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24 Aug 2020
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Home Room EDU

I guess if you aren’t going to write a blog post for seven months… the next one should hopefully be hecka awesome (yes, pun intended). Journaling is something that has helped me get through these unprecedented times and bring some calm to the otherwise chaos that is. Sometimes I would write a list or a bit of gratitude. Other times a doodle. In May, I partnered with DBC Inc and launched my first ever Quarantine Journaling event with a journal prompt for every day and a # to post to. It was an amazing reaffirmation at the power journaling has to unite people, bring out their creativity, and stir up joy and thoughtful conversations. It went so well, that I wanted people to have a way to keep all of their day’s journal entries all in one spot so I did a guest post on Shake Up Learning and created a photo journal prompt template in Keynote and Google Slides

How it Came to Be

Flash forward to today and beyond all of the rambling… Carrie Baughcum and I have been hard at work to offer something like the quarantine journaling challenge again… but with a twist. One twist is that we are providing the journaling elements and the other is that there is a bit more structure to the journaling process as we wanted to make it even more accessible to students and educators. 

What It Actually Entails

As you know, I don’t like to leave you without the information that you might need so here goes:

  • Multi-week: This passion project encompasses five weeks of activities. Each week focuses on something slightly different (e.g. get to know you, goal-setting, self care/self regulation, time management/organization, learning mascots, and more).
  • Multiple Avenues: As we weren’t sure of everyone’s current reality and we wanted to meet the needs of a variety of learners, there is both an analog and a Google Slides version. So one could easily print these resources and use them in an analog journal or with an app like Notability or GoodNotes OR if one is fully digital, then Google Slides would work for that.
  • Many Ways: The cool thing about having these doodles is that it supports dual coding – using text and visuals AND these visuals are simple enough to be used to represent many different things (e.g. literal and figurative). 
  • Managing Directions: Each week reveals a new set of slides, doodles, and prompts. Each slide deck is organized with our bio info (if you want to reach out and/or tag us with some examples), step by step directions for each doodle/journal pack, and lots of visuals to get you started.

All five weeks are now packaged and available for download.

Week #1: Getting To Know You  Week 1 PDF | Week 1 Google Slides

Week #2: Goal Setting Week 2 PDF | Week 2 Google Slides

Week #3Self-Care and Self Regulation  Week 3 PDF | Week 3 Google Slides

Week #4: Organization and Time Management:  Week 4 PDF | Week 4 Google Slides

Week #5: Learning Mascots: Week 5 PDF | Week 5 Google Slides

A Little Extra

As you also know, I always love to leave you with at least one more thing… so…

Please know that this is a passion project and also a first attempt at doing something like this, so if you have thoughts and feelings about how to make it better, please reach out to either one of us. 😉

FREEBIES AND GOODIES OH MY!

I should also mention that I have lots of additional FREE trackers and templates that could be used digitally, printed, and/or put in a journal. 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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14 Nov 2019
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Free Gratitude Trackers for Students

One of the things I find to be so valuable is reflection. More specifically, reflecting on what is important and what is meaningful and how that impacts my mood and my day.

If you have been following me lately, then you will know I have been on a bit of a tracker kick as my last blog posts have all been about tracking and included templates. You can find both of those linked below:

Chapter 4 of Creatively Productive is all about goal-setting and habit tracking and Chapter 5 is all about gratitude and reflective journaling. I have talked about my battle with anxiety and depression in other posts. What I haven’t talked about is how tracking, reflection, and gratitude are really helpful tools to have when navigating those circumstances.

Gratitude 411

Before I get too deep into gratitude trackers, I wanted to share a few articles and practices. If I were doing any activity like this with students and/or adult learners, the why is important. There is much research to support a positive correlation between gratitude and physical and mental health. This article, “14 Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude”, would be a great place to start.

