210-710-2434
210-710-2434
08 Aug 2018
Comments: 0

Values Sort Activity for Students

UPDATED 4/2021:

This is probably my favorite activity to do. I engage it in at least twice a year personally and professionally. Here is my most recent example. AND there are so many curricular extensions too…

Context and Clarification to the Values and Goal-Setting Activities

I think it is always important to start with the why of an activity so here are a few nuggets to ruminate on:

  • College and Career Readiness Skills: Working at a high school, college and career readiness skills are naturally at the forefront of my mind and personal and academic goal-setting is an important part of that process. If values are not at the foundation, the goals tend to fall by the wayside because they are not intrinsic to who they are and what they value.
  • Social Emotional Learning and Mental Health: SEL skills and mental health are even more imperative than before. And being able to narrow your focus and really understand yourself at your core in every season of your life is truly an opportunity we don’t provide enough to ourselves or our students.
  • Research and Real Life: When I was doing research for both of my school and life-ready books Cultivating Communication in the Classroom and Creatively Productive, I ventured out into reading books and collecting anecdata from entrepreneurs, life coaches, successful business owners, etc… and while each definitely highlighted the need for goal-setting… all of them were firmly rooted in the process of deciphering your values first.

Explanation of Values Activity and Documents

As of lately, I have been trying to create resources that are accessible and editable. While there are many activities online that are values audits, very few of them are editable or anything more than a list, which is fine, but I wanted this activity to be fun and engaging too. And I think by making it feel like poetry magnets, it also adds a tactile sort of component to the process. I also wanted to make it editable so students or teachers could add the core set of values they wanted to start sorting rather than use a default list. Both the Numbers and Google Slides versions can be found in the Doc Locker below.

  • Numbers: The Numbers version is editable and designed for MacBook, iPad, and iPhone. It is pretty simplistic in nature as I really wanted you and your students to have the opportunity to modify it as you see fit.
  • Google Slides: The Google Slides version is editable and strongly resembles the poetry magnet activities Edutech for Teachers and Shake Up Learning and Free Tech for Teachers create with Google Slides and/or Google Jamboard. 
  • Additional Resources: I also wanted to provide you with some additional tools. Please know that because these have been created by other people, the values themselves may not be editable and you may come across a few that you feel are not age-appropriate. That being said… they are still great resources to explore.
    • PDF: So I didn’t create my own PDF for you but there are plenty out there and I did link to them for you here.
    • Online: I also found some online versions if you want to play around with them:
  • OMT – Curricular Extensions: I absolutely love creative writing SO I wanted to mention that this activity could also be turned into a values audit for a historical figure or a literary character. One could also reverse this activity and use it in conjunction with a digital wellness or digital citizenship lesson and have students examine a social media feed (e.g. personal, professional, political, business, etc…) and evaluate the values of that person or entity based on what they share.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

Receive Access to the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker

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18 Apr 2018
Comments: 0

8+ Creative Ways to Use to Old Library Cards

UPDATED 4/2021:

As you well know, I love books, art supplies, and journaling. Recently, I started offering a session called “Notable Note-taking”. It is a mash-up of bullet journaling and a reader/writer’s notebook and I blend both analog and digital tools. One of my favorite analog tools is the library card. In the art journaling and mixed media realm and on etsy, this little gem is quite the hot commodity. In fact Heidi Pitri has just published a book entitled Permanent Record using this kickstarter campaign that features artfully embellished ones. She refers to these cards as “borrower cards” or “signature cards” and has created original pen and ink drawings on these cards from classic titles and authors. Check her out on Instagram @heidipitreart to see multiple examples. Oftentimes these library cards are referred to as ephemera (e.g. collectible memorabilia). And if you have a few hours, search “ephemera” on etsy. You will discover 280,000+ results. And a search on etsy of “library cards” provides well over 12,000+ results.

Let’s Love on these Library Cards…

So… I thought I would share some ideas for using these library cards in the classroom… The idea would be to let students choose a card that speaks to them by the title alone and then…

  • Compose a poem
  • Generate a list
  • Create a list of suggested books someone would like if they chose this book (like Amazon)
  • Compose a soundtrack for the book
  • Jot down the first and last sentence of the book
  • Determine what questions this book answers
  • Chart out the chapters this book would include
  • Draft the cover of the book
  • Imagine who would check out this book (e.g. current, historical, literary, fictional)

And here are a few examples of how I have used them in the past in my own journal:

Truly, the sky is the limit for these and how they are used. And remember these can be app smashed with pretty much any tool to create something really amazing. Oh wait… I think I gave away the next part…. 😉

Let Me at those Library Cards

Of course the problem with these signature or library cards is that they are indeed ephemera and at some point, they will run out… so I decided to scan 50 or so of my favorites and upload them to the Creatively Productive doc locker (which you can access below). The beauty of making them digital is that we will have them preserved forever AND now they can be mixed with digital elements. They can be annotated in apps like Notability, collaged and embellished in apps like Pic Collage, and augmented in Thinglink. I hope you enjoy.

