#StuCamp: Not Just An Event, But A Movement

We are four days away from #StuCamp. I am pumped up ready to watch students develop their voice and prepare to make change. I am not going to lie I am also a bit nervous!
Here is a brief rundown of events for Saturday for the Bettendorf location. Hopefully this will give you a better sense of what is coming your way so you can make final plans. Let me know if you have questions.

8:30 – 9:00 – Registration opens up. We will provide breakfast items to eat while we register, meet everyone, and get things settled for the event. We will have donuts, cinnamon rolls, breakfast pizza, juice, coffee, and water. What more could you ask for?

9:00 – 9:30 Opening of #StuCamp and develop breakout sessions for the day

9:40 – 10:20 Session 1 of breakouts. Find the session you want to attend and head that way.

10:20 – 10:30 Break to post up learning in cafeteria. We will have post it notes for students to add new ideas.

10:30 – 11:10 – Session 2 of breakouts

11:10 – 11:30 – Gallery walk of sessions in cafeteria. Share key ideas from each session. Time to connect.

11:30 – 12:00 – Closing of StuCamp and announcement for next steps.

We are super excited for the day and hope you are too! We will be using the hashtag #stucamp all day long to share our learning with the other location along with the world. It might be good to create a Twitter account if you would like to share your learning.

Last I have a little pre #StuCamp challenge if interested: http://coffeeforthebrain.com/stucamp-pre-event-challenge-are-you-game/

Here is something else I wrote last week http://coffeeforthebrain.com/stucamp-is-one-week-away/

There is still time to register! Head to http://www.stucamp.org/ and be sure to register. 

Be ready to make a difference.

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Classroom 2.0 Live Featured Teacher Presentation and Reflection on Student Voice, STEM, Teacher Tinker Time, and Pushing Boundaries

Saturday, May 17th I had the honor to be a featured teacher for Classroom 2.o.

It has been a while since I presented online. I did not want to have a boring presentation and wanted to cram as much in as I could.

I loved this chat. I loved that two of my students came online to speak. I left this open for any of my students who I work with to jump in. It is just another sign of the amazing student voice that we have developing in our school. I tried to convey not just student voice through action and in a general situation, but also through STEM activities. I wanted to showcase that student voice can look different based on the students and how you operate in your school.

Reflecting back I think the chat went well. I hope it provided benefit for others. As I continued to talk I was getting all fired up with my passion for student voice, play, tinkering, and just challenging ourselves to be better. I wish I had more time as an hour flies by when you get going.

If you have questions or want to know more about what I shared please reach out to me.

I plan on sharing out product descriptions, material lists, costs, etc. on all the projects I shared. I have some new ideas that generated from this presentation and will be sharing those soon.

Thanks to all who listened and joined. Thanks to my two awesome students who jumped in. This won’t be the last that we hear from them.

Here is a description of the presentation

We are so excited to have Aaron to help us wind down the school year and ramp up our motivation as our awesome May Featured Teacher! Aaron Maurer, known as Coffeechug, is a former gifted education teacher for Bettendorf Middle School in Iowa and is currently an Instructional Coach for the district. He was also a 6th grade social studies and literacy teacher prior to that. But his day doesn’t end there…after school he is a First Lego League Robotics coach, boys/girls basketball coach, and runs intramural football for 6th grade. Aaron was an Iowa Teacher of the Year Finalist for 2014 and is a member of the LEGO Education Advisory Panel. He advocates and operates several global projects and communications with students all over the world.

Aaron  and his students shared some of the amazing things he is doing with his students and teachers and three of his many passions: (1) STEM and the Power of Play, Tinkering, and Coding (including things beyond curriculum with after school programs, bringing students in to tinker and develop, and some of his current projects with robotics, Arduino, and Young Engineers of Today); (2) Student Voice, his heart and soul, where students are part of project tunings, and a student group called Iowa High Five (a group of students whose mission is to educate and inspire youth to reach their full potential as leaders) and (3) PBL which is being implemented school-wide in his middle school of 1100 students that incorporates a process called project tunings.

Recording (full): https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/jwsdetect/playback.jnlp?psid=2014-05-17.0906.M.ACE02B5F35AA7E7975F015AAC6F794.vcr&sid=2008350

Tiny URL for Recording: http://hnyctt.me/cr20live-AaronMaurerFeaturedTeacher-5-17-14

Recording Chat: http://wiki.classroom20.com/May17_2014

Here is a list of all resources shared and discussed


Here is an archive of the presentation


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National Honor Society Speech: So What?


Never in my life have I put so much time into one 13 minute moment in my life. Last night I presented my first speech of my life. I wanted to really deliver because I had the chance to speak to students and not just any students, but some really amazing students.

I did not want to give the regular jargon that you hear every speaker always give. I wanted to give them something to think about.

I was beyond nervous. Right before I was introduced I thought my heart was going to blast through my chest.

I recorded this speech using my GoPro camera. I did not want it to look obvious so I placed the camera on the podium so it would not be viewable. The result is a really bad angle, but it will at least allow you to gain a sense of my message as the audio turned out well. I recorded the speech so I could reflect and break down how I performed.

I just wanted to share it here in the hopes that it possibly inspires others.

I hope you enjoy and always am open for feedback.

On a side note, I have to mention that it was so fabulous to connect with some of these students. I have not seen some of them since their middle school days. It is so cool to see them growing up, mature, and preparing for the next phase of their life. I wish I had more time to talk to them all. In speaking with some of them we started sharing stories and it was a great reminder that it is not about the content we teach, but in the way we teach our content that forms relationships and establish a bond where they know you care for them. Besides one story I don’t believe one memory dealt with a single assignment, test, or project. It was a good reminder that it is so vital to show students that we really care for them.

It was a great night and I am still beyond honored that I was asked to speak. I feel quite blessed to work with so many amazing students and staff.


Aaron Maurer


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