The gratitude trackers I share below are very much open-ended. If you would like to practice gratitude with your students, your faculty, or personally or professionally and you would like some more scaffolding, I am including a few additional resources:

  • How to Start a Gratitude Habit: This article gives some more examples for doing a 21 day challenge or even just building in the habit.
  • Tiny Prints Gratitude Challenge: Love! Love, Love this! It is a 21 day challenge but you could just select a week or a few of the prompts. Love that they split the prompts into sections “be grateful for what you have”, “be grateful for everything around you”, “be grateful for who you are”.
  • Weekly Reflection Questions: This is a template you can print and share/use or just borrow some of the inspiration from. (e.g. “What or who are you grateful for this week?, Who or what is keeping you motivated this week? What’s something positive from this week that you can bring into next week?”)
  • Doodle a Day Gratitude: The Doodle a Day activity is one that I share in Chapter 5 of Creatively Productive. I do this activity any time we have a long break (e.g. winter, spring, summer, etc…). It is a way for me to find and document something I am grateful for each day with a doodle. Here is an example of one I did this summer.

Activities like this could be easily incorporated into a reader’s/writer’s notebook or a unit on health.

THE TRACKERS

One could track gratitude without tracking mood but I feel like these things are related so having the option to track both in tandem seems to be helpful. I should also mention that our mood typically fluctuates throughout the day so how we are feeling in the morning may not be reflective of how we are feeling later in the evening so that is why I included a space for am and pm.

For mood and gratitude tracking, I created 2 digital editable versions and 1 PDF version.

  • 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. It does include a drop down for mood that has text alongside emojis. As this tool is editable*, it is easy for students (or you) to modify the moods or add additional months.
  • Google Sheets: The Google Sheets version is editable* and almost identical to the Numbers version.
  • PDF: The PDF is intended to be printed and written in. As this one is a PDF, I don’t have the editable version. The PDF version is intended to be color coded (note the box of 5 squares that is intended to be a key at the bottom of the page) rather than tracked by emoji so one would choose a color to represent each mood and shade those in at the bottom and them track them accordingly throughout the month.

All 3 versions are available in the Creatively Productive Doc Locker (linked below) for FREE! 

* Editing. I wanted to make a quick note on editing the Numbers and Google Sheets versions. In Numbers, click on the cell and then Data Format. In Google Sheets, click on the cell and then Data Validation.

TRACKERS EXAMPLES

If you like the idea of trackers, more of these resources can be found in the Chapter 4 and 5 sections of the Creatively Productive companion site.

And I am also including a few completed examples of Mood and /or Gratitude trackers I gleaned from the Insta as I know completed examples are always helpful and because some use clever mood classifications.

FREEBIES AND GOODIES OH MY!

And Don’t forget ALL 3 Mood and Health Trackers as well as lots more templates, digital downloads, goodies 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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23 Oct 2019
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FREE Mood & Health Trackers for Students

One of my favorite things is to create and curate content for others. In fact, that is one of the major reasons that I created TechChef4u almost a decade ago. For some reason it makes me think of my mom… she loves to bake for others and gets enjoyment out of knowing that they relished their goodies. I feel the same way. I love to create content that others can use with their students or even personally or professionally.

I have been on a bit of a tracker kick and so it just makes sense to continue with that trend. Chapter 4 of Creatively Productive is all about goal-setting and habit tracking. Last semester, I worked with our campus Challenge Success team which was made up of admin, curriculum specialists, counselors, teachers, and students to highlight how mood can be improved by things like sleep, drinking water, exercise, spending time outside, and even listening to music.

THE ACTIVITIES

This type of tracking is a great activity for a science or health classroom but could also be an awesome activity to weave into a writer’s notebook as they could track how they feel and their thoughts, feelings, and reflections to each day’s activities and how they may or may not correspond to their mood. I have always heard that we are poor historians of our past so tracking things like this and being mindful is such a great reflective activity to really pay attention to how certain activities may impact mood and just being aware of your moods throughout the day and even the week… possibly even noticing trends or correlations.

