#DBCBookBlogs: I Want to Be a Lot

Like many kids, I went through multiple career choices before being serious about becoming a teacher in high school. I wanted to be a veterinarian (until I discovered I’m allergic to anything with fur), I wanted to be a marine biologist (until I realized I’m not a great swimmer & not a fan of the ocean), and for most of high school, I wanted to go into the United States Air Force.

I also dreamed of being a singer/songwriter! I used to travel as a teenager singing anywhere they’d let me. My mom took me to Nashville to record a 3-song demo CD when I was 16; the CD is hidden where no one can ever find it. I even traveled to perform on a stage in Ohio at 15 years old. I guess you could say that I wanted to be a lot! Ashley Savage, a 19 year old college student, also wants to be a lot and she gives us permission to dream big in her picture book, I Want to Be a Lot – the 77th book in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line (and the 4th picture book)!

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Let me first just say that this book is stinking precious and everyone should buy a copy (or two or three) right now! Ashley’s book is BEYOND perfect for graduation gifts! It’s an epic baby gift! I would purchase several copies to give as teacher gifts for your own children’s teachers! It needs to be in every media center in the world! I’m not joking; it’s that precious! My daughters have asked me to read it to them countless times since we received it!

I love this book because it frees our students from having to make up their minds about what they “want to be when they grow up.” Ashley writes, “It’s okay to love a lot of things… The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to give up loving one to pursue the other.” As an adult, that’s liberating! I want to be an educator, a speaker, an educational consultant, and an author when I grow up… and I love that I don’t have to give up loving one to pursue the others! Maybe, just maybe, I can have my cake and eat it, too (as the saying goes).

As for my daughters, the Pre-Kindergarten they attended does a graduation ceremony and one of the questions the children are asked is, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Check out their answers below!

Bailey, 4 years old, PreK graduation (she’s now 10 years old)

Yes… you heard that right! She wanted to be a football player! And you know what? We watched professional football with her every Sunday, Monday night, and Thursday night, as well as college football most Saturdays. What’s precious about this is that she is the most meek, mild-mannered child you’ve ever met!

I asked her tonight what she loved and wanted to explore more and she said that she “loved to read, so maybe a librarian, or an author, or book reviewer”. She also “loved math, so maybe working in a bank, a cashier, or owning a business”. Finally, she “loved animals, so maybe a vet”. It warmed my heart that she didn’t feel that she had to choose one thing. Sometimes she’d get very worried when she didn’t know the answer to that question. Ashley’s book made her feel that it’s perfectly fine to be unsure and I’m so grateful for that.

Bailey’s favorite page of the book:

Sophie, 5 years old, PreK Graduation (she’s now 6 years old)

Ladies and gentlemen… she did say that she wanted to be a horse! As in a four-legged mammal that trots, gallops, and grazes… a h-o-r-s-e. Bless her! We didn’t quite indulge her the way we did Bailey with playing football for obvious reasons, but it certainly made us smile. For the record, she wanted to be a horse until around Christmas last year.

After reading Ashley’s book, she’s decided that she wants to be a photographer! She wants to “take pictures of wild animals in nature”. My sweet husband is determined to find his fancy Nikon DSLR camera before he takes the girls to the zoo in a couple of weeks so Sophie can take pictures of the animals she sees there. She was so excited about taking pictures that she was still smiling as she fell asleep. She may change her mind tomorrow about what she wants to be, but I’ve got to tell you – I’ve always seen her going into the arts somehow. When you meet her, you’ll completely understand! Photography sounds like the perfect fit for her. It’ll be hard to hold the camera with her horse hooves when she magically changes form, though. Bless.

Sophie’s favorite page of the book:

Implementation

The implementation for this one is easy-peasy! I’m buying this book for our middle school media center and using this as our kick-off for passion projects in the fall! The message that Ashley shares is so important for our students (and adults) to hear! You can follow multiple passions and be successful!

The little girl in the illustrations by Genesis Kohler reminds me so much of a student that I teach at school that I’m going to have to purchase a copy for her! Her mannerisms, hair, and indecisiveness are exactly like my student and I can’t wait to share this story with her when we return to school!

You’ve simply got to get a copy of I Want to Be a Lot by Ashley Savage! This fourth* picture book from DBC, Inc is adorable and, true to DBC form, has a wonderful message for both children and adults alike! I can’t wait to see what this 19 year old author Ashley does – and hopefully she won’t choose just one thing; she’s obviously got a TON of talent to share with the world!

