Sketchnoting: I Just Don’t Know How To Start

The other day over sharing and talking visual note taking (sketchnoting) awesome a teacher said, “I just don’t know how to even get started with this in my classroom.”

Of course that question and the rush of the soon to be new school year got me thinking, “Why does sketchnoting have to feel so complicated or intimidating?”

While, learning the complete process of visual thinking, doodling and creating visual notes (sketchnotes) is way more than a single post.  Getting started (like anything) doesn’t have to be scary or difficult. It is something (like anything) that you can dive in cannonball style and go all in or you can dip your toe in to and get into it little by little. Continue reading “Sketchnoting: I Just Don’t Know How To Start”

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.

Continue reading “Stanley The Hamster and #The23DayProject”

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 “The Moment My Gamified Classroom Almost Failed”

In A Galaxy Far, Far Away: My Classroom Gamification Process (Part 1)

Today I started planning my 5th classroom gamification game…5th!!! Holy wow! Can you believe it has been that many already. I sat at my kitchen table and channeled my inner Jedi, Hans Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca and R2D2 organizing my thoughts and ideas for my newest game“Star Wars: The Force Be With You. The Battle Against the Dark Force”.

Continue reading “In A Galaxy Far, Far Away: My Classroom Gamification Process (Part 1)”

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

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

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

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 “Planning For Student Success When You Have a Substitute”