To promote each day’s focus, we created an activity to anchor it:

  1. Monday: Power Naps in the Principal’s conference room. We dragged a bunch of beanbags and brought in some scented oil and calm music. I didn’t have anyone show up… so we will have to rethink this one. It would be cool to get a bunch of hammocks but not sure on the feasibility or safety issues involved with that. I would advocate that you have a quiet study room available on campus somewhere that students could utilize throughout the day though.
  2. Tuesday: Drink More Water stickers. Now this one was fun. I had the awesome Fred Benitez, fellow Ed Tech and Freelance Graphic Designer, create a logo and then I used Sticker Mule to print a bunch of stickers that came on rolls (see pic below). We divided up the stickers and gave them to student helpers and they handed them out to anyone they saw filling up their refillable water bottles at the water fountains. (Use this link and get a FREE $10 sticker credit at Sticker Mule). BTW – I should also mention that Fred’s sad food work is kind of adorable and amazing!
  3. Wednesday: Hula Hoops and Yoga. This one was fun too. We had someone certified to teach yoga volunteer in the library during lunch and then we had hula hoops in the courtyard. I will say once you get a few students using these and laughing, many more will come.
  4. Thursday: Live Bands. This one unfortunately got rained out but we have done these before and the students really like it. Typically, you can always find a student led band that would like to play. You could also just play music during lunch.
  5. Friday: Sunlight and Popsicles. This was by far the most successful. It also turned out that at the same time we scheduled this, theater had bubble machines, music, and chalk in the commons. Seriously, kids loved going outside and were delighted to get free popsicles. Only thing to remember is that these popsicles take FOREVER to fully freeze so freeze them a week in advance and don’t stack boxes on top of each other in the cafeteria’s walk-in freezer. We learned that the hard way.

THE TRACKERS

One could totally do this activity without the trackers. I think it is more meaningful to use the trackers alongside the activities so students can see if there any correlations and really to just encourage mindfulness of the activities we build into our day (e.g. going outside, listening to music, exercise) and the biological imperatives (drinking enough water and getting enough sleep).

For this activity, I created 2 digital editable versions and 1 PDF version.

  • Numbers: The Numbers version is editable and designed for MacBook, iPad, and iPhone. It includes a drop down for mood, a stepper for sleep, a slider for water and exercise, and a pop up menu for music and time outside. As this tool is editable*, it is easy for students (or you) to add or delete columns or change intervals/increments. One column that might be interesting to track could be free time or even pleasure reading.
  • Google Sheets: The Google Sheets version is editable* and almost identical to the Numbers version with the exception that the sleep, water, and exercise are fill in the blank and the listen to music and time outside are check boxes. One unique feature of the Google Sheets version is that I played with conditional formatting so the sleep, water, and exercise cells will change to green, red, or yellow based on the number that one inputs. I based these on national averages but obviously as it is editable, feel free to make changes accordingly.
  • PDF: The PDF is intended to be printed and written in. As this one is a PDF, I don’t have the editable version. As it is so similar to the Numbers and Google Sheets version, you could just edit by removing the data formatting and print those out as a PDF and achieve a similar result.

All 3 versions are available in the Creatively Productive Doc Locker (linked below) for FREE! 

* Editing. I wanted to make a quick note on editing the Numbers and Google Sheets versions. In Numbers, click on the cell and then Data Format. In Google Sheets, click on the cell and then Data Validation. Also, if you are planning on changing the conditional formatting in Google Sheets, right click on the cell and then Conditional Formatting.

If you like the idea of trackers, more of these resources can be found in the Chapter 4 section of the Creatively Productive companion site.

Keeping TRACK of STUDENT ACTIVITIES and LEARNING

As you know, I love working with students. Over the years, I have offered a variety of sessions, activities, and experiences. Here are a few more blog posts that detail some of these:

FREEBIES AND GOODIES OH MY!

