Awesome Ava and Dorky Dad Make Cinnamon Glitter Slime

In this episode Ava and I make slime that smells like cinnamon and has a nice glitter effect.

For this recipe you will need:
1/2 cup clear glue
1/4 teaspoon of Borax
1 cup of hot water(half mixed with Borax and the other half with clear glue)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ginger(we suggest a little less)
1 tablespoon of glitter

Mix water and glue
Add glitter, cinnamon, and ginger to the water glue mix

In a separate container mix Borax and 1/2 cup of water
Slowly add this mixture to glue mixture until slime is set the way you want.
Add more cinnamon for a darker color


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Looking Back at 2017: Coffeechug Social Media Sharing

I really hesitated in piecing this together and then sharing online. I am in the same mindset as Krissy Venosdale when she tweets and posts her amazing posts on Instagram when she says, “You are so much more than a number”. She also has an amazing piece on Facebook going into more detail about the thoughts behind this quote in relation to how kids value themselves as a person.


I want to clarify that this was not put together for me to gain value based on likes, retweets, favorites, and views. I always look at the metrics each year to see how my journey of learning and sharing has grown. What I find fascinating is how my journey of learning continues to unfold.


When I started blogging many years ago it was to share book reviews of young adult books to inspire them to read. As I have changed roles in education and morphed into new learning opportunities and passions, my sharing of my learning has changed as well.


What I find fascinating every year is what people click and read the most  vs. what I believe are my most powerful pieces. Every single year I see such a stark contrast. The pieces that I believe are important for conversation and thinking rarely make the cut. Often times they are safe pieces that don’t rattle the cages too much.


Typically, I will only look at my blog, but this year I analyzed more. I had a goal this past year to really develop my YouTube presence in sharing DIY Maker activities and I achieved this goal. In many ways, it is becoming my main platform as I continue to want to inspire others to make, experiment, build, and code.


Check out the pieces below. This is what people enjoyed the most from 2017. I look forward to 2018 and seeing where my journey leads.

My goals for 2018
1. Write more clear and concise with more long form posts
2. My book will finally be ready for launch
3. Clean up video editing for better YouTube videos
4. Develop online classes for learning in the maker world
5. Promote and develop quality computer science curriculum.
Top 15 Posts of 2017
Top 10 YouTube Videos of 2017
  1. 5 ways to prevent students from sharing a Google Quiz?
  2. Scratch 4 Arduino: 3 LED Lights
  3. Office Lens + OneNote = Productivity Success!!
  4. Fidget Spinner Tutorial Using Tinkercad!
  5. Bald Eagle Screech
  6. LEGO EV3: Move Steering Tutorial
  7. Raspberry Pi: GPIO Programming in Scratch
  8. Google Chrome Tip: Picture in Picture
  9. Google Sheets ImportRange Function
  10. LEGO EV3 Tutorial 3: Move Tank, Large Motor, Medium Motor
Best 9 on Instagram
Top 15 Tweets
  1. Can’t get enough of @PlayCraftLearn and #codebuilder so much potential in learning @MeenooRami #microsoftedu #iste17
  2. The excitement for learning at #playfullearning is why I love teaching @LEGO_Education @FIRSTweets 
  3. What I experienced at FIRST World Championships  @LEGO_Education #FIRSTChamp #FIRSTChampionship #iaedchat #stemed
  4. Google Chrome: Access Multiple Tabs from Other Devices  #gttribe #gafe #gafechat #gafesummit #edtech #googledu
  5. Global Educators of Awesomeness Voxer Group  #deeperlearning #mieexpert #pbsdigitalinnovator #iaedchat #pblchat
  6. Another dose of deep thought by @chrisemdin #iaedchat #deeperlearning
  7. 4 Easy & Cheap Ways to Decorate 3D Prints  #makered #makerspace #3Dprinting #stemed #iaedchat #fablab @tinkercad
  8. So excited to bring @SkypeClassroom to our #pbl course today with @iro_st Thank you for your time Iro! #mieexpert #sitc
  9. Check out these awesome #LEGO Halloween builds & learn more about monthly build challenge  @LEGO_Education #makered
  10. Fidget Spinners Aren’t The Problem  #iaedchat #deeperlearning #fidgetspinner #mieexpert #nccechat #stemed #makered
  11. 055: Living On The Edge of Chaos – Living By Leading with Laurel Braaten  @laurelbraaten #bettpride @zakmal #iaedchat #leadership #edchat #stuvoice @IowaSLI
  12. Smart Home AND Smart Classrooms  #iaedchat #pblchat #deeperlearning #pbsdigitalinnovator #edchat #smarthome
  13. LEGO EV3 Programming Tip: The Power of the Comment Block  @firstlegoleague @LEGO_Education #Robotics @stemed
  14. Perhaps my favorite education quote ever! @pernilleripp 
  15. So excited to launch the beginning of a series of two day #makered workshops for educators. Tomorrow we begin and the site is ready  I welcome all feedback and look forward to adding more daily! #maker9 #stemed #iaedchat
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Global Debate Project Pushes Boundaries of Learning

Whew! We did it! Another round of debates on the topic of Revolution is in the books. This year proved much more difficult for a variety of reasons, but despite the issues I believe the learning increased and we explore new ideas that would have never have been achieved otherwise.

