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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Post-It Snapshot

Late last year, I was working with my Multimedia students and I really wanted to do something different with their projects. I have always given my students choice with their passion projects, but many were really wanting to start using stickers with their projects. It was then that I remembered a post from my friend, Tony Vincent in the early spring of 2017 on Printing Custom Sticky Notes with Google Slides. I had been showing my students how to use Google Slides for more than presentations from creating their own costume posters to creating animated GIFS. They LOVED using Post-Its to create their own brand of stickers. Creating everything inspirational messages to later building Pixel Art with them. It was then that I knew I wanted to take Post-Its Education to a new level in my PIXEL Classroom building project and I didn’t have to look any further than a Nativity Polaroid post-it holderContinue reading “Post-It Snapshot”

#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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There is a Post-it for that

Many know that having a degree in Instructional Technology, I loving using technology in my classroom. Being a business & technology teacher, the two are interwoven greatly than they were about 30 years ago. However, technology is just a tool and how you apply and utilize it in your classroom is where magic can happen. A while ago, I came across Tony Vincent’s Print Costume Sticky Notes. As Tony stated: “Post-it and other brands of sticky notes are put to good use everyday by teachers and students.” In fact there are over 35 uses for post-it or stickey notes in the classroom from book marks to exit tickets. Something I wanted to encourage with my students was rapport with each other and also looking for great ways for them to have “brain dumps” after I was finished teaching a lesson.

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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”

Putting a little STREAM into your classroom

The last few days I have been working on a set of images using Adobe Draw on my iPad. Taking a note from Tony Vincent‘s making your own Clipart and from Quinn Rollins Play like a Pirate I decided to combine them along with Julie Smith’s Master the Media and some of Michael Matera’s eXPlore like a Pirate. (Yes, I made these first for a reason).

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How one compliment can make a student’s day

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Last week, I was wrapping up first quarter on STEAM with my kindergarten class and something that was a big hit was having a compliment read to them or them reading one themselves. I had used one of Tony Vincent‘s random HTML compliment QR Codes since we were learning about how to use QR Codes in the classroom and I also used my own random compliment QR Code. Some of the students just wanted to keep scanning or hitting the reload button to get a new compliment. Taking a page from Master the Media by Julie Smith. Julie pointed out in Chapter 8 about teaching a person how to navigate the internet or use proper tools associated with the internet will help them understand more.

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Finding the Pennies in your Lesson

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Happy Monday everyone! Its the final week of school for me and while many are in the same boat and others are already ahead of the curb. It won’t be long before we are sitting down again trying to work new ideas into our lessons. Now, many of us know, that as teachers or educators when we find something that works, we usually keep using it, but we also know that after a while, a lesson or project might start to become outdated, but that’s not true. Several years ago, when I was working just after my undergraduate days from college. I worked in kitchens and of course just like in every kitchen, you had to clean up at the end of the day or when the main meals were complete. There was an old term called: “Finding Pennies”. This was based on an old kitchen cleaning trick to see who was doing well at their job. Basically, a crew leader or manager would take a handful of pennies and throw them in various areas where sweeping should be performed daily. If the manager came back the next day and found the pennies still where they were tossed, then the employee did not do a good job sweeping.

A few years ago, I did this same idea with a set of lessons that seemed to be a bit outdated with classrooms and started using it for a daily practice.

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Using Keynote to create Instagram Edu Videos

The past week, I have been sharing mini videos on my Instagram account on using various devices for coding and STEAM in your classroom. I use my Instagram account for both educational and personal use. I usually divide my educational postings using the hashtag: #DiceUPtheClassroom. I love using Instagram for many of my quick posts as I can link it both with my other social accounts and using IFTTT to post on my other channels as full images and not just a link to my accounts In the last couple months thanks to Tony Vincent and Michael Buist I have been trying to fine tune my postings on Instagram with animated images on the tech I love to use in the classroom or types you should try out with your students and staff. Many have asked me how I did this?

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