Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Coffeechug Daily Education Links 11/21/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tashi by Anna Fienberg

I am desperately looking for books to engage my 7 year old son to enjoy reading for pleasure. I am an avid reader and would love to begin to read books together and discuss them.

I tried reading Tashi to him the other night. This marks the first time where I read to him and he actually sat still for more than 3 minutes.

The book description reads

In the first book of the much-adored Tashi series, children are introduced to Jack’s extraordinary imaginary friend Tashi, a gnome-like character from a place far away. Brave Tashi tells adventurous tales of being sold to a warlord and escaping on a swan. This little hero has to be clever to outsmart giants, ghosts, demons, and witches that stand in his way. Young readers will be captivated by Tashi’s tall tales of courage and daring.

Typically to have my son read for 15 minutes or me reading to him or a combo is a challenge. When I read this to him we actually read the entire book. He loved it! I was shocked by how focused he was as we read about dragons, giants, and the whole bit. The pictures on each page really helped him to stay engaged.

After reading this book he took it to his room to read and look at on his own. I have to give this book s5 starts for the fact that it connected with my son and he actually enjoyed it. For sure I will be snagging the rest of the books in the series for hope that the focus continues.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ReRead Review

If you have been following this blog, then you know that I signed up for a blogger challenge to reread the Harry Potter series. I forgot how these books just suck my mind into a world of magic.

I rarely ever reread anything. The only exception would be John Green, Kurt Vonnegut, and the book Tuesdays with Morrie. I don't like to waste time reading something again.

However, this is far from a waste of time. I planned to give myself last week and this week to read book one as I have barely done any pleasure reading this entire year. I did not need that much time as I polished this book off in a few days.

I am not going to give a book review like I normally do, but instead just speak about the experience of reading it again. Obviously this book series is one of the best series to ever be created. What I found to be so exciting was reading the story again forgetting so many cool things. I kept reading and thinking, "How did I forget about this character or that event?". I then took the time to look up names of people and phrases and such and was blown away by how much is really hidden in these books. The mirror of erised for example is such an obvious play on words that I overlooked until I Googled to see if Erised was a name of a mythological character(I was way off!). While reading I found myself constantly looking for little gems like this.

I built a Google Doc page I am recording parts that I liked - https://docs.google.com/document/d/15TOUCMYhAQSprGkMEtlhfBtxQmrZ4YHfTHNYmkeIOV4/edit

Feel free to check it out and if you are reading them again feel free to add your own. I know there are sites out there that contain everything, but I want this to be a collaborative self guided journey.

The first book in the series was even better than I remembered. I cannot wait to begin book two. You know you are reading something special when reading it again feels like reading it for the first time.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lego Minifig Series 8 - Football Player Trade

I am working on collecting all 16 Lego Minifigs from series 8.

Here is what I currently have


I have an extra football player and would like to trade someone for one I don't have in exchange. Contact me or leave a comment if interested.


EdCafe Project - 6th Graders Seeking Feedback and Fresh Ideas

I have fallen in love with the cool idea of Edcafe presentations. If you don't know what an Edcafe is, then search #edcafe on Twitter and learn all about this concept where the learning and teaching are placed in the hands of students.

My 6th grade language arts extension students are working on this type of project as we speak. This is new territory for them and myself. I will share all details and lessons soon when I have time to organize all my thoughts, but in the meantime what is more important is my class.

My 6th graders are working on 4 topics to host a discussion with their peers. We have been reading Touching Spirit Bear and from this book and class discussions they have generated four topics to host a discussion about for their final project.

They have been brainstorming and it is still evolving. The ideas started very simple, but as we continue to talk as a class, find articles, conduct some research and explore the students are going deeper with their thoughts and discussion topics.

We have generate a Google Doc where we have been working on our topics and ideas. At this point in time my students would love to gain some insight, feedback, food for thought, articles to read, etc. from other people besides me(they only can handle so much from one person).

