Get Your Tickets for Open Source Template Tuesday!

It’s Open Source Template Tuesday! See how one Florida educator is changing the game!


Hi! If you’re new to the blog, welcome! I’m John. And I’m the author of EDrenaline Rush: Game-Changing Student Engagement Inspired by Theme Parks, Mud Runs, and Escape Rooms, a new book from Dave Burgess Consulting. I am RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED to share it with the world! And I truly believe that enthusiasm is infectious — so I love sharing lesson plans, classroom activity walkthroughs, and open source slideshow templates on this site whenever I get the chance.

Because great pedagogy isn’t relegated to any particular subject area. And we don’t teach content. We teach people.

I have a bunch of templates available on this site, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to adapt them to suit the unique needs of your classroom! Regardless of age, content area, or skill level — it is my sincere belief that, in the hands of a great teacher (that’s YOU!), a creative teaching tool or technique can be a total game-changer for any classroom.

So here’s where you come in!

Each week here on the blog, we celebrate OPEN SOURCE TEMPLATE TUESDAY in an effort to help readers get a clearer sense of how adapting shared templates from this site can be super helpful in saving teachers time, effort, and frustration.

Here’s how it works:

    1. For each OPEN SOURCE TEMPLATE TUESDAY, I’ll feature a guest blog from a fellow teacher who’s adapted one of the resources available on this site and used it to change the game in their classroom! I’ll also post an original copy of the template that inspired their lesson so you can see its life cycle in action.
    2. We’ll also feature a guest blog entry from the teacher who adapted each template in their classroom. This is their chance to talk about the tweaks, adjustments, and modifications that they decided to make to the original resource in order to help it be a neater fit in their classroom. It might also help inspire you to take their template (or the original) for a spin in your school! Click any of the links below or check out their Twitter handle to connect further!
    3. In the spirit of OPEN SOURCE TEMPLATES, everything that you’ll see in one of these guest blogs is designed to be shared, customized, and adapted for use in your classroom! Steel sharpens steel, right? And by paying it forward to fellow educators around the globe, the rising tide of #EDrenaline can truly lift all ships — inspiring untold ripple effects of teacher creativity and student engagement around the globe.


Copy of Peer Appraisal
The Original Resource:
E-Ticket Investments (from EDrenaline Rush)

Today’s Guest Blogger:

Vanessa Beckett (@MrsVClass4), M.S.Ed, a Florida-based K-12 educator.

Here’s the Story…

Over the course of my teaching career, I have read a great deal many professional development books, some were incredible while others I couldn’t even tell you a single sentence that was read. When I began reading EDrenaline Rush by John Meehan, I was beyond ecstatic because it is bursting with classroom activities and tips that take into consideration how immersed students will be in the content they are learning. The ideas on how I was going to implement them into my own classroom began arising instantly.

I have worked at a high needs, Title One school my entire teaching career; meaning 100% of the students at that school receive free breakfast and lunch. Getting students enthusiastic about the learning process is one thing but building their self-confidence in their own abilities is even a more challenge. I strive every day to make my students understand they are capable of achieving what they believe is just out of their grasp. When I design my lesson plans or activities I always contemplate what type of atmosphere is this going to create for my students. Is this activity going to lift up all my students up regardless of their achievement level or will diminish some students confidence?
When I read about the “E-Ticket” Investments activity in EDrenaline Rush, I thought to myself this is such a splendid but yet simple idea. Who doesn’t want to receive raffle tickets from their peers for outstanding presentations? Then, I began to consider those students that think their presentations are abysmal? Are there truly any presentations created and designed by students that could be measured as abysmal? Not in my book and that is how “Peer Appraisal” was born.
I wanted students to obtain only positive feedback from their peers about their presentations but using the language that well, lets face it, students communicate with each other. No longer do our students express themselves in full sentences but rather through emojis and shortened phrases. Regardless if the student who is presenting is an English Language Learner, Gifted, or any student for that matter, there is going to be something about their presentation that their peers are going to love. We need to remember that not only do our students need to be engaged in the learning process but we must build their self-confidence as well.
If you would like your own copy please click on the link and please feel free to edit it for your own classroom needs.

We are #bettertogether!


Hi! John again. THANK YOU so much to this week’s guest blogger, Vanessa Beckett, for sharing her clever spin on a high-impact teaching strategy. This week’s post really spoke to me, as I too began my teaching career working in a high needs school system just outside of Washington, D.C. Students need to feel safe and supported in our classrooms! And using activities like this are a phenomenal way to engender trust, strengthen peer to peer collaboration, and deepen a shared community of support. Way to go, Vanessa!

Thanks for reading this week’s guest blog!

Author: John

John Meehan (@MeehanEDU) is an English teacher and school instructional coach at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. He began his teaching career in 2010 as a career switcher through The New Teacher Project, after spending five years working in social media and event marketing. He is a 2017 ASCD Emerging Leader, and an alumnus of the 2016-2018 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council. In 2016, he was named one of Arlington, Virginia’s “40 Under 40” by the Leadership Center for Excellence. He is a past presenter and regular attendee at educational conferences throughout the United States, including the annual conference for National Catholic Education Association, ASCD Empower19, and the Play Like a Champion Today: Character Education Through Sports summer conference at the University of Notre Dame. He’s an avid runner who’s completed more than three dozen marathons, half marathons, long-distance road relays, mud runs, and obstacle course races. John lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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