#DBC50Summer Reading


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).

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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”

How Teach like a Pirate changed my practice as an Educator


It was April of 2014, I was just a month and a half from completing my second year at Christian Life Schools and something happened. I felt burnt out. I had barely been in education for almost four years and I remember sitting in my office. I was fixing a few forgotten gmail passwords and was told on twitter: “You have to do something else with your App Dice, they are getting boring.” I had no other major planned classroom lessons happening until close to May 1st and I had just sent off my clean up for iPads for classrooms and final eRate quotes to be reviewed and I looked at my blog and went: “What can I do?” “What is the point, if I’m not in the classroom.” “I’m just another tech guy with no classroom and nothing better to do.” “I’m not good enough to do anything innovative or new.” Then I had Barbara Gruener point me towards a guy named, Dave Burgess and his book, Teach like a Pirate.

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The Office Remodel Part 1


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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March Madness Bracket Coding


March Madness is here again and so are everyone’s favorite brackets. Now, everyone knows that brackets are set up to show what teams are playing who and the winner of each round will go to face off the team that advances. Well, being in the spirit of March Madness and of course Teach like a Pirate (you knew it was coming). I have decided to create a type of Bracket set for coding. As many know, I am trying to get our Donors Choose funded by next Wednesday and the clock is ticking. I wanted to show everyone how you could integrate brackets into your Sphero Edu or Coding classroom. Continue reading “March Madness Bracket Coding”

Creating that 20% Innovation Time

Welcome to the middle of the week where starting today I’m going to be talking about how you start your various classroom creations. Today, I’m talking about getting your own Genius Hour started. Starting this Friday I will have grades 1, 2, and 5 completely in Genius Hour. Be the end of next week grades 3 and 4 will begin with plans on Kindergarten in the next couple of weeks. I’ve received many messages on how I was able to get this ball rolling with so many classes in such a short time and how am I managing it. First … Continue reading Creating that 20% Innovation Time

Padlet, Pasta and Penguins

Its Tech Tuesday and I’m celebrating by starting Genius Hour with my 1st graders. Yep, I’ve pulled out Pure Genius by Don Wettrick, studied my Pinterest and even been in a few Genius Hour classrooms myself and we are ready to kick it off. So, how am I’m planning on getting our little geniuses started. 1. We will start will the classic pasta building exercise. This is where students have to use uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows to build towers and buildings. However, since we are starting our penguin unit, the students are going to then create their own igloos they … Continue reading Padlet, Pasta and Penguins

Puzzle with Words

Does your classroom love puzzles? Do you love creating puzzles with Up in Pieces? Well, I have a great DIY in the Classroom for you. I was doing a Pinterest search and found a wonderful classroom activity where teachers took puzzles and wrote words on the back and the students would have to then find the matching word with it to assemble the puzzle. Well, of course I had to do this and also come up with some great Pure Genius and Teach like a Pirate Hook. So, if you have ever gone to Up in Pieces you can upload your … Continue reading Puzzle with Words

Teaching with Peanuts

No, not Charlie Brown and the Gang but you can. I’m talking about every day run of the mill peanuts. Of course if you stop by the Fisher’s factory a half an hour from me those are fantastic! However, I’m talking about peanuts today, now man are thinking: “Oh great, going to talk about nut allergies.” Well, I will but I’m here to instruct and teach and use a little Pure Genius and TLAP here and yes, maybe a Little What’s Under your Cape? What can you teach with peanuts that I was snacking on while we celebrated an uncle’s … Continue reading Teaching with Peanuts