If you could please take 5 minutes, check out the Google Doc, read their ideas and send them some feedback through leaving a comment on the document or emailing me(aarmau@gmail.com) they would love it. I think if they had someone read their information outside of their school it would really make this learning journey more valid.

Here is the Google Doc link - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LRuXwcuFK8N2rkfXuGkHDvNlNMhZMSV8bzS5zJMWr6o/edit

Also, we are creating our very own Book Drum project that you can check out if you wish - http://spiritbearbookdrum.wikispaces.com/home

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help out with my students and their learning.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Harry Potter Read Along - Sorcerer's Stone Chapters 1-5 Update

Yesterday I posted about how I am taking part in a little group activity with bloggers about reading all the Harry Potter books again. I would love it if students, parents, readers of this blog, etc. joined me in reading the series again. You can read more about it here.

Yesterday I had some time to read and I actually was lost in the book and I have not been lost in a book in quite a long time. It was awesome. I have read the first five chapters and I cannot believe about how much I have forgotten about this series and I have barely scratched the surface.

I did not want to post everything here and ruin for others so what I have done is created a Google Doc where I am going to share my thoughts about the book specifically while I read. This will be parts I forgot, parts I like, and basically anything I want to add.

Even better, I would love it if others joined me and added information while you read the series again.

Here is the link for the Google Doc

Friday, September 21, 2012

Harry Potter Read Along - Let the journey begin

I came across this awesome blog earlier this week and after reading some back posts and so forth I became excited to join the Harry Potter Read Along. I have not read these books in forever. Well, basically since each one was released and I read each one that same day.

I have been struggling like mad lately to get immersed in a book. I keep picking up books here and there and just am not able to focus long enough to read. Today I had a bit of downtime while internet was down in my school and started to read the first book. I was hooked all over again. I will be documenting my reading journey on this blog.

If you want please join me in my rereading experience. My plan is to finish book 1 by the end of next week. So find your copy of the first book in this awesome series and join me.

Feel free to send me a tweet @coffeechugbooks (follow the chat at #HPreadalong) or email me @aarmau@gmail.com or leave a comment.

Check out the cool blog. I hope to add some pins to Pinterest and maybe even build a Lego or two.

Lego Creation Challenge #9: These are going to be tough to beat!

Just received two new creations from the 20 Piece Lego Challenge that we have going on right now in my school. The pieces were in the hands of another teacher, Mr. Hernandez and he just blew the top off bottle of creativity!


His first is a duck creation. Different from the others and another solid performance. However, he did not stop there and came up with this design:


I like this. This is good work right here! The bag is being sent out and we will see what is created next.

Have a great weekend and don't forget about the Halloween building challenge.

If you need more info about the Lego Challenges be sure to check the tabs at the top of the blog.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Some Quality Answers From Aiden's Work At School

You  have to love the honesty and straight to the point thoughts of a 2nd grade boy.

We never know what will happen next with our kids. The downside of being the offspring of Amanda and I.

I bet any shoe would not argue with these statements.


Lego Building Challenge Creation #8: Industrial Crane

Good work Wagner! Another teacher has joined the ranks of the Lego Challenge. A nice edition to the creative flow of our staff. The 20 pieces are in the hands of another teacher as we speak and then it returns to the students who are anxiously awaiting.

What will be built next?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coffeechug Daily Education Links 09/20/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Chain Link Teamwork Challenge

I used this idea from the amazing website - http://greatsolutions.blogspot.com/2008/12/chain-link.html

Today during TA my 7th graders were asked to perform the following task

Chain Link


strips of paper, roughly 1/2" wide and 12" long
(how many depends upon how large your group is...plan for about a dozen strips per person)

a roll of tape
(more if you are trying this with a large group)


You have strips of paper and a roll of tape to work with. Your task is to work together to create a festive paper chain. The catch? You'll do this back to back, keeping your hands behind your back and your face forward. Communication and cooperation is key! You have five minutes to create a paper chain as long as possible. When time expires, your chain will be measured; for every 12 consecutive links, you will receive ten bonus points. Unattached links receive no credit.