First, this debate project includes over 900 students from all over the globe. We have students who debate, judge, listen, and more during this project. Trying to manage a project of this size with zero financial support on top of many other duties of another job can be stressful. Trying to coordinate debate times for classrooms as teachers when there is so much pressure to perform high quality can be challenging. Coordinating and depending on everyone to do their parts is a miracle in and of itself.

And yet it all comes together.

This debate project started back on October. In October we coordinate teachers and schools. We try to make sure all teams have another team to go against. We spend time sharing materials and resources and doing lots of front end teacher prep to make sure everything is ready to go. This year we had over 10 schools involved from Iowa, Colorado, India, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Taiwan. Kansas and Michigan.

The first challenge was my new job has me outside of the school in which I used to work and host the debates. This provided unique challenges to find time to stay on top of all the details. It also proved difficult to stay connected with the day to day operations of the debate. By the end of October we were all setup and ready to go.

November, students started to record. Over the course of November all speakers recorded. This went smoothly for the most part as the teachers are dedicated and understand how important it is to stay on schedule. Once again, like many things in education, teachers deliver and knock it out of the park.

December our goal was to complete all judging. We always try to get all results back before the winter break. This year we ran into our biggest snag in four years doing this project. We had a teacher drop on us the week of judging. Just like that we lost 100 judges setting us back to score all 130 debates. Judging is critical as we like to use this for students to work on standards for listening, critical thinking, and communication. More importantly, it provides a bias free result.

We went into scramble mode. This is where the amazingness of people shine. This is where the unexpected learning comes together.

We had friends from Maryland, Texas, Indiana, Taiwan, Iowa, and more step in to offer help judging. Vicki Davis share a request in her newsletter which proves how wonderful she is always stepping in to help when she can.


Our new friends from Taiwan were AMAZING. Major shoutout to Thomas Williamson from Kachsung American School for not only helping, but providing very thorough feedback to the students with both written and oral feedback to students. This new friendship is going to take the project to the next level next year when we revamp and expand the project.

We had lawyers, stay at home parents, teachers, students, and more all step in and help at a time of year when everyone is super busy.

I cannot say THANK YOU enough. It warms my heart to watch people come together to help students. So much talk in education is negative and I wish more stories like this were shared to give credit to the teachers and people in the global community who are willing to do what it takes to keep learning going.

Despite not getting the results done before break I believe it was worth it.

  • Students are able to see the nature of people and goodwill in stepping in and helping them get feedback on their hard work.
  • Building new connections globally for a better version of this project
  • I had to step in and judge 30 debates and I was able to think of ways to push the thinking and learning for this project

In the end the results were very close. It came down to the negative side eeking out the victory in overall victories in a narrow 67-64 margin. 

If you want to learn more about the project you can check out our handbook. 

This handbook will be getting overhauled into a more professional look and feel and made available to all very soon. We are combing through it to align to standards, build in competency work, and just tighten up the flow to be better for everyone.

Additionally, we will be looking to move into more of the aspect of Revolution as a theme and not so specific to the American Revolution. As we expand our reach in this project it is time to open up the channels to have students explore the concept of Revolution vs. the time period of American Revolution.

In the end we made it. It was successful although taking longer than we all wanted. Once again I am reminded that teachers are amazing.

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4 Easy & Cheap Ways to Decorate 3D Prints

As I wrap up another successful class at my nonprofit 212 STEAM LABS, I wanted to share one final tip for your 3D prints. We have been spending time learning how to create using CAD with programs like Tinkercad and Vectary. We have moved into using Turtle Art to develop mathematical art designs to be 3D printed and cut out on vinyl.

One of the key pieces to understand when it comes to 3D printing is that the print is just a prototype. They are never designed to be a perfect looking finalized piece. However, with a bit of patience and an eye for detail you can take a simple one color print and make it look really nice.

I have created a short video explaining 4 ways to paint your prints using very cheap and simple materials.

Nail polish

Acrylic Paint

Spray Paint


These four methods work really well if you take your time and do it right. Be sure to let me know your other tricks of the trade so we can continue to refine our work to make it even better in the future.

