The Litmus Student

studentAs an educator, over the years, you wonder if you are actually making a difference daily. Are you increasing the production of students’ dendrites? Every teacher unconsciously looks for the student, usually the (static) ‘smart one’, to see if learning is occurring; or to verify that all actions towards learning isn’t futile.

I charge teachers to select not the brightest but someone (dynamic) else to target learning goal/objective achievement. This is the ‘litmus’ student. The best one would be selected randomly each day or each quarter. Just a quick informal feedback to self to see what is really going on in the classroom.

I’m Baaaaaack! Took break due to…..

Packrat…MENTAL EXHAUSTION! Instead of blogging, I’ve been hitting the pavement exercising both running and cycling. However, this summer I will work on a life balance and factor blog writing in the equation.

Now that testing and the 2013-14 academic school is finally over, I can do some reflection and planing for the next school year. Some summer projects I would like to work on:

  • Integration of fitness and nutrition with current CCSS math curriculum (especially since it a part of the health literacy component of the 21st century framework )
  • Delve into the hype of Rasberry Pi and make “heads or tails” of it
  • Decide to either use my Edmodo, Moodle or iTunes-U with my classes.
  • Work on a EdTech publication! It’s time to share with the world all of the useful knowledge in my head
  • Either dye or pluck out all of the gray hair from my head due to stress (just kidding)

I am planning to attend to CMS Summer Institute (#CMSSI14) for two weeks. I am a little excited about this conference and of course I will share my excitement here. Enough of my rambling, let me get back to boxing up my classroom…

Pack rat powers, activate!




The Utopian Classroom of 2020?

Believe it or now, 2020 is only seven years from now. The following video by Corning gives a glimpse of the ideal classroom of the future. Check it out and see how close we are to this now.

After viewing this video, our millennial screenagers are already there. As an educator, are you ready for the future? Can you imagine teaching in that school, however still stuck with mentality of having the fear of the use of technology? (See my previous post on the “Luddite educator“) Times are changing, so shall we…

Luddite Educator (The New Oxymoron)

Sounds like a great title for a book or movie, eh? Here I am on my 2013 Spring Break dropping a few thoughts on some educators that exist that are still resistant from making the leap to embracing anything that requires electricity (other than the overhead projector) to support classroom instruction. Hey… Maybe it is a stigma to be a nerd and geek at the same time. What do you think?

I know a few awesome teachers that use none or minimal technology in their classrooms and are still effective. However, my question is how long will the routine of the luddite educator routine last when teaching millenials? IMHO, I believe that BYOD (the straw that breaks the camel back) will be the catalyst to promote the transformation.

There are many resources out there to help resistant educators to observe and try out new things in small increments. It is a fact that you only fear what you have very little or no knowledge of, therefore there is where you and I come in to share information such as TPACK to give an organized strategy in merging the use of technology and teaching pedagogy. This leads to my next blog post, if in 2020 if you are still considered a luddite educator, would your action of refusing to deal with technology be considered resistance or rebellion?

Learn with Intensity

Whether or not it you are a Baltimore Ravens fan or not, you have to love Ray Lewis. With starting the second semester, I desire my students to approach math problems as if they were Ray Lewis on the football field. Now that would be awesome!  This brief video I believe with spark the intensity within my students to accomplish this goal!

Meet one of my best investments for my classroom

I forgot when I purchased this device, but when I saw this informercial, I had to get it.

When I saw that it easily converted from a ladder, to a hand truck, and then to a flat cart the credit card was already out.

Every school year, at the beginning and end, I get the most use from it when I have to transfer my boxes of teaching stuff from my classroom to either another classroom or to my car. Since I’m so short, I really needed the ladder part to hang my student work and posters on my classroom walls. When the school’s flat cart is not available, when people ask to borrow my Total Trolley, I charge them $10 per usage. Just kidding. But the investment that I made to it was well worth it. Not sure if they are still selling them, but if you ever run into one at the thrift store, or yard sale, I highly recommend you to immediately pick it up!


Student inventories are done, now what?

On the first day of school, I usually have my students complete a student inventory worksheet. This worksheet allows me to get to know them. Last year, I attempted to create a spreadsheet to organize this data. Unfortunately I got inundated with other school related stuff. So this year, I am going to at least go through ten per day for each class and quiz myself by having brief conversations with my students with the related the information from the student inventory. Yes, a successful execution with its intended purpose…