Have Fun!

I gave them about 14 minutes to see what they could do. Needless to say I was rather impressed by the end result as we ran out of paper. It was interesting to watch them work.

The first thing they did was divide up into two groups(boys and girls). Funny how middle school operates.
Chain Link Activity

They then created an assembly line approach where each team selected one as a taper and the rest just partnered up and assembled.
Chain Link Activity

The key piece was to leave enough extra pieces to connect them all since we were running short on supplies.

In the end we were able to connect 84 pieces. This required some serious teamwork with a TA that needs to work on these skills. They had to problem solve and make sure they shared in the work. This is hard for some to do as they just want to do it all their way. Others have a hard time learning how to operate as a team. It was a good experiment.

Total Chain

We look forward to seeing if any TA can top 84. If so, then we are up for a challenge to improve since we did run out of paper.

Coffeechug's Lego Imagination Contest #1 - Halloween UPDATE


I just wanted to check in to see how everyone is coming along in their Lego Halloween creations?

My son and his two buddies have begun building their creation.

They came up with a very clever title, "Brick or Treat"

Here are just a few photos of their work in progress

If you want to snap a picture and send it my way to show your current work in progress feel free and I will add it to the blog.

In the meantime, keep on building and using your imagination. I plan on starting mine this weekend. However, I might be short on some pieces as my son has hoarded many of them.

Last, I am working on a possible little prize to the best design. More details to come.

Have a great Wednesday and I look forward to seeing your work on progress.

For more information about the challenge simply check out the tab at the top of the blog title, Lego Imagination Monthly Challenge.

Monday, September 17, 2012

5th Grade ELP Interest Inventory

Last week I shared the results from the interest inventory of my 4th grade class.

Today I wanted to share the results from my 5th grade class.

Much like I stated with the 4th graders I am impressed by what they want to learn. The challenge is to make it all work.

 Extended Learning Program
Student Interest Inventory
Grade 5 — 2012-2013

Grade 5 ELP Students 

Eagle Eye to the World
10—Field Trip to Alcoa Eagle Nest / Cam
 7—Young / Life Cycle
 4—Legends / History
 3—Prey / Hunting
 2—Eagles Around the World

Student Interest Areas
10—Quail Cam
 9—Global Contacts
 8—Egg Drop
 8—Frog Dissection
 6—Outdoor Activities / Animals
 5—Global Pen Pals
 5—Architecture / Bridge Building
 5—Lego / Robotics
 5—Chemistry / Forensic Science
 5—Sumdog / Math Explorations
 4—Astronomy / Solar System / Outer Space
 3—Author Visit
 2—Field Trips / Sports / Plants
 1—Origami / Natural Disasters / WWI & II / Weather / Olympics / Cars / Indians&Legends

Lego Minifig #2: Looking to trade my custom Coffeechug minifig

Alright, I am willing to trade my very own custom minifig of myself, COFFEECHUG, for another minifig rendition of COFFEECHUG!

If you have a good build of a minifig of me(I am bald and love coffee and triathlons and anything nerdy) then contact me at aarmau@gmail.com to set up a trade.

I might have to keep the coffee mug unless your minifig has some addition that is equal.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lego Building Challenge Creation #7: My Son Aiden

So my son was complaining about being bored Sunday afternoon so after I snapped a picture of the Pac Man piece by Mr. Uhde I gave him the bag and thought it would occupy at least 10 minutes.

I told him I wanted an animal as he was going to make a pistol. Within 20 seconds he builds this turtle.


I will not lie I was quite impressed. He then took about 5 more seconds and added the turtle eating food.


He might be better than me. Not too bad for 30 seconds of work for a 7 year old. If only we did not lose our creativity the older we get!

Lego Building Challenge #6: Another Teacher Creation

This is simple, but very creative by Mr. Uhde.

We don't always have to go complex to make something cool.

Students you have your work cut out for you after the latest two teacher designs.

I am still amazed at how 20 little pieces can go so many different ways.