Literally Ephemera is Legit

I really try. But I am literally incapable of ending a blog post without leaving you with just a bit more… If you like this idea of ephemera and creative writing, let’s take a quick jaunt. I have curated two Pinterest boards of digital ephemera goodies here (Fuzzimo and Ephemera). These should be FREE downloads of digitally scanned in goods and papers. And if you are like me and want to wholeheartedly tumble down the rabbit hole, I will leave you with some other sites to soften the blow. 😉 These little analog… now digital gems are perfect for visual research papers and assignments as well as some pretty stellar creative writing projects too.

  • The Ephemera Society: They include an item of the month with a description and sometimes historical relevance.
  • Inspired Barn: There are many freebies on this site. Some of my favorites are the book covers and vintage mail.
  • Clearly Vintage: Also fantastic. I love that she shares pictures with descriptions.
  • New York Public Library Digital Collection: They have a ton of public domain vintage images ranging from maps and illustrations to photos and scrapbooks.

Sometimes I share fully baked ideas and sometimes I like to provide all the ingredients and see what you cook up. In this case, I have opted for the latter. Dig into these digital goods and consider how these historical artifacts can and should impact and inform our current art, writing, research, storytelling, and ideas.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

Receive Access to the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker

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26 Oct 2015
Comments: 0

Curations and Creations

Curations and Creations

TechChef loves to craft and concoct curations and creations. To ensure a full service menu, all links are posted above.

 

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15 Jan 2020
Comments: 0

Tracking What Matters

SESSION DESCRIPTION

This session levels up reader’s notebooks by infusing ideas from the planner, bookbento, and bullet journal world to provide engaging strategies to make the reader’s notebook an authentic tool for the present and future. Starting with assessing values for goal-setting and then delving into how to develop healthy habits using habit trackers that can track study and personal habits, mood, sleep, productivity, mental health and more, the reader’s notebook truly becomes a lifelong learner’s notebook.

SLIDE DECK

RESOURCES

ANALOG SUPPLY LIST

DIGITAL SUPPLY LIST

GOODIES & FREEBIES

Want MORE ideas for Reader’s Notebooks? Check out Creatively Productive book and the resources on the companion site as well as the Creatively Productive boards with additional resources on all of these topics. You can also preview a chapter before you buy. 😉

I should also mention that I have lots of FREE trackers and templates that could be printed and put in a reader’s notebook. They can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive a link shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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17 Feb 2019
Comments: 0

Creatively Productive

Creatively Productive RESOURCES

Below are resources mentioned in each of the chapters. For access to additional Creatively Productive digital downloads (e.g. companion journal, more habit trackers, editable reading trackers, a weekly planning sheet, custom desktop organization wallpaper, etc…), use the sign-up form below to get the passcode to the Digital Doc Locker site.

Chapter 1

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Creatively Productive PRAISE and PRESS

CREATIVELY PRODUCTIVE AMULETS FOR EACH CHAPTER

These are individual images that can be used in conjunction with the Awesome Amulet checklist at the end of each chapter to badge students or staff.

There is also a template that can be used in conjunction with an Avery 22805 label to be print badges.


18 Apr 2018
Comments: 0

8+ Creative Ways to Use to Old Library Cards

UPDATED 4/2021:

As you well know, I love books, art supplies, and journaling. Recently, I started offering a session called “Notable Note-taking”. It is a mash-up of bullet journaling and a reader/writer’s notebook and I blend both analog and digital tools. One of my favorite analog tools is the library card. In the art journaling and mixed media realm and on etsy, this little gem is quite the hot commodity. In fact Heidi Pitri has just published a book entitled Permanent Record using this kickstarter campaign that features artfully embellished ones. She refers to these cards as “borrower cards” or “signature cards” and has created original pen and ink drawings on these cards from classic titles and authors. Check her out on Instagram @heidipitreart to see multiple examples. Oftentimes these library cards are referred to as ephemera (e.g. collectible memorabilia). And if you have a few hours, search “ephemera” on etsy. You will discover 280,000+ results. And a search on etsy of “library cards” provides well over 12,000+ results.