And Don’t forget ALL 3 Mood and Health Trackers as well as lots more templates, digital downloads, goodies 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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16 Oct 2019
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3 FREE Reading Trackers for Students

As you well know, I love crafting and creating content and tools for others… whether it be iLesson recipes or templates.

Over the past few weeks, our campus instructional team has been visiting with many of the ELA PLC’s. One of the topics we have been discussing is pleasure or independent reading. More specifically, how often it happens per week, how students complete reader responses, what pathways are being sued for book talks/recommendations, and how teachers are doing student conferences.

Within this discussion, how students are actually tracking what they read also came up. As you also know, I love habit trackers. What you may not know is for the first time in I can remember, I read 43 books last year… and I have to credit that accomplishment to keeping a running tally of the books I had read as well as a reading next list. Both of these tools helped me with momentum and progress… so I decided to create 3 different versions for you and your students to explore.

3 Versions of Reading Trackers

Some students and classes use analog trackers and others digital ones. Some track the different genres they read. Others track the number of pages. And some use a spreadsheet as a bookmark to note where they left on their book. As I can’t possibly address all of the use cases and variables with a tool like this, I created 3 different versions and made sure 2 were editable so you could with them as you see fit.

  • Numbers: The Numbers version is editable and designed for MacBook, iPad, and iPhone. It includes a drop down for genre (which can be modified) as well as a touch star rating system. As this tool is editable*, it is easy for students to add or delete columns easily based on how many books they read.
  • Google Sheets: The Google Sheets version is editable* and almost identical to the Numbers version with the exception that the touch star rating is a drop down. Again, the tool is editable, so feel free to make modifications and/or have your students do so.
  • PDF: The PDF is intended to be printed and shaded in. As this one is a PDF, I don’t have the editable version. I was assured for secondary, that 3 books a 9 weeks would be plenty. If you find that you like this version but would like more books added to it or like it for a 6 weeks, just let me know (techchef4u@gmail.com) and I can create some alternate versions. I should also mention that there is a key at the bottom so students would choose a color to represent each genre and then shade books accordingly after they have read them.

All 3 versions are available in the Creatively Productive Doc Locker (linked below) for FREE!

* Editing. I wanted to make a quick note on editing the Numbers and Google Sheets versions. In Numbers, click on the cell and then Data Format. In Google Sheets, click on the cell and the Data Validation.

What Else?

I never like to leave you without a +1 or a Yes… And… so here goes…

Hope this helps you with your travels down the rabbit hole of all things reading journals, notebooks, and trackers…

FREEBIES AND GOODIES OH MY!

And Don’t forget ALL 3 Reading Trackers as well as lots more templates, digital downloads, goodies 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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15 Sep 2019
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12 Time Management Tools for Students

Time Management is by far one of my favorite topics to discuss. I have always been fascinated with lists, life hacks, and productivity processes but over the past few years, I have really noticed that this is a skill that students desperately need support with as well. That’s why I felt so adamant and passionate about adding it as a whole chapter in my latest book, Creatively Productive. When I was asked to put together a session for students this year, I was elated for two reasons. One because I love talking about this topic and two because I love working with students.

As you know, I love curating resources as well as creating templates and goodies so I thought I would spend the rest of this blog post doing a bit of both.

Why is Time Management Important?

I always like to start with the Why. Before I put together any additional resources, I did a little more research and discovered two recent studies that both cited Time Management as one of the top 5 soft skills.

What is Time Management?

After I set the case for Time Management, I think it is important to define it, so we talk about all of the different skills and processes that are impacted by and/or are directly related to time management using this awesome article here. Some of the biggest take-aways are the ability to goal-set, prioritize, break down tasks, really know yourself, and audit and readjust.

Another fun activity is to take a quick quiz to get a feel for how one’s current time management skills measure up. Here are a few of my favorites:

What Tips and Tools Do You have for Time Management?

