User Generated Education

Scratch and Makey Makey Across the Curriculum

User Generated Education

I love bringing physical computing into my classrooms: Physical computing means building interactive physical systems by the use of software and hardware that can sense and respond to the analog world.

Maker-Enhanced Writing Workshop: Character Development

User Generated Education

Readers of my blog know my thoughts and feelings about effective student learning. I have written blogs on: All Lesson Should Be Interdisciplinary Learning – [link]. The Imperative of Experiential and Hands-On Learning – [link]. Authentic Learning Experiences – [link].

Authentic Learning Experiences

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Providing authentic learning experiences to all learners should be the highest prior for all administrators, curriculum developers, and teachers.

Making a Pitch for Social Entrepreneurship

User Generated Education

I have done a social entrepreneurship unit with two groups of gifted students, grades 3rd through 6th. It was one of my favorite units. ever, and from their reactions, I believe it was one of theirs, too.

5 Costly Inventory Management Mistakes Schools Should Avoid

If your school is like most, inventory and/or asset management plays a critical role in daily operations.

All Lessons Should Be Interdisciplinary

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I am not a fan of worksheets. In fact, I hate most of them. They don’t teach real world skills. How often does someone do worksheets outside of school? How often when they become adults?

Choice + Imagination = Fantastic Results

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The use of Destination Imagination (DI) has been recommended by my supervisor for use with gifted students. I teach gifted students at two Title 1 elementary schools. DI MISSION.

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Why do we group students by manufacture date?

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Ken Robinson once famously said, “Students are educated in batches, according to age, as if the most important thing they have in common is their date of manufacture.” (Ken Ken Robinson, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything ).

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My List of Top Ten Videos of 2018

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I think we are living in amazing times whereby we can access and view high quality videos for free! I have selected some of my favorites from 2018. My criteria for their selection are that they made me laugh, cry, cheer, and/or made me feel inspired and hopeful.

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Gingerbread House Making: A Fun and Engaging Cross-Curricular Lesson

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I believe that educators can be intentional in setting up environments where learners’ propensity to create flourishes. Some elements that can assist with this kind of unbridled making and creating include: Open ended projects that promote self-directed differentiation and personalization.

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Today’s Curriculum for the Higher Ed HR Leader

Speaker: Joseph Clay, Business Transformation Strategist at Oracle, and Jeffrey Haynes, Director with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Today’s universities and colleges face many challenges ranging from reconciling financial pressures, to ensuring student success, to managing complicated workforce dynamics. One thing they all have in common: Their head of HR must align the HR function to best support the institution as it navigates this current landscape.

Elementary Social Entrepreneurship: A Perfect STEAM Lesson

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I am completing a social entrepreneurship unit with my gifted students, grades 2nd through 5th. It was one of my favorite units. ever, and from their reactions, I believe it was one of theirs, too. I call it a perfect STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) unit.

Beginning the School Year With Connections: 2018

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I have written before about the beginning of the school year, Beginning the School Year: It’s About Connections Not Content. I begin all classes focusing on having the students make connections between each other and with me. I want students to learn about one another in a personal way.

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Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) Displays: A Maker Education Project

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I have lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a few decades. One of my favorite things about living here is that it celebrates and embraces Hispanic and Mexican cultural traditions. I have the privilege of working with gifted kids at two elementary schools with over 80% Hispanic students.

The Importance of Civics Education

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Truth be told, I always disliked history and government classes as a K through undergraduate student. I found it dry, boring, irrelevant, and unimportant. I believe this was due to it all being about memorization. memorizing events and dates in history; memorizing the branches of government; memorizing states and their capitols. This type of learning reflects only remembering, the lowest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

The World’s Largest Lesson: Global Goals Activities

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I have a strong belief that education should assist learners in developing the desire and skills for global stewardship. I discussed this in my post, Empathy and Global Stewardship: The Other 21st Century Skills [link].

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Introducing Design Thinking to Elementary Learners

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Design thinking is an approach to learning that includes considering real-world problems, research, analysis, conceiving original ideas, lots of experimentation, and sometimes building things by hand.

Educators as Active Listeners

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I have a few sayings I often use in my teacher education courses and PD workshops for teachers related to active listening. They include: If the teacher is doing more talking than the students, then this is a problem.

