Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hacking ... a new term for upcycling?

I found this week fun, as I attempted to create a "hacked" toy into something useful.  Even though I love to have fun, I have to find a way that whatever I create can be used... I think it is that nasty work ethic my parents instilled in me.  So after digging around Goodwill for small, cheap toys I was able to make myself a hacked pencil holder.  What makes it so much fun are the small characters that are smiling at me, holding my business cards and post-it notes. 
Check out the process:   Completed #ToyHack 

Thanks for all your support after my first animoto with my unfinished and uninspired productivity that had nothing to do with toys, and all as a teaser... Thank you Jesus!

This led me to thinking about how this "hacking" experience can be brought to my classroom this fall as I followed discussions and postings about hacking games.  I think my students will have a tremendous time hacking board games for originality.  I can't wait to see how they share.

I've tried so much this week,  creating a meme for hacking:
This caused me some soul searching as I had to edit my words (something I find difficult).  How could I create a meme that represented the curriculum I teach - cooking is the ultimate HACK!

Not only did I do the Hack, post animoto, and create a Meme, I also participated in my first Twitter Chat using TweetDeck.  Wow, what a productive first week of summer!

My thoughts are going a million miles per hour, as I prepare to take a group of 3 middle school students to the annual FCCLA (Family, Careers and Community Leaders of America) National Leadership Conference in Nashville, TN.  There we will compete in several events but one is certainly a HACKING event.  Take a pair of Khaki pants and turn them into something different, and create a marketing and feasibility plan around the new product(s).  This must be based upon a perceived need, solving a societal problem.  The problem here is the overabundance of unused clothing and textile products that are filling our landfills.

I have seen so many great new tools that I will have to explore in the coming weeks, yet I feel I will only touch upon a few.  My goal is for my students to become more connected before, during and after their projects.  I thank all of the members of  CLMooc for the inspiration.  I can't wait to see what I attempt, fail, and then succeed at!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

ToyHack complete

Lost in a bin at GOODWILL
ToyHack complete

I had fun with this project and really think it will be incorporated into my classes next fall.  I am so excited to be teaching in our MAXTAP program, a STEAM class for teacher selected students.  Through project based learning students will have the opportunity to experience learning the way they learn best.  This will be my first experience with this population, so I am sure I will learn as much as they will.  Units will involve Personal Learning Styles, Forensics and Investigation, Robotics (LEGO) and Sustainable Architecture.

This #toyhack experience will enable them to develop their creative skills as an introduction to the forensics unit.

Adding the pieces and waiting for glue to dry.
A completed project - Hacked, but not useless.

Monday, June 24, 2013

#CLMOOC and Connecting this summer

This summer is one of connections as well as changes, but all that hopefully result in great things.

As I begin the summer after a long hiatus of posting, I thought what better way than learning how we can connect the learning our students need to master.  So I will be mastering this through #CLmooc a connected learning MOOC through the National Writing Project.  Now I am certainly not a writer, but who knows, it is never too late to learn.  Already I have created a "Make" with Vizify, profiling my social media usage.   Since I found that I have really segregated my life with my social media usage, I created an additional Introduction page.  This time on  There are many more I will attempt, but these made my first week of summer focused.

The change is coming as we help my parents transition from a 4 bedroom home of 35 years into the most amazing retirement community in Lancaster, PA.  Of course, I am realizing that my mother has no spatial concept; she is having issues parting with anything.  But this is a process, hard on all involved, but having healthy parents in their 80's is a blessing.  The highlights of my creativity during one of the first stages of the process is pictured below:

So in the theme of my blog; all elements of our lives will be patched together, making a whole usable piece of art or work.  My life will continue to be pieced together, making me a versatile, flexible and passionate creator.