Tips and tools are really important as everyone schedules their time differently, so we talked about batching tasks (e.g. categorizing and grouping similar types of tasks… researching, creating, phone calls, social media rather than switching from individual task to task), and time blocking (e.g . blocking out time ahead of time to complete a task or project at a certain time of day). From there we dove into analog and digital tools.

Tips
  • Time Blocking: Time blocking is really just being aware of what needs to be done, how long you think it might take, and when in your day you will have the most energy to complete certain tasks and planning your calendar accordingly. Also, see “Time Blocking 101” and “Become a Timeblocking Champ with these Practices”.
  • Batching Tasks: Batching tasks is the idea that you take similar tasks and group them together rather than switch from one task to another. For me, I try to bundle all of my creative tasks in one chunk of time, my email in another, phone calls in yet another so I am not switching in between tasks randomly. It isn’t always possible but it is great to be at least be mindful about how your focus may drain throughout the day and plan accordingly. “How to Batch Tasks with Google Calendar to Increase Focus and Productivity”.
Digital Tools

Not gonna lie, y’all… I am more of an analog person when it comes to do lists and planners and such. I use a pairing of Google Calendar and a Passion Planner. That being said… I would never dictate or assume that one tool or type of tool is the best fit for everyone so I tend to share a variety of both analog and digital tools with students and suggest they explore, test them out, and decide what works best for them.

  1. Google Calendar: For this, we talk about time blocking and using Google calendar to set reminders (e.g. 2 days before a project is due, 1 day before a quiz, etc…)
  2. Wunderlist (now Microsoft To Do): This one is great as you can create folders, lists, star items, add sub tasks, create reminders, and add images and files.
  3. Google Keep: Google Keep is fantastic as you can label and color code notes, add drawings, have paper backgrounds (e.g. blank, square, dots, ruled), create checkboxes, utilize speech to text, and even convert images of text into text using OCR technology.
  4. Screen Time: iOS 12 released Screen Time. While this is not a to do list tool, it is great for students that need to set downtime and manage their distractions throughout the day.
  5. Forest: This is the only paid one in the list. It is like a gamified version of Screen Time. You set a timer to stay off of your phone and while you do, your tree or foliage grows. If you fail, the tree dies. If you succeed, you start building a forest. There is some altruism built into this too which I love.
  6. Self Control: I used this during my 30 Day Social Media Detox but it is really great to use anytime you just need to focus and you don’t want to rely on your own dwindling self control.
  7. Stay Focused: This is a Google Chrome Extension that works similarly to Self Control.
Analog Tools

I am a planner girl all the way. I use a blend of a bullet journal, planner, and reader’s notebook and I love exploring analog options… mainly because they force me into an environment in which I find less distractions and more focus … and somewhat because I love my Sharpie fine tip pens and washi tape. All of these ideas are shared in the time management chapter of Creatively Productive in greater detail but I wanted to summarize them here as well.

  1. Productivity Bingo: This is one of my favorites. The original idea is from lalalauren.creates. It is a gamified to do list where one places their tasks in squares and rewards oneself when they bingo. Her example here shows how you can break tasks into subtasks as well. Here is a student example and one of my examples here and one more here.
  2. MindMapped To Do Lists: Many times I need to either batch tasks by focus (e.g. creating, troubleshooting, planning, etc…) and/or include subtasks. This is a way for me to do that. (Example linked here and here).
  3. Things To Do Weekly Planner Template: This is one of my favorites. As you know, I love planners. Some of our students have them and others would prefer something simple and targeted to them so I created the custom template below. The front is fairly self-explanatory. The back includes a month display and a list of questions to support students with mindful planning. (FREE download can be found below in CP Digital Doc Locker).
  4. Project Planner: This is an idea I adapted from one of my teachers. It is really used to teach students to break down tasks and plan accordingly when they are assigned a group project. (FREE download can be found below in CP Digital Doc Locker).
  5. Time Management Forms: These have been adapted from the examples in the Overloaded and Underprepared book. It is really a way to support students with looking at how they spend their time during the evening and on weekends, what their commitments are, and how much time that will leave them for homework, sleep, etc… We have been using these at the high school level for the past 3 years or so. (Example linked here).

