The Teaching Bites Show Podcast

What is this all about?

This is the “unprofessional development” you’re looking for! Welcome to the Teaching Bites Show where we connect you with people and ideas so you can take your teaching to the next level.

Our show is designed for all teachers who needs that extra spark of ideas and inspiration. From classroom management techniques, teacher resources, teaching strategies and how to use technology in the classroom effectively, we got’em.

We interview amazing teachers and educators and find out their secrets on how to deal with classroom challenges and get valuable tips, useful resources and priceless advice that you can use now. Join us and let’s find out how other teachers and educators are succeeding everyday!

We kindly ask that you leave an honest rating & review and share our show with other awesome teachers like you. This help us get better and be discovered by other teachers who need that extra spark. Thank you! — Fred & Sharon Music Intro & Outro made with JukeDeck

030: Teachers, Just Don’t Do It! with Corinne Corrigan

4th Grade Just Don't Do It

Corinne Corrigan is a fourth grade teacher who has a unique experience where she started in the classroom and moved to the computer lab, started her family, came back and established our maker space studio is now back in the classroom–in a new grade. Whew!

We featured Corinne, and other teachers and educators in our Teaching Bites site.

I learned everything about teaching from Corinne (and Zoe Ley) when I was her teaching assistant way back. She continues to be a mentor and friend who has always given great advice and tips professionally and personally ;).

Come listen as we chat about her experience and get valuable tips to use in your own teaching and find out what she means by telling teachers to “just don’t do it!”

Books Mentioned (Affiliate Links – at no extra cost to you!)

Great Horn Spoon

One Crazy Summer

Designing and Going Beyond the School Maker Space

Transforming the traditional classroom!

A few weeks ago, I participated in a worldwide webinar about sharing our experiences in designing a “maker space” in schools and going beyond. I think its the future of school learning spaces. Here is our school article for those interested in learning more about Maker, Learning spaces.

The original article is located here

Thinking Beyond the Makerspace

Posted October 29, 2015

Standing in front of his laptop in the Unkefer Spark Studio on October 26, Fred Jaravata told a live internet audience how that room fuses centuries-old Sacred Heart tradition with a newly expanded Digital Literacy & Design program.

Fred, a K-8 Educational Innovation Coordinator at Convent & Stuart Hall, joined presenters from four independent schools from around the country who each gave a virtual tour of their makerspace while outlining the role it plays in their curriculum. Hosted by the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools, or ATLIS, the webinar focused on a topic made popular when schools “recognized that making things helps with creative problem solving and design,” Fred explains. “We are pioneers in this area – all of the schools on the webinar are pioneers.”

Last April at the first ATLIS conference, Fred and Krista Inchausti, also a K-8 Educational Innovation Coordinator, led a successful workshop on how the Spark Studio was designed with the school culture as a driving force, and an intent to be more than a makerspace but to be a true learning studio.

Changes to what was formerly the elementary school “computer lab” took place in summer 2014. The studio was stripped to its core and re-equipped to take advantage of the expanse of the room for flexible learning while honoring its original purpose as a hub for design and technology.

While the Spark Studio was designed to allow students to feel safe to experiment, tinker and even fail, “the renovation was also meant to be a spark for design thinking, which could then move into all classroom spaces,” says Howard Levin, Director of Educational Innovation.

The Digital Literacy & Design program expanded this year to equip teachers to integrate lessons from the studio into a range of classes. “In the broader context of digital literacy, our aim is to help make the theoretical nature of programming into something physical,” Howard says. “Just teaching kids how to code is missing the action-oriented end result.”

Ultimately, the program seeks to help students make connections between different subjects, Fred says. “When people think of ‘digital,’ generally they think of computers and geeky stuff. When they think ‘literacy,’ they think learning to read. And when they think of ‘design,’ they think creating with purpose,” he said. “Our goal is to bring all aspects together to offer a whole new way of thinking.”

For example, Grade 6 boys are required to code an animated presentation for Social Studies instead of the usual PowerPoint, Krista adds. “While they learn about ancient cultures and practice presentation skills, they simultaneously learn to code,” she says. “The students also learn that it is a useful skill—a means to an end rather than a fun distraction that takes place in a computer lab.”

Fred and Krista realize that expanding the language and skills used in the Spark Studio to teachers requires support. They have started working one-on-one with faculty to help brainstorm ways to enhance their curriculum, and offer open studio time for adults, where they can practice coding and prototyping like students do. Krista notes that faculty have taught problem solving, logic, sequencing and computational thinking “forever,” adding that, “only now we frame these concepts in a new way.”

As Fred concluded his presentation, boys and girls excitedly entered the studio and Krista reminded them to sign-in on a white board by the entrance. It’s the start of their lunch break and students often use this open-studio time to practice coding or build things with cardboard and other “quick creation” materials. Fred walked around the room, laptop in hand, showing the audience what all the buzz was about. It’s moments like this when Howard says he is reminded of the big picture. “Ultimately, the end goal is to give students experiences that allow them to impact their world.”

ATLIS Webinar: A Tour of Makerspaces in Independent Schools

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of co-presenting with five other pioneering independent schools around the country through a webinar by the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS).