*The first three picture books from DBC are Dolphins in Trees by Aaron Polansky, The Princes of Serendip by Allyson Apsey, and Zom-Be a Design Thinker by Amanda Fox!  The titles link to their #DBCBookBlogs posts, and you can find author info on those links.

#DBCBookBlogs: Zom-Be a Design Thinker

I always love when Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc gives us picture books! This third* addition to the picture book scene is absolutely precious and hopefully there are more to come in this Zom-Be series!

*The first two picture books in the DBC, Inc line are Dolphins in Trees by Aaron Polansky and The Princes of Serendip by Allyson Apsey! Check out their book blogs for more information: Dolphins in Trees blog is here and The Princes of Serendip blog is here!

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As a former elementary teacher and media coordinator (librarian), I’m a sucker for picture books! As a middle school media coordinator & digital coach in a STEM magnet middle school, I’m seeing more and more that design thinking is a vital skill we need to explicitly and intentionally teach our students.

The author of Zom-Be a Design Thinker, Amanda Fox, and I are certainly (…wait for it…) on the same page! (Boom! Book pun!) In this adorable picture book, readers are encouraged to interact with the book in many ways.

First, Amanda has some incredible XR (mixed reality – augmented reality & virtual reality) embedded and more coming! There is even a terrific way for students to have the book read aloud to them! Hello, centers! By scanning the cover using Artivive App, Zom-Be Zip comes to life and does a little preview of the book! That in itself is the cutest book-talk I’ve ever seen! Loved it!

Another way Amanda has readers interacting with the book is that it’s written in such a way that encourages the readers to stop and answer questions and actually do things while reading the book! It’s really the perfect way to introduce design thinking to any age student! My 6 year old and my 10-year-old both loved it!

Finally, Amanda has some great things in store for the future of this book (and hopefully more Zom-Be Zip books – fingers crossed for us as readers) according to her website!

If you’re an avid DBC reader, or have been following along on Twitter, you may recognize that name “zom-be zip”… Amanda is the co-author (along with Mary Ellen Weeks) of the recently released Teachingland. (Whew – two books in such a short span of time! Wow!)

Zom-Be a Design Thinker is illustrated by Luna Stella D. Seeing Zom-Be go through the process of design thinking in hopes that he’ll become a real boy again is adorable in the illustrations! I can see younger elementary students really getting into the transformation of our main character, and an entire discussion on empathy changing us from the inside out.

So Design Thinking… what is it? According to Zom-Be Zip it’s:

  • Empathize – getting to know the people before knowing the problem
  • Define – determine the problem (it may not be as obvious as you first think)
  • Ideate – brainstorming all possible solutions without mentally crossing them off (harder than it sounds)
  • Prototype – pick the best solution and create your first iteration of that solution
  • Test – try out that prototype, get feedback, and iterate (making adjustments)

These are “big words” that Amanda unpacks and helps students of all ages understand ing her book!

Implementation

Get your MERGE Cube and join in the latest exciting duo – CospacesEdu + MERGE to see what all the excitement is about! I’m super pumped about implementing this book with students in my middle school! Of course we’ll read it and use this process, along with our school process, LAUNCH from the book of the same name, LAUNCH by John Spencer and AJ Juliani! We’re taking it a step further because I’ll be showing students the MERGE cube experience that goes along with Amanda’s book. We have spent a couple months at the end of the year partnering with MERGE to explore the logistics of having MERGE cubes and MERGE VR headsets available to students and teachers for checkout! As part of this partnership, we have 25 headsets and 25 cubes available for teachers to check out from the school library as a class set! These are only used within our school building. We also have 25 headsets and 10 cubes available for students to check out from our library and take home with them as they ideate & prototype through their own thinking. When we return to school, I look to really amp up this partnership and students will be using these materials and CospacesEDU to create their own explanation of design thinking to share with others. It’s going to be a ton of fun, and will help students to really deepen their understanding of the design thinking process!

I loved this picture book and look forward to more from Zom-Be Zip and Amanda Fox! Definitely connect with Amanda (and Mary Ellen) on Twitter so you’ll know all the latest in the world of Zombies! Added bonus: Zom-Be Zip has his own Twitter account! Be sure to follow him here! You can also follow along with all things Zom-Be using the hashtag #zombeDT. Now hurry along and grab your copy of the book using this link! In fact, go ahead and grab one for each of your PLC members! It’s that adorable!

