#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!

#DBCBookBlogs: Don’t Ditch That Tech

Quick! Go take this super-simple, fast survey about technology use in your classroom. Pay close attention to the scale provided; the agree & disagree alternate in questions! Before you click submit, be sure to add up your total points! You’ll need that in a moment.

There’s a new DITCH book out called Don’t Ditch That Tech and it’s the 74th book in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line of super-awesome books by super-awesome folks! The two previous DITCH books are Ditch That Textbook and Ditch That Homework! In the book , Matt Miller, Nate Ridgway, and Angie Ridgway show readers how to differentiate instruction using technology, which is music to my instructional technologist ears. The best part?! They teach how to differentiate by… wait for it… DIFFERENTIATING! dontditchthattech

Back to that survey! Do you remember your total points? In the first chapter (which are interestingly given letters rather than numbers – it spells out DITCH IT!), Matt & the Ridgways identify “five roles that correspond to different levels of a continuum of technology integration and differentiation”. They are quick to remind us that these do not define us, but give us a starting point.

  • If you scored from 0-16, you are a Pilot.
  • If you scored from 17-22, you are a Museum Exhibitor.
  • If you scored from 23-28, you are a Restaurant Owner.
  • If you scored from 29-34, you are a Councilmember.
  • If you scored from 35-40, you are a Creative Art Coach.

This continuum moves from Pilot being mostly teacher-centered to Creative Art Coach being mostly student-centered. I found that I scored 34 points and am on the cusp of Councilmember and Creative Art Coach. When you read the book, you’ll find out much more detail about what each role means and how to move from one role to the next in the continuum.

The entire book is set up to be a guide based on your current role. You could read this book in a jiffy, multiple times by focusing on your current role only. Imagine if you’re a Pilot the first time you read Don’t Ditch That Tech and you focus only on the Pilot sections of the book. You choose a couple of things to implement (as the authors tell us again and again NOT to implement too much at once because it will overwhelm both teacher and student) and you implement them with success. Then, you take the survey again with these new tools in your tool belt to see that you have moved up the continuum. (YAY, you!) Now you’re reading as a Museum Exhibitor or Restaurant Owner. Get it? Isn’t that neat?! I love that this differentiation book is differentiated to meet the needs of the reader!

I’ll be perfectly honest, I knew that anything Matt Miller touches turns to gold (truth), but I wasn’t sure if there was anything in this book for me to really connect with. I wouldn’t dream of ever ditching the tech, so being told not to in the title made me go into this book with a coaching lens – as in, how can I use this with the educators I work with who are ditching tech daily. I was very pleasantly surprised that there were tech tools that I got to explore while reading as I’d never heard of them! Matt and the Ridgways also included some oldies but goodies like VoiceThread and Blabberize that I honestly had moved on from, but checked them out again. I’m impressed with their updates and look forward to possibly using them in the future.

There are so many things to love in this book as it is insanely practical! I truly appreciate all the examples using QR codes and shortened URLs!  There’s advice, notes, tips, and recommendations throughout the entire book that highlight various potential pitfalls when using tech. I love that the authors are being proactive about these possible issues and helping readers avoid those issues altogether!

Implementation

Last year I introduced Google Keep to my students and several jumped right on board with it! There were many however, that were overwhelmed with the post-it note look to the platform and thus felt unorganized. I’m excited to… yep… differentiate (!!!) next year! Now that they know about Google Keep and how to use it, those who want to continue to use it for due dates, upcoming events, etc can do so. For those who want to try something new or never really liked Keep, I’m excited to introduce Google Calendar to them. I’ll use our 1:1 school-provided Chromebooks, as well as helping those with cell phones set up their notifications on their Google Calendar. (Of course, some may choose to use their iPhone Calendar.)

I’m really excited about all Don’t Ditch That Tech has to offer and I love the focus on differentiation. I also love that there is so much emphasis on technology being more than a shiny tool, but using technology to strengthen student experience making each student feel like the class was created for them. Be sure to click here to purchase your copy of the book, and check out the free preview! I believe this is a book for everyone – whether you believe it’s blasphemy to ditch technology or you just wish the “tech lady” would stop pestering you with these “tech ideas” or if you’re somewhere in between!

For a little extra bonus, check out Matt’s blog about this latest DITCH book! Be sure to join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #DitchBook and follow Matt and Nate & Angie Ridgway! It is abundantly clear throughout the book that they are very open to answering questions and helping readers move through the continuum differentiating instruction for students using technology! You don’t want to miss out on this book!

