Taking the Five for Five Challenge

Hello Everyone,

I hope the new school year is off to a great start. I am heading into my fourth week of the school year and I’m pretty excited for what I have coming up this week. I’m taking the Five for Five Challenge. The #Five4Five Challenge is an initiative created by fellow educator and author Michael Matera (eXPlore like a Pirate) who encourages others to commit to doing one new-to-you (often creative) endeavor each day for five straight days. This isn’t my first #Five4Five Challenge. I did my first one this past summer when I reviewed Run like a Pirate by Adam Welcome. I reviewed and blogged about Run Like a Pirate each day and how each chapter resonated or challenged me through the reading. I had never at that point ever tried to do something like that before. Sufficient to say, it was truly amazing. I picked up a new level of reading enjoyment and applying the book to not only my classroom, but also my life. The last couple of weeks, I have been trying to figure out what a Five for Five Challenge should be for me this school year and I found the answer right in Kids Deserve It, also by Adam and Todd Nelsoney and a sticker from Tisha Richmond from her upcoming book, Make Learning Magical.

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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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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

Broadcasting Luminous Learning

mic-1132528_1920Periscope is a live broadcasting tool, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around. Before Periscope, many educators used Meerkat for their live broadcasts. As I explained earlier this week that being Luminous means lighting up your learners with that same passion and having fun along the way. The use of live broadcasting allows for a view into showing of passion with educators and even with students. What’s great about both is the allowing real time comments and feedbacks very similar to a Q&A. Below are a few examples:

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Word Cloud your Favorite Apps into inspiring pieces

With the Emoji classroom wrapped up and the school year about to start, I wanted to introduce this great idea for your students and your classroom. Earlier this year, I was introduced to the App, Wordfoto. This great App turns any photo into word clouds composed of 10 words that are no longer than twelve characters and can even use emojis. It was a big hit over at iPadpalooza in Texas this July. I was also introduced to the App, Word Swag by Tony Vincent and Felix Jacobin at The Mobile Experience 2015 back in June. A great App that allows you to overlay words and phrases in exciting ways to create infopics and posters. Something I’m doing this year is having students post one of their favorite things they love doing with certain Apps on my Padlet board this year and I thought to myself: “Why not turn this into something awesome.”

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Learning to lead like a pirate

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Last night I was part of another great Teach like a Pirate chat over on Twitter and you can read about it on Storify. The final question of the night was doing a blog post on how to Lead like a Pirate and I had one in my mind from a few months ago at Ed Camp 302. What happened over there? While it can’t go with the fun I had where my jedi robe during my Dice UP the Classroom at The Mobile Learning 2015 a couple weeks ago, but it is one Ed Camp I’m very proud of. Something that I talked about what makes a good lead with Teach like a Pirate is that the captain of the ship has to look on top of the crow’s nest of their ship and allow the crew to choose the journey. My session during Ed Camp 302 was about Sketchnotes which many educators and teachers had heard of but had no idea where to start. I did the basics of what sketch notes were and how to form them but what I did just after my explanation is had everyone in the room come up to the white board and put in what stuck in their minds from the first ten minutes. They all came up, drew pictures, outlined and highlighted words and I had one teacher who perfectly outlined the notes like it was on a giant piece of paper for everyone to write on. After that, I went into what you could use sketchnotes with from using Explain Everything to Minecraft Edu and teaching the basics of App Smashing.
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Dice UP the Classroom Episode 4: Sketch This or Sketch That

Do you ever find yourself drawing pictures or doodling when you are taking notes to better associate what your brain connects with your words? Don’t worry, you are not alone, you are creating Sketchnotes. What are Sketchnotes you might ask? Sketchnotes are purposeful doodling while listening to something interesting. Sketchnotes don’t require a person to have drawing skills that rival famous artists like Jack Kirby, Jamal Igle or John Romita Sr, but Sketchnotes do require a skill to visually synthesize and summarize using shapes, connectors, and text. Sketchnotes are as much of a method of note taking as they are a form of creative expression by the note taker. Through the use of images, text, and diagrams, Sketchnotes take advantage of the “visual thinker” mind’s to make sense of what they are learning. In this episode of Dice UP the Classroom I will take you through how to capturing that visual creation of note taking from the classic sheet of paper to the technological ecosystem of iPads to Chromebooks. So, get your pencils, stylists and creativity ready to Sketch This or Sketch That. The transcript is below:
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Get Outside EDU

Hello Everyone, The weather outside has changed from cold and cloudy to warm and sunny (depending on where you are in the world). Starting today, I’m kicking off: Get Outside EDU, that’s right I am taking one of my favorite Hooks from Teach like a Pirate from Dave Burgess and a few pages from Learn Like a Pirate by Paul Solarz that were shared with me over break to create these wonderful lessons and projects. For the entire month of April, except for the 24-26th when I’m out of town, I’m going to take your classroom outside and yes, use … Continue reading Get Outside EDU