Let’s Love on these Library Cards…

So… I thought I would share some ideas for using these library cards in the classroom… The idea would be to let students choose a card that speaks to them by the title alone and then…

  • Compose a poem
  • Generate a list
  • Create a list of suggested books someone would like if they chose this book (like Amazon)
  • Compose a soundtrack for the book
  • Jot down the first and last sentence of the book
  • Determine what questions this book answers
  • Chart out the chapters this book would include
  • Draft the cover of the book
  • Imagine who would check out this book (e.g. current, historical, literary, fictional)

And here are a few examples of how I have used them in the past in my own journal:

Truly, the sky is the limit for these and how they are used. And remember these can be app smashed with pretty much any tool to create something really amazing. Oh wait… I think I gave away the next part…. 😉

Let Me at those Library Cards

Of course the problem with these signature or library cards is that they are indeed ephemera and at some point, they will run out… so I decided to scan 50 or so of my favorites and upload them to the Creatively Productive doc locker (which you can access below). The beauty of making them digital is that we will have them preserved forever AND now they can be mixed with digital elements. They can be annotated in apps like Notability, collaged and embellished in apps like Pic Collage, and augmented in Thinglink. I hope you enjoy.

Literally Ephemera is Legit

I really try. But I am literally incapable of ending a blog post without leaving you with just a bit more… If you like this idea of ephemera and creative writing, let’s take a quick jaunt. I have curated two Pinterest boards of digital ephemera goodies here (Fuzzimo and Ephemera). These should be FREE downloads of digitally scanned in goods and papers. And if you are like me and want to wholeheartedly tumble down the rabbit hole, I will leave you with some other sites to soften the blow. 😉 These little analog… now digital gems are perfect for visual research papers and assignments as well as some pretty stellar creative writing projects too.

  • The Ephemera Society: They include an item of the month with a description and sometimes historical relevance.
  • Inspired Barn: There are many freebies on this site. Some of my favorites are the book covers and vintage mail.
  • Clearly Vintage: Also fantastic. I love that she shares pictures with descriptions.
  • New York Public Library Digital Collection: They have a ton of public domain vintage images ranging from maps and illustrations to photos and scrapbooks.

Sometimes I share fully baked ideas and sometimes I like to provide all the ingredients and see what you cook up. In this case, I have opted for the latter. Dig into these digital goods and consider how these historical artifacts can and should impact and inform our current art, writing, research, storytelling, and ideas.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

Receive Access to the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker

* indicates required

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24 Mar 2018
Comments: 0

Notable Note-taking

 

Session Description

I’m just a normal girl. That sank when I went digital. My notes need to be paper. No Evernote… #scrapnotes rule. Without washi tape and Papermate pens… I can’t remember a darn thing. Maybe notes could be Instagrammed. Like to share and inspire away. Do you lose things in Evernote and Google Docs? Do you lament when you can’t sketch note with actual pens, paper, and washi tape? Do you need a better way to organize your thoughts, ideas, book summaries, and notes? Then this session is for you. Let’s go analog and learn how to life and productivity hack your note-taking practices. But wait… there’s more.. you can take the analog and digitize it too…! Bring your pens, paper, and iPad and dive in to the world of notable note-taking

📲Entrance Ticket

📄Note-taking Templates and Goodies

[gview file=”https://secureservercdn.net/72.167.242.48/p63.bf9.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Notable-Note-taking_TCEA19.pdf”]

📊Lecture and Professional Development Note-taking

📓Reflection and Journaling Note-taking

📗Reading and Reader’s Notebooks Note-taking

💼Additional Resources

Prof. Dev. for Students: This series includes a variety of topics and formats. Many of the posts also include FREE downloads of guides and templates.

5 Strategies to Deliver PD to Students

iPad Base Camps for Students

Note-taking Skills for Students 

Presentation Skills for Students

Managing their Digital Lives: Tips for Students

Lunch and Learns for Students

Bullet Journaling for Students

 

 

 

 

Note-taking for Professionals: This series is still being written… It starts out with my process for taking analog notes and how I make those interactive and includes a post on supplies as well as some of the current trends in the bullet journal world.

#ScrapNotes 1: How to Begin Your Journey Down the Rabbit Hole (101)

#ScrapNotes 2: The Complete Guide to Book Summaries (102)

#ScrapNotes 3: The Complete Guide to PD Note-Taking (103)

#ScrapNotes 4: The Savvy Supply List (104)

#ScrapNotes 5: The Complete Guide to Analog Inspirations (105)

#ScrapNotes 6: The Complete Guide to Bullet Journaling, Planning, and Visual Notes for Educators

18 Awesome Analog Things to Try in 2018

Riveting Reads and What to Do with Them

 



