Monday, June 20, 2022

Conference Tips for the Summer! #ISTE22

It was bound to happen. Conferences are back and teachers are ready to dive into professional development. I wanted to share some tips for anyone that is new to ISTE or any other conference. 

1. Wear comfortable shoes. You will be putting miles on your feet over the next few days and you need to take care of your feet. While wearing nice shows while you present or go out after the conferences is nice, you need comfy shoes to walk the halls and the exhibit hall. If your feet are sore after a day, the next couple will be painfully difficult to get around.

2. Stay hydrated. This is particular important for ISTE this year. Drink water all the time, especially if you will be drinking non-water drinks at night. You will not be able to concentrate and you will feel like a hot mess if you are not properly hydrated.

3. Eat. This one seems silly, but it is so easy to get wrapped up in the day and not have a good lunch or breakfast. You need energy for the day and these meals will help you get through the hustle and bustle of a conference. Eat healthy and carve out time to do it. Enter it into your planner and follow it. Your tummy will thank you later.

4. Do not be scared to say hi to people you follow on Social Media. We are all educators and are dedicated to making education better for all. Just because someone has more followers than another person, does not make them more important than everyone else. Say hi. Ask a question. Connect. This is why we are at a conference, so don't be afraid to do it. Maybe avoid talking to them in the bathroom. :-)

5. Find time to unpack. I don't mean your suitcase, I mean what you learned that day. Find a quiet spot and just reflect on what you saw and how you might bring that to your school, district or classroom. Make some notes to yourself so that you can look back at them after the conference and remember what you were thinking when everything was fresh in your mind.

6. Check out the conference sessions and try to plan accordingly. I'd love it if you came to my sessions. I'm doing a session on MakerEd on Monday. Look at the schedule and add the sessions that interest you most. If there is more than one session you want to attend, see if there is a friend going and get their notes. There is never enough time to see everything, so it is important to plan ahead so you do not miss everything.

7. Visit the vendors. I always like to take time to visit the vendor hall and check out anything new and to just say thanks for the cool and innovative things they have brought to the classroom. I always end up with a couple of new gadgets I want to bring into the classroom or want to explore. They vendors help make conferences possible, so please stop by and check them out.

8. Vote with your feet. This staple of edcamp is important at conferences. Time is limited and you do not want to waste it in a session that is not what you hoped. Get up and go. You will not be offending anyone. You need to get the most out of your time at a conference and sitting in a session for an hour not learning anything is not a good use of your time. This is why it is good to have a backup session for each time slot in case you have a bad one. If you can't get into a back up session, go to one of the lounges and connect with others. Some of the best learning happens in the hallways.

9. Go out and have fun! After each day, there is fun to be had at many of the restaurants around the convention center. It is a great time to connect and talk about the things you have learned and make new friends. Some of my closest friends were made at a conference. Getting together and celebrating an end of a school year and the cool things you have learned is a must. Do that with other great educators at the end of each day and you will have a great conference.

If any other veteran conference attendees have other tips, please add them to the comment section. I hope all of you will take the time to stop and say Hi if you see me. I'd love to connect with all of you and learn something new.

Hugs and High Fives,


Monday, May 9, 2022

Podcast Design Project #MakerEd #AdobeEduCreative

Hey folks! I wanted to share a fun project that I have assigned my students that uses Adobe Creative Cloud Express and Seesaw. Students will use ACCE to create an ad for a fake podcast they will create. Below are the directions for the assignment. 

For this activity, you can partner up if you'd like to create an ad and a sample of what your podcast would be about. Follow the steps below to complete the activity. Step 1: Decide whether or not you want a partner for this activity. Step 2: Brainstorm possible idea for a podcast topic that you think people would find interesting. Step 3: Come up with a script for a short clip of this podcast. It should be around 3-4 minutes in length. Step 4: Design an ad to promote the podcast using images that connect to your script. Step 5: Create the ad in Adobe Creative Cloud Express. ( Step 6: Post the ad to Seesaw and record the podcast clip on the same page. Step 7. Post the script you wrote for the clip. Podcast Ad Requirement: Name of the podcast. Images that connect to the topic of the podcast. Names of the people hosting the podcast.

Here is a link to the assignment that has my example.

The students dove in and I can't wait to share the work they have created for the podcast assignment. 

Hugs and High Fives, 


Monday, May 2, 2022

Ugly Stuffy Project #MakerEd

I've been looking for a new project for students this trimester and I was just at home thinking about the different things I wanted students to do. I knew I wanted them to make something with their hands, but I wanted to make it silly and ok if they were not "good" at it from the start. It was while I was watching Antman and the scene where he gave his daughter the creepy doll struck me. Ugly Dolls are are a thing and I think they can be a pretty simple project. I jumped online, found a bunch of videos on how to make these dolls and set to work ordering supplies and giving it a try myself. This has been a fun project because the Stuffys are supposed to look off and ugly. No mistakes, only features. Even in my demo I made that you can see below. I thought the fangs would be cool, but I made them too thin to sew and I didn't have the fabric glue. I pivoted and used excess fabric to make a mouth. It turns out I made plankton from Spongebob Squarepants, but I made him on my own. I just tasked the students with making an Ugly Stuffy, but I could give them more guidance and ask them to create a symbol of a feeling or something like that. There are lots of possibilities with a project like this. If you are looking for a project that will take a couple of days and get the students crafting with their hands, give the Ugly Stuffy project a try. 

My Steps - Made with Adobe Creative Cloud Express

Supply List

Poly Fil 

Embroidery Floss 




Needle Threaders


Large Needles

Students got to work and some had sewing experience and were able to help me and others do a better job. Here is a collection of photos from my Instagram account. 

Follow along on my instagram to see the Ugly Stuffys that students finish this week. 

 Hugs and High Fives, 

The Nerdy Teacher

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Coloring and #MentalHealth #EdChat #SelfCare

As we wind down the school year, the stress levels for students tend to shoot up through the roof. One of the things that I have found to be wonderfully helpful in mitigating that stress is something so simple and something that all kids love to do, coloring. 

That's right, coloring is great for mental health. Don't believe me, check out this article from the Mayo Clinic and this article from the Cleveland Clinic on why coloring is good for children AND adults. I offered coloring to my students the other day and almost every single one took me up on the offer and they sat, talked, and colored. It was such a nice and calming moment in class. 

If you are looking for some coloring resources, you can check out the ones below. 


Coloringhome (Warning: Some pages are NSFW, but they have lots of kid options.)


For the mental well-being of your students and yourself, take a break and color something beautiful. You will feel so much better if you do. 

Hugs and High Fives, 

N Provenzano