Integrating Maker Education into the Curriculum

User Generated Education

Rather than the maker experiences being an after school program, an add on activity, or an activity that is implemented when students have done their regular lessons work, it should be part of the regular, day-to-day curriculum.

Assessing Maker Education Projects

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Institutionalized education has given assessment a bad reputation; often leaves a sour taste in the mouths of many teachers, students, and laypeople.

Robot-Enhanced Creative Writing and Storytelling (featuring Ozobot and Wonder’s Dot)

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There have been complaints leveraged against out of the box robots like Dash and Dot, Ozobot, Hummingbird, Sphero. The complaints usually revolve around the canned and prescriptive nature of their uses and programs, that they lack creative engagement by the younger users.

Beginning the School Year: It’s About the Learners Not the Content

User Generated Education

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Simple and Rube Goldberg Machines: A Maker Education, STEAM Lesson

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Recently I facilitated a simple machines leading into Rube Goldberg machines lesson with my gifted elementary students. As I’ve discussed in past blog posts, I use several criteria to guide my lesson design: Instructional challenges are hands-on and naturally engaging for learners.

BreakoutEDU: A Professional Development Workshop

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I recently got the opportunity to offer a professional development workshop for educators of gifted students at the 2018 14th Annual Fall Gifted Education Institute. The description for my workshop was as follows: BreakoutEDU presents puzzles for students to decipher, each clue leading to another which in turn opens locks attached to a strongbox.

Focusing on the Process: Letting Go of Product Expectations

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I am a process-oriented educator. I focus on how to learn rather than what to learn. I’ve addressed this in Freedom to Learn : In order to facilitate these desired elements of learning, I believe it is important to focus on the process of learning rather than the products of learning.

Educators as Purveyors of Hope

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My advanced degree is in counseling. I sought this degree due to my affinity towards at-risk and adjudicated youth.

A Fuller Framework for Making in Maker Education

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Background Information. I recently learned, for the first time, about Aristotle’s belief that there were three basic activities of humans: theoria (thinking), poiesis (making), and praxis (doing).

Teaching Elementary-Level Learners About the Brain

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Judy Willis in How to Teach Students About the Brain writes: If we want to empower students, we must show them how they can control their own cognitive and emotional health and their own learning. Teaching students how the brain operates is a huge step.

Design Thinking Process and UDL Planning Tool for STEM, STEAM, Maker Education

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Post by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D. jackiegerstein and Barbara Bray @bbray27. Crossed posted at [link]. If there is a makerspace in your school, it may be down the hall, in the library, or in another building.

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Intentional Creativity

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Torrence, whose focus was on creativity, developed the Torrence Incubation Model of Creative Thinking (TIM) model. As emphasized in this video, embedding creativity into the curriculum can and should be a strong component of content area teaching and learning.

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Teaching Grammar-In-Context

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Archaic Ways of Teaching Grammar. We construct grammatically correct sentences or correct our mistakes by intuitively applying the rules that govern English syntax.

The Myth of Neutral Makerspaces

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Recently, I attended the Nation of Makers Conference whose theme was intentional inclusion. The single comment from the conference that stood out for me was: Before we consider intentional inclusion, we need to consider and explore unintentional exclusion.

Qualities of Effective Educator Professional Development

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Most administrators and teachers believe in the importance and value of professional development. Sadly, though, too many teachers believe that those mandatory, one-size-fits-all professional development sessions offered by their schools are a waste of time and money.

Cardboard Creations: A Maker Education Camp

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This post discusses my Cardboard Creations Maker Education Camp that was taught to fifteen 5 to 12 year old learners for five days, 2.5 hours each morning during Summer, 2017. It is split into three sections: Rational for Using No Tech, Minimal Cost Materials. Some Pedagogical Perspectives.

Freedom to Learn

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I was painfully bored during my K-12 education. I looked forward to college anticipating that it would be different – more engaging, more interesting, more innovative. I was wrong.

Reflecting on Maker Experiences with Reflection Cards

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I’ve discussed the importance of reflection in my Framework for Maker Education ; and specifically discussed reflecting on the maker experiences in several of my blog posts: Reflecting on the Making Process [link]. The Maker as a Reflective Practitioner [link].

Reflecting on the Making Process

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My background is in experiential education. One of the strategies used in experiential education is debriefing or reflecting on the experience. In other words, learning from direct experience is not left to chance.