The past couple of weeks, I have been dealing with a large amount of writer’s block. It happens to all of us, you are just trying to string together a set of ideas and no matter what, it just won’t go from your head to your finger tips. In fact, I was planning about six blog posts the last couple of weeks and couldn’t come up with anything outside of: “hello”. No really, that’s all I could get out of my head. I even tried to do a vlog and that was just as much of a disappointment as anything. So, I just focused on some lesson plans and projects I have coming up, but still nothing. Then this weekend, the family and I headed to NIU STEM fest and not even three steps in I saw it. Albert Einstein created with dominos using. Immediately I had ideas brewing and after visiting a few notes I had taken for Computer Programming this Spring I remembered Erintegation’s Coding with Text Art: ACSII. Continue reading “LEGO ASCII Coding”
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).
A few weeks ago, I had my Dash and Dot Coding for Kinders Donors Choose funded. Bringing the lovable blue robots to my students. Something I had a lot of students asked about Dot was why he didn’t move like Dash did. I told them because you have to be more creative with Dot. When asked: “how?” I brought a paper of Dot to them and then told them we need to put Dot on a zipline and we were going to use LEGOs to create the zip line. My students’ eyes lit up like no tomorrow and they started drawing their zip lines. Taking a page from Classroom Chef we created our own Dot Zip Line.
As many of you know, since 2014 I have been Teaching like a Pirate and in just three years I have expanded my collection with all the various books from the Burgess Consulting Company. However, the two I have been using a a lot over the last year have been: eXPlore like a Pirate and Play like a Pirate. The last few months I have been incorporating both into my STEAM Enrichment classes and my students can’t get enough. A couple of weeks ago I was in the LEGO Store and I came across their Brick Headz sets.
Greetings from a Galaxy, Far, Far Away. First of all, a major thank you to all the donors who helped my school get their 3D printer filled up with filament and Perler Beads for our students. This will go such a long way in really transforming their learning and for my teachers to have amazing creativity with their lessons. While the Force is strong with our school right now, a great set of lessons came to me while watching Rogue One the other day that you can use with coding and everything from Ozobots to LEGO We Do 2.0.
With the Holidays here, I thought I would show off some great coding lessons and projects you can do with your students before the long winter break. Tickle Code for the Holidays A great Sphero Edu project from Ms. … Continue reading A Coding Christmas
Image from http://www.tech-fairy.com
Last week, I had such an amazing thing happen. Both my Donors Choose projects were fully funded. Bringing Ozobots, LEGOs and a 3D Printer (still waiting on it) to be brought to my students for STEAM. In the last couple of days, I have seen my students come to life with our new tools and having them bring new innovation to their learning and understanding. Well, I was working with my Kinders and something very interesting happened. They had a problem with coding with their Spheros and Ozobots. Not because of the ability to code, but due to the size. That’s when I had to jump into action to bring coding and robotics to my Kinders with their new LEGOs.
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.
This past week, I was wrapping up my next to last ELA class I need for my new state license and one of the activities we went over was how you hide a penny in the classroom and you have to design a map to find it. The next step is the student creates their own map and hides the penny and leaves it so another student kind find it based on the map they create. Since everyone is a different type of learner, everyone’s map will look different and will be done in a different way to find the missing penny. I of course thought up of a few ways you could do this in your classroom.