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.
Continue reading “Taking the Five for Five Challenge”
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).
Continue reading “#DBC50Summer Reading”
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”
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”
Back in 2014, I read the book: What’s Under your Cape by Barbara Gruener. A fantastic book about student empathy any and Student Character of the Superhero Kind. I have used the book many times since reading it and I was able to use it great with my STEAM class this week. Using Seesaw, I had students take pictures of teachers and turn them into superheroes. Asking them to show what their super powers were and there were some great results. I then had students do the same to their classmates and using their iPads and some amazing innovation, created … Continue reading What’s Under your Cape with Seesaw
In this Periscope Edu I show how to use my new Book Dice for your classroom. The die has a book from the Teach Like a Pirate or related books on each side. You roll them and choose something from the book that comes up to make a lesson or project. Continue reading Using my new Book Dice
No, not Charlie Brown and the Gang but you can. I’m talking about every day run of the mill peanuts. Of course if you stop by the Fisher’s factory a half an hour from me those are fantastic! However, I’m talking about peanuts today, now man are thinking: “Oh great, going to talk about nut allergies.” Well, I will but I’m here to instruct and teach and use a little Pure Genius and TLAP here and yes, maybe a Little What’s Under your Cape? What can you teach with peanuts that I was snacking on while we celebrated an uncle’s … Continue reading Teaching with Peanuts
What have I gone and done now? You see a picture of a large $2 jar with a set of rocks in it and a purple ribbon on top. What is this? Its something I came up with this weekend, this past July my family and I joined a group of friends up north for a beach weekend thanks to my wife’s aunt and uncle. It was nice to get away with friends, had my son play with our friends’ kids an just enjoy life a bit. We don’t do it very much as we would like to. Well, during … Continue reading What can a Jar teach us?
Inspiration. We look for it everywhere or it finds us in amazing ways. As educators we are always looking for inspiration to trigger that moment where we turn one ordinary lesson into something extraordinary. As someone always trying to create something for my teachers and students I can find inspiration almost anywhere but sadly there are days where something can destroy your inspiration or you just can’t find it. If you read one of my previous posts, I was hit with a major uninspired days two weeks ago and my nieces ended up inspiring me during a routine visit. This … Continue reading Finding Classroom Inspiration in your own Back Yard
Hello Everyone, I had a pretty enjoyable weekend. I sat down, finished my homework and I was reading a great book too. What’s Under Your Cape? by Barbara Gruener. What a great book, as I reported the last week how much Teach Like a Pirate really sparked my inspiration again, I have to say that Barbara’s book really drove what I love to do when it comes to teaching in the classroom. I will admit, I am not a classroom teacher, I don’t have a full class, I run the Tech Club at my school but I mentor 8 students … Continue reading The Book Report Pen Pal