Posted in classroom, STEM

Not August but everything after

So my personal goal of blogging a minimum of once a week has been blown out of the water. August has been a blur of starting back to school and taking on additional outside ID development projects. A great and challenging August but not good for the site. This summer I attended professional development for using Engineering thinking in schools and I loved the ideas people shared and their projects in development. But that was the summer. Now we are in the school year and between switching to standards based grading and the amount of testing and curriculum adjustments being given to teachers so far this year (I believe the phrase is ‘building the plane while flying’), there is little room for more. My goal then is to take the engineering thinking and model it in my technology time with my students. I am working on creating a curriculum that includes engineering thinking, technology, digital literacy, and digital citizenship in the 30 minutes I see students each week. I will be working on this curriculum this year and sharing some of the lessons (what works and doesn’t) here. I would love to hear suggestions from anyone who has implemented these ideas in their classroom curriculum. I am looking forward to the challenge and building something that benefits students and supports what teachers are doing in their classrooms as well. Hopefully, you’ll hear about it more often than every other month.

Posted in classroom, STEM

Solar Eclipse Resources

August 21st is the big day here in Nashville and, while we initially not going to be in school, we will have students that day. Here is a list of resources for learning about the eclipse and some activities that can be done in your school/classroom. I will keep adding to it as I find ideas and info.

American Astronomical Society – links for K-12 educators to learn about the eclipse

NASA – links with info and printables and activity ideas

Article on Preparing for the Eclipse (elem)

The Big Eclipse (elem age book that explains and comes with a set of glasses and how to build a simple solar projector) and The Big Eclipse Activity Book

Austin Peay has some great curriculum resources for teachers. (Brainpop, Nearpod, Socrative) More here.

More to come…




Posted in classroom, optimism, STEM

Summer PD (professional development) Day 1

Well, it did not look like this, but it was refreshing in focus and allowed time to build a good list of ideas for the 17-18 school year. One thing that always strikes me at conferences or meetings where we work in groups is how great collaboration is for the greater educational system. So good to listen to ideas being shared and new ideas being incorporated into already amazing classrooms. Our focus is design and innovation with a subtext of STEM (or STEAM) which also focuses on design and innovation. I’ll post links to resources as the week goes on, but the main idea I took away from today came from a table mate as we talked about optimism in designing and innovating for the classroom. She said something to the effect of new projects require optimism to succeed – the bigger the project the more optimism you need. Here’s the video we were watching and discussing (among others).

How valuable is optimism to the success of your school? What about the greater field of education?