Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hosting a Cardboard Challenge at Your School

I remember watching Caine's Arcade years ago when I was still teaching art, and immediately becoming inspired and wanting to do something like that with my students, but it never quite came to fruition...

Then, just this fall, I was listening to the TechEducator Podcast about #CardboardEDU and it all came back to me - I remembered how cool I thought the idea of creating using ordinary cardboard material was, and began to brainstorm all over again about how I could use this at my school. Despite being a technology teacher, I absolutely loved the low-tech aspect, and how easy it would be to create a maker-themed event for it.

A quick Google search turned up all sorts of events and projects at schools all over, like the Global Cardboard Challenge, which has been happening since 2012 ... which left me feeling quite tardy to the party! But I still needed to make this happen. I presented the idea to Mr Walker, our art teacher, and we decided to make it a joint effort. We then went to my principal, who was super supportive, and scheduled a short presentation for us at the next PTA meeting, so that we could present to parents and get some support (and supplies!) from their group, too!

The "official" Global Cardboard Challenge is held in October each year, but since the art teacher and I weren't really sure how this would go over, we decided to go ahead and host it in February (at the time, giving us a few months to sort out the details) because it is a relatively less busy time of the year in our building, making it more ideal for hosting events.

In theory, hosting a cardboard challenge event is pretty simple: collect a bunch of cardboard, find a chunk of time, and have students come and make stuff. But of course, in reality, it helps to be a little more organized than that. Here's what we did:
  1. Write a list of supplies to buy, and ask PTA to help fund: cardboard scissors, saws, tape, and glue gun sticks. 
  2. Ask PTA for parent supervision help (if needed, we found that this wasn't needed as much as we originally thought). 
  3. Pick a date (we chose 3:30-6 pm after school on a Thursday), and reserve a space in your building - we chose the cafeteria for the big tables and sweep-able linoleum floors. 
  4. Advertise! We made flyers and asked each teacher to post one in their classroom or on their door. We also went on our morning announcements to try and hype the event. 
  5. Collect cardboard. Lots of it. Have a space to store it all ahead of time. We used the art room, a storage closet, and even a section of basement hallway. Our maintenance team was super supportive (and patient!) with us. Sources for cardboard included parents, teachers, students, maintenance department, cafeteria team... everyone pitched in and it was awesome!
  6. Create a student sign-up system for the event. We used a Google Form to have students sign up in teams of up to four. We asked them to come up with a team name, and encouraged matching shirts, costumes, or accessories. Having students sign up ahead of time was helpful so that we could estimate how much we needed for supplies. 
  7. Decide if your event is going to have a theme, and if not, consider giving some ideas to students for projects: cardboard forts? armor? robots? games? vehicles? sculpture? costumes? We kept our first year open-ended, but I'm considering having a theme next year. 
  8. Awards. Will you have them? For what categories? Who votes? For our first year, we made simple participation medals (out of cardboard, of course) that read: "I mastered the Cardboard Challenge at SMS," and encouraged students to wear them to school the following day.

I was so excited to have over 15 teams of students sign up for our first ever Cardboard Challenge event! There was so much excitement in the cafeteria. Our administrators stopped by several times to watch the action unfold, and many teachers took the time to stop by and talk to students, too! We even had a team of seniors from the York High School "Invite to Teach" program (it's like a teacher internship for students who think they'll go into the education field in college) participate in the challenge!

For leaving the first year's event open-ended, we got some pretty fun and creative results: two massive castle forts, a life-sized robot, a working skateboard, a cardboard V-8 engine, a basketball hoop, a cityscape, and some cardboard shields and weapons were among the finished products!

I think that the students really enjoyed themselves. Several groups took their finished pieces home; a few others left their creations here at school and are on display throughout the building. One of the nicest things to happen after the event was this super sweet and cute email that I received from a student:

I've literally NEVER had a student take time like that to write me an email just to say that they liked something. So this is a pretty big deal for me. I'm saving it in the happy file.