This is Pac Man eating up a dot.


Lego Minifig #1 - Let Us Do A Trade

Alright so I was perusing the Internet when I came across this awesome site created by some kids called The LEGOMEN Project where they trade their minifigs with anyone. It is much like what you can do at Legoland.

I decided to start my own.

I am starting small with some basic minifigs and will be working towards cooler ones as well as some custom minifigs. This is what I want. I want custom minifigs where you have created your own by mixing and matching parts.

Here is my first one I made in about 10 seconds.

Wanna trade, please contact me and we will get this going. I will post all trades and future minifigs here on the blog as well as on Pinterest.

Source: flickr.com via Aaron on Pinterest

Coffeechug's Lego Imagination Contest #1 - Halloween

The Lego Building Challenge has been an awesome success with many students and teachers begging for their turn to build something with the 20 pieces. We all must be patient as it makes the rounds to the next person in line.

Thinking about all of you who so impatiently are awaiting the bag of goodies I have decided to unfold another Lego challenge. I will be bringing in some random Lego pieces to my office, but this challenge is more for anyone who already has Legos and looking for some inspiration to be creative.

Here is the rules and topic for Challenge #1

Get your Legos out, it's time for Coffeechug's Lego Imagination Contest Challenge #1

You have a little over one month to complete this project and send me the photo of your finished creation.  Your creation needs to be just that, your OWN creation.

This must come from your own imagination. I don't want any kits or purchased type sets for this. You can use any Lego pieces that you want, but you must design it yourself. Make it as a simple and easy as you want or as hard and complex.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Remember, send your photo to me by Friday, October 26th.

I am giving a lot of time for this first challenge so word can spread.

Submit your photos of your designs to aarmau@gmail.com

Please include
  • Your name
  • Your grade level/age
  • A title if you have one for your build
If you attend BMS or any Bettendorf elementary school and you want to bring your creation in I will display them in one of the display cases.

I want this to be EPIC. LEGO EPIC.

I will begin building myself. I will need to step up my building game.

Here we go!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Review: The Multiplayer Classroom by Lee Sheldon

One of my current education interests has been gamification in the education setting. I know that there are many beliefs about this topic, but I really believe that if done right the potential for this mode of teaching is unstoppable.

I have joined many online sites, chats, webinars, etc. pertaining to gamification and just keep falling in love with what people are doing. I am obsessed with this topic with about as much obsessionness(if even a word) as I am about going global in the classroom.

Many people have referenced this book and I finally broke down and bought the book to learn a little more.

Here is the book description from Amazon.com

Discover how to engage your students and raise their grades and attendance in your classroom. THE MULTIPLAYER CLASSROOM: DESIGNING COURSEWORK AS A GAME is your detailed guide to designing any structured learning experience as a game. Written for professional educators or those learning to be educators, here are the tools to engage and excite students by using principles learned in the development of popular video games. Suitable for use in the classroom or the boardroom, the book features a reader-friendly style that introduces game concepts and vocabulary in a logical way. You don't need any experience making games or even playing games to use this book. Yet, you will learn how to create multiplayer games for any age on any subject. Bring your classroom into the 21st century!

This book pretty much takes us through the ups and downs of Lee Sheldon as he tries to figure out a way to gamify his college courses that he has taught. This is not a how to manual. I think that is what I liked best. There is no cookie cutter method to turning your classroom into a game mode atmosphere. Yes, certain things must be put into place, but at the end of the day the personality of the teacher, the students, the classroom, and the goals and objectives of learning will drive the game system.

I found the personal story and journey of Lee interwoven with other case studies to be beneficial. I learned new tricks and ideas as well as what not to do. I began to formulate my own opinions and ideas.

I have about 20 places tagged with sticky notes to mark important ideas about education and how to gamify my classroom.

Gamification is not for everyone. Nor does it work for every class or unit. However, if it does fit the bill, then students are going to love it. This book has me started on my own journey as begin to devise a unit right now using gamification. I am excited. I am hooked. What more do you want from a book than to walk away satisfied and hungry for more knowledge. Lee Sheldon has done just that.

