR Codes since we were learning about how to use QR Codes in the classroom and I also used my own random compliment QR Code. Some of the students just wanted to keep scanning or hitting the reload button to get a new compliment. Taking a page from Master the Media by Julie Smith. Julie pointed out in Chapter 8 about teaching a person how to navigate the internet or use proper tools associated with the internet will help them understand more.

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What’s Under your Cape with Seesaw

Back in 2014, I read the book: What’s Under your Cape by Barbara Gruener. A fantastic book about student empathy any and Student Character of the Superhero Kind. I have used the book many times since reading it and I was able to use it great with my STEAM class this week. Using Seesaw, I had students take pictures of teachers and turn them into superheroes. Asking them to show what their super powers were and there were some great results. I then had students do the same to their classmates and using their iPads and some amazing innovation, created … Continue reading What’s Under your Cape with Seesaw

Vote for my classroom and fellow teachers for Limeades for Learning

Sonic is teaming up with Donors Choose for Limeades for Learning. From September 26 to October 23, 2016, you get to decide which teacher projects we fund through voting on this site! It could be a teacher in your community or just a project that really speaks to you. Limeades for learning is a national initiative of SONIC®, America’s Drive-In® to support public school teachers in local communities. In partnership with DonorsChoose.org, SONIC will provide essential funds needed for learning materials and innovative teaching techniques to inspire creativity and learning in today’s youth. Over the course of the four-week campaign, SONIC … Continue reading Vote for my classroom and fellow teachers for Limeades for Learning

The Office Remodel Part 1

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The other day I said I was going to start remodeling my office to be more inviting to students and staff alike. While I planned on doing this slowly over the next few weeks. As they say, time waits for no man and I ended up getting an earlier start due to an accident occurring during some regular checks, such as my entire shelf collapsing (don’t worry, I’m OK). So, after a few hours of moving, cataloging, archiving and a few other things here is the start to my remodel.

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