#DBCBookBlogs: Relentless

“Bye, y’all! See you soon! I love you!”

Every time students leave the media center, I say something to this effect. I *LOVE* my students and they know it! How do I know they know it? Because I tell them… all. the. time!

It’s always fun to see the looks on the faces of my 6th graders as they hear that for the first time. It ranges from confusion to eye rolls to the occasional “aw, I love you too.” By 8th grade, students know it’s coming and by golly, they know that they better say “I love you, too, Mrs. Ray” or I’m following them to their next class. HAHA! (I really did that once and that kid & I formed a bond that has lasted 3 years! Every time he sees me, he now tells me he loves me first.)

What stood out to me more than anything in the 73rd book from Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc was the message of love and legacy. Relentless by Hamish Brewer is certainly a book that gets your blood pumping.

relentless

Hamish shares his story and boy, is it a doozy! He certainly took the scenic route into our profession and his current position as principal of Fred M. Lynn Middle School in Virginia. It’s clear that this scenic route he took greatly impacts his role every day. His motto “Be Relentless” is more than just a catchphrase. It’s a lifestyle that he’s lived out his entire life, it appears. He shares the secret sauce behind multiple school transformations! The way he explains it makes it seem like it’s the most obvious thing in the world, but if it’s so obvious why are more schools not knocking it out of the park! My school has a new principal beginning this fall; I’m so excited to see how our school culture continues to shift! She’s already holding one-on-one conversations with our faculty and staff, being an archaeologist as Hamish describes! She’s clearly on the right track already!

Relentless was a word that stood out to me when I read Lead Like a PIRATE by Beth Houf & Shelley Burgess. This year I have strived to be relentless in finding the best in people. I’m telling you right now; it’s hard! The fact that the tattooed, skateboarding principal lives this out daily is pretty impressive! It’s tough for me to live it out for even one conversation. Planting your feet in positivity and refusing to succumb to the negativity and drama around us can be insanely difficult. However, Hamish tells us that there are no excuses. We are in charge of us, and I choose my own attitude. Every day.

Loving my students is part of the attitude that I choose to have. Telling my students that I love them is one of the most important things I do every day. Some students need to hear it one-on-one to believe it. I’ve held the hands of students as they are angry with me, a teacher, the school, the system, or someone else, and look straight in their eyes and tell them that I love them. Every time I feel an immediate shift in emotion, typically followed by tears. (Got to love middle schoolers) Even in dealing with disruptions from students in class, I remind those students, “I love you, and you’ve got to stop doing ______”. In the event that I get frustrated and address the class’s not-so-stellar behavior (shocking, I know… but it happens), I will fuss and immediately follow with, “now y’all know I love you and I expect better.”

Relentless also made me stop and consider my legacy. What legacy am I leaving? When students leave me at the end of the year, are they excited to see me again in the fall? Being in a position to teach every student in the school for the entirety of their middle school career allows me to develop relationships during a pivotal time in their lives. What is my legacy? If my legacy is negative, I’m setting them up for a miserable three years.

Tonight I got to dig into my legacy a little. While at the softball team pool party with my oldest daughter, I realized that one of the lifeguards was a former student. She will be a junior in high school in the fall and I taught her the first semester of her 5th grade year before accepting my first media coordinator position at the midpoint of the year. The moment she realized who I was, she jumped up and came running to give me a big hug! (The irony of the lifeguard running beside the pool was not lost on me, by the way.) We chatted for a while and she mentioned so many memories she had from our short time together. It made me smile that she remembered the experiences we shared in such detail! I love her!

One of my favorite parts of teaching is not the legacy that I leave, but the legacy the students leave with me. I learn something from every kid I teach and every adult I coach. Their legacy becomes my legacy. The idea of a legacy is so powerful, and reminds me how important our job is. This year’s implementation of Relentless by Hamish Brewer will be more intentionality about the love and legacy I leave with each student, and the legacy they leave with me.

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #Relentless and check out Hamish’s website here! I highly suggest checking out these videos on YouTube! He has done so many interviews and shares so much with us! Definitely check out his TEDxTalk here! You can preview & purchase a copy of Hamish Brewer‘s book, Relentless here! It’ll get you pumped up this summer and ready to hit the ground running when students come back to school!