Teacher Draws 180 Unique Whiteboard Illustrations: One for Every Day of the School Year

I wanted to write about something different today, and I hope that it inspires you as much as it inspired me. Lately, I have become interested in teacher creativity, or perhaps the lack thereof in education today. In a profession so concerned with developing our children’s creative capacities, the average school can be a shockingly unimaginative place.

When I first made my move to Khartoum last year, I was hardly interested at all in the teacher whose shoes I would fill. Like most new teachers, I suppose, I was far more concerned with my own impact on student learning than on the legacy of the teacher who came before me. Stay with me here.

Then, only a few weeks ago, I suddenly found myself in a conversation about this teacher and some of the more innovative things that he had done. For example, this fine man – whose desk and room are now mine – used to wear a math jacket whenever it was time to teach math. The jacket was covered in math symbols and the pockets were filled with, I assume, math flashcards, protractors and the like. Out of respect for the man that I will probably never know, I decided to make a math backpack for my own class, which is now in use for my number corner.

But the one thing that stood out to me and that I wish to share with the world today is his practice of spending every morning drawing a new, unique whiteboard marker drawing to go with his schedule. He would playfully name each of the days of the week according to the drawing that he created. Every morning, kids would come to his class excited to see what new drawing would be waiting for them.

Until now, these drawings –  like many of our teachers’ talents – were hardly noticed by those outside of his classroom. Enjoy.

November 26, 2014


I can’t think of a better way to learn than to have this man staring me down everyday during math.

January 14, 2014


Is there a better way to start off a Wednesday right?

January 13, 2015


So happy that someone had the foresight to take a picture of these so that they could live on forever.

January 15, 2015


I still have that chart on the left.  I change the attitude everyday with a clip and award a bandanna to the student that exemplifies that attitude.

How awesome is this?

Feel free to share any examples of innovative, creative, or just plain eccentric practices that you see in your own schools. We need to respect, expect, and promote creativity in the teaching profession just as aggressively as we do in the classroom.

First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth - TeachersPayTeachers.com

Happy Holidays from Education Rickshaw!

Stephanie and Zach would like to wish all of you out there a Happy Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas. The interest that you have shown in our site has enriched our lives over the past few months, and we look forward to learning and growing more with you in the coming year.



Teachers: What Will You Manifest in 2017?

We teachers are tough cookies.

Found this fun randomizer bumping around Facebook. Click on the pic below, then take a screenshot to reveal what you will bring to your practice or to your personal life next year.

First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth - TeachersPayTeachers.com


Click on the link to try it out. I got “passion”.

Teacher Dreams of Featuring in Recruitment Video, Succeeds

When I was a young lad, I secretly made a list of three dreams that I wanted to accomplish before 30:

1. To marry a beautiful woman √
2. To dunk a basketball without having to use Flubber infused tacs, or even Flubber spray ×
3. To be featured in a recruitment video for an international school √

I may not have accomplished the 2nd of these three dreams yet, but I am happy to tell you all today that I am now in a recruitment video.


Click Here to See a Dream Come True

Dream big, people. Take risks. Make big choices. I am living freaking proof that if you care enough, work hard enough, and dream big enough, you can do anything #justdoit


First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth - TeachersPayTeachers.com

Join Our Facebook Group: Over-Posting Educators

Over-Posting Educators

This is the educationrickshaw.com facebook group, meant for any educator who would like to post and collaborate freely with like-minded professionals.

Screenshot 2017-10-14 10.00.46


Feel free to request to join!

– Zach

First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth - TeachersPayTeachers.com

What do teachers do at school when they aren’t teaching?


Ask any non-teacher what teachers do when we aren’t teaching and they will likely imagine a teacher, red pen in hand, busily editing and marking papers at their desk. As a second grade teacher I do, unfortunately, occasionally find myself in that very position– but the vast majority of my planning time is spent in on very different endeavors. Here’s a list of the top 6 teacher tasks that we find ourselves doing between student contact hours.

1. Researching ideas online


One of the benefits teaching in the 21st century is that sharing ideas among teachers is incredibly easy. Type “fun way to teach fractions” into Google and you will be met with a huge number of ideas everywhere from companies trying to sell their products, to free websites, to teachers’ blogs. While helpful, this can also be overwhelming. We sometimes spend large amounts of time reading and searching through websites trying find which ideas will actually work for our classes.

We also spend time browsing twitter, Facebook and teacher blogs just to reading through what others are doing in hopes of finding inspiration and (of course) also writing to contribute to our professional learning environment.

2. Playing with apps/websites


Once we’ve found testimonials on how well an app or website will work, we have to thoroughly test it out. There is nothing worsethan starting out with a great lesson plan and bombing the lesson due to a technology error. We have to play with it enough to know (1) that it is appropriate for our students’ age and ability level, (2) what we need to go over beforehand to make sure they will be successful, and (3) how we can trouble-shoot if and when something goes awry.

