#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: 1-Teachers Demonstrate Leadership

Flies and Honey, Beets and Beans

You catch more flies with honey. Truer words were never spoken. I’m recalling two childhood experiences that have helped me realize this more than ever. I believe that they can apply to everyone’s daily conversations, and go a long way to sustain relationships. Now that I’m a parent, I proudly Read more…


Playback, Reflect, Grow

For any administrator, educator, or leader, here’s a question to consider: When was the last time you watched yourself on video? For many of us, it was during our student-teaching, or perhaps while we were trudging through those beginning teacher years with the extra-stringent lesson requirements. I just completed a Read more…


Biggest Challenge in Education?

You can just feel it. Whether inferred from blogs, books, presentations, conferences, podcasts, TED Talks, social media, or even face-to-face conversations, the vibe is definitely there. It’s strong. And it’s getting louder by the moment. When Brad Shreffler, founder of The Planning Period Podcast and The Big Q in Edu, Read more…


The CrEDible Coach

What IS a coach? Playing a lot of sports while growing up in the Midwest was an unforgettable experience. I learned some hard life lessons as a youngster, and now those growing-up moments are still so valuable to me–to the extent of shaping my present, adult decision-making. Behind every challenge Read more…


About That Conference

Really? Are you still unpacking and processing your latest professional learning experience? Good. You should be. Here’s why… For any professional learning experience, including local, state, national, and international conferences; unconferences like edcamps, techcamps, or smackdowns; weekly twitter chats; or even what some still call professional development just down the Read more…


The #Hashtag180 App!

DATE: July 1, 2025 Today: Is THE DAY! Twenty Years: From 2005 to 2025, one educator’s passion project was now focused into one FREE app. The world–and the world of education–are forever changed! Gratitude: First of all, I’d like to thank #Hashtag180 app builder ________________________, for believing in me and my Read more…


DOING Professional Learning: Part 3

It was my third ISTE, and it was also my third time presenting at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference. But this time was different… Owning the Experience I can’t tell you how excited I was to share one of my biggest passion projects ever! I started #hashtag180 Read more…


#GridCulum

We’ve had the tools, technology, and the power… And now? We also have the space and strategy to share! Welcome to #GridCulum! This is where Flipgrid breaks down barriers, educators share ideas, and together, we make learning and teaching better for all. Why #GridCulum? Educators are each other’s best resources. Read more…


Myalstones: Multiplying Leaders

Moments like these are so beautiful. Watching our son Myals grow over the last six months has been like watching a miracle. I could have never realized this unless I lived it myself. I could watch him forever. In this moment, Myals has one goal: Get the ball! With gazelle-like Read more…


4 Ways to Personalize Twitter

WHAT! Did you say twitter? College kids roll their eyes. Colleagues don’t have time. And the famous response: “Yeah, I have an account, but I rarely use it, don’t remember the password, or it’s my personal account and not my professional account.” At edcamps, conferences, and education events, I meet Read more…


Flipgrid Your Sub Plans

Missing a day can be unnerving. A great substitute teacher is priceless. But great subs need great plans. And great plans take time to craft. It’s hard for an educator to miss a day of school. Besides really missing the kids, and then hoping to find an available, certified sub, preparing for Read more…


Hesitant to #ARVRinEDU

For years I’ve shied away from it. Today, I’m breaking my silence. Ignorance was–and sometimes still is–bliss. What is augmented reality? What is virtual reality? What is the difference? The world of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can really light up your eyes. Literally. With a pair of goggles, Read more…


Perceiving Public Ed

Gone are the days when we can trust the media to tell our education stories. We need to tell our stories ourselves. If we aren’t telling our stories, how will any taxpayer know what’s happening in our public school classrooms? I’m seeing fellow educators in several states marching for higher Read more…


Thank A Mentor

We’re all on a journey. We’re seeking continuous improvement. We want to become better at learning, teaching, and life. We want to make a difference. Along the way, what has been your greatest resource? I’m still reflecting on this #ecet2 chat question from Sunday, April 29th, 2018. I love this Read more…


Some Assembly Required

Look what came in the mail today! Now, how do you put it together? Be honest. When was the last time you actually read the neatly-folded, paper instructions to assemble something? In Google IT, I couldn’t recall the last time I had held a paper map. But I do remember Read more…


Google IT

It happened during Morning Meeting. I can’t believe I did this. Second graders were to greet each other in Arabic. We were having a hard time hearing and mimicking an Egyptian-born student’s pronunciation, so I googled it, and played it aloud for the class. Upon hearing my phone, the student Read more…


Makerspace: Standards AND Fun

How do we facilitate experiences that are meaning, memorable, relevant, fun, and student-centered, while still learning standards? I think this is one of the true challenges in education today. Words have a way of informing. They can also evolve, evoke, and overwhelm. Words wormhole their way throughout the world of Read more…


4 Reasons to Morning Meeting

Let’s talk! Getting to know each other can help us learn together. This year, our staff has conducted Morning Meetings every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. For the first fifteen minutes of the day, students circle up, engaging in teacher-prompted greetings and shares. The Greeting Greetings may involve practicing a firm Read more…


STEM: Standards AND Fluff

Learning can be standards-based OR fun. But not both. Unfortunately, that’s the perception held by many facilitating learning experiences in the world of education today. I was reminded of this classic paradox when conversing with fellow educators in a STEM session at #edcamporangeNC on Saturday, April 14th, 2018. Educator ONE: Read more…


De-Sense-ITized

How can we expect kids to pay attention when their environment is striking them with lightning bolts faster and hotter than we’ve ever known? It’s a lot. It’s too much. Our world experiences can no longer be posted with #nofilter. Not when you’re a parent–especially a parent of a young Read more…