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Christmas Logic Puzzles

Here are some Holiday Logic Puzzles to get you through to Winter Break. I am able to post these courtesy of the author: Marilynn Rapp Buxton, Retired K-6 g/t teacher


Logic Puzzles

If you need more, then here is my post from last year with more puzzles!

Christmas Puzzles, Riddles, Games and More to Survive the Week! 

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How I Organize Maker and STEAM Ideas from Twitter

During my Make Yourself Into a Maker PD Course, Educators Have Renewed My Faith In Education, I was asked how I organize all the tweets that have amazing ideas. I was discussing how Twitter is amazing at allowing us to beg, borrow, steal, and learn from so many amazing people who share their work.

I created a short little tutorial explaining how I use IFTTT + TweetDeck + Google Sheets = Maker Success

Enjoy and please share how you organize your ideas.

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Educators Have Renewed My Faith In Education

About a month ago I launched my first ever two day Make Yourself Into A Maker PD. I was nervous and scared as anyone is when you are in charge to lead the way to nudge people to make change for the better.

And at the end of those two days I was on cloud 9.

You can read about it here: Educators Can Make Engaging Learning If You Just Let Them! 

This past week I was lucky enough to run another session. And again I was nervous, but in a different way.

What if I don’t bring the same energy?

What if these educators are not as engaged as the first group?

What happens if this or that and all things in between?

I always find it challenging mentally when you repeat a learning opportunity that is on a scale like this workshop that covers two days, pulls educators from their learning spaces, and the pressure to make sure it delivers.

And all I can say after a few days after the workshop is WOW!

These educators blew my mind. They took the learning to a whole new level. I could not have been more impressed than what I witnessed during these two days.

Minor adjustments were made between the workshops to help make things flow better. We had an open PO to allow them to purchase what they needed. We played better music in the work zone. We provided more think time. We adjusted time slots to meet their needs. We had an amazing Show and Tell at the end.

What we kept was providing them time to tap into their ideas and enter the state of flow. We kept the culture and support to help them try new things. We kept the mindset that we can do it!

You can learn all about the workshop on the site. The major goal of the two days was to empower the educators to believe that they can make whatever they want. Through that we infused projects that could impact their classrooms and learning spaces. I believe that if we can empower the educators, then they will go back and empower their students.

Educators must feel supported. They must feel safe to try something new. They must know they are not alone in the work.

The workshop is designed to allow them to get to know one another. They must believe and feel that it is safe to try something new. It was amazing watching them help each other, share ideas, gather feedback, and basically become a support network for one another.

I was going to post all the projects in this post, but have decided to post them as separate posts each day because I believe they need to be highlighted accordingly.

I am excited about education again. After witnessing and experiencing some things recently in education that had me feel crummy about the state of education, these educators in this workshop reminded me that if we simply support them and allow them to do what they know is right all problems in education would be solved. I honestly believe that to my core. It is when we stifle their intelligence and ideas, crush them with negative culture, and drown them in practices that don’t work that the flame starts to burn out. Give educators oxygen and space and let them ignite their flame of passion.

All I can say is THANK YOU!

You know who you are!

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URGENT: International Debate Judge Help for Project Based Learning

Quick backstory.

Students from all over the US and India have been working since October on a debate over the topic: Is Revolution Justified?

Many of the students debate from the perspective of the American Revolution due to standard alignment. These are mostly 8th graders, but a few younger and older kids are mixed in over the course of over 800 students involved.

Students finished recording their debates in November right before Thanksgiving. We are now in the judging stage. Typically we have plenty of judges to provided feedback, but with a late last minute drop we are short judges.

THANK YOU to all of you who have stepped in to help debate. We are almost there. We just about have them completed. I have updated the debate team spreadsheet. All the ones highlighted in blue have the results posted via the Google Form.
If you know of any else who can judge or if you have students who can take another debate I would be so appreciative. I want to get these all judged before winter break as these kids have waited for close to three weeks for their results.
We are seeking help to get the rest of the debates judged. If you have a class of students who can help or if you can take one debate, then please let me know. I can help you get what you need.

Here is how it works

1. This link is a link to our teacher handbook which contains everything about the debate project. This will give you everything you need to understand more about the project.

2. This google doc has the teams that need judges. If you look at column E you will see all the teams that currently do not have a judge assigned to them.

Clarification: you will see three rows for the same debate. This is just for the debate teams to sort students.

Clarification 2: Please add your name to the debates you and/or your students will be judging so we know we have them all covered.

3. Please add your name to any of the debates that you can judge. Feel free to spread the word, have your students judge, etc. Typically we have students just to work on their standards on 21st century skills, but we will gladly take anyone. Even if you can only do one we will still take your help.