Reflecting on the night's events, there are a few things that I would improve upon for next year:
  1. I need a better clean up system. There was a huge mess at the end of the night. It would be nice to give each team their own waste bin to toss trash as they work. Also, I should pre-set some large cardboard boxes as recycling "bins" for unused larger pieces of cardboard to be returned. 
  2. An adult sponsor for each team. I'm considering having each team include an adult sponsor, like a parent or teacher, to help with building and supervision. It would be a great way to include parents (or building staff), and also help with my #1 item - cleanup. 
  3. Have a snack/refreshment station. Even just cups for water would be nice, but some cookies or granola bars at a table just beyond the builders would be a good place to take breaks a couple of times during the evening. 
  4. Supply organization and safety. Thankfully, everyone was safe and no one was injured beyond a paper, er, cardboard cut, but I would like to feel just a tad bit more organized by having a pre-set "toolbox" for each group next time, probably consisting of cardboard scissors, exact-o knife, glue sticks, tape, cutting mat, etc... This is also where having an adult sponsor for each team would come in especially handy, too. 
  5. Size limits, and plans for display after the event. Giant forts are cool, but don't always fit through the doorway, nor are there a lot of places to store/display them. I think I need to put a cap on size, unless a student plans on taking it with them!
  6. Trophies and a closing ceremony. Our event just kind of ended with a mad scramble to clean up and get out on time. It would have been nice to have more of a show-and-tell time, or awards ceremony. I'd love to make super cute cardboard "trophies" for the winners, too. 

Have you ever been to an event like this, or hosted one yourself? Do you have any advice or ideas? Let me know!

- Mrs L.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Easy Tech DIY: VR Classroom Tour!

One of my 7th grade students showed me how to create a photo sphere of a location using my phone's camera and the Google Street View app (it's available FREE for both iOS AND Android devices). It makes a 360 degree "street view" image, like in Google Maps... OR, if you use your phone with a Google Cardboard viewer, you can view the space in VR and put yourself directly in the middle of the photo sphere!

Of course, I had to make one of our classroom here at school and publish it on Google Maps. I think it's cool that anyone can experience being "in" the computer lit room from anywhere - it's a totally new take on a virtual classroom tour, and a super fun alternative to a video tour!

Here's how I did it... First, I downloaded and launched the Google Street view app (see top of post for links to iOS and Android versions). There will be a little camera icon in the lower right-hand corner of your screen. Click on it, and select "camera" to use your regular old camera phone.

Your live camera view will pop up, and you're tasked with overlaying the circle on the "dot" - holding it in place until the pie-shaped timer runs out. You then rotate around, repeating this circle/dot step until you get back to your starting point. 

Once you've rotated 360 degrees though, you now can tilt your camera UP or DOWN, repeating the 360 turn and the circle/dot routine, until you've basically photographed an entire sphere around you! 

When your photo sphere is complete, you'll get a green check mark icon. You can then select it and publish it to a specific Google Maps listing. Once that step is finished, you can then choose to share your photo sphere via email, messages, etc... You can even embed your image to your website or blog, like I did above!

If you open our classroom photo sphere (here's the link: 360 Sphere of Room 020) using your mobile device, you can choose the "Google Cardboard" view, which works when you insert your mobile device sideways into a viewer. Without a viewer, it just looks like this:

I loved how easy this was to do, and although this has actually been around for quite a while, I'm just catching on now, and thought that it was totally worth sharing. Check it out!

- Mrs L.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Portable, Wearable Green Screen?

I've been asked a few times to give some more information about my DIY portable green screen for video production. Which is actually kind of embarrassing due to the extreme primitive nature of its construction... but here’s the scoop:

I was slated to do the Google Summit Demo Slam, and I had decided that my topic would be color keying, since it’s my favorite WeVideo feature. I was trying to figure out a way to demonstrate how to use a green screen without actually having a green screen, or somehow make it work to setup a green screen within a 3-minute Demo Slam timeframe.

I considered a 3-fold “science fair”-type project board, but this would have still required me to have a surface (like a table) in which to set it on behind me. I decided to instead try and paint a standard piece of foam core with green paint. The original idea was that during the slam I could just hold it behind me and film via webcam, then demonstrate how to do color keying.

I painted 3-4 coats of acrylic paint on the board and let it dry. It did, unfortunately, warp the board a little bit, which was less than desirable. But the color looked pretty good, so I pushed forward.

I logged in to WeVideo and tried recording from my webcam while holding the board behind me, but it became obvious pretty quickly that there was no graceful (or steady) way to hold up the board behind me while filming. Frustrated, I explained the situation to a group of my 7th graders and asked them what they thought I should do. We started brainstorming ideas for mounting or hanging the board behind me (like, “Can we attach it to a selfie stick somehow?” “How about putting it on a backpack?”), which inspired my very rudimentary solution: bend a couple of wire hangers into shoulder mounts and attach it to the foam core with tape!