Why I Love Teaching - 4th Grade Interest Inventory

This week in ELP we began to investigate what our students are interested in studying for the year. We follow a model in which we try to match our projects, units, and curriculum to their passion and interests. We have 16 4th grade students from our 6 elementary buildings in our class. We gave them a piece of paper in which they had to write down two things.

1. Interests about Bald Eagles(this is our theme for the year)
2. Student interest,hobbies, things they want to study that does not pertain to eagles(at least in their mind)

We gave them most of the class. During this time we talked about prior projects, potential projects, and some ideas we have as teachers. They asked lots of questions and their gears just turned and turned.

Here is the list of topics they came up with in about 20 minutes or so of brainstorming.

4th Grade ELP Interest Inventory

Body Parts - beak II, eyes IIII, feathers II, wings II, talons,
Nest II
Hunting III
Eagle Poster
Flight IIII
Eagle Website
Eaglets II

Student Interest

Skype Math IIII (4)
Penpals IIIIIIIII (9)
Lego Robotics II (2)
Owl Pellets IIIIIIIIIII (11)
Architecture II (2)
Study Cows
Mystery Skype IIIIIIIIII (10)
Goose Poop Study IIIIII (6)
Quail Camera IIIIII (6)
Animals III- pandas, bunnies, dogs II, monarchs IIIII, dolphins II, flamingos, komodo dragons, lions, gila monsters, aardvarks, platypus, cobras
Plays II (2)
Candy Factories
Animation - claymation IIIIIIIII (9)
lightwire II (2)
Eco-Meet IIIIIIIII (9)
Outer Space, Universe II (2)
Theory of Relativity
Safety Case for Chips(makes think of Pringle Challenge)
Egg Drop IIIIIII (7)
Website Creation
Geode Hunting IIII (4)
Greek Alphabet
Dissection IIIII (5)
Aerial Engineering II (2)
Electrical Engineering
Bettendorf Mansion IIII (4)
Language and Culture
Underwater/Ocean III (3)
Shark attacks 1916
Drawing II (2)
Secret Passages

Look at the wide array of topics. Look how awesome these ideas are to investigate further. The downside is that we don't have enough time to cover them all, but we will try our best. It is now time to craft some projects and units based around their interests and see what we can develop. I love this time of year. It keeps me fresh as a teacher. These students force to push myself out of my personal comfort zone to meet their needs.

We had a great first week together. I look forward to a fantastic year.

This is why I love teaching. The passion for learning from my students only fuels my passion to teach.

5th grade list will be coming over the weekend.

Lego Building Challenge #5: An Educator Steps Onto The Scene

A change of pace. We have teachers involved in the building challenge. What do you think of the first attempt by someone over the age of 14 to take on the challenge? A nice looking airplane to start things off.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Lego Building Challenge Student #4

Here is the latest creation turned in last week by R.J.

It is a racecar and here are two views so you can check out the build. Keep them coming. I have been impressed with the imagination so far!

IMG_3636 IMG_3637

Lego Building Challenge Student #3

Here is the next Lego Creation from Brendan M.

The ideas keep flowing. I forgot to ask him for the name of his creation, but it appears to be a type of bird. It reminds me of a toucan or pelican(I hope I am not wrong!)


Monarch Butterfly Update - Day 17

I have not updated our monarch caterpillar in quite some time. I have been posting pictures daily to the my Flickr set, but I just have not had to time write.