Last April, Krista and I had a successful conference deep dive workshop at ATLIS’ first conference in San Francisco. As this was a very popular topic among school today, ATLIS invited us to participate in this webinar. The goal of this webinar was to expand our workshop’s ideas by sharing each of our school’s experiences online, so other schools that are thinking and planning for their own spaces, can learn from our best practices and ideas.

We shared our unique design of the Unkefer Spark Studio as we intended it to be a natural extention of our Schools of the Sacred Heart’s Five Goals. We rooted our studio with over 200 years of Sacred Heart Tradition with today’s Digital Literacy & Design program here at Convent & Stuart Hall. I will be sharing the link to the webinar replay as soon as it becomes available. Below are the independent schools that particpated.  

Educational Innovation Coordinator Fred Jaravata participated in a virtual tour of five independent school makerspaces…

Posted by Convent & Stuart Hall on Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Laura Cole
Coordinator/Teacher SPARQ Innovation Space
Good Shepherd Episcopal School
Dallas, TX

Krista Inchausti
K-8 Educational Innovation Coordinator
Convent & Stuart Hall
San Francisco, CA

Julia McLeod, PhD
Assistant Head of School
Good Shepherd Episcopal School
Dallas, TX

Vinnie Vrotny
Director of Technology
Kinkaid School
Houston, TX

Laura Deisley
Director of Strategic Innovation
The Lovett School
Atlanta, GA

Fred Jaravata
K-8 Educational Innovation Coordinator
Convent & Stuart Hall
San Francisco, CA

John Umekubo
Director of Technology
St. Matthews Parish School
Pacific Palisades, CA

8th Grade Scratch (Spanish Project)

Hello 8th grade,

Here are the “Intro to Scratch challenges.”  These challenges will help you learn how to use the interface and tools on how to program using Scratch.  These tutorials will also help you.

ATLIS 2015 Day 1

ATLIS 2015Today, we had an amazing opportunity to share and  present with two other amazing educators today at the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools 2015 in San Francisco (April 16th and 17th).   My colleague Krista Inchausti and I did a shared presentation with Dr. Julie McLeod and John Umekubo on Culture, Environment and Meaning: Critical Issues for Maker Spaces. 

Our Schools of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco represented very well as we had two other colleagues presenting.  Our amazing Client Systems Manager, Nick McSpadden presented Hyper-Efficient Mac Deployment & Management and our Network Administrator, Dr. Hoover Chan will be sharing tomorrow, Tools for Thought and Interaction: Breaking the Boundaries of Time and Space. 

There were some really good workshops that really resonated with me today:

Introducing Innovation Physically & Philosophically and Tech and Teachers- How to Build Successful Relationships 


I took notes on the two workshops and will be sharing my thoughts on a future Teaching Bites Podcast episode so stay tuned for that!

Workshop Description

ATLIS 2015

Here is our official workshop description:
“Dive deep into maker spaces with us! Curated from the experiences of three different school maker spaces, this session will help you think deeply about maker space design and how this kind of learning environment can thrive in your own school. During this interactive session, we’ll take a look at several critical issues to success, including how maker spaces reflect the culture of the school, how the environment influences the actions in the space and how students make meaning from the space. We will end with a discussion of where to go next and how to sustain the momentum. This session is appropriate for you whether you are just considering a maker space or have already begun with your own space. You will leave with resources to go along with the stimulating conversations!” We also shared our take on Design Thinking for our own schools.

Presenters & Resource

  • Convent & Stuart Hall, Schools of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco Krista Inchausti and Fred Jaravata (that’s me!) @FredJaravata
  • Dr. Julie McLeod, Director of Technology at Good Shepherd Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas @juliemcleod
  • John Umekubo Director of Technology at St. Matthew’s Parish School, a PS-8 Episcopal day school in Los Angeles. @jumekubo

Here is our shared google docs resource that includes our slides and websites for you to check out.

More to come tomorrow!

So, you think you can search?

Where Am I?

Imagine the following situation:  You’ve had a sudden episode of amnesia while on a trip  and have suddenly just woken up in a strange place.  You have no idea where you are.  All you know is that this is the view out the window.

You need to get your anti-amnesia medicine to prevent blacking out again and you need it fast.

Insurance will cover the cost of sending your medicine via courier, but you need to know where to tell them to go.

Question:  Where are you?  Can you find the street address, in what building, in what city?

For today’s extra credit--can you figure out what office number and floor to send the medicine?  How about the phone number?

Search on!

And remember… be sure to tell us HOW you figured it out and how long it took you to do!  (One of the points of this blog is to share the search methods and tricks we know!)

(And a tip of the hat to Andrew Sullivan for his inspirational “The View From Your Window” series.)

Copyright Review and Unit Quiz (CSM – iBook)

Unit Review on Copyright

Today, we’ll review Unit 1, Lesson 5 with the questions below. Then, we will take the Unit Quiz on the link below.

Excerpt From: Common Sense Media. “Digital Literacy & Citizenship Teacher Edition: Grades 6-8.” Common Sense Media, 2014. iBooks.


A Creator’s Rights – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Unit Quiz

Take the CSM Unit Quiz here.