Last night I was having a problem falling asleep, so I was doing some work on a new lesson I want to introduce to my students after Spring Break. Just then, I saw a notification go off on one of my Donors Choose Facebook Groups that I belong to. I had seen on my Donors Choose Page earlier in the evening that it was down and that there was some large announcement happening on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I figured it was similar to what had happened before when Colbert was partnering with Donors Choose to help so many teachers and their students get needed supplies, equipment, ect. I was in complete shock when I saw that Ripple announced to Founder and CEO, Charles Best that Ripple had funded every SINGLE Donors Choose project, which over 35,000 projects and 29 million dollars. I couldn’t believe it! Continue reading “Thank you Ripple and Donors Choose for giving my Students a Voice”
About two weeks ago, I received my copy of Google Apps for Littles by Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler. Many ask me: “Ryan, you are a high school teacher, what could you possibly use from GAFE 4 Littles?” Something that many do not realized is that any lesson can be adapted for any grade level. Truth be told, I have high school students who have never worked on a collaborative document or haven’t since they were in 8th grade. While that might not seem that long ago for say my Freshman or Sophomores, it does make a difference when it isn’t done consistently or regularly. Having not taught in a high school environment for almost 3 years and not in a regular classroom role in 5 years. I had a take a step back and realized many of my students did not use GSuite for EDU regularly in their curriculum. To start the process of making it a more regular part of our classroom day, I introduced all my classes to HyperDocs. As HyperDocs when done correctly involves inquiry and collaboration and really promotes Student Centered Learning. Christine created a fantastic “Who Is Telling the Story” HyperDoc that I knew I had to adapt for my students.
Been awhile since I did a simple post on some cool exciting tools you can try in your classroom. I have two IOS and one great universal tools you can use with your students right now.
A while ago, I posted about using social media in the classroom. Mostly by using the various features of Instagram along with sister Apps. Well, as many of you know, Instagram and its sister Apps had overhauls on both designs and features. I’m going over a few ways you can use Instagram in your classroom and using the various sister Apps both with and outside of Instagram.
This past Saturday, I attended Edcamp DuPage at Wheaton North High School. The Edcamp was a bit different than I have experienced before. While starting at the usual 8 AM kick off time. It only went to about 12:30 due to other events at the school and then finished with a wonderful lunch at the Arrowhead Golf Club. What was different was due to the condensed time of the Edcamp, sessions were proposed earlier and then we voted on them. While several sessions that were proposed did not occur due to the time, I did finally attend my second Breakout Edu. I loved the Breakout Edu session, Breakout Edu if you haven’t heard are games that teach critical thinking, teamwork, complex problem solving, and can be used in all content areas. Usually, it focuses around a locked box, this can be when of the Breakout Edu’s boxes or a toolbox that is locked and you have to figure out clues to unlock the box in a set time frame. Ours was 50 minutes and we finished with 37 minutes left on the clock.
During the session we learned to use our various digital tools, learned about Morris Code and relay on each other’s specialities to unlock the four padlocks that were keeping the box locked. As I said, this was my second one, the first was a simple 30 minute one I attended at a workshop at my local collage that was solved by scanning various QR Codes and figuring out the clues. This one was more in-depth and played at history. It was such a great time, I’m already putting together a kit for my teachers before the school year is over and I will be sharing ways to do basic to advance Breakout Edus this month. Continue reading “My Trip to Edcamp DuPage”
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
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”
As we wrap up, I is for Innovation, I thought I would leave things with some innovative tools you can get for your classroom and some ways you can use them. Perler Beads: We know this would be my first pick. I have really gotten into using Perler Beads with my teachers and students as our way of having our own 3D Printer. We currently do not have the funds to get the emerging technology in schools. While my nieces and peers have access to one at their schools. I stumbled on using Perler Beads due to health advice from … Continue reading Innovative Tools in the Classroom
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”
In these Periscope Edu videos. I show how to use the App, Tickle on IOS to have a Sphero and Ollie create a perfect square and triangle and then do a full color change and off run. We have borrowed these for our Hour of Code next week. We are currently running a Donors Choose to get our own Sphero set to transform our art room into a full STEAM Builders’ Room. Please enjoy the videos and please share or support our Donors Choose for Mr. Smetana’s students. Use the code word: “EVERYGIFTMATTERS” at check out and Donors Choose will match the donation. We still have $1,045 to go, but I believe we can do it before Winter Break. Continue reading “Making a Square & Triangle with Sphero & Tickle App”