#DBCBookBlogs: EDrenaline Rush

In the past month (actually less than a month), Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc has released FIVE books! With the release of this most recent book (TODAY), DBC, Inc has officially released 75 books (and another seven books have been released under the IMpress label)! This is certainly a landmark number! As a point of reference, it was just at this time last year that the 50th book was released!!! Congratulations to Dave & Shelley Burgess and the DBC, Inc team!

Now… for the 75th book blog!

EDrenaline Rush, written by John Meehan, is a book you’ll want to purchase IMMEDIATELY! One reason for this is the incredible bonus you get it you purchase by Saturday,  June 22, 2019! I preordered my book and got in on the bonus and I am blown away by the resources I got for FREE from John! All I’m saying is if you’re going to buy the book at some point this summer, get it this week! Even Dave says so here in his blog!

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Another reason you’ll want to purchase this book is because it’s just that good! From the minute I opened this book, I was pumped! I can’t wait to get back to school so I can implement some of the super creative games John outlines! The engagement strategies are plentiful and sure to hook students immediately!

The book is divided into three parts.

  1. Amusement Parks
  2. Mud Runs
  3. Escape Rooms

While a Saturday at a mud run doesn’t exactly sound like a fun day in my humble opinion, amusement parks and escape rooms are my favorites! I love the adrenaline rush I get from an amusement park – the fear of riding a new coaster, unsure of what’s going to happen on each ride, always wondering if I’m ever in any actual danger (typically not). Even the music as I walk into the amusement park puts an extra pep in my step upon arrival!

We had a new escape room open about an hour from our house and I fully intend to take my daughters with some of our friends one afternoon this summer to see if we can make it out! I love trying to solve puzzles and even have a few escape room apps on my phone. I may also be guilty of spending an excess amount of time in our htc Vive at school working my way through various themed escape rooms – obviously I’m only doing due diligence with research and development, right? (HA)

In part 1, John takes us to Disney and reminds us how many lessons we can learn from a Disney experience! (I wonder if I can convince my husband to take me to do research and development at Disney this summer… hmmm..) In November 2018 our family went on a 7-night Disney cruise and I made many connections to the service we received at Disney. Check out some of my reflections here!

In part 2, John talks about the experience of completing a Mud Run and the big obstacles that the runners face in these races. I immediately fell in love with the Personal Record rubric and cannot wait to share it with the teachers I serve! I think they will LOVE it as a goal setting and reflection tool for students. What a terrific way to help students own their learning! By the way, in part 2 – John gets REAL in some dialogue about equity, race, and access. He also begs the question, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

Finally, in part 3, I was blown away by the information about escape rooms! He helps the reader set up their own escape room – both physical rooms and digitally using Google forms. Yes – it has a similar feel to BreakoutEDU (which John also talks about). In Breakout, you’re trying to get INTO a box! In escape rooms, students are trying to get OUT of the room! Both have suspense, collaboration, critical thinking, and are a recipe for student enthusiasm! I can’t begin to tell how many times I’ve had students beg to stay in the media center to continue on their BreakoutEDU session rather than go to their next class!

Also… #QRBreakIn… yes, it’s a thing! (I told you that you need to get this book!) I’ll just leave that right there. Check out the sneak peek video below (or click here) & subscribe to the DBC, Inc Media YouTube channel!

Implementation

I seriously don’t know that I can choose just one thing to implement from EDrenaline Rush! I truly have about 10 things that I took a screenshot of (waiting for my physical book to be delivered later this week) that I can’t wait to share with teachers at my school! This is a unique book in that it blends inspiration and practicality. There are stories that touch your heart immediately followed by ways to engage your students in that same emotional experience! I’m not going to lie – I was on the edge of my seat during some of the book and noticed I was reading faster than usual (which is a feat in itself) to see what happened next.

In DON’T Ditch That Tech, Matt Miller and Nate & Angie Ridgway remind us to move poco a poco (little by little)! When my physical copy is delivered, I will do my best to narrow down to one or two games to implement in the 2019-2020 school year. This is exactly the kind of thing I geek out on in education, so I truly loved every minute of reading this book and it’s going to be a task to just pick one or two actions! (Maybe I can do one or two per teacher… hmmmm……)

Follow along with the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #EDrenaline – it’s getting ready to get lit over there, bro (hahahaha, sorry John, I had to! I know that is going in your word graveyard)! In all seriousness, you don’t want to miss out! Go preview and order the book here and check out John’s website here. I can’t wait to hear what you all think of this epic book! Remember to take advantage of the BONUS FREEBIES by ordering before Saturday, June 22, 2019 and then complete this form!

Take a minute to connect with John on Twitter and Instagram, too;  he’s a super-cool guy!