Mystery Box Item #7 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Wow! We are pushing out some amazing content. The work being shared in our Slack group you would be so impressed. The insights. The creativity. The momentum of what could be implemented into a classroom is remarkable.

Today we bring you another challenge. This one is another good one that I cannot wait to see what people do with the material and challenge.

Best of luck.

And remember, don’t be bashful. Share those ideas on Slack. Share on social media using #coffeepbl

The world needs to see you amazing skills and insights.

Here is your video featuring David Brandon, Principal for Kenwood Leadership Academy in Cedar Rapids, IA

 

Previous Challenges

Mystery Box Item #6 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

Mystery Box Item #5 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

Mystery Item Remix Challenge – Can you play like a child? 

Mystery Box Item #4 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

Mystery Box Item #3 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Mystery Box #2 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Mystery Box #1 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

 

 

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Mystery Box Item #6 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Here is your challenge today. I think you will love this one. I had a blast doing this and my kids are pretty pumped to do this today as well. I cannot wait to see what you come up with for this challenge!

Watch the video and put on those imagination caps!

Challenge

  1. Make a monster using any medium you want(watch the video!)
  2. Create a short 100 word story about your monster
  3. What did you learn from this challenge that can be applied to your classroom?

 

Resources

Daily Monsters Website

Watch this video to see how he makes his monsters come alive! Very cool to watch

100 Days Of Monsters (with DVD) by Stefan G. Bucher 

Previous Challenges

Mystery Box Item #5 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

 

Mystery Item Remix Challenge – Can you play like a child? 

Mystery Box Item #4 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

Mystery Box Item #3 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Mystery Box #2 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Mystery Box #1 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

 

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Mystery Box Item #5 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Today I am excited to present mystery item #5. We have another amazing guest to help you get your creative juices flowing.

You will love this one(Actually, I hope you love them all). If you have not heard of Krissy Venosdale, then you need to build your PLN and bring her into your network because she is AMAZING!

Best of luck in your creative spirit today. Post your work on our Slack channel where we are sharing our ideas and building out projects for our upcoming year. You can also share on social media using #coffeepbl hashtag.

Don’t hide your work. Be proud. Be brave. Be the change that embraces our creative talents!

If you missed the previous Creativity Challenges, then look no farther!

Here are the four challenges from last week. Enjoy!

Mystery Item Remix Challenge – Can you play like a child? 

Mystery Box Item #4 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

Mystery Box Item #3 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Mystery Box #2 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Mystery Box #1 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

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Can you play like a child?

Mystery Box Item REMIX Teacher Creativity Challenge

Before we launch our new creativity challenges 5-10 I wanted to provide a quick little challenge. This idea came to me this weekend while I have been cleaning our house disposing of so much “unnecessary” and focusing on things that matter.

When I was hanging out with my daughters I was watching them be……..kids.

My daughters are obsessed with slime. We have gone through at least 3 gallons of glue and various other ingredients this summer alone. Despite creating major messes and leaving slime debris everywhere I witnessed something amazing.

They ran out of glue. Glue is the fundamental ingredient to slime. What were they going to do?

What they did not do was not give up. They started mixing new ingredients. They started watching videos on YouTube. They started to assemble ingredients and make new concoctions. They started to work with what they had around them.

They were stuck within a box and worked to come up with ingenious new ideas from the parameters given to them.

I could not help but think that this is indeed the challenge of life. The challenge of educators. As I work with teachers in my Deeper Learning class as well as the teachers I work with online over the summer who need help I realize this is the challenge we all face.

We all face our own box that we are placed in. We have our own unique constraints and parameters that we are dealing with when it comes to our classroom. However, watching my daughters play I realized that as adults we are our own worst enemy. I challenge you to think like a child. Look at your situation. How can you make do with what you want to accomplish? How can you change your perspective to view that what you have is enough? How can you take ideas and objects that you already have and make something new that is beautiful?

Here is my little attempt to live by my words. I took the four mystery items(links below) we have been exploring this past week and challenged myself to remix the items to create something new. I wanted to put my child thinking cap on and just play. I tried to remove my fear of failure. I tried to remove my thoughts of doubt. I tried to avoid what we all fall prey to – the anticipation of failure. I just explored and played.