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08 Dec 2017
Comments: 1

18+ Books Everyone Should Read in 2018

I recently created an Amazon recommendations page for books and office supplies. For some reason it reminded me of a post I wrote on “Amazon Literacy” back in 2015. One of the things I mentioned in that post was the idea of trust and curation. Mark Cuban, on an episode of Shark Tank, makes the statement, “I think trusted curation is the future”. And I hope that in the last seven and a half years I have proved myself to be a trustworthy voice in the edusphere. While most of my blog posts and resources focus on iPads in education, summaries of professional development, and most recently note-taking and how to teach students college and career ready communication skills, I have a few avenues of interest that I haven’t really shared (on this blog) as of late… professional development reads and office supplies… which I share ad nauseam on my new Instagram account NoteChef4u. 😉 Whilst I was doing some bullet journaling, I decided to make a list of books that I read in 2017. That led me to the realization that I was one book short of 17… which was quickly remedied. Thank you Amazon. I was thinking about doing a post “17 Books for 2017” but then I realized I really have never done a post like this… so I decided I would just do a book list of my favorite books over the past 2-3 years. What you should know about the list is that I have read each and every one and would not put it on the list if I didn’t think it had value. That being said… not everyone likes mint chocolate chip ice cream so just because I like it… may not make it your beloved flavor. But all of the books on the list are also highly rated on Amazon and you always have the Look Inside feature… so there’s that. I have also done sketch summaries of most of these books on my Instagram… so feel free to check out the highlights there too.

INDUSTRY BOOKS that are AWESOME for EDU

As not all of the books have obvious professional development impact (and we are currently experiencing a “snow day” today in Texas), I thought I would share (and had some time to) a quick snippet of information about each… so here we go:

  • The Secret Lives of Color – I happed on this book after reading the two below. It looks at 75 different shades of color and discusses their historical, cultural, and literary origins and meanings… as well as how they were made and which artists used them. For example… the pigment Prussian Blue was first used in blueprints and green appears in the flags of predominantly Islamic countries because “paradise” is synonymous with “garden”. Other facts I gleaned were Emerald green was originally the cause of many deaths as it contains arsenic, in Shakespeare’s day… green costumes were considered bad luck on stage, and French soldiers serving in Africa were given absinthe to ward off malaria. This book would be great as a companion for an Art History course or a way to enlighten or highlight a World History course or content students are reading in an English class.
  • Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks – I seriously loved this book. I mean… as a kid… I did enjoy diagramming sentences so there’s that… but this was just such a fun book to read and that is all due to the author. The chapter on the ampersand starts with “Born in ignoble circumstances and dogged by a rival character of weighty provenance, the ampersand would spend a thousand years of uneasy coexistence with its opponent before finally claiming victory.” I loved the personification and the fact that there were 67 pages of references at the back of the book. It is said that you have to understand our history so as to not repeat it… I think it can also be said that the better we comprehend the history of language and symbolism, the better we can use it to make meaning.
  • The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter – If you follow my new Instagram account (@NoteChef4u), then you may have noticed that I devote that account to all things analog… including note-taking. I discovered this book and I truly felt vindicated. The first part of the book highlights the history and rebirth of vinyl, paper, film, and board games. I absolutely loved learning all about the history of the Moleskine notebook. Part 2 focused on print, retail, work, and school. The part on school was so-so but the rest of the book I really relished. As many things in life are recursive, I think this was such an excellent read.
  • A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness – I stumbled upon this book in Barnes and Noble. It is the perfect mash-up of analog, creativity, and mindfulness. I read the book fairly quickly and was pleasantly surprised to find that it held multiple tips and research studies… not just fun paper goodies (e.g. 2 journals, 16 postcards, 40 stickers, and more). It has great ideas that could also be adapted to a Writer’s Notebook for students too! It should also be noted that they run a wildly popular creativity and paper crafts magazine. I haven’t had a magazine subscription in over a decade… but this might just be worth it.
  • Reinvent Yourself – I am going to admit that I typically read books out of the edu field as I don’t like to silo myself. This book really is easy to read as each of the 47 chapters are truly just lessons learned from an interview or topic/theme (e.g. “The Twenty Things I’ve Learned From Larry Page”, “What I Learned from Chess”, “Five Things I Learned from Superman”, and “Seven Things Star Wars Taught Me About Productivity”). The format is great to emulate for writing and I really enjoyed the variety of tips and best practices gleaned from so many different industries.
  • Flawd: How to Stop Hating on Yourself, Others, and the Things That Make You Who You Are – This book I ended up highlighting in chapter 6 of “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students”. The book is written by a girl that was bullied, ended up becoming a bully, and then recovered and decided to write a book about it. I really enjoyed this book. She is wise beyond her years. One of my favorite quotes was “strong beliefs are just the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself.”
  • Long Story Short: The Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need – If you are familiar with the MOTH live storytelling, you will love this book. So many tips for writing and speaking. It is a creative writing gem and I absolutely loved her voice and perspective. Margot trains people to develop and tell live stories and to that end she offers multiple stems and questions that encourage storytelling.
  • The Creativity Challenge: Design, Experiment, Test, Innovate, Build, Create, Inspire, and Unleash Your Genius – I have a problem with teal and turquoise books… the problem is that I am instantly drawn to them and they just magically end up in my hand and/or Amazon cart and then of course on my home shelf. What I loved about this book is that each of the 150 creative exercises was divided into one of 5 categories (e.g, convergent, divergent, lateral, aesthetic, and emergent). If you are looking to add some creativity to your curriculum, there are great ideas to spark your interest and they are easy to adapt.
  • The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression – If you are focusing on social emotional learning in your district, this book is a must. While designed for writers, it highlights 75 emotions ranging from disbelief and insecurity to regret and sympathy. Each emotion includes the corresponding body language, thoughts, and visceral responses. I should also mention that this is a series. I also own “The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces” and almost bought the “The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Places”.
  • There Is No Good Card for This; What To Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love – Again, I love reading books outside of the edu genre and this one popped up in my feed and then in my cart and then at my house. It is written by two authors… one is a social worker and grief counselor and the other is a writer and illustrator that of Empathy Cards. The book was excellent as it provided ideas for appropriately handing a variety of scenarios and offered lots of tips to be a better listener. It even delineated types of non listeners, types of listeners, and gave a list of go-to phrases to support people. The Gesture Wall and “Try Not to Be That Annoying Person” instead of this (e.g. “I felt ______, when I ______ .”), try this (“what’s than like for you”) were exceptional!
  • 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades (while studying less) – One of my teachers told me about this book. His psychology class had jigsawed it. You can get the PDF of the book FREE from the College Info Geek site but if you want the hard copy, you can order it from Amazon. A quick read but some really great stuff.
  • The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy – This book is about a man that spent a year researching and trying productivity hacks and writing about them. Some good tips in the book. The book’s topics range from time management and attention to mindfulness.
  • Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody ToldYou About Being Creative – I have talked about Austin Kleon for years and absolutely love his books,. They are quick reads but offer so much to think about. While they may not have as obvious direct applications to the classroom, when you really dig into them, I think you will find there is much to learn about curation, creation, and getting to the heart of what makes you you.
  • Show Your Work! – Another gem from Austin Kleon. If you are working with CTE or mentorship students, this is a great book to have in your arsenal. With chapters like, “Think Process, Not Product”, “Teach What You Know”, and “Don’t Turn into Human Spam”, there are lots of life lessons and gems included.
  • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success – The author of this book is a licensed social worker and has written a version of this for parents too. Basically, the book focuses on 13 life lessons ranging from “Don’t Focus on Things You Can’t Control” and “Don’t Shy Away from Change” to “Don’t Give Up After the First Failure” and “Don’t Feel the World Owes You Anything”. Each chapter also ends with some action items.
  • The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users – This is a gem from Guy Kawasaki. I gleaned some helpful tips about social media from this easy to digest book. If you are manning the social media for your school or district, this is a good read to help boost and spread your message.
  • The Art of Creative Thinking: 89 Ways to See Things Differently – Rod Judkins is a lecturer at Central Saint Martins. He talks about creativity all over the world. Each of the 89 vignettes in the book focus on gleaning creativity tips from renound leaders in creativity like Coco Chanel, Matt Groening, Frida Kahlo, and Frank Lloyd Wright… to name a few.
  • Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations – This book is a mashup of storytelling, visual literacy, sketch noting, persuasive design, and presentation skills.
  • Draw to Win: A Crash Course on How to Lead, Sell, and Innovate With Your Mind – If you are in to sketch noting or ideas for presentation skills, this book and the the one above are must reads. I ended up drawing from both of these (this one and “Show and Tell”) to develop some student-friendly tips for visual literacy and presentation skills in chapter 3 of “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students”. This book gets into the 7 basic building blocks of shapes and how to use the art of persuasion via drawings and storytelling.
  • The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever – I also discovered this book during my teal/turquoise/blue period. I got tons of great ideas for coaching from this gem. I also truly appreciated all of the research. He mentions the 3 P’s (Projects, People, and Patterns) and each chapter chapter focuses on an overarching question (e.g. Kicktstart Question: What’s on Your Mind?, Focus Question: What’s the Real Challenge Here for You?, Strategic Question: If You are Saying Yes to This, What are You Saying No To?).