I had several students ask for the slide deck and I have been asked to come into another one of our CTE courses and share this lesson this week so feeling like this content resonated with them. Would love your thoughts. If you do something like this, please email me at techchef4u@gmail.com to chat and/or post in the comments.

STUDENTS NEED PD TOO!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. Here are a few more blog posts that detail topics and tips I share with students:

FREEBIES AND GOODIES OH MY!

Oh, OMT… The Things to Do template and Project Planning Guide and lots more digital downloads and goodies 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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04 Sep 2019
Comments: 0

Fake Instagram Template

It seems somewhat fitting that after my last posts on my 30 Day Social Media Detox that I would write about social media… well sort of. Also, most of my time that I do spend on social media… happens to be on Instagram @NoteChef4u so there’s that too.

As you know, I love to create digital and analog goodies. There are many for FREE available for download on the Creatively Productive companion site. At the beginning of school, one of my teachers asked me to help her with a fake Instagram template as a get to know you activity for students. She was building it in Google Docs. I knew the power, potential, and possibility of creating it in Keynote… so away I went.

Using the Template

For now I just have this in Keynote. If I get more interest, I will definitely create these for PPT too. They are meant to work as a template so each of the gray tiles, including the circular one for the profile pic, is a placeholder. When students import a photo (or a video) within the placeholder tile, it retains the frame. Additionally, I built the slide deck to mimic the functionality of Instagram and to also double as an actual presentation tool so each of the squares will link to a slide that allows you to add a description and/or #’s and then link back to original 9 tiles.

Two Templates for the Price of One

Okay… technically, these templates are FREE (and they will work on Macbook, iPad, or iPhone). I just wanted to make sure that you knew there were two different versions:

  • Generic: There is a generic one that is just 9 plain photo tiles.
  • Specific with Prompts: As this was originally a get to know you activity, I also created one with specific icons and text prompts (e.g. favorite quote or song, favorite weekend activity, what you had for breakfast, someone that inspires you, and what’s in your backpack?). Some of these are very specific types of things that people post on Instagram and others are more of getting to know you prompts. Please don’t discount the specific one though… as you can use it with World Languages or even for a literary or historical figure reimagining.

Extending the Use of the Template

Sure, you could still use this as a get to know you activity with staff and/or adult learners BUT there are so many more quick curricular possibilities. Certainly not an exhaustive list… just something to help you percolate. Here are just a few:

  • Science: Each of the 9 squares could represent an element or one row of 3 could be carnivores, one row herbivores, and one row omnivores.
  • Math: Each of the 9 squares could be a polygon, type of angle, word problem, etc…
  • English: One could create a fake Instagram for a character in a book. They could also depict a poem in 9 separate icons, or 9 different vocabulary words, or 9 different scenes in a book.
  • Social Studies: One idea might be to have them create a fake Instagram for a cause or a historical figure. They could also use it to depict 9 important events.
  • CTE: This would be a cool way to play around with creating a fake resume and talk about what images and content they share online and what they would highlight for a job.
  • World Language: My German and French teachers jumped at using the template as practice for basic vocabulary. They actually used the specific template versus the generic one. You could give students prompts for each of the 9 and even have them add a video to one or all of the tiles instead of a still image.
  • Fine Art: They could use it as a portfolio for their work or a project, to highlight multiple parts of the project/piece, or to showcase 9 artists that inspired them.

Again, certainly not an exhaustive list. I really wanted to get this blog post out to you and share the idea so you could explore this tool with your students further. If you end up using it with students, I would be ever so grateful to be tagged on Twitter or Facebook @TechChef4u or email me at techchef4u@gmail.com if you would like me to share student samples (with permission of course).

Freebies and Goodies Oh My!

Oh, OMT… The two templates and lots more digital downloads and goodies 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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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.

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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

* indicates required

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