STEAM with Fidget Spinners

 

IMG_7750 A few weeks ago, I was on my Perler Bead Facebook Groups and our latest challenge was creating Fidget Spinners. The Fidget Spinner has been around for a while, the spinner works on a simple premise where you have to put it on one finger then use your other hand to keep it going. It also works perfectly for killing time when you’re bored waiting for someone, or chilling out for something to happen. They have become the norm in schools to the point they can also create a unique oppurtunity for STEM and STEAM lessons and projects.  Continue reading “STEAM with Fidget Spinners”

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My Black Friday Tech Wish List

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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.

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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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My Trip to Edcamp Chicago

This past Saturday, I attended EdCamp Chicago in Elmhurst at Churchville Middle School. A school I once played at during my Middle School Basketball days about 24 years ago (I’m old). I had the great pleasure of hanging with my state line Pirate Crew of Michael Matera, Andrea Kornowski, Carrie Baughcum, Josh Gauthier, and Rebecca Gauthier. Edcamps are fantastic to go to. They are a true un-conferience organized by awesome people like: Joy Kirr, Steve Wick, Maria Stavropoulos, Chris Skrzypchak  and  Carrie Baughcum and her daughter, Tricia. The opening to EdCamp Chicago was a Yoga session at the begnning, no … Continue reading My Trip to Edcamp Chicago

Coming to an Art Room Near you!

    Happy Monday Everyone! I am pleased to announce that this past Saturday afternoon, while on a quest to find some Star Wars The Force Awakens action figures at a Super Target, my iPhone went off. I looked at the notification and it told me that our Donors Choose had been funded. Extremely ironic since I walked down an aisle that had both Sphero SPRK and Ollies on the shelf as I read the notification. As I smiled like I had found a BB-8 marked down to $2, I immediately sent a Snapchat to my fellow teachers and they … Continue reading Coming to an Art Room Near you!

Gaming to Coding Learning

 

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From Bubble Ball to Sphero Edu

The last few days, I have been reunited with my friends and students at Tech Wizards, which is our local partnership club that brings technology introduction to our students. They are the group that we are partnered with for our Sphero rental. In the last two weeks we have been playing with KEVA Planks and trying to not only have our students create, but also learn how to mash-up with other tools. Despite some awesome Explore like a Pirate and Teach like a Pirate ideas my students were going through. They looked at me, and went: “Mr. Read, what else can we do with these?” It didn’t take too long for me to put in a little Play like a Pirate, Sphero Edu and more into some fund lessons and projects.

 

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Innovative Tools in the Classroom

As we wrap up, I is for Innovation, I thought I would leave things with some innovative tools you can get for your classroom and some ways you can use them. Perler Beads: We know this would be my first pick. I have really gotten into using Perler Beads with my teachers and students as our way of having our own 3D Printer. We currently do not have the funds to get the emerging technology in schools. While my nieces and peers have access to one at their schools. I stumbled on using Perler Beads due to health advice from … Continue reading Innovative Tools in the Classroom

Little Free Tech Box

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Greetings everyone, in the last few months since I started my position at CICS Jackson. I noticed how our students were lacking in their access to technology outside the school and why we started our STEAM Donors Choose (use Snowflake at check out). What was even more surprising is just how our classroom technology tends to stay within the confines of each classrooms 4 walls. While each classroom has access to chromebooks and iPads. Our various technology we have access to such as Spheros, Ozobots and future Coding Club with Arduino is very limited to the classrooms they are assigned our checked out too.

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Making a Square & Triangle with Sphero & Tickle App

In these Periscope Edu videos. I show how to use the App, Tickle on IOS to have a Sphero and Ollie create a perfect square and triangle and then do a full color change and off run. We have borrowed these for our Hour of Code next week. We are currently running a Donors Choose to get our own Sphero set to transform our art room into a full STEAM Builders’ Room. Please enjoy the videos and please share or support our Donors Choose for Mr. Smetana’s students. Use the code word: “EVERYGIFTMATTERS” at check out and Donors Choose will match the donation. We still have $1,045 to go, but I believe we can do it before Winter Break.  Continue reading “Making a Square & Triangle with Sphero & Tickle App”