Here is what I came up with.

Step 1: I took my jar of Play-Doh(the best $25 bucks I spent all summer!) and pressed a LEGO minifig into the ball of Play-Doh.

Step 2: I took a box of crayons from a big package of crayons(don’t you just love the smell of crayons), peeled the paper off of one crayon. I then broke it up and placed it in the Play-Doh container and placed it in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes until the crayon melted. From there I poured the melted crayon in the Play-Doh mold.

Step 3: I let it sit and cool. I lacked patience and spilled the melted crayon and had problems pulling it out of the Play-Doh. Give it time. Don’t rush this step!

Step 4: Enjoy your new customized crayon! I can now color with my new minifig crayon.

We learned a great deal. We struggled learning how to melt a crayon properly. We had some bad molds until we learned how to slow down and be patience with our work. In the end we had a new fun project. We just played. We just explored.

What can you create with your remix ideas? This is my challenge to you.

Can you go back and think and play like a child? I sure hope so.

Here are the four challenges from last week. Enjoy!

Mystery Box Item #4 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

Mystery Box Item #3 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Mystery Box #2 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Mystery Box #1 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

I hope you have fun and look forward to you joining us for the next set of items coming soon!

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Mystery Box Item #4 Teacher Creativity Challenge

In today’s video we have many levels of learning

  • How to adapt on the fly when things don’t work
  • Finding genius at all ages
  • The power of community to make things happen
  • Pushing our creativity to new levels

Today we bring you item #4 (even though it is labeled #3). This one I found to be challenging as I was exposed to a skillset I lack, but for some of you this might prove to be easy peasy mac and cheesy.

Here is the video to watch

This document will provide you with an overview of the challenge as well as some additional resources.

We will break for the weekend to allow everyone to catch up and will resume with more challenges on Monday.

Here are the previous ones if you still want to join and participate.

Mystery Box Item #3 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Mystery Box #2 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Mystery Box #1 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

I am running this as part of a Deeper Learning in the Classroom through Projects course. We are sharing and connecting online via Slack. If you would like to join the network and share and discuss ideas please send me an email so I can invite you.

This document provides a general overview of the challenge.

Please share your designs online with the #coffeepbl hashtag. Get your kids involved and we cannot wait to see your build and ideas.

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Mystery Box Item #3 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Today we bring you item #3. The work created so far from items 1 and 2 have been remarkable and I cannot wait to see what you come up with for the challenge today.

I know what you are thinking….. the title says 3, but the item says 4. We had a video issue so we are switching ideas, but no worries as it is all good. If you are playing from home, then it does not mess with you at all.

Here is the video for today and I know you will love this one and not just because my wife is awesome!

How can you use this item in the classroom? Think about some unique ways in which this item might be used to enhance learning. And yes, you can dig around online if you can’t think of anything on your own! 

If you missed the previous two, then check the links below and join in the fun. This is not school with deadlines! Just don’t lose out on the sharing and interactions with one another.

Mystery Box #2 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Mystery Box #1 Teacher Creativity Challenge 

I am running this as part of a Deeper Learning in the Classroom through Projects course. We are sharing and connecting online via Slack. If you would like to join the network and share and discuss ideas please send me an email so I can invite you.

This document provides a general overview of the challenge.

Please share your designs online with the #coffeepbl hashtag. Get your kids involved and we cannot wait to see your build and ideas.

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Mystery Box #2 Teacher Creativity Challenge

Today we release mystery item #2 for teachers in my class as well as anyone playing along from home. We bring you a new challenge that I am sure you will enjoy.

Don’t forget that you can do these challenges with your kids at home as well. Make it a creative bonding experience.

If you missed item 1 be sure to check it out. I promise that you have almost all of these items at home and if not they are very cheap to find.

Last, don’t forget to share with the world your creation using the #coffeepbl hashtag. You can also leave a comment to this blog or if you want to join our Slack channel and share with us simply provide me your email.

Don’t be bashful! Stretch your wings of creativity and have some fun learning and reflecting this summer.

This document provides a general overview of the challenge

Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will. Jawaharlal Nehru

Here is your challenge #2. Make it awesome!

