Monday, April 22, 2019

The Healthy Blacksmith Challenge

As a part of the Group 4 Project for the Diploma Program of our IB school, seniors at Westlake Academy took on the challenge of helping staff members make healthy choices. 

First, they created videos to invite our staff to join the challenge.

Each student was partnered with a staff member to be their mentor. We used a Google Form to collect feedback from teachers on what their goals were during this time, and that guided the content we created for our website (find our website here)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Syllabook

You guys, #EveryoneCanCreate. If that's not your mantra yet, then you need my Syllabook Template!

During the first days of school, every teacher hands out their syllabus to students and parents. Oftentimes, they are left on desks when students leave the class and forgotten about! 

Welcome to your #syllabook template! This multitouch book allows for your students and parents to engage with your class as it sets the tone for your learning space.

Here's a video preview of my personal #syllabook:

And I've made a template just for you!! You get a template, and you get a template, and YOU get a template! :)

Here's the ePUB file for download of my own personal book.
Also the template link (Open into Pages, File >> Duplicate)

It's the easiest thing to do. Drag and drop with your favorite images, and copy over your text from your syllabus! I hope you enjoy! And please share your creations! Email them to me, tag me on Twitter (@mrshahn), or use the hashtag #syllabook!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Apple Distinguished Educator Institute 2018

Where do I even begin? It's been a few years since I've been to ADE Institute and this one did not disappoint! When you find your tribe of people, cling to them... don't let go, and let their wisdom empower you to do amazing things!

Not only does this community push me out of my comfort zone, but we get to walk into so many adventures together.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Growth and Opportunities through the Apple Distinguished Educator Program

A few weeks ago I was given an opportunity to speak at TCEA in Austin. You would think speaking to other teachers is easy-I speak all day in front of students for a living. But man, talk about vulnerability and reality checks!

I was a nervous wreck as I prepared. But there’s something about putting yourself in a vulnerable position that is so magical: there’s an opportunity to see how far you’ve come. Through all the highs and deep valleys I’ve been through, I’ve come a long way in my 7 years as an educator. This last week of pouring into other educators reminded me that all of the hard work I’m doing in my classroom is movement in the right direction. That digging in and doing things differently—challenging my students to make an impact on their world around them—getting them to not only think analytically in science but creatively—to be problem solvers... all of this is confirmation that what we do in my class is absolutely worth it.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Breakout Edu!

Have you ever done an escape room? If not, Google that and find one to do with a group of friends! They are so much fun and challenging. Even better? Making one yourself!

Breakout Edu is an awesome platform that turns your classroom into an escape room. If you purchase a kit, you will be given a set of physical locks, a large and small box, and few other supplies that allows you to build out the game. You can use the website's already made games by teacher around the world, or like I did, create your own. There is even a feature to use digital locks, so you do not have to buy a kit!

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Importance of Creating Significant Learning Environments

It's been a few months since I have received my Master's Diploma, had a baby, and started back up in the classroom again. I'm exhausted, yet I still can't help but to hold high standards for myself in the way I design my learning environment. I find it important now, more than ever, to create significant learning environments (CSLE) for my students. 

Within my IB program, the Diploma Candidates that are in biology, chemistry, and physics are required to complete something called "The Group 4 Project." Many times these projects are simple research projects: gather information on a topic, put it on a PowerPoint presentation, show it to your classmates, and call it a day. B O R I N G !!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Leading Change, One Moment At a Time

Oftentimes, we are not aware that we are leaders, but our actions and words make an impact on everyone we come into contact with. Leaders are often looked upon as figures in the spotlight, but the reality is, we ALL have an opportunity daily to impact someone. Maybe the impact will not turn into change and growth right away. Maybe the impact is a negative one, or maybe the impact is life changing. But in each moment we encounter someone, an opportunity presents itself to demonstrate and promote best practices in education. Everyday, there’s a moment to show how valuable developing significant learning environments is for students and educators.

I have seen my innovation plan grow and evolve over the course of the last 15 months. The overarching (BHAG) goal has been established: “to empower learners to achieve their highest potential, we must analyze our current status and intentionally develop and facilitate a framework of unique environments and learning experiences in order for students to collaborate, communicate, think critically, and creatively in a 1:1 iPad learning environment.” What has ultimately evolved during this graduate program is how this goal can be achieved.