3. Creating games and activities


Providing students with engaging games and activities is crucial to learning – especially in elementary school. Often I have the perfect idea for how my students could practice a new strategy or skill and it doesn’t exist yet – so I make it. I’ve put some of the activities I’ve made on TeachersPayTeachers, because I’ve taken so much from others and I hope I can give back a little!

4. Interacting with students online

Another benefit of technology is that it allows us to communicate with our students when we aren’t physically with them. The main way I do this is through comments on my students’ work on Seesaw. Class discussions and questions can also take place for older students (like my husband’s class) on a variety of formats, such as Edmodo or Moodle.

5. On the beach reading piles of children’s books


One of the biggest jobs of a teacher is to turn kids into lifelong readers. Each child has different interests and they need to find books that fit them in order to learn gain that love of reading. And, since it is difficult to recommend books we haven’t read ourselves, this means reading stacks of children’s books on vacations.

6. In the midst of some messy project


Projects are fun – especially messy ones! However, you shouldn’t trust everything you read on the Internet, and that also goes for activity ideas. To make sure that the steps and materials will actually work before all of my students get their little hands on it, I have to do it myself. Above is some Christmas paper I made in my kitchen.

By: @SGroshell

The Greatest EdTech Innovation Since the Overhead Projector (Not really)


Take a look at this above screenshot, grabbed right off of my web browser. What do you see?

If you said, “I’m just seeing a black image”, you are dead wrong. If you said “unlimited potential”, you are correct. This is the latest edtech innovation that I have brought to my classroom, and it is revolutionizing how I teach.

Introducing Blank Black Page

Have you ever wanted to write on your whiteboard, but there is a blaring light shining right into your eyes? Does your projector have an automatic sleep mode that is blue and annoying? If either of these statements rings true for you, you need Blank Black Page.

Blank Black Page is literally just a blank black webpage that transforms your projectected display into a black image. It’s that simple. Whenever I want to switch between my projector and some writing (I don’t have a pull down screen thingie), I just pull up Blank Black Page, and away I go with writing.

If you have any other similarly simple innovations that are changing the world (please consider Blank Black Page as a non-example), share as a comment below, and keep coming back to educationrickshaw.com!

First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth - TeachersPayTeachers.com

Hour of Code + Caine’s Arcade Brings Creative Computer Science to Sudan

Caine’s Arcade inspired classrooms across the world to value and foster the creativity inherent in all of our children. Similarly, the Hour of Code has inspired millions of children to learn the basics of computer programming.

Why not combine them?

For this year’s Hour of Code, students in my class took their coded video games (Made largely on Code.org – Check out this resource) and ran with their own idea that their iPads could be the screens in their own arcade.


Classes came in droves to check out what the kids had put together. Each student was given 3 tokens. When a student won a ticket, they could exchange the ticket for another token.


The games were very simple to play, but challenging at first to code. Students used Seesaw to keep all of their links as they coded multiple video games for the arcade over the course of the year.


Cardboard was collected from the students’ homes. This machine had a kid in it who distributed tickets and collected tokens.


Another creative idea that the students pursued was the iPad movie theatre. Students cut holes in boxes to create a dark room for viewing movies and videos.


Many of the games were unplayable right up until the final days before the arcade opened. Students refined and improved their games to make them both fun and challenging.


Younger students in the school were helped by the Year 5 class to understand the token and ticketing system that they had created.


Many parents and teachers were impressed with the arcade the students made.


Some students contributed physical play games in addition to their coded video games.


The event proved to be so popular that the students had a hard time keeping up with the demand for fun!

What do you think? Was this the first event of its kind, or have you seen this made before? Comment below, and keep coming back to read more posts on educationrickshaw.com.

Project Shawarma – Students Translate Arabic Menu for a Local Restaurant

A common problem for me as a non-Arabic speaking Khawaja in #Sudan is that many restaurants do not have English language translations. After having one of the best shawarmas in the city just a few months ago, but only being able to say “shawarma jumbo”, I was naturally curious to find out what else was on the menu.

That’s where my students came in. In short, here’s how they did it.

  1. I took a picture with my iPad and uploaded it to their Arabic folders on Seesaw (Teacher Tool Kit For Seesaw)
  2. Students uploaded the photo onto Explain Everything and edited the photo to include English titles.

3. Non-arabic speaking students were partnered with native speakers to improve their arabic and check the accuracy of the translations.

4. Menus were printed out, laminated and brought to restaurant, address below for those that are in desperate need of shawarmas the next time you’re in Khartoum.