User Generated Education

Virtual Improv Activities for Remote Learning

User Generated Education

[link]. Given my experiential education background, I’ve always been fond of and have used group team building and problem-solving activities with all of the age groups I teach – for example, see Team-Building with Elementary Students.

Virtual Team Building Activities

User Generated Education

I, like many others, was forced to move a face-to-face college class to virtual synchronous meetings in Zoom. This term I am teaching a group dynamics course. One of my goals is to have my students experience similar dynamics and processes as they would face-to-face.

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Scratch Monster Mash: A Language Arts/Technology Project

User Generated Education

[link]. This project was developed by Colleen Graves. I found information about how to do it at the Makey Makey blog post entitled, Scratch Coding Literacy Project Ideas for Makey Makey micro:bit Inventions. She designed it to be used with Scratch programming and the micro:bit micro-controller.

Increasing Engagement, Creativity, and Innovation with Minds-On/Hands-On Activities

User Generated Education

COVID has forced many teacher to do remote learning in a virtual environment. Some have struggled with student-centric and hands-on learning. I have always been an experiential educator. Translating that to a virtual environment has been a little challenging but definitely doable.

SplashLearn Makes Learning Fun and Creates Fearless Learners

Loved by more than 30 million kids, SplashLearn is a game-based learning program that creates engaging learning experiences to nurture a generation of fearless learners. SplashLearn is the fastest growing elementary school math program in the US, used by more than 440,000 teachers in about 77,000 schools across the United States.

Among Us Classroom Style: Another Case for Game-Based Learning

User Generated Education

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my gaming club in Video Games for Relationship- and Team Building. It is still going very strong. Students from the three schools where I teach gifted students look forward to it all week long.

Anti-Racist Activities for Upper Elementary and Middle School Students

User Generated Education

I am planning to do anti-racist activities with my elementary students (5th and 6th graders) this coming fall. When you’re essentially [teaching] a kid to be anti-racist, you’re deliberately encouraging them to talk about race and Racism.

Engaging Students Right From the Start

User Generated Education

I, like many of you, have been doing remote teaching since March, 2020. I am a student-centric, hands on/minds on teacher.

Increasing Student Participation During Zoom Synchronous Teaching Meetings

User Generated Education

Due to Coronavirus, many schools are moving online, and teaching through Zoom meetings. If it is only being used to present content to students, then why not just record videos and have students watch them on their own?

Universal Skills for Learners: Increasing School Relevancy

User Generated Education

Kids are learning – but for way too many it occurs outside of the school environment rather than during school.

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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.

Video Games for Relationship- and Team Building

User Generated Education

I had the privilege of taking a workshop on Fortnite Creative facilitated by Steven Isaacs. I decided to take this workshop because I knew that many of my students (3rd-7th grade gifted students) were playing Fortnite.

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Civic Engagement for Young People During Social Distancing

User Generated Education

Many of us feel a bit helpless to help others out during these coronavirus social distancing and isolation times. This also true for kids and young people. There are actions they can take as part of their home schooling. They can participate in civic engagement and activism activities.

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The Benefits of the Copy Stage of Making

User Generated Education

In Learning in the Making: How to Plan, Execute, and Assess Powerful Makerspace Lessons , I propose a model for the stages of making. I believe that the heart of making is creating new and unique things.

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Sometimes Kids Just Need to Play During School

User Generated Education

Teachers get so much pressure to meet standards and prepare students for state mandated tests, that I believe they forget their students are just kids. Because of this pressure, too many teacher education and professional development strategies stress the concept of time on task.

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Wireless Projecting with Google Meet

Wireless projecting using Google Meet to replace the Google Cast for Education extension!

The Importance of Civics Education

User Generated Education

Truth be told, I always disliked history and government classes as a Kindergarten through undergraduate student. I found it dry, boring, irrelevant, and unimportant. I believe this was due to it all being about memorization.

My Educational Learning Plan for the Coronavirus-Induced Hiatus

User Generated Education

I, like many of you, have gone into a somewhat involuntary social distancing and isolation (mostly) due to my school and health club closures and recommendation to stay away from crowds. It’s just my cats and I (gives new meaning to home alone).