Here is quick update. We are now on day 17. This guy is getting huge. I will post the latest picture this afternoon in the Flick set(see below)

They are now to the point where they are eating 2-3 leaves. I mean the entire leaf with nothing left. Any day they will form the chrysalis. My son already had his monarch form the chrysalis. What is quite weird and I hope that I don't miss out on this process while at school is that the chrysalis is under their skin. GROSS! They shed their skin and then BOOM it is underneath. This just blows my mind. I hope to capture this process and show it here on the blog. Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out the slideshow and watch how big he has grown. Hard to believe he was smaller than my fingertip two weeks ago.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thoughts From Coffeechug: Too Much Testing

I have been reading, studying, and crafting many new ideas when it comes to education. I have a ton of massive projects that I am working on as we speak due to all my excitement with new things I am learning and trying to study up on in my free time. Since school has started my passion for engaging students and trying to create an atmosphere where they are truly "learning" has consumed my soul and time. I don't want to just move through standards to check them off. I want my students to pause, think, and improve their passions for learning. More importantly I want them to develop that mindset of pushing themselves on their own to create something beautiful and powerful.

I don't know if I am there yet, but along the way I feel like the world of education from both the perspective of a teacher and father has started to throw some chinks in my armor. My excitement is my suit. I love the challenge of creating something new and fresh.

This week has opened my eyes to some very real things. These items have made me rethink things schools are doing.

Testing - We live in a culture saturated in tests. As teachers we are forced to test. These tests are both tests we give in our classroom as well as required tests from district, state, and national levels. We spend a mass amount of time testing. This is not the answer. This hit home when my 2nd grade son came home the other night. He was on his second day of testing for MAP. It was the language test. I asked how it went and he did his typical boy shrug and mumbled, "I dunno know" I kept pressing as the annoying parent does and finally found out that he felt bad about it. He said he did not do good. I asked how he knew that and his answer really bothered me "I could not read the question to know what it was asking so I just picked answers."


My son is not an advanced reader, but he is not terrible. He is just a normal kid with normal abilities. This response really gave me pause. How is this test measuring his language skills when he was not even aware of  what was being asked? I understand if it was reading to measure his reading level, but that is another test that I believe he is taking today. My son already has a poor image of himself when it comes to reading and this test did nothing more than drive his confidence even lower and for what? What are schools really using all this data for? What are we honestly doing testing 2nd graders in this manner? Data, Data, Data, and for what? There is a time and place for testing don't get me wrong, but I feel like we are overboard. I have a deflated son and it is just not a great start to the year for him mentally. I often wonder if we truly measure the positives vs. the negatives of all this testing with students. Why not focus on the journey of learning. I know he is learning. He loves his teacher. He loves science and can go into detail about every minute of the science lesson. Great things are happening. Does this test prove his language skills or is it useless since he could not read it in the first place? This is just not an issue with his school. This is a national issue as kids all over the nation are being drilled with tests so ensure we are leaving no child behind and showing growth. This is not to pick my school apart. This is to show a real issued as we push and push to align to a national curriculum that we know from other countries will never work, but spend a ton of money.

My last thing is this. When kids enter middle school they are tested out. They just don't care anymore. With testing moving lower and lower in grade levels at what point do we just chill out? As a teacher I can prove what my kids can and can't do. I don't need an assessment tool everyday or week. The work I do is productive work and continuous process that leads to an end product. The journey shows the learning. I don't need fill in the blank, multiple choice, true/false when I have something tangible to demonstrate what they can and cannot do. Which is more valuable - filling in bubbles that Google could give me every answer or to create something that demonstrates skills and thinking? I can show you right now the first piece of writing of my students from last Monday and the finished piece a week later and this will show you the learning taking place.

2. I had another thought, but every time I wrote the ideas down they just scattered into chaos of my brain. I will come back to it soon.

I will come back to this issue again. I need to read some more and dig some research and watch my son through this journey. I am not alone with these thoughts, but I worry that nothing will change. Until next time...........................

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hunger Games - Education Gamification Brainstorm Idea -

Hunger Games Gamification

My whole purpose with this project is to entice and promote writing, reading, and thinking. Even more important to me is to demonstrate to teachers, parents, and other students how awesome kids can be when we create the right environment to learn and challenge ourselves

Options: I will always have three options available based on themes of book. These will be based off essential questions

Essential Questions:
• When is adversity an advantage?
• When is silence the best force against adversity?
• What weapons work against ultimate control?
• What do you do when you know you cannot win?