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Mystery Box #1 Teacher Creativity Challenge

I am running a summer PD for teachers to help them rethink their classroom and projects. The class is called Building Deeper Learning in the Classroom through Projects. We have already completed our first day of learning and in between classes we have two weeks to give them time to work and edit their projects. During this break I have worked with some amazing educators from around the world to provide them something fun, creative, and applicable to their teacher.

At the end of the day 1 they received a bag full of 9 mystery items. Each day during the weeks we spend apart they will receive a video on Slack that will tell them when to unwrap, what to do with the item, and then how to apply it to the classroom.

While I cannot give everyone a mystery bag outside of the class, I thought it would be fun to share with the world in hopes that some of you join us from home. The items are cheap and easy to find. The more I thought about it I began to think that I wanted everyone to share and be part of the journey whether in the class or not.

It is good to keep our brain cells active.

So besides sharing on our Slack group each day I will also post the challenges here on the blog in case you want to join us from home. If you would like to join our Slack group please message me and I will add you as well. We will be developing our projects and helping one another in this space and will gladly add as many experts as I can!

Below is the information for day 1. If you join please use the #coffeepbl on social media.

I hope some of you will join us to strengthen the tribe.

Mystery Box #1: Enjoy! Watch the video first before checking the document.

Video

Document

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Treat People Right

Lessons learned from my time at PITSCO

A simple concept. When I had a chance to visit PITSCO Education I did not realized the treat I was in for. In the town of Pittsburg, Kansas there is a company that understands culture. They understand what it takes to find people who are proud of their work. They understand the importance of creating a sense of family in the workplace. This was clear the minute I checked into the hotel to have a little gift box from PITSCO welcoming me on my trip.

When I finally arrived on the campus I was met by Nancy Peterson. She is someone who I admire so much over my years of knowing her. She has provided me countless advice, ideas, and book suggestions. I was given a tour by the president, Lisa Paterni. I had a chance to meet the owner Harvey Dean. Each and every single person I came across treated me like I was one of their own. Nobody was too good to speak to me. Nobody is too good to not do any of the work in any of the buildings when needed. I had the chance to hang out with VP Matt Frankenbery for several hours to help me understand my vision, STEM education, and how to fit all the pieces together. I could go on and on with each person I met, but in every single case I was blown away by their treatment of me and their interest in me as a person.

This matters. It matters so much that I started to think about why we always gloss over this element when we try to figure out how to improve schools.

I kept thinking over and over again how many times we act like we are better than others? Maybe not intentionally, but it happens. I felt like I belonged. I was able to walk through all of their buildings. I walked from corporate to packaging, to R&D, to where they print materials, to the marketing wing. I spoke to the IT department and everyone else in between. In every single case, the people were genuine. The people cared about their work. They were proud and wanted me to know.

This type of culture does not happen overnight. There is not a book you can buy to replicate. It once again comes down to a few things.

  1. Believing in the cause
  2. Making sure your actions speak louder than you words
  3. Treat people right
  4. Love your job

These four things are hard to do. Many people can probably claim one or two, but not all four.

I left the tour of the space understanding that the words I write, the ideas I think, and the vision I want to craft for my own non-profit can happen. I witnessed it. I was able to see that as I develop and grow the vision I can create the culture that I want by

  1. Leading by action
  2. Learning to say NO
  3. Understanding when not fall prey to easy short term gains that sacrifice the long term vision
  4. Find people who believe in the cause just as much as I do
  5. Work really damn hard

You can do the same. You can be the catalyst of change that does not give up and become part of a toxic culture. You can choose how you treat others and how you approach your work. If starting fresh, then you have a clean plate that you can fill up with greatness. No matter your situation you can begin to develop the culture that we all know we want to work in by taking a step forward and leading with our actions. Don’t lose sight of this when you have a bad day or you are tired. You must fight through it and keep your eyes on the prize.

On my second day of visiting the PITSCO Education operation I was able to get a tour of the manufacturing plant. This is like a makerspace on steroids that delivers real world products. I was once again so impressed by the passion people have for their work. What is amazing to me is that every single person I talked to wanted to provide the history of the building, of the company, of the owner, and how connected they are to the operation. There are over 25 employees who have worked at PITSCO for over 25 years which is amazing considering how small of an operation the company is in size.

