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
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”
A few days ago, I was on my Perler Beads Facebook and a member, Juan Diaz came up with this fantastic idea of making a Link from The Legend of Zelda raising a heart with mini perler beads and then place them in a jar for display. So many of us just loved the idea, and of course I knew I had to come up with a great way to use this idea in the classroom.
Using time lapse Perler Beads, I created this tribute to Carrie Fisher using CC Star Wars music. May the Force be with You, Carrie Fisher. Continue reading Carrie Fisher Tribute Video
Almost a week ago, I shared this image and many were asking: “Is that why you were making so many Nintendo characters?” Well, yes and no. I’m teaching a STEAM class this year and something I have wanted to do for a few years was have a daily board where I post things I either create or my students create and they have to make a meme or infopic from it. So, I create this new board for my students, every day I will have something up on this board and my students will create these memes or infopics from … Continue reading The Daily Meme/Infopic Board
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.
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
Many following me on my social networks know that I use Perler Beaads a lot from the classroom to personal use. Something that is very popular with Perler Beads is Super Mario Brothers power up Mushrooms. There have been so many interpretations of the power up. These have ranged from designing them around pop culture to iconic characters. The last couple of weeks that I have been introducing Breakout Edu to my teachers and students. I have looked for aways to put a new spin on the game and differentiate the activity. I was on my Perler Bead Facebook group and one person had created an amazing camo mushroom and x-ray version and then my son was talking about Cookie Monster.
The last few days, I have been busy with my teachers getting our new STEAM art curriculum set up as we await our Spheros and Drones and play with our new 3D printer. During the time of working out some great designs prints and planning some amazing lessons and projects, a wonderful lesson came to me. Using both Explore like a Pirate and Play like a Pirate teaching fun.