Letting Students Speak

A few days ago, I received my copy of: Let Them Speak by Rebecca Coda and Rick Jetter. Let Them Speak! is an amazing book on how to find out what your students really think, feel, and need, and what to do with the feedback you get from students, and how to use student voice to improve education and school culture. As many of you know, I have been a big advocate for Student Voice for a few years and in the last year, I have used Flipgrid to amplify Student Voice. So much, I am working on several Donors Choose projects to turn half of my classroom into a Flipgrid Recording Student. You can learn about that more here. As inspiring of the book is and the many notes, I have taken, I wanted to try something a little different to give students a focus on what they want to speak about. Sometimes students know what they want to talk about, but are not sure if it is: a question, idea, an thought of change or something completely innovative and I found just the thing with a little Pixel Classroom and Perler Beads.

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The end of the 2017-2018 School Year

Another school year has come to an end, post-its have been packed, posters have been removed and students have made the long walk and graduated. For me, this was a year of major change and a brand new chapter in the story of My Life as a Teacher. Over a year ago, I had finally received my full teacher licenses after several years of jumping through hoops, extra classes and more. Following my contract of not being renewed last April. I left as an administrator at Jackson Charter School and returned to the classroom for the first time in five years. I found myself at Stillman Valley High School a few months later as the new Business and Technology Teacher and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Adviser . After being a STEAM enrichment teacher, I looked forward to this new role as a regular classroom teacher and having the opportunity to teach high school. Even though I admitted this was outside of my comfort zone, I accepted the challenge and was I about to start a journey I never thought possible.

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Getting Buggy in the Classroom

A couple of weeks ago, I was starting my work for next year’s courses and one of the courses I will be teaching is Entrepreneurship & Business Management. I have been incorporating the practices in my Business Basics, Multimedia and Consumer Education classes. However, being able to full teach entrepreneurship is a challenge I am looking forward to teaching and I wanted my students to really dig deep into the fastest growing types of business management and entrepreneurship and one of them is Entomology or The Study of Bugs. While I teach high school there are many ways to bring Entomology into the classroom from Littles to College level. Continue reading “Getting Buggy in the Classroom”

Build an Ice Cream Story

A few days ago while I was on Spring Break, I was asked to help tutor some upper elementary students. While I was working with them, they were asked to help define the main idea of a story. They showed me their reading room wall that showed them thriple scoop of ice cream that was divided as shown below.

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Thank you Ripple and Donors Choose for giving my Students a Voice

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”

Who’s Telling the Story Book GIFS

 

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.

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Smashboard EDU Kaboom

Since 2014 I have been smashing Apps and other resources for my students and my co-workers. Leading to the creation of App Dice and inspiring many classrooms and teachers for student choice and creation. In the last couple of years, Dee Lanier has taken the use of App Smashing to the next level with Smashboard EDU. Smashboard combines the incredible use of App Smashes and DOK into incredible learning for both students and teachers. In the past month I have been taking the Smashboard and combining it with some gamification and eXPlore like a Pirate ideas and I came up with a Smashboard version of Kaboom.

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