Become a Spark Leadia

The last couple of weeks, I have been adding new and exciting books from the Dave Burgess Consulting Inc. library. These books have been just amazing (not that they haven’t been in the past). They have really been fueling my passion for education these last few weeks. So much I decided to start “Book Smashing” them. If you don’t know the term, similar to App Smashing, Book Smashing is when you combine one or more books lessons, ideas and more together to create an amazing lesson or project. Not really a new concept as I remember my two of my former teachers in grade and middle school doing something similar, but it has become a bit of a lost art in the last decade or so. So, to get things kicked off, I wanted to start off with one that I came up with the other night that I’m sure you will love that combines: HyperDocs, Digital Citizenship, Mapping and engagement into one.

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Welcome to the Summer Flipgrid

Hello Everyone, I’m here today to talk about Flipgrid. Yes, that wonderful interactive student/teacher voice platform that is becoming very popular right now. I started using flipgrid a few months ago with my Middle School STEAM students and they have … Continue reading Welcome to the Summer Flipgrid

Super Sons EDU

I’ve been asked for years now: “Ryan, when are you going to make a super hero fan page again?” For those who don’t know the story, it was 1996, I was a freshman at Northern Illinois University and I had just been given constant access to the internet. To a kid of 18, this was a wide new world to me, but I did something that was very new at the time, I made a comic book fan page. In 1996, there were maybe just over 80 pages of comic book fans creating their own webpages, early wikis and message boards on their favorite characters. I didn’t have any classes to go to or was signed up at the time (I was a theatre and business major). So, I had to learn everything about HTML and basic coding myself. Flash forward to late 1997, and I had one of the most visited Thunderbolts fan sites around. I continued focusing on Spider-Girl (MC2) and Thunderbolts up until 2006 and then I shifted over to podcasting and my new blog, The Green Lantern Spotlight. Then in 2010 something happened. I lost my job. I decided to stop “wasting” my time as I was told constantly told and try and get a job and finish my master’s degree.  Something I regretted to this day.

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I don’t do Homework

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We always remember the dreaded, H word… Homework. I can flash back to many Saturday mornings and Wednesday nights (3-5 grade) where for an hour or so I did my homework. Of course it would be a few years later in high school and college, where I really learned what homework was. Something I decided I wouldn’t do when I went into education was assign homework. Being a technology director and STEAM teacher, my curriculum really doesn’t ask that I assigned homework. In fact, mine is so hands on that even when we have days where I get little student work finished. I don’t push it out to: “Do it in study hall.” No, I have not seen any reason that sending extra work home with students is going to make a more positive impact on them, only negative. In fact, I have seen it hugely with my own son.

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The Dot Zipline

 

A few weeks ago, I had my Dash and Dot Coding for Kinders Donors Choose funded. Bringing the lovable blue robots to my students. Something I had a lot of students asked about Dot was why he didn’t move like Dash did. I told them because you have to be more creative with Dot. When asked: “how?” I brought a paper of Dot to them and then told them we need to put Dot on a zipline and we were going to use LEGOs to create the zip line. My students’ eyes lit up like no tomorrow and they started drawing their zip lines. Taking a page from Classroom Chef we created our own Dot Zip Line.

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