I asked each person who I met(I met a lot of people) what they loved about working at PITSCO and almost every single person provided the same answer with the same reasons

  1. The company cares about them as a person.
  2. Working at PITSCO feels like family.
  3. Every single day is a new challenge and not like the day before.
  4. There are very high expectations that they must meet, but when they do they are appreciated.

Is this not the ingredients for anyone who wants to feel fulfilled in their work? How many of us would love to have a workplace like this? I know I would.

The thing about it all is that I felt like I belonged and I don’t even work there. I felt like I was part of the family. People were so interested in my thoughts. They were invested in my family. It was everything that I could think of when I imagine the culture I want to create and work in.

Nothing felt fake. There was a sense of pride that I have not seen in many places. There was nothing fancy as everything was about the product quality and treatment of each other and the customers. I was curiuos as to how they make this culture happens and one story brings it all together.

When I was touring the manufacturing plant and checking out all the awesome equipment they have(like the machine that uses electrons to spread aluminum on plastic wheels in this vacuum apparatus) I was amazed by how it all comes together. We were watching the creation of furniture and it was shared with me that the guys don’t just sit on the assembly line all day. Once the product is created, packaged and ready for delivery the trucks head out on a Friday. The crew who assembles the furniture in the plant are then asked to travel on Sunday to the location of the order to build it all out for the school. The workers don’t just sit all day doing the same things, but they are able to see the fruits of their labor. They are able to see the impact they are making in their work. They are able to understand how important their work is to the education of the students who will be using their products.

This is awesome. This shows people care. I love it.

As an educator who has very little sense of the business world and how things come together I was blown away by what it takes to bring a product to a school. As a person in school I see the catalog, the online social media sharing, and the products when they arrive. I had no idea what it takes to design, test, prep, package, deliver, and ensure all standards are met. PITSCO does just about everything in house which goes against what most companies do. But it works for them.

In the end, I learned a great deal. I learned how important it is to have a vision and to stay true to the vision. I was reminded about the importance of the treatment of people. We have to treat people right to allow the proper mindset to develop in which then allows people to feel valued enough to believe in the vision as well.

I hope one day that the work I am developing takes off and I can create a similar culture and return the favor to others by having them experience something similar to what I was able learn from these few days. This might have been one of the most inspiring and insightful moments of my learning career and am so thankful to have had the chance to have this opportunity.

If you need to understand culture, then I would look no further than PITSCO Education.

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Treat People Right

ISTE Reflection Part 1

 

I am finally able to get words from my jumbled brain onto the blog from my first trip to ISTE. I am going to have to break things up in parts for it all to make sense so please bear with me.

Three and one half days of ISTE 2017 changes you. This conference was my first experience of a complete ISTE and I now realize why we people from all over the world come together to this conference. It is a transformational experiences that brings together people who have such synergy that could literally change the face of education for the better.

The things I have learned all come down to a few essential truths.

  1. Treat people right
  2. Don’t be fake
  3. Never stop learning

As much as these all seem to be ideas that have been discussed at great length in many books, podcast, tv, movies, and more, they are all essential to impacting education and making the necessary changes.

Often times what sets back the learning for students and teachers is not a lack of materials or resources, but a culture of toxicity where we don’t treat people right, therefore leading to situations where:

  1. Educators don’t celebrate excellence because of ridicule
  2. Educators look for the bad in students and trying to catch them in the wrong act instead of praising the good acts because this is what happens to them
  3. Educators feeling like they have no more to learn as they know all they need to learn or there is a fear of learning because it is not worth the risk to try something new
  4. Educators feeling not supported by leaders in their building/district

Everyone I talked to at ISTE was full of passion and pride for their work. It was contagious. You just catch the bug and spend the whole time recharging your battery as you embrace the passion of others.

Something I want to figure out is to learn how to create the culture of ISTE where there is celebration of learning while also actively challenging ideas and bring that back to school districts.

It is amazing how the Golden Rule once again comes back around to the essence of all things. So simple and yet so hard for many to do.

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