I am back from #iste18.

I met lots of people, I reconnected with lots of people, I laughed a lot which of course I loved. I took away a few nuggets but here was “my moment”.

As Rabbi Michael @TheTechRabbi spoke at the Keynote he said this:

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This was it. This is what I am working towards this summer with my #passionproject of #creativities.

My hope is that by posting small experiences every day this summer that teachers will be able to exercise creativity with their learners. These can be your brain breaks, your moments to inspire, your time to build community and relationships through creativity.

Thank you @thetechrabbi, thank you.


A #creativities Walk

Posted: May 28, 2018 in creativities

A few days ago I was on one of my walks with the pooch on the leash and two things happened. While walking I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts – Teaching in Higher Ed with Bonni Stachowiak. (side note, listen to this podcast even in you don’t teach in higher ed, it is jampacked with excellence) I was listening to Episode 206 – Inquiry-Based Learning and I was walking and listening and yanking on the dog and thinking about this upcoming #creativities project. And the podcast started down the road of how creativity came into switching things up quickly in the classroom to engage students or make things suddenly work.

That got me reflecting on my own work. I get the question “How did you think of that?” or I receive the amazing compliment on some of the suggestions that pop into my head. And when I was in the classroom, I would switch gears midstream and it always seemed just natural. And it baffled me why other teachers were impressed by that…it is just what happened. How did that flexible thinking come so natural for me and how do I continue to nurture it.

Ok.. so the 2nd thing that happened on this walk is that I checked my Twitter and I saw this tweet by@ThisIsSethsBlog (one of my personal go-tos) 

The post discusses what businesses do after a hiccup – after something goes wrong. Then things started to come together…how do we get better in teaching and learning after a hiccup – after we fumble?

My conclusion, my thought…we need to get better at being creative or gaining creative confidence or flexible thinker. And how do we get better at that…well…we can exercise our creative muscle.

That is my professional learning for the summer and I am going to share it out along on the Tweets.

And why stop there… collect these activities and use them with your learners!


About this time every year, I write a letter to the teachers whom I have worked with over the past year. Here is the 2017-2018 version…

Dear Friends,

It is this time of the year that I reflect on the time I have been lucky enough to spend with each of you at Old Quarry. And this year when I think back… it has been busy!

Reading Unit Work…lots of it.
Advisory changed… a lot.
Science Summatives were in depth…by lots.
Social Studies revisited, restructured, redesigned…lots.
Math. Carnegie. Other Programs … Lots of %&@#&
Encore taught…lots and lots…of students.
Writing…well, we wrote…a whole lotta.
Computers… we got looooots of them.

I almost feel like we were all living that phrase “If you need something done give it to a busy person.” Cause golly gee, it has been busy and you all have got it done!

But amongst that busyness and all the “lots”, I have never…

Laughed as much.
Appreciated as often.
Learned as deeply.
Respected with such regard.
Felt such camaraderie.
Observed as much support.
Noted so much patience.

Every day on my drive home, I reflect on the day. And without fail, I think about one of the interactions, lessons, activities, or conversations involving one of you. And, without a doubt, I will never be able to describe how often I am impressed by one or another of you. Everyday.


P.S. There are popsicles in the freezers to help us get through the next couple days.


Posted: May 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

I am a task learner. Give me something to try. Give me a something. Something small, something joyful, something that I have never seen before. Gimmie. Gimmie. Gimmie.

For the past year, I have taken that ‘gimmie’ into my own hands and have been practicing some “Creativities” = activities to exercise creativities. And I am going to share some of my favorites from my collection.

And I hope you follow along with the hashtag #creativities and have fun and surprise ourselves.

Genius Hour… Take 1

Posted: March 10, 2018 in Uncategorized

Working as an adjunct I have always struggled in designing learning experiences for my adult learners that were more than just… write more papers. I mean it is they are Educational Technology courses…and writing a paper on a computer is pretty low on the SAMR model and pretty high on the uber expensive pencil. With this current course with some of the teachers in my District – #sd113A – we are trying something a wee bit different. Instead of the traditional discussions, we are running our own Genius Hour.

That’s right –  Genius Hour for Grown Ups.

It started yesterday. I think it went well. Well.. I always second guess myself so I will say I hope it went well. When I was introducing the project there was a lot of chatter but I secretly loved it because they were all discussing what they may do and how they might go about pursuing things that interested them – it was like they were middle school students again with their minds totally busy and buzzing.

Here is how we started:

Read – School is still ruining your chances to learn
Watch – If Money Were No Object

After a short discussion, we continued on and I asked them to write down the answers to these questions as I read them:

What do I do on weekend mornings?
What do I do after dinner during the weekday?
Identify the activities that you truly enjoy.
If you could do any job in your life, what would you choose?
What types of things energize you? Think about people, places, and activities?
Make a list of the careers that your closest friends work in (or plan to work in). See anything that really grabs your interest? Write them down.
Make a list of people who are where you want to be.
What do I do when I have off of work/school?
What do I do when I’m sick and at home?
What you spend time doing can also tell you what you should do. Because sometimes the things we do without thinking really are things we naturally enjoy or are good at.
Revisit your childhood. What did you love to do?
What do I do late at night/early in the morning?
Are any of these ‘making’ or ‘creating’ something?
What types of information do you read and watch?
When you’re in a bookstore what section of the store are you drawn to?
What is your tennis ball? The thing you keep chasing after over and over no matter how many times it escapes you.
What am I doing when I feel most beautiful?

From there my students looked for patterns and the unexpected, chatting with those around them they had to choose 3 ideas for their Genius Hour.

This is where I come – I will be doing it along with them. Going through my 8 weeks of learning. It’s pretty scary to put yourself out there but here I go. So my Big 3:

  • Do a headstand – yoga style. (This is always a goal of mine but I haven’t done yoga in a month, it might not be something I can accomplish in that time)
  • Work on solving the substitute teacher shortage. (Something I keep coming back to)
  • Sketchnote a TedTalk. (When I was younger I drew this horse and it was really, really good.. or at least I remember it being really, really good…and I think I could try my hand at drawing again)

I don’t know which one I will do but this upcoming week, I have to spend time with each and see if I feel ‘flow’ with one of them.