If you look carefully, you can see the top of the hanger wire (you know, the hook part) underneath the tape.

This is what the final result ended up becoming: a curvy piece of painted foam core with haphazardly bent wire hangers as a shoulder mount. Embarrassingly primitive, but funny nonetheless, so I brought it with me to the GAFE Summit and used it as a prop in my Demo Slam. Fortunately, it got lots of laughs and attention, even if it didn’t end up winning the competition.

I didn’t actually USE the portable green screen contraption to film, as it still has some limitations:
  • It’s not quite large enough to span the webcam’s view all the way to the edges of the frame.
  • The foam core only reaches to the top of my shoulders, making the green screen only useful for neck-up situations, which is… limiting, to say the least. 

Therefore, I have some ideas for improving upon my design for the future:
  • Buy colored foam core and skip the paint part, which would eliminate warping.
  • Use a larger piece of foam core, so it will cover the edges of the camera frame. 
  • Attach a green piece of fabric to the bottom of the foam core, which would create a “cape” of green behind me, which would allow me to film from the waist-up (ish) and still have green background behind me. 

I’m not necessarily convinced that the portable green screen is better or easier than just toting a green fabric sheet around with me (that’d certainly be more compact!), but it does make for a great conversation piece! So there you have it. If you decide to make your own (probably improved!) version, please share it with me!

-Mrs. L.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

2017 IL Winter Google Summit: My First Tech Presenter Experience

I've definitely attended my fair share of tech conferences in my past 15 years of teaching. This was the first time I actually presented at one! It was like jumping into the deep end, and hoping that you can swim...!

It all started with my ridiculous YouTube video for my 8th graders that I use as an intro to their video assignment. I will always act like a total goofball fool if it means that it might entertain and motivate my students. I don't really consider that other people, like adults, or even other education professionals might watch it. I just figure that they don't have much reason to... although if I was that embarrassed by it, I definitely wouldn't have posted it online in the first place. 

Nevertheless, somebody at WeVideo watched the darn thing. And then contacted me. And asked if I wanted to be an ambassador for them. It sounded super cool, so I said yes! They even did a little blog on my experience with WeVideo and made me the October "Educator of the Month" - this was extremely cool, as I feel like I sometimes can under the radar within my own district. It's nice to get noticed sometimes!

Part of this ambassador gig involves representing WeVideo at select events as needed. I've presented at art teacher conferences, and at in-district PD events, so the thought of it wasn't totally foreign. I agreed to do a presentation at the IL Winter Google Summit hosted by EdTechTeam. This year it was held in Des Plaines, IL, which is not too far from me. Yeah, I could handle that.

...and then it happened.

I discovered that another part of the deal involved participating in the Demo Slam. A Demo Slam is a friendly competition where participants give a 3-minute (or less) presentation on a tech tool or trick, but in a really engaging way. The crowd actually votes on who's the best. So a good hook or creative angle is key. And of course, at the end of the slam, you get to actually say, "Slam!" - mic drop. 

Sounds like fun, right? Yes, absolutely... to watch. To participate? I immediately began FREAKING OUT about it. Although I teach, and I often act like a total weirdo in front of my students, adults are a completely different world. And they'd be JUDGING me. Ooooof. 

My topic was already decided-ish. It was going to have to do with WeVideo. My favorite part of WeVideo is the color keying tool, so I decided to focus on that. I started to brainstorm about how I could demonstrate using a green screen in a portable way. I started by painting a piece of foam core with green paint; I thought that I could hold it behind me and shoot via webcam. But when I tried it, holding the screen was just too awkward and it wouldn't work. 

What does one do in a situation like this? Ask a seventh grader, of course! I ran the concept by a group of students in my class, and together we brainstormed a way to "mount" the green screen on my shoulders using two wire hangers bent so that they fit over my shoulders. It was pretty hilarious, if not completely practical. I had pretty much decided to ditch the green screen contraption altogether until a coworker suggested that I use it in the presentation, even if just as a funny prop. I decided to go with that.

