The Undefined “MakerSpace”

In Braeden by rafranzdavis5 Comments

By definition, “making” means constructing, building or putting things together. This isn’t new. Yet, we approach the idea of “making” as an entirely new thing. We even have a “space” for it now which seems to be our own way of creating an “anti-testing” space that somehow correlates nicely with “making” being the anti-testing movement. I am all for creating, as I have a nephew addicted to the idea at home. However, we will no longer try to fit him into the mold of being a “maker”. What is that anyway??? Aren’t we all this? My nephew, a puppet creating artistic minecraft builder, doesn’t …




30 Days of Learning Day 3: Molding Big Bird

In Braeden, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis0 Comments

For months, I’ve watched Braeden mold all sorts of clay objects. Today, I decided to learn his process. 1. Search Google images for creative inspiration 2. Open another window for a youtube video and do it again. (The still image is to capture the idea while the youtube video is for capturing movement and detail) 3. Eyeball a “glob” of clay for size and mold it into an “egg” or whatever size is needed for what is being molded. 4. Grab either molding tools or toothpicks to add detail. 5. Also grab toothpicks to attach head, arms and legs. Check …




30 Days of Learning Day 2: Collaborative Learning with Photoshop, Youtube and Braeden

In Braeden, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis0 Comments

What did you learn today? Today, I learned to never underestimate the creativity of a kid with a vision. Ok, to be fair…I knew this already, but today’s point of view was further amplified by the fact that we were both learning something new. I’ve been a Photoshop user for years and by user, I mean that I get by with the most basic of skills. I make banners for my blog and toy with font. That’s about it! Before I even saw Braeden today, I made photoshop a personal goal of mine so I buried myself in Lynda.com, got …




Don’t Be the Creativity Police, Sometimes Dogs are Yellow

In Braeden, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis1 Comment

Our little “in house” creator, Braeden is working on a new puppet. Inspired by Steve Axtell‘s Shaggy Mountain Dog Puppet, Braeden decided to make a shaggy dog…a yellow one. So, he started his process of making patterns, bonding foam, making eyes and envisioning the puppet that he wants. In one night, he sewed his foundation and excitedly showed all of us. I took pictures and video as always. It’s kind of our “thing” because I am still amazed at him…even after all that he has done. Like always, Braeden took the dog to show my mother, who replied with a …




View Post

How To Be More Creative

In Braeden, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis0 Comments

If you want to be more creative, you have to toss out the instructions and just go! – Braeden Today in the car, Braeden expressed his plan to create an animatronic puppet. Like any adult would, I suggested that he search for a kit that we could put together. Replying in the only way that he understands, he said… “Auntie, we’re not buying a kit. Did you know that even kits are made according to another person’s vision? Even if you don’t follow their directions, you only get the parts that they felt you needed. If you make it all …




View Post

When the World Is Your Classroom Part 2

In Braeden by rafranzdavis0 Comments

I’m sitting here watching the kid problem solve his way around creating a stage for his puppets. There are boxes, baskets, shoes and just about anything to hold the stage up. I’m not helping him. My role is that of observer and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Today, Braeden took his puppet, Lenny, to school to share with his classmates. His friends, now familiar with most of his furry friends, were fascinated with Fancy the Flamingo and have demanded a new episode of the Lenny the Lizard show. So, while I finish the last remnants of book writing …




View Post

When the World is Your Classroom

In Braeden by rafranzdavis2 Comments

Anyone that wonders why technology access is important hasn’t spent time with a 9 year old driven by his artistic passion and goals to create the world that he wants to live in. They have no idea what it’s like to watch from afar as he searches relentlessly to learn something that sparks his “wonder”… only to then be captivated by an entirely new idea. Then, the cycle begins again. When the world is your classroom, you don’t see things as they are. You see things as you can create them to be. Pinterest isn’t just a page full of …




View Post

Braeden’s Easter Bunny: A New Tackk

In Braeden by rafranzdavis0 Comments

If you follow any of my other social feeds, you know that Braeden made a new Bunny puppet for his mother. So, naturally I used TACKK, an amazing digital storytelling tool to share the story. I love Tackk because it’s the perfect way to share the details beyond the images and videos that I load across the web. I especially love the instragram integration. If you haven’t checked it out…you should! I’ve embedded it below. You can also view it on TACKK, here.




View Post

How We Used TACKK To Share Braeden’s Puppet Story

In Braeden, EdTech by rafranzdavis0 Comments

It may have been two weeks ago when Michelle Baldwin‘s class tweeted that they were inspired by Braeden and making puppets. We’ve shared every bit of his process in doing this across twitter, instagram and facebook. One thing that I did not consider was putting the entire story together in one place to make it accessible to anyone that wanted to read it. So, when I saw the tweet from Michelle’s class, it was a no-brainer that this one last component needed to happen so I created the TACKK below. TACKK is a simple FREE tool for creating digital posters. …




View Post

My Edu-Parent Perspective: Dear Principal (An Open Letter)

In Braeden by rafranzdavis0 Comments

Yesterday, my nephew along with another student, were assigned a day of ISS for a “lunch infraction”. My nephew’s principal took the time to call my sister and basically back up her decision with part of the story… including an admission of guilt that was more coerced than bribing a kid with candy in a candy store. This is my open letter to her after hearing from Braeden. (She won’t speak to me…trust me) Dear Principal, I know that every parent says that their kid is innocent in school infractions and typically, especially in the case of the other children …