Fun with Magnetic Poetry


This past weekend, I attended Edcamp Chicago and one of my sessions I proposed was Unlocking the Magic of Google Drawings and we created some Magnetic Poetry. Originally, Kasey Bell from Shake Up Learning came up with the idea for some Halloween Magnetic Poetry. I lead a collaborative Magnetic Poetry during my session, which I am planning to do with my students later this week. It’s pretty simple to do, first create your template in Google Drawings. I used a slide from Slides Carnival and made it my background. Continue reading “Fun with Magnetic Poetry”


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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Breakout Edu App Smash


The last few days, I have been setting up Breakout Edu sessions for my teachers. I’ve been scanning Varage Sale, Amazon and local garage sales to get locks and pieces on a budget. Being a 2-1 school of both iPads and Chromebooks, I have been integrating and looking for ways to utilize technology for our new Breakout Edu sessions. Just the other day, I discovered the awesome Locks by Breakout Edu IOS App. It is awesome, you can set up all the various types of locks and store them in a digital library right on your IOS device. All you need is to set up a free User Account. In fact, you can set up a classroom account and program in the various puzzles for each lock and then set up them up around your room or school with ease. Just make sure you stay connected to a wi-fi source. Continue reading “Breakout Edu App Smash”

Building your PLN

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In the last few postings, I’ve highlighted quite a few people from Dave Burgess to Tony Vincent to my history of teachers who made an impact on how I teach. So, the question begins on how I found these resources? In the classic days of teaching and I’m talking about when my mother-in-law taught during the late 60s and early 70s the only resources were each other. The classic “steal a lesson” idea, of course today we call it mentoring or coaching but during a good part of education for most of the 20th century resources for teachers and educators came from each other something we still do in the 21st century however the platform has significantly changed. In the late 90s just before I attended college a classmate of mine who was going into teaching had to drive almost an hour to a teacher store, which as we all know is a place for teachers and students to find items or to find a way to generate ideas for lessons and projects in the classrooms. My own mother-in-law opened her own teachers’ store, The Teacher’s Apple in the early 90s and it ran for over a decade before the rise of online shopping lead to its closing in the early 2000s. Its very ironic how the shift from in person shopping transferred to online shopping for many educators not just for my mother-in-law’s store but for so many others to the point the Teacher’s Store became almost a complete online ecosystem that now stands today. Continue reading “Building your PLN”

Beaming out your Unity

IMG_0482  This week I have talked about B is for Beaming in Build like a Pirate. As I the definition applies, beaming is about transmitting and broadcasting to another location. I remember years ago we a classroom exchange at my school. This was where another class in our school came to teach us something similar to a infomercial. No, its true. We would sit in our desks and the other class would present a project that they did and how it works. We then in turn had to do the same to that other class. It was a lot of fun and was very student lead activity. It sadly stopped by the time I got to 6th grade, but it was a fun three years of doing the activity. These days, we have Google Hangouts, Skype, Youtube, Twitter and Periscope. While there is a lot of responsibility in under taking social media in this day and age with a school. Being able to interact with other classrooms and even other schools in different states or around the world has opened up so many learning opportunities. Continue reading “Beaming out your Unity”

Hour of Code Sphero App Dice Rolls



As we complete the Hour of Code today, I wanted to share my students’ Sphero app ice rolls. As you know, App Dice have Apps or online resources on each end. You then roll the dice and create an App Smash with the Apps that show up on top to create a lesson or project. In this case, my students had my Double App Dice (mini die inside larger one) on the ground. They then programed the Sphero or Ollie to hit and roll the the die and see the two Apps that came up on top. Below are the App Smashes that I created for my various teachers with them.

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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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My 400th Stick Around Puzzle

Today, I’m celebrating a milestone, my 400th Stick Around Puzzle. Yes, its true I have made 400 Stick Around Puzzles since December of 2013. From PK all the way to a college class on ways to use the SAMR model for pre-service teachers. I’ve done so many Stick Around Puzzle and I don’t intend to stop anytime soon. Stick Around is my favorite App and every day I find new ideas to to create ways to learn and teach with it and when I bring it up with my students on the classroom Apple Tvs they immediately go: “All right!” “Stick Around!” I even had one student create several Stick Around Puzzles on baby animals and then put them in a Thinglink which is at the bottom of this post. My students love creating puzzles and when I show them another way to use Stick Around they immediately start looking to other Apps they can Smash it with and create new projects, especially during Genius Hour. Above is my 400th puzzle, I decided to create a timeline of educators who have really inspired me in the last five years since I switched from health care into education.
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My student’s Learn Like a Pirate about Baby Animals Stick Around Genius Hour Project

One of my first graders for their final Genius Hour wanted to know if she could make a lesson just as fun as Mrs. Andre or myself. Well, after toiling away on Pic Collage, Google Search, National Geographic free pics and about an hour on Stick Around. She came up with this great lesson on baby animals because she loves baby animals especially how they are both different and yet similar. We finished it up by putting linking the baby animal Pic Collage with Google Drive in Thinglink. Give it a try. If you have a problem the direct link … Continue reading My student’s Learn Like a Pirate about Baby Animals Stick Around Genius Hour Project

My Stick Around Surprise

Hello everyone, I don’t know what is going on in your district this week but this is our last full week of school. Next week will be finals for us and then graduation is the following Friday. The end of the school year is here, that feeling of both joy and sadness. Last Friday, my fifth graders were sad to know that in another week there wouldn’t be a Genius Hour for them any more which they found to be upsetting than their final report. However, my kids decided to surprise me on Friday with several projects and I was … Continue reading My Stick Around Surprise