So, by the day the Summit came, I had spent at least a full week freaking out and planning and testing and running through slides and re-running through slides. And making my husband sit through practice runs. He's a champ. My main presentation was entitled "Planning For Video Projects, Featuring WeVideo," and I was feeling pretty confident. I had demo "student" accounts for teachers to try out, complete with a bunch of photos and video clips that I had pre-loaded into the media libraries for the demo accounts to use. 

Want to check out my presentation? Here's a quick overview:

The presenting part seemed to go pretty well, until the second half where teachers logged into the student demo accounts to find NONE of the photos or video clips that I had spent so much time loading prior to the day! Worst. Nightmare. Realized. I was mortified. A quick call to my WeVideo contact (hey awesome customer service!) helped me figure out and fix where I had made a minor mistake in the sharing locations. The rest of the session went fine, but I was feeling pretty down and discouraged for having this issue after all of the planning and testing I had done in the days before in order to prevent just such a thing from happening. How could I have missed that? On a positive note, I'll never make that mistake again!

Algonquin Middle School in Des Plaines (where the Summit was held) has an amazing makerspace classroom that they call the "Dream Lab." In it, they have some of the same robots and tech gadgets that I am lucky to have in my room, plus much much more! The dream lab has a lot of supplies like paint and art materials, LEGOs, sewing machines, a Cricut machine, and even several GoPro cameras!

I drool over spaces like this. I wish that every school had a room like this, and teachers could either bring their classes down, or check out materials and take it to their own room, and I could be the organizer of it all. I could help students with their projects and coach other teachers to incorporate maker concepts in their classrooms. Ugh. I need to stop daydreaming.

So back to the Summit. I gave my presentation, and you heard how that all went, but I still had a Demo Slam to tackle. I was scheduled about 2/3 of the way down in the order, so I had a little bit of time to observe how things went with others. One interesting thing that happened was that the sound system went out. Like totally out. A portable mic/sound system was brought in. It was okay, but not great. Thankfully, I really only needed the mic.

Then it was my turn. It sort of went so fast that I don't even remember too much... "Blah blah, green screen, remove the background... Look! I'm on the moon! Look! I'm in a video game!" And then I put on my ridiculous green screen contraption and the crowd went nuts. I was so excited to hear them giggle at its ridiculousness. I threatened them that they'd "better not steal my idea because I'm going on Shark Tank!"

...and Slam. It was over.

I didn't win the Demo Slam, but I feel like it went really well. I felt good, and I was so proud of myself for getting up there and just going for it. It was such a great counterpoint to my slightly imperfect session earlier in the day. A bonus was that I even got a Twitter shout-out from Jennie Magiera! It made me feel like a cool girl:

In the end, I'm really grateful to have this experience "under my belt," as I'll be presenting again in about a month at the ICE Conference! Let the freaking out commence. :)

- Mrs L.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Museums Are Awesome With Museum Hack!

I had the unique opportunity to take a Museum Hack tour at the Art Institute of Chicago over winter break. Although this doesn't technically fall under a "tech blog" umbrella, it does count as a teaching topic, so I'm going to share my experience here. Also, it was super fun, so who wouldn't want to know about something fun AND educational to do in your city?

Museums are awesome. They're everywhere. You can learn a TON while you're there. But, like many other teaching tools, the way in which you use it will affect people's motivations and engagement towards learning. For most museums, you can't just show up and yell "Hey, entertain me!" and expect it to be fun and exciting.

However, with Museum Hack... you sort of can! Museum Hack leads "renegade" museum tours (currently in NYC, DC, San Francisco, and Chicago) that are engaging, interactive, and entertaining! As a former visual arts teacher, I was super intrigued by how Museum Hack would take the Art Institute and "hack" it for our tour group.

Our tour guide's name was Elise, and she was super friendly and welcoming. We met our group in the museum's main stairway entrance (after buying our tickets and checking our coats), and were given name tags. There was a group of eight adults, not counting our tour guide. This was awesome for me because it was easy to remember who was in my group, and to follow the group through the museum.

The Art Institute is HUGE. Our two-hour tour was a whirlwind sample buffet of artworks throughout time and cultures. Elise delighted in telling us all about the "saucy" details of Rococo art, and the epic "comic book" panels of St John the Baptist, including a ridiculous and gratuitously bloody beheading scene:

A good half of the tour is finding out interesting facts and little-known/fun trivia bits about different pieces in the museum, and the other half was interactive - we participated in a variety of games and fun discussions about the artworks.