Starting the Year with “All About Me” Activities

User Generated Education

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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Helping Learners Move Beyond “I Can’t Do This”

User Generated Education

I work part-time with elementary learners – with gifted learners during the school year and teaching maker education camps during the summer. The one thing almost all of them have in common is yelling out, “I can’t do this” when the tasks aren’t completed upon first attempts or get a little too difficult for them. I partially blame this on the way most school curriculum is structured.

Develop A Feature-Rich App for Any Virtual Classroom

Building an e-learning platform? Download the solution brief to learn how you can create a customized, feature-rich, interactive classroom for an enhanced learning experience.

A Beautiful Boy

User Generated Education

During Fall 2020, I taught gifted education at the high school on our south-side. The south-side is known for its low income housing and its primarily Hispanic population. As an itinerant gifted education teacher, I work at several schools.

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Authentic Learning Experiences

User Generated Education

Providing authentic learning experiences to all learners should be the highest prior for all administrators, curriculum developers, and teachers. Authentic learning is learning designed to connect what students are taught in school to real-world issues, problems, and applications; learning experiences should mirror the complexities and ambiguities of real life.

Reimagining Education: A Call for Action

User Generated Education

Many of us have been discussing educational reform for decades. Given the unprecedented time of COVID19 and its effect on education, it is a perfect time to revisit and reimagine the purpose, operations, and skills related to a powerful 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. Physical computing is a creative framework for understanding human beings’ relationship to the digital world.

8 Reasons to Invest in a New Student Information System

If your school’s SIS has limited functions, only works on campus or breaks down more than you would like, it might time to invest in a new one.

A mis niños y niñas especiales: To my special students

User Generated Education

This is a love letter to you, my special, smart, and beautiful students. You have touched my heart so deeply and profoundly that words cannot adequately convey how much you mean to me. I write this note, so you know the hopes and dreams I have for you.

2020: A Clear Vision for Our Learners

User Generated Education

20/20 vision is a term for visual acuity in which the numerator refers to distance and the denominator refers to size. Visual acuity (VA) commonly refers to the clarity of vision. Vision is all about clarity. 20/20 vision is perfect, high-definition clarity. The question is: How clear is your vision?

My 2019 Highlights

User Generated Education

The post is describes my 2019 Highlights. I did this for four main reasons: We, especially as teachers, should spend more time reflecting on what we are doing well – our accomplishments. Often, we don’t get the recognition we deserve.

All Lessons Should Be Interdisciplinary

User Generated Education

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? They also tend to focus on a single content area concept like specific math problems or questions about a particular text. I used to teach face-to-face elementary education classes to pre-service teachers. There is evidence that teachers teach the way they were taught.

7 Benefits of Lesson Plans in the Cloud

What if teachers didn’t have to lug tons of paperwork with them to and from work? Having lesson plans available anywhere is just one of the advantages.

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]. Intentional Creativity – [link]. The Magic of Making: The Human Need to Create – [link]. This month I started a maker-enhanced writing workshop with a group of gifted 3rd through 6th grade students.

Learning in the Making: The Role of the Educator as a Maker Educator

User Generated Education

I have been working with ASCD for the past few years to publish my book, Learning in the Making: How to Plan, Execute, and Assess Powerful Makerspace Lessons. It has finally been released for sale! Below is an except – Chapter 5: The Role of the Educator as a Maker Educator. The process of bringing maker education into formal and informal educational settings involves different approaches and strategies than in a more traditional educational setting.

Language Arts Lesson Using a micro:book

User Generated Education

In Learning in the Making I discuss the importance of and strategies for integrating technology into the curriculum. Maker education needs to be intentional. It follows, then, that if we want to bring maker education into more formal and traditional classrooms—as well as more informal environments such as afterschool and community programs—it needs to be integrated into the curriculum using lesson plans.

Choice + Imagination = Fantastic Results

User Generated Education

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. To engage participants in project-based challenges that are designed to build confidence and develop extraordinary creativity, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills. DI PRINCIPLES. Fun learning: Explore STEM/STEAM concepts in a hands-on environment.

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Why Families Leave Schools

Do you know three of the biggest reasons families leave schools? Here they are – and what you can do about it.