EDU-FOCUSED BOOKS

While I do read a lot of industry books, I also like to learn from my peers and others doing amazing things for teachers and students in the educational industry. The 6 books below are the educational ones that I read that I would also like to recommend to the batch or bushel:

  • Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World – This book is ever so timely. It is very much the essential guide to navigating the ephemeral and transactional communications woven into the language of social media online and IRL. I loved all of the exercises and practical applications. I can’t tell you how many times I have pulled from or referenced this book over the past few months.
  • Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom – First off. The authors of this book are Amy Burvall and Dan Ryder… two of my favorite people. If you are looking to infuse your class projects with creativity… this is the book for you. The book is quite dense with exciting challenges like “phrankenword”, B Side Ideas, One Word a Day Diaries, and so much more. The book is perfect for any English or World Language classroom. But honestly… every classroom will benefit from their thorough compilation of creative dishes.
  • Along Came a Leader: A Guide to Personal and Professional Leadership – You know I have to say I am not one for books on leadership because they tend to be heavy-handed, dry, or overly prescriptive. While this book did provide several ingredients, it was the author’s voice, experiences, and personal anecdotes that were thoughtfully baked in that really made this read a true gem. I found myself highlighting and jotting down quotes… and stopping frequently to ponder his thought-provoking and insightful questions embedded within each chapter. I know that I will be returning to this content throughout this coming year and really reviewing my own growth and experiences. Kelly also did a great job of including practical tips for maximizing meetings, solving problems and even introducing colleagues.
  • Hacking Project Based Learning: 10 Easy Steps to PBL and Inquiry in the Classroom – I haven’t really delved into PBL so this book was a fresh and not overbaked read. I appreciated all of the practical approaches and easy way to get started into PBL… that don’t take 20 hours. Ross and Erin tackled a complex topic and created a simplified straight-forward approach for any educator to dip their toe into PBL. I especially liked the “Overcoming Pushback” sections in each chapter where they addressed areas in instruction and assessment that might prove difficult to morph to PBL and shared solutions for each. This was a quick read and I am excited to put their ideas to action… especially their “Progress Assessment Tool”. I am also super stoked that Ross Cooper provided extra resources on his companion site like posters and question cards.
  • #FormativeTech: Meaningful, Sustainable, and Scalable Formative Assessment with Technology – Monica’s book is in the same vein as the Hacking PBL as you can pick it up and use it TODAY. It highlights multiple formative assessment tools that can be used across a variety of content areas and grade levels and matches them to sound pedagogical practices. The way she weaves in academic vocabulary makes the resource easy to access for a first year teacher or a veteran. QR codes are embedded within to instantly access resources and tools. Every step in the formative assessment process from data collection and evaluation to parent involvement is touched on and highlighted with tried and true staples of technology like Padlet, Kahoot, Nearpod, and Google Forms. My favorite resources were the examples of strong feedback and anchor charts for “how to make a quality comment” and “in a backchannel, my job is…”
  • Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students – While I am including my latest publication here, I will not say any more about it here. There are 30 thoughtful reviews on Amazon as well as 16 endorsements from educators all over the world within its pages. If the content speaks to you and you end up taking a gander and picking it up, please connect with me on Twitter or Facebook or via email… I would love to hear from you. 😉

 

I should mention that the header image only showcases 20 of the 26 books. I really wanted to have all of the books neatly displayed on an actual shelf but I am a bit OCD with my bookshelves and creating a shelf for this post would have totally messed with my fine-tuned system (color-coded, genre, see my complete organization strategy here) so I had to go digital with a cover collage like you see in the header. But just in case you wanted to see my system… I included a Thinglinked version below. 😉 Thanks so much for reading. Please remember to share your own book recommendations for 2018 too!

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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08 Sep 2017
Comments: 1

#ScrapNotes: The Savvy Supply List

In part 3, “PD Note-taking”, I set the stage for how how to make analog notes interactive. And now the time has come to embrace… pens and stickers. If this is just not for you, seriously, no worries at all. I won’t be offended. Skip on to Part 5 “The Complete Guide to People, Ideas, and Inspiration.” But for those of you… and I know there are a few… that geek out over pens, items that are ROYGBIV’d, and clandestine visits to Michael’s and the washi tape section of Office Depot… then this post is for you… and please know that you are not alone. Art Journaling, Visual Note-taking, and Bullet Journaling is a very real thing and I have seen the pastime embraced by students of all ages (HS, College, Grad) and adults alike.