Of course, our tour included Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, where we all had our Ferris Bueller moment staring at the various subjects within the landscape, and selecting our favorites:

This is Elise. She likes that weird character facing away from us that looks like a keyhole. I never even noticed that before!

One of our interactive moments included a game in a smaller gallery where we selected furniture and decorative items for Elise's fictional "housewarming" party for rich people. We got to select an item from the gallery that we would bring for her new house. Then we hilariously tried to connect them together ("Ohh that bowl would look great on the table Jen picked! And we could hang Todd's creepy painting above it!").

Another fun game was had in the sculpture gallery where we were tasked with choosing a sculpture that represented our "spirit animal." My husband and I chose one for each other. His was an epic beard-off with this guy:

Elise took polaroids of us with our sculptures, and we got to take them home as souvenirs. We also wrote postcards about our experience that will be sent later on. Dang, when was the last time you can remember writing a postcard? So that was fun.

We went over to the modern wing, and it was no surprise to me that we stopped at every kid's favorite sculpture in the entire museum:

This piece is called Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) by Félix González-Torres. Yes, you get to actually participate in the piece by taking and eating candy. In the museum. It's always funny because people are so trained to NOT touch the artwork, or to get too close, that it feels taboo to actually take and eat candy! I found a fun article here all about where the candy comes from and how it gets refilled.  

Probably my favorite part of the tour though was when we were asked to re-enact a Surrealist painting of random nudes in the forest:

Here we were, just being goofy, and all of a sudden I realized that a bunch of regular museum patrons had stopped and were watching us, smiling. Yes, a bunch of adults re-creating this very random artwork must have been incredibly entertaining. You're welcome.

But it the end, this got me thinking about how much a teacher can learn from this tour: how easy it can be to engage a group of students by simply making them get up out of their seats and physically mimic an image or concept, or by having them choose an item from a whole grouping and explain their choices.

But most of all, by not taking any of this too seriously, we were able to relax and have fun, and probably retained way more information about works of art than any other prior visit. Without even trying!

I really enjoyed my Museum Hack tour, and if you are in a city that Museum Hack conducts tours in, I highly recommend going on one! Museum Hack offers general tours (like the one I went on), but they also offer private/family tours, tours for parties, and team-building adventures! Can you even imagine, a professional development activity like this?

A girl can only dream...

- Mrs. L.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Do You Even HyperDoc?

My favorite thing lately is the HyperDoc. You probably use elements of HyperDocs in your classroom in some form or another, and didn't even know it.
"HyperDoc is a term used to describe a Google Doc that contains an innovative lesson for students- a 21st Century worksheet, but much better." 
I found a great website that goes into depth about the definition, philosophy, and structure of HyperDocs (a best practices overview) over at Hyperdocs.co - I've been re-vamping many of my units into the HyperDoc format, and I really love the simplicity of it.

Here's where it started: I was noticing that my Google Classroom assignments were becoming a bit of a jumble of attachments to videos, rubric doc files, web resources, and templates for work. Then, in the middle of a unit, I'd find another relevant resource, and I'd go add it to the assignment by editing it and adding yet another link, or adding a comment with the link on the assignment. This gets really confusing for students really quickly. Even for 8th graders.

My light bulb moment came while I was going over the Google training information for the Certified Educator program, and I came across the concept of a HyperDoc. Why hadn't I thought of this earlier? I can put everything students need for a lesson into one doc shared to students and it will always be updated, because Google Docs! No more attaching a zillion things to my assignments.

via http://hyperdocs.co/templates

Best practices for a HyperDoc follow the basic components listed above. I'm also a pretty big sucker for formatting - making the doc very easy to read and follow; using tables, images, fonts, and colors to emphasize important aspects as needed. But easy to read/ease of use is number one.

I'm constantly going back over my worksheets and digital resources to update and re-vamp them, so a shared Google Doc that constantly syncs to all of my updates and revisions is really the best thing ever. I made a HyperDoc for my 8th grade WeVideo unit, and I love the fact that I can update my student examples as time goes on - the projects just keep getting better and better, and therefore so do my examples! 

Here are some screenshots from my WeVideo HyperDoc:

A good majority of the links here can only be accessed from within my district network, so a screengrab will have to suffice.

The only part that's kind of frustrating is that YouTube is currently blocked for all of our middle school students. Even if I use SafeShare to get a "clean" view of a video, the view is still blocked because it originates from YouTube. 