  • Training Badge - tutorial of Edmodo, Google Docs, and Wikispaces
  • Group Work - not sure of tasks(struggling with this aspect)

Level Up/XP
  • Survival of the Fittest - district that survives to the end
  • Survival of all Spectators - high level spectator will enter Arena at a given point in time.
  • Create a leaderboard


Here is what I am thinking

Week 1: Signs and countdown timer to create excitement within the school

Week 2: In school announcements explain the story and backdrop and provide link to the project website. Students will then apply to join the spectacle if they so choose.

School will be broken up into 12 districts. 9 districts for each house. We are a middle school so each grade level is divided up into 3 houses. Students will apply to be a character for their house.
Another district will be made up of teachers. This leaves me with two more districts. I have considered add my 5th grade ELP class as the 11th district. Perhaps I could have an admin district. Another idea would be a mixed district of three grade levels(6,7,8). I still need to finalize how to structure the last three districts.

I will have a lottery system to announce the people chosen. I will either broadcast this live via Ustream or create a video to allow teachers to show during our TA(homeroom). These people will then have a meeting with me one day before or after school to go over the process.

The people not selected for the Arena will then become Spectators. Spectators will have voting power via polls to eliminate teams, add items, disturbances, etc. They will still have a role. Spectators will earn XP points as well. At some point in the game the highest scoring spectator will enter the arena.

Each week or every few days a district will be eliminated. We will utilize a Survivor TV show approach where the highest level District will not be eliminated. This will give them another week to survive and hopefully entertain the other districts to work hard to earn points to take the lead.

Districts will earn points through their writing of the story. We will develop our own situation/version of Hunger Games. Each character will create their own profile via Fakebook and will be uploaded to our Hunger Game website. There will be side quests to earn additional XP points. Spectators will earn XP points through writing, the side quests, and also giving feedback to the writing. Spectators will be just as involved, but just not part of the actual storyline. They are more like news reporters.

Here is where I need help
I will create videos along the way as President. 

I still need to develop disasters, disturbances, and elements to spruce things up.

I still need to think of side quests or ways for people to earn additional XP points.

I still need to figure out which website will work best to host all this info. At this time I am thinking wix for the beginning phase and overall gameplay, but the leaderboard, character profiles, quests, videos, etc. will be done on a wiki? 

Not sure about this yet.

What do you think? I would love any suggestions, ideas, and help. When I get this up and running I will share with all to use, follow, monitor, steal, etc.

The greatest thing is that I believe I can prove how awesome kids are without the threat of grades, detentions, common core, etc. This is going to be epic!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Coffeechug Daily Education Links 08/31/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Lego Building Challenge Student #2: Duck

Here is the second creation in the BMS Lego Challenge.

This one is simply titled, "Duck", and is another impressive build from the 20 pieces available.


Great job Josh Turner.

Who will be next?

And what will they build?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Monarch Caterpillar Days 3 & 4

Well, our caterpillars(we have 3) are not real active yet. We don't seem to see them do much of anything, but when we wake up in the morning the leaves are starting to be consumed more and more. I believe that Aiden and Addy have hungrier caterpillars than mine. I need to take some pictures of theirs to document their growth as well.

Monday(Day 3) we noticed that they had indeed become slightly larger. It is noticeable.


This photo was taken in the morning. Some of leaf had been consumed, but not as much as I expected. Not that I have any prior knowledge to draw on, but I thought they would eat more, but in reality those holes are bigger than the body of the caterpillar so that is impressive.

Here are a few photos from Tuesday(Day 4). I could once again tell this little guy is growing every single day.



I think today was very clear that he has grown since Saturday. Hard to believe how quickly they grow.

Here a few facts about the monarch caterpillar/butterfly.

  • They only eat milkweed. They will starve to death before eating anything else. Nature is crazy.
  • When this guy gets bigger(over 1 inch) he will eat two leaves a day! Insane hunger pains this guy must have.
I will be back again tomorrow with updated photos and a few more facts. Thanks for checking things out.