4. Part 7 of the handbook has all the information for judging where you can access the rubric/Google Form to submit your scoring.

Let me know if you have questions. Thank you so much.

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LEGO Ev3 Robotics – The Teacher Corner


LEGO Ev3 Robotics – The Teacher Corner

Are you interested in LEGO Mindstorms robotics, engineering, and computational thinking? Come along and learn how you could engage your students in the international FIRST LEGO League robotics competition, which involves over 228,000 students (aged 8-16) from nearly 80 countries!


FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an international STEM robotics competition  which involves over 228,000 students (aged 8-16) from nearly 80 countries. During the FLL season (Sept-Nov), students have just 8-10 weeks to research and design an innovative solution to a real world problem; program LEGO Mindstorm robots to complete robot game missions; and compete at a FLL tournament. They also uphold the FLL Core Values of coopertition and gracious professionalism. The challenge theme changes each year, and past themes have included finding solutions to problems faced by senior citizens, responding to natural disasters, and caring for animals.

Through participation in a FLL season or adapting it to your classroom needs, students and teachers/coaches will

  • Learn about pedagogical approaches & teaching resources available to support new LEGO robotics teachers, including resources created by FLL coaches and participating students.
  • Explore the STEM learning opportunities afforded by the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition, including students’ high-level research into a real world problem, public speaking opportunities, teamwork, and development of computational thinking.
  • Explore recommended approaches to coaching a FLL season, including advice on mission strategy, project management, the engineering design process, and core values activities.
  • Have the opportunity to learn how to program a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot.



ISTE Standards for Students


Knowledge Constructor

During the FLL competition, students are challenged to research and develop an innovative solution to a real world problem relating to the challenge theme (e.g. the interaction between humans and animals, caring for senior citizens, dealing with natural disasters). Students use digital tools to construct knowledge, sharing their solution with judges through a creative artifact and presentation.

Innovative Designer

Students use the engineering design process to build and program a competition robot, which must autonomously navigate the game field and complete missions based on real world problems. As part of this process, students must develop, test, and refine prototype programming and engineering solutions.

Computational Thinker

Students use computational thinking to break FLL challenges down into their component parts, using algorithmic thinking and problem solving strategies to find solutions to the robot game missions.

Getting Started

I have shared absolutely everything that we created for our 5 day/15 hour LEGO EV3 camp from this past summer. If you are looking for a progression of learning with multiple avenues of learning and opportunities to succeed, then this is for you. The site contains the flow for each day, rubrics, tutorials, example code, and more.

You can read about the philosophy behind the work here on the LEGO Engineering website.

Check it out and let me know if you have questions or better ideas


Perhaps you are looking to get started in FIRST LEGO League. I have also created a website to help you navigate the season. This site breaks the season down into what I believe are four parts to a season. I have included examples of our past work as the Robodogs. We have been fortunate enough to have great success in the past and I believe it is not because we have amazing kids, but because we have an approach that works.


If you need help with getting started with programming LEGO EV3, then I have a tutorial section here

I started a new series that will have new content coming to the blog soon, but here are a few more to help you start in EV3

LEGO EV3 Programming Tip: The Power of the Comment Block 

LEGO EV3 Programming Tip: Using Spaces 

LEGO EV3: Bluetooth Project – Windy City 

Google Hangout about LEGO EV3 and First LEGO League 

At ISTE 2017, I was able to interview all types of professionals and teachers on behalf of LEGO Education to discuss how LEGO EV3 has impacted the learning for students in the classroom and beyond. These people share some amazing insights.


Hack the Classroom

Class Hack 4: LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 with Aaron Maurer

In an exciting and ever-changing world, students need to develop the skills, the courage to innovate, and the freedom to create! Teachers looking to empower students, turning their natural curiosity into creative exploration, one of our partners, LEGO® Education has worked to develop their solutions as an instant engagement tool. Watch how Aaron Maurer, STEM Lead for the Mississippi Bend A.E.A., shares his teacher hack to inspire his students

LEGO EV3 Courses Microsoft Education website

Become a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 expert with our series of three courses

LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 – Getting Started

LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 – In the Classroom


Supporting Research

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#maker9 Creative Challenge 1: 30 Circles


Your Challenge

Your task is to use the provided template of 30 circles and fill them all in with creative designs. Use any medium you wish – Sharpie, pencil, pen, crayons, etc.

Have fun and go crazy!

30 Circles Template

Share Your Work

Share you work in our Google Photo album for this project

Share using hashtag #maker9

Facebook Group –

Make Yourself Into a Maker Website

Taking It Further

  1. How can you use this activity in your learning space?
  2. If you use with students, then please post how it worked and some examples




***This idea was adapted from an online course by Creative Live 28 to Make***

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