Design Thinking In Progress

Posted: April 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

Source: Design Thinking In Progress

Design Thinking In Progress

Posted: April 23, 2017 in Uncategorized


Thanks for asking the question about how to end the year strong Heidi Carr. Here’s how we did design thinking this year. We plan do at least one or two more Design Thinking Projects before the end of the year in order to finish strong.

First of all this I have to credit John Spencer and A.J. Juliani authors of The book Launch. This is where I got the idea. The fifth graders have used other ideas from them and it’s been pretty amazing. They have designated May 2nd as Global Day of Design. I think it would be great if all schools participated.

This particular project took a few weeks to complete we started before Spring to break up the monotony of SBAC testing. We still need to do one last rotation this week.

We gave them the topic this one was Invent a New Sport. The students formed teams of 4-5, sometimes we let them pick their teams, other times we pick, and other times we leave it to chance by having Smartboard pick random names. First they had to brainstorm ideas we used Classkick because it allows us to see what they are writing in real time. Classkick is an interactive whiteboard we are 1:1 iPads. After brainstorming they created a Google Doc of the rules and steps for the game written in a easily understood document.

Next they gathered their materials PE equipment mostly , thankfully we have an amazing PE instructor who supports what we do (Yohann Godard). The groups went outside and practiced their new sport and they would “tweak” things to make it better adjusting their Google Doc along the way. The groups then created a video how to with a demonstration of their sport along with an audio commentary. The groups then create a visual anchor chart of their sport to further emphasize their sport beside it gives them time to add more details if need be.

Finally, each 5th Grade class during different days set up stations of their sport and teach the other fifth graders their sport. The classes rotated to the different sport and after about 10 minutes they rotate to the next station. (It Looked like a mini field day)

We used a rubric to help them stay on track and “grade” them. We incorporate a reflection piece in most of what we do in order for the learners to reflect on the why, how, and the what of the whole process. It has been working out great because it incorporates all content areas, involves kinesthetic learning, uses cooperative working techniques, and helps build a community of learners. Furthermore it help promote physical activity in a positive manner.
Design Thinking is a way to finish the year strong. Our next project is to create an underground civilization.

Global Day of Design May 2nd

Unlock Your Potential

Posted: January 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

Unlock Your Potential


I had another blog post nearly written. I was going to share my journey of how I became an educator ; however, something hit me today ( I was inspired), as I was looking at my learners passion projects. I reflected on the idea of unlocking students potential by building relationships and allowing my students to choose their own academic path. Granted I guide or nudge them towards the path at times; yet, I do allow them freedom of choice in many instances.

Learners need to feel valued and to feel as if their voice matters. I’m not the expert in the room at all times, sometimes the experts are the learners. It takes a change in attitude to allow for potential to be unlocked. As educators we have to be willing to allow creativity to happen and to relinquish control of all aspects of the classroom.  I make mistakes and my learners see those mistakes, but they also see the human side of me. I model to not give up  and to learn from mistakes. That life and learning is not about the destination, but the journey and adventure. Learning is not a linear process, but an amazing adventure filled with endless possibilities.

I’m trying to look beyond data driving instruction, buzzwords,  and teaching to the “Big” test. The skills my learners will need in the future are well beyond any SBAC question. If I’m going to truly help my learners Unlock Their Potential I must take an active interest in them individually and collectively. I aim to build those relationships and to help them have high expectations and to feel empowered. I owe it to them to keep evolving and to treat them with the respect they deserve.

Our 5th grade are blogging check  it out at Edublogs  or follow them on Twitter @parsonlasvegas


As an educator trying to adjust and make difference I sometimes get frustrated with the negative noise that surrounds the education profession. Fortunately, because of Twitter, I discovered I am not alone in the quest to make a difference. Thankfully educators like Dave Burgess, John Spencer, AJ Juliani, George Couros, Matt Miller, Kasey Bell, and Jo Boaler have inspired me to continue to improve as an educator. There are many more and I could fill my blog space with many other great educators making a difference.

Locally, I appreciate people like the PE educator I work with Yohann Goddard. The CCSD GAFE Guru Lucas Leavitt and the CUE NV crew Heidi Carr and Kyle Anderson. There are many other educators in Nevada and in the world doing wonderful things. One of my goals in 2017 is to highlight the great and interesting events and people in education instead of getting sucked into the vortex that I consider to be the Dark Side of the Force. Yes, I went there.
I want to share two articles I read lately which focus on sending a positive message to educators and learners alike.

The first blog/article is called  Teaching — It’s about Inspiration, Not Information by Tina Seelig. This article was given to me by administrator and it highlights that teaching is about building relationships. Tina says, “Teaching is really about inspiration, not information.” As educators we need to look beyond delivery of content, “light the fuse” and watch what happens.

A prime example is my learners did a passion project and they were able to research and discover any topic they wanted. One of my learners who was reluctant and unmotivated academically jumped at the chance and “dove” into her topic. Here is a link to her project on Tigers, I am very proud of her for reaching high expectations and doing such a great job.

The other blog I read was given to me by my wonderful partner in life and fellow educator Debby. It’s called What Students Really Need to Hear by CHASEMIELKE. The post is about letting students understand that school is really about preparing them to never quit and to always keep trying not matter what they are faced with in life. The sheer honesty of the post is what inspires me to keep trying. The author states, “It is your resilience in conquering the main event — adversity — that truly prepares you for life after school.” The point is that as educators our job is to help prepare our learners to never quit and to always forge ahead no matter what the challenges are.
Finally, I want to highlight a few things I accomplished in 2016 there are many. I was the 2016 PBS Digital Learning Innovator for Nevada and my learners were part of a PBS commercial (Thanks Craig Cuddihy you are an amazing person and quality educator), I wrote my first article and it was published By Edsurge, my class was part of a published study by K-12 Blueprint, I married the best person in the world Debby Korder, and we have a beautiful addition to our family Raelyn Gene Korder who was born in May.

Empowered Readers

Posted: July 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

Article on EdSurge 

Change !

Posted: July 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

If you haven’t read the Innovator’s Mindset I highly recommend you do so. The book is inspiring and will change the way you view education.

Furthermore, I had the honor and privilege to attend ISTE in Denver last weekend. If you get the opportunity I highly recommend it, the conference will help reinforce why you became an educator. I truly believe that we are at a crossroads in regards to education. Michio Kaku, one of the keynote speakers at ISTE 2016,  said it best “Our educational system is excellent in terms of preparing students to live in the world of 1950. The only problem is we don’t live in 1950 anymore, that’s why we have to undergo a revolution in how we view education.”

Lastly, the only reason I could afford to attend ISTE was because I am one of the 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators. I had the pleasure of attending a two day summit with PBS and some amazing educators from around the country. It was a great experience which I will never forget. If you have a chance check out PBS LearningMedia it has some valuable resources which every educator should be utilizing.


Ever since I embraced the Flipped Classroom the need for student desks in perfect rows seemed unimportant. I used to like have desks in my class because it made giving daily quizzes and tests easie…

Source: No more desks, no more rows