Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Teach K! {Day 3}

Today was our third (and last full day) at I Teach K!  I attended four sessions again plus a Pinterest Party and Blogger Meet-Up.

The first session of the day was with Shari Sloane.  I saw her last time I was at I Teach K! and knew I had to go to another session.  This session was about "fitting it all in" in regard to literacy.  She had some great ideas for letter of the week (which we don't do in our curriculum) but I still found some new ideas to use possibly during whole group and/or literacy centers.  One thing I liked was a "did it dot" (a sticker) that students could earn for having a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence, spaces between words and an end mark.  I also liked that she accepted invented spelling but made sure she reviewed spelling with students so they could learn from their mistakes.  I felt like what I am doing with our alphabet chant was validated, so that was appreciated :). She had lots of good book suggestions; one I immediately added to my wish list was The Vowel Family.  My favorite idea was so simple; it was a "why didn't I think of that" moment.  The picture below shows her "Question of the Day".  Each child puts a linking cube in the pan balance to indicate their answer.  What an awesome idea!!

Next up was a second Deanna Jump session about Common Core Nonfiction.  I love using nonfiction texts in my classroom and was excited to learn new ideas to teach it.  My favorite resource she shared was All Things Animal TV on YouTube.  It has great nonfiction videos about, you guessed it, animals. The photo below shows her nonfiction text features book.  I know it is very difficult to see.  Do you also see all the other photographers?  I loved the idea of the kids making a little book of their own to demonstrate their knowledge of text features and to use as a reference for their future learning. I picked up a couple of ideas on some graphic organizers to try to help kids organize their thinking and writing for nonfiction.

After lunch I went to a classroom management session with Peter Harry (Harry Kindergarten).  One of my favorite things from this session was his "secret signals".  For example, when he wants a child to sit on his/her bottom, he taps his nose.  This is so that teaching is not interrupted and the child is not called out.  I use some hand signals, but I think this would be a great way to communicate with my students and keep lessons going.  He also had flip charts (Power Points) to go with almost anything and everything he did.  He used his kiddos' pictures as much as he could, which I'd like to do more of!

My final session of the day was back with Shari Sloane.  This session was about fluency and comprehension.  Shari is very musical (love her CD's!) and gave some great ideas for using music to teach comprehension.  For retell (sequencing) she suggested "Baby Bumblebee".  For prediction, "Baby Shark" was used.  I will definitely be incorporating some of that into my classroom.  I also loved her idea of having comprehension strategies with cues: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.  The visual was a beanie baby (animal), the auditory was a pop culture song related to the strategy and the kinesthetic was a movement that related to the song.  I can see this working much like HeidiSongs, which I've found to be very effective in my classroom! Below is a picture of a graphic organizer I will use for remembering the key parts of a story.

It was a full but exciting day!  I'll be back to share my fun at the Blogger Meet-Up tomorrow and my final day the conference.  I'm sad it is over tomorrow!


  1. I like that questioning idea too. I am thinking that I could use that in math. Then we could graph the results. Hmmm...

    1. I thought at the beginning you could stack the cubes and compare "has more"/ "has less" then could go into graphing. So many possibilities...