LEGO Brick Headz as a Biography

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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.

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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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When you are a Hashtag of One

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A few days ago, I was exploring some new hashtags I had been seeing on Twitter and Google+ and I had noticed that they had really caught on in the social media community. However, there were two that had several postings, but weren’t being used by others much. I actually reached out to one of them saying it was a cool new community reach. They said; “You are the first one to respond to it.” “I’ve been doing it for close to eight months now, but I’m keeping it alive.” I also responded that I have started a few myself and only two have really caught on in the last few years. They then asked me, why we still do it. Which was a really good question.

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The Pinterest Adventure

Are you a Pinterest user? Do you Pin for the Win!? I have been a fair user of Pinterest since 2011. Many of my ideas, resources and hobby loves are on Pinterest (and Educlipper). Most recently, Pinterest introduced Lens BETA on the mobile app. Well, this came at the perfect time for me. I finally got new carpeting in our family room (The previous one was awful), thanks to my in-laws. The Pinterest Lens went live in the App store about an hour before our carpet layer came in. I started flashing the lens at various spots in my clutter house and I couldn’t believe the searches and finds that Lens could do and I knew I had to find a way to integrate this into the classroom. So how does it work?

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Writing about what is Important to You

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Hello Everyone,

If you have noticed the last few weeks, I have not completed an entry on my blog here. I was asked online why I hadn’t posted at least a quick App review. I told them it was a time factor and I didn’t just want to do just a post for the sake of having  a post. Just recently, I was reading Lead like a Pirate (yeah, another pirate book). Something that both Shelly and Beth mentioned was about sharing what you do in the classroom with the outside world. Creating something that wants your teachers and your students to want to beat down the doors to get into your classroom or school. In the last five years I have been writing here on Dice UP the Classroom, I have hoped I have been making those types of posts. Something I always love writing about on this blog is lessons that I can share with other teachers both pre and in-service and administrators who can use my posts to help bring something awesome to their students and staff.

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Booksnaps and Funko Pop!

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For those who don’t know, Tara Martin a few months ago started Booksnaps. The idea of #BookSnaps was by documenting key takeaways between face-to-face meetings and adding them to our “Snap Story” for daily viewing using Snapchat or related apps. This allows the reader to connect an idea or thought by creating a digital visual representation. The visual representation solidifies the text content within the mind and signals the brain to retrieve the idea from memory. Something I have been doing since Booksnaps was publically revealed and I have been trying to do various Booksnaps with my students using Seesaw. Going back about another month before that, Quinn Rollins, Mr. Play like a Pirate himself, talked about using Funko Pop! for biographies. The idea behind Funko Pop! figures are creating  simple biographies of characters they’re learning about in class. Historic figures, great inventors, characters in novels — anything in your curriculum that has a human in it.  Continue reading “Booksnaps and Funko Pop!”

Ozobot Coding Cards

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Since starting Robot Edu, I have been trying to think of new and inventive ways to use gamification and centers with our various robots for our students. A week ago, my instructional coach, Joe Sloan and I came up with using coding cards for our students to use with Ozobots. The concept works pretty simply:

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Mega Awesome Lessons

Many of you know I am a classic game player, loving the classic NES Games. One who has had my heart for a long time is Megaman. The fighting robot out to save the world from the evil forces of Dr. Wiley. Back in October, I was able to acquire two Funko Pops of the Blue Bomber and his robot dog, Rush. I knew I wanted to use them for my STEAM classes and finally this past week I was able to incorporate them with my students.

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The Classroom Friend

If you are like me or other educators, you know that classroom management can some days be a struggle. No matter how many years you have been teaching or administrating, it just seems that there can be a lost in the classroom when it comes to work stations or behavior. As many of us know, there has been quite the influx of Elf on Shelf and even Mensch on a Bench. The basic concept for the characters is they appear in a different spot each day and children can’t touch or move them. The idea came to me late last year with my own son during Elf on a Shelf. We had our Elf showing up in areas that he had a problem of getting into. Our Elf (Elfy) would show up in spots around the house where he shouldn’t be doing, it worked great. Continue reading “The Classroom Friend”