What I do in these cases is show the video to the whole class, since my teacher access is not blocked. I still keep my video links in there, so that a student could access it from home, if needed.

You can create a HyperDoc and have students make their own copies so that they can work directly on the doc, and then submit the copies to you via Google Classroom, email, or any other preferred method. I like to use my HyperDoc as a main hub for directions and resource material, with work completed and submitted via separate files (like our WeVideo project file) submitted via Google Classroom where the HyperDoc is posted. The nice thing about my view-only method is that students will always see the most updated version, even if I have to make changes/additions during the unit. (As soon as a student makes a copy of your Doc, it becomes a separate file and does not update. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to be aware of.)  

For even more on using HyperDocs in the classroom, check out this blog post by Justin Birckbichler.

Have you used HyperDocs in class before? What worked for you?

- Mrs. L.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Why You Need an Epic Hallway Maze at Your School.

Every quarter, I put a new maze down out in the hallway outside my classroom. It's just blue painter's tape on linoleum floor, but to students, it's the greatest thing, ever.

My classroom is in the basement, across and around the corner from a couple other elective/specials (whatever your building calls us) classrooms. So a whole bunch of students from all three grade levels pass by in the course of a day. The first time I did this, I had an unexpected but hilarious result: students would walk up to the maze, glance down, and then proceed to walk through the maze pathway to get to the other side as they were traveling to their next class. Like, during passing periods.

The art teacher and I entertained ourselves by watching this phenomenon happen this first week, even joking with students that if they did not follow the maze, they would be reported to administration for "non-maze compliance." This usually resulted in giggles, eye-rolls (it is middle school), or a quick back-track to walk through the maze correctly a second time.

So, advantage #1: Hilarious social experiment.

I didn't put the maze down for the reason listed above, though. I taped down a maze for the purpose of using our Sphero robots. Students use the Tickle app on iPad minis to write a drag-and-drop block coded program to (hopefully) send the Sphero through the entire maze. It's not nearly as easy as you would think! Few, if any, students are actually able to accomplish this task each term. But everyone makes an attempt.

Therefore, advantage #2: Awesome curricular challenge using Spheros:

Another unexpected thing happened when I put down the hallway maze the first time. Other teachers became curious; they actually asked me about what I was doing in class. Students not enrolled in my class would stop and ask about it. My administrators came down to see it. In a random stroke of good luck, it was open house night not too long after I put down the maze. Therefore, parents even stopped and asked about it.

Advantage #3: Curiosity! Opportunity to talk about your class to others! Free advertising!

I made up the maze on my own the first time it occurred. But then I thought, "Hey, why am I doing all of this work, when students will take way more ownership over something that they do themselves?" So for round two, I had a student stop by after school and make the maze himself. He designed it and (with a little help from me) taped it down. All I had to do was give the parameters: ten squares long by five squares wide was the area he had to work with. It was pretty fun.

This quarter, I gave all of my students a chance to design a maze for the hallway: I created a simple grid on a half sheet of paper, and had each student draw and submit a design. I chose one that I thought would functionally work out best (after having done this a few times), and surprised the students the following day with the "winning" design, in actual maze format on the hallway floor. Pretty sweet prize, if you ask me.

Advantage #4: Student ownership and buy-in. Motivation.

After using this maze concept a few times with 8th grade, I realized that I could do so much more with this! My 6th graders have Dot and Dash robots, and the maze would be the perfect challenge for Dash! Similar to programming the Sphero to travel through the maze, students could write a program for Dash using the Blockly app and have him travel the path, too. I love when I can do work and get some extra bang for my buck!

Advantage #5: Bonus curricular content with Dash robots!

My math teacher friend crocheted these cute little winter hats for our Dash robots. :)

Hopefully I have convinced you that you need your own epic hallway maze. I can tell you from experience that blue painter's tape will NOT mark the linoleum floor, no matter what your custodian may try to tell you. Don't use masking tape though - that will!

Even a carpeted floor would be just fine for making a maze. If you have space in your actual classroom, go ahead and do that. But the hallway is more advantageous, if you ask me. I love the curiosity and excitement it builds when people see it. When I was an art teacher, advocating for your program was one of the philosophies that was drilled into my brain as an undergrad. So, anytime I can "advertise" what's going on in my classroom, I consider that a very good thing.

- Mrs L.