THE SUPPLY LIST

With that being said. I am going to break this post into 3 parts:

  • Note-Taking Essentials: 
    • NOTEBOOK: I prefer a notebook that has a hard cover, an elastic band, and plain pages. The Leuchtturm1917 is turning out to be my favorite so far.
    • PENS: I also love using Sharpie fine point pens. They are awesome and permanent and don’t bleed.
  • Note-Taking Nice to Haves:
    • LABELS: These cost like $1 or $2 at Michael’s but are perfect for accentuating quotes or making lists. As the notebooks I like have thinner pages, these are great to maximize the real estate of both sides of the page too.
    • DOUBLE SIDED TAPE: I love this for adding in items. I like to include library cards for lists, greeting cards for lexicon libraries, and postcards and such.
    • RULER: I can’t draw a straight line to save my life so this is a necessity to have!
  • Note-Taking Icing on the Cake (“Getting Fancy”):
    • STICKERS: I have loved stickers forever and these 3 brands are awesome. I am seriously in love with the 7 Gypsies Architexture series… it is the best!!! The Dylusions set is great because many of the stickers are black and white so you can color them to match your page.
    • WASHI TAPE: I think everyone geeks out over this stuff. Basically pretty masking tapes. And my favorite ones come from Jane Davenport.
    • GREETING CARDS: I use greeting cards in my notebooks to expand the real estate of the page. I typically use them to compose a lexicon library for the book I am reading or to make lists and thoughts that I would like to keep “more private.”
    • PAPERS: I love finding antique papers. They look great in a notebook and these library cards are perfect to make lists.

THE INTERACTIVE SUPPLY LIST and SHOWCASE

This post has actually been on hold for a bit because I have been trying to determine the best way to not only share the tools and why/how I use them but actual examples too. Finally, I had time to not only create an infographic in Keynote but also Thinglink it with all of these resources and examples (linked here and embedded below):
 
 

 

STAY TUNED…

I have also started delivering workshops on this topic of #ScrapNotes and “Notable Note-taking” or “Into the Notebook”. While I haven’t had a moment to share the slide deck or resources, I do have some of the support sites live… check out NoteChef4u instagram for 160+ #scrapnotes examples and Pinterest for 230+ examples and resources to create the “Organized Brain” or at the very least… an organized notebook. I should also mention that all 37 of my interactive notes are posted here.

Erin Barnes at my "Into the Notebook" session at iPadpalooza OU
Erin Barnes at my “Into the Notebook” session at iPadpalooza OU

 

#scrapnotes… the NEXT CHAPTER…

Stay tuned for the next blog posts in the series (or catch up on previous ones):

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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09 Aug 2017
Comments: 1

#ScrapNotes: The Complete Guide to PD Note-Taking

“Um… TechChef… we don’t mean to bug you or anything. We totally appreciate this #scrapnotes kick you are on… but you used to write about technology and stuff… and we were just wondering…” It is totally fine… I know you were all thinking this. I do typically share about technology iOS and web applications and processes. I have decided to broaden that definition, as of lately, to define technology as any tool that students have in their hands… and paper and pen… is still a reality… even in schools with 1:1 iPad, Chromebooks, or carts of iPads. But, I also don’t want to swim so far from the shore that it is too difficult to connect the dots back… so this post is somewhat of a hybrid. To date, I have whet your palette for #Scrapnotes with posts 1 and 2… and now I want to share my process for PD Note-taking which expands the horizon for what is possible with pen, paper, and a device.

My Note-Taking Evolution

Many times there is a multi-pronged goal to notes that we take in professional development. Clearly we want to return to them and utilize them in the future. But many times we also want to share them with staff that didn’t get to attend that session or that conference. Previously to finding myself in an extraordinary note-taking situation, I found myself exploring a variety of options:

  • Conference Collage: At first, I created a collage of images from the conference and then thinglinked it with my notes taken in Evernote or links to particular session resources. (Example: Miami Device 2014).
  • Interactive Maps: Then PhotoMapo caught my attention and I began using it as a point of reference. From there I would add pertinent links on top of the maps. (Example: ETT Austin and Summer of 2014).
  • Crafting in Canva: Finally in 2015, I experimented with creating my own image in Canva and using it as the landscape for Thinglink. This afforded me more customization (and the images were beautiful) but honestly it was far more time-consuming. (Example: TCEA 2015 and SXSWEDU 2015).

So at the end of 2015… I started dabbling with this analog note-taking as I mentioned in blog posts 1 and 2 (linked above). At first, my notes for conferences were still very text heavy. But I noticed very quickly a few benefits. I was more focused on what the speaker was saying as I didn’t have notifications popping up in my “notebook” or a plethora of tantalizing tabs open… including my email. I also was only jotting down what I felt relevant rather than trying to gather everything the speaker said in Evernote. Pretty soon I found myself drawing mind-maps and even icons. And sure enough… I found that this style of note-taking was not only better for me as a conference or workshop participant but provided far more insight and information to the people I then shared my notes with.

But these notes were still flat and to make the learning adventure accessible to everyone… I had to go beyond the page. The beauty of this was simple… I could take a picture of the notes (with practically any device… as Thinglink is device neutral) and then add additional thoughts, links, resources on a dimension above the page… so to speak. I received multiple thanks from a number of staff on this process and I found that having the notes in two places made it easier for me to easily retrieve them whenever I needed to refer to them or share them.

