Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Do you want technology in your classroom. Are you curious about Makerspaces and STEAM? Not sure where to start?

Eduporium is a one-stop shop to help you decide which technology is right for you, pricing on said technology, and connect to other educators for best ways to use the technology.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Welcome to the 2016-17 school year! I'm so excited to have my students creating, making, designing, and building this year.

With that being said, I thought an appropriate post for the beginning of the year would include an article/podcast on how our (and our students') brains want to learn. The ideas behind John Medina's, neuroscientist, research is we can reach students by doing these 2 things:

-Exercise -- the brain works better after it.

-Sleep -- the developing brain has to have a ton of it to function.

Something to think about as we begin this new school year!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rigor ISTE2016

I'm in my final session of ISTE2016 before the Closing Keynote speakers. It's been an unbelievable few days of learning and growing.

Rigor, Meet Relevance by Janel McCormick and Jessica Herring


Essential Questions:
-What happens when rigor meets relevance?
-How can you bring greater relevance to the work you're already doing in the classroom?

Using tools like iMovie, Sphero, Aurasma to show character emotion, mood, etc => shows relevance

Rigor = empowered learners, innovator designers, & creative communicators (new ISTE standards)

Skills developments = creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking

Excellent rubric to measure rigor:

Inquiry Based Learning ISTE 2016

After roaming the Vendor Hall upstairs (I'll write a post about the cool thing I found up there later), it's onto my 2nd session of the day:

Using Inquiry for Deeper Understanding by Adina Sullivan

Adina's website and Adina's Inquiry presentation

Essential Questions:
-What conditions do you need to learn something that isn't your favorite subject/topic?
-How is this same or different for your students?
-How do you learn differently when you are interested vs when you are just doing as you are told/expected?

-Problem-solving and critical thinking skills
-Facilitates a transfer of knowledge and concepts through creativity and reflection
-Self-directed learning skills using communication and collaboration
-Deeper levels of engagement and understanding

Inquiry Cycle = Questioning =>Research => Discussion => Creating => Reflection => back to Questioning

Science Leadership Academy -- school in Pennsylvania strictly inquiry-based

Inquiry Based learning resources

LittleBits and Design Thinking ISTE2016

It's the third and final day of ISTE2016. For my first session, I'm attending:

Creativity, Innovation, and a "LittleBit" of Design Thinking

LittleBits website

I recently received 4 sets of LittleBits from a Donor's Choose project and am excited to see how other educators are using them. They're essentially small circuits that piece together. Students can build all sorts of things with them.

Little Bits Design Challenge:
-students work collaboratively with LittleBits to create something that makes the world better

Design Thinking:
1) Exploration (empathize & define) -- where do you see problems? Can you define it?
2) Ideation (ideate) -- brainstorming
3) Prototyping (prototype) -- building their first model
4)Modification (test) -- testing and making changes to the prototype
5) Sharing -- could they share beyond the classroom? video? podcast?

Design Thinking => Constructivistm (makerspaces) => Inquiry-based learning

My thoughts:
Design Thinking can work in almost any classroom, content-area, or grade level. In literacy, students can take a stance, research their stance, write an essay explaining their stance, rewrite after constructive criticism, and share it with the world through a blog. The more time spent around the exploration and ideation process the better. Students need to become comfortable with asking questions and thinking deeply on how to answer those questions. This will, hopefully, foster life-long learning in our students and give them the confidence to be curious explorers.

Extra Resources:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Literacy and Personalized Learning ISTE2016

My last session of another amazing day at ISTE2016:

Creating Passionate Literacy Environments Through Personalized Learning in Meeting Hall 504

Presenter: Pernille Ripp

-moving away from "teacher knows best & knows everything"
-"50% of HS students bored EVERYDAY" -- Gallup surveys support this (44% bored)
-most kids don't want to read or write -- we should be asking why not? How could we do better?
-26% of adults haven't read a book in 12 months
-enjoyment = engagement; How do we bring enjoyment back to reading/writing?

5 tenets of choice:
1) choice in engagement
2) product
3) setting
4) timeline
5) assessment

-Whole class novels -- Why do we make kids read at a certain pace? Why does every student in the class have to read a chapter a night? If they finish the book in a day, how do we challenge them? If students abandon the book, is it their fault or ours?
-It's a kid's right to abandon a book, BUT if they continually abandon books, they don't know who they are as readers and writers. Do we provide opportunities for students to understand themselves as readers/writers?

Classroom Redesign ISTE2016

Ready for my 2nd session of the day:

Classroom Redesign: Future-Focused & Student Centered in Meeting Hall 707

-How do we define learning space?

1) Active learning ecosystems
     -How do we exhibit student work to reach an authentic audience? blogs, podcasts, websites
     -Having flexible furniture arrangements -- tables can easily move away to open space, small group vs. large group space
    -Spaces within spaces -- full group, small group, individual work -- student should have choice
    -Pedagogy, Technology, Space