Stanley The Hamster and #The23DayProject

It all began when I saw snaps of snapchat artists and their drawings. I was in aww of their playfulness and use of doodles in real life. I wanted to do that too.

August last year I was unpacking boxes in my new classroom. As I looked at the boxes I had left to unpack I suddenly an idea. What if my classroom had a pet. It would need to be something fast and easy to draw…what about a hamster. I picked up my phone, used the drawing option in snapchat and drew my very first Stanley the Hamster.

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The Moment My Gamified Classroom Almost Failed

Back in August (ouch…its been a long time) I decided I would take a huge leap and share my gamification planning process. I had big plans. I would start by sharing my planning process and then throughout the months to come I would continue sharing by giving others deeper insight on my process. I decided to start by sharing the process of how I create my game and what goes on in my head when I am creating it. I recorded my process, components I consider and my thinking. I finished what was going to be the first in a series and proudly typed “ This is the first part in “My Gamification Process Series” (I’ll be recording and sharing my entire process as I create this year’s game)”. I hit the publish key.

….then there were crickets.

Nothing. Continue reading

WHY NOT: The Story Behind my “Why Not” Sketchnote

Last month (July 11, 2016) was  International Edcamp Leader  day. Not only was I super excited to be part of this day, learn from and be inspired by local Illinois leaders but the organizers of the Edcamp thought it would be fun to have ignite speeches after our lunch.  I jumped at the chance to give an Ignite Speech (actually I squealed in happiness and then thought what the heck have I gotten myself into…eeekkk).  After a day or two of brainstorming I had my theme.  As I wrote the speech, I knew I wanted to use this opportunity to really push myself  as a creator and as a presenter… not only would I share a belief I am deeply passionate about, I would draw the entire ignite speech. Continue reading

#F2FOMG: My ISTE 2016 Reflection

Monday June 27th (I know, I know, it has been a while, a longggg while since I have shared here…insert hanging head of shame). I stepped on a plane before the crack of dawn and headed to ISTE 2016 (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference in Denver, Colorado. On the plane I was absolutely giddy, nervous and excited…really excited. Continue reading

Barkley Marathons: 22.3 Things It Can Teach Teachers (and Us)

I first stumbled upon the Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young Documentary when it showed up on my Netflix. It struck my curiosity so I saved it to my list to watch and there it sat for a couple of weeks. Now I’m typically not a documentary lover. I am more of Marvel comics spin off, terrible B horror movie (I know…its a problem) or a Sci-Fi movie kind of gal.

… one Sunday night I decided I’d give it a try. Continue reading

Bright Ideas #7: Mini-Game: Keep. Trade. Auction

He shared with me the power-ups he uses with his classroom. Power-ups that were not tangible items or special activities.

“Gosh” I thought, “I just don’t think that would work for my students. For my students, their needs and my goals for our gamification system earning tangible items and special activities was what they needed to motivate and encourage them to take big risks and Continue reading

Planning For Student Success When You Have a Substitute

2:00am my daughter has a fever. Between doses of tylenol and resupplying her with a cool, wet cloth for her forehead I walk downstairs in the dark trying not trip on a stair or stumble over a toy. I find my computer, report my absence and then open a google doc to start writing my lesson plans for my absence. An hour later the plans are written and I hope that things will go smoothly. Continue reading