My Process

Now I know you might be wondering which way you ought to go from here? 😉 Once you have the notebook you decide to use for your PD Note-taking, I did want to break down my process a bit:

  1. Tabs: I bought Post-it tabs for my notebook (more on supplies in post 4) that I use to separate the notebook for each conference I attend. My intent is to print out labels with titles on them as well… just haven’t had a chance. All of my notes are chronological so this allows me to easily find the notes from the conference or session.
  2. Dates and Titles: In the upper right hand corner, I always include the title of the conference and the date. In the upper left hand corner, I include the name of the session and the speakers and their Twitter handles and emails (if applicable). These get Thinglinked later.
  3. Session Notes: From there, I take notes. I draw icons, build mind-maps and really only write down things that speak to me. Drawing the icons is especially helpful to organize the content. I typically have my phone next to me and I search for an icon and then sketch it while I am listening to the speaker.
  4. More: I oftentimes will go over the notes after the session and add bullets or A, B, C … just to make them a little easier to follow. I will also use the right hand “Action Steps” column in my Behance Action Journal to jot down tools I should look at, next steps, great ideas, etc…

Once the notes are complete, then I snap a pic and Thinglink them with additional info. Below is an example of the interactive Thinglinked notes from the header in this blog post:

I won’t leave you with the lip service… “practice makes perfect” or even “practice makes better”… what I will tell you that with practice… you find your own style and I quite agree that is the best kind of ending… or beginning! 😉

Please don’t forget to check out NoteChef4u instagram for 80+ #scrapnotes examples and Pinterest for 180+ examples and resources to create the “Organized Brain” or at the very least… an organized notebook. I should also mention that all 31 of my interactive notes are posted here.

#scrapnotes… the NEXT CHAPTER…

Stay tuned for the next blog posts in the series (or catch up on previous ones):

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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26 Jul 2017
Comments: 0

TechChef Breaks the Silence…

 
 
 

The Silence

Twenty years ago I graduated high school. We didn’t have texts, tweets, or chats… we had a spiral bound notebook that we passed back to each other in the hallway between classes. One day a friend of mine and I had a spat. Rather than blocking me or unfriending me, he wrote “Enjoy the Silence” in the notebook and nothing else. This was clearly a reference to a popular Depeche Mode song at the time. Honestly, I have no recollection of the lemon that turned our friendship milk sour that day. But that moment stuck in my brain when I was thinking about you… and I feel like I owe you an apology.
 

The Story

You did nothing wrong and I totally abandoned you… without a word. You didn’t know how much stress I was under or how the book writing gave me a bit of tunnel vision. You couldn’t have known that I was also diagnosed with adenomyosis two years ago and that it has literally reeked havoc on my body, my productivity, and my personal and professional life.
 
All you saw was my last blog, “CoJournaling as a Way to Nurture Positive Tendencies”, posted  a year and a half ago. At that time, I felt drained both emotionally and physically. Sadly, the tool and platform that allowed me to unleash my creativity and bear my soul was the very tool that went by the wayside. It became one more thing… like some friendships do.
 
The problem was I didn’t realize at the time… how much I needed that friendship… I kept up appearances on social media and periodically shared ideas and curated topics… but I remained silent. The longer I kept my silence… the harder it was to break it. Some people schedule a sabbatical to grow and reflect. I, the non confrontational type, decided I could just let blogging go without a word. I was wrong. Blogging is so much more than a task and a checklist to me… it is my passion and oftentimes… I feel like my duty or purpose. The book, now a wrap, and surgery on the horizon… I feel like I can finally come up for air.
 
There is so much I want to tell you… so much I want to share. I hope you will forgive me… let bygones be bygones and let us reconnect again. I hope you didn’t “Enjoy the Silence”… I know I didn’t.
 
So there it is… my last 18 months in a nutshell… a difficult time… and only a handful of friends really knew the physical, emotional, and mental toll it took on me. But you know… we were friends too. And I hope we can be friends again. I hope you can forgive my lapse in communication. I hope we can once again learn and share together.
 

 

The Sharing

Over the past 18 months and change… I have been busy adjusting and creating a new normal and really experimenting with different styles of learning and creating that work for me. As you know, I love to share these ideas with others because I know that the more we share… the more we inspire and support others on their journey as well. So here goes:
I know we have lots to catch up on so I can’t monopolize all of your time in one sitting. You will hear from me again shortly… I promise. 😉

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FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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26 Oct 2015
Comments: 0

Publications

Blog/Site Publications

Things I have published in other places…
Book Creator
bulb
Corwin
Dave Burgess Consulting
EdTechTeacher
Edutopia
Free Tech For Teachers
Shake Up Learning
SmartBrief

Book Publications

 

 

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