Monday, September 30, 2013

Bringing the @MOUSESquad to the Normandy School District

One of the big projects that I am working on this year is to begin implementing the's youth leadership program, the MOUSESquad, into our school district. I am working on making this happen across five elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. 

One of my responsibilities is to help identify at least one teacher on each campus as a MOUSE Squad facilitator and then support them as they implement the program on their campus. This can be during class, lunch, after school or whenever. Well, this was too good for me to pass up. So I decided to make myself one of the elementary MOUSE Squad facilitators!      

First, a little info about

"MOUSE empowers underserved youth to learn, lead and create with technology, preparing them with skills essential for their academic and career success."

Better yet. Just watch the video!

Pretty awesome huh? MOUSE helps us to empower our students by providing curriculum and activities, aligned with national standards, that are hands-on and centered around current and future technology careers. Student learn new skills by getting their hands dirty and diving in head first into exciting projects and opportunities.

I'm very excited to get started. Check back soon to see how we are doing!

Friday, September 27, 2013

My Morning in the Hero Hut Kitchen

This year my goal is to get into the classrooms at least 3 times a week and work with our students in some capacity. It's been 4 years since I've been a classroom teacher and I tend to forget what the classroom setting can be like on a day to day basis. How can I support educators if I don't know what is going on in the classroom. I have to be a realist and not just pretend that educators have all the time in the world to implement a new idea or strategy that I might suggest.

I have three big projects this year. Begin the roll out of over 3,000 devices (iPads and Laptops) to teachers and students, getting our MOUSE Squad program up and running in our district (more on that in another post) and supporting our high school Culinary Arts Chef with technology in and out of the kitchen. Chef O'Bannon has quite a bit of technology "toys" that we are excited to use. SMARTBoards, document cameras, digital camera, video editing software and laptops.

I finally had a chance to come down to the "Hero Hut" kitchen to see what her students are doing. WOW! This is what you call hands on. The students were everywhere! I seemed to be in the way most of the time but I was able to capture some of the great work that was going on.

These aspiring chefs were measuring vanilla, mixing ingredients, sifting flour, reading recipes, giving each other tasks to complete. I was AMAZED! Chef O'Bannon simply facilitated. Students were asking each other questions and problem solving their way through their project on their own. I want to make every classroom like this one!

And by the way, they were making "Wacky Cake". A non-dairy cake recipe. There's a story behind the non-dairy recipe. Maybe our kids could write a blog post or comment below to give us a little background!