I started off my morning with Rebecca Solomon, another Ohioan, learning about how gross motor can improve writing and reading. This was so interesting to me. She stated that with her students, she has seen the correlation between balance and reading capacity and between running stamina and reading stamina.
Some ideas given were crab walking, ball tosses, a variety of balance and exercise ball activities. A suggestion was given that in the first week of school, you have 3 cups (red, yellow, green) and toss each student a ball one at a time. Sort their "sharing sticks" (or other name items) into the red, yellow and green cups according to how well students are able to catch the ball. I thought this idea of sorting their sticks was a great, quick way to assess.
I can see incorporating some of these ideas in my classroom, but I'm not sure that being able to add in a gym time into my schedule. I think this would really help my kiddos with their focus and to build their core, which is always something I see some kids struggle with in K.
|This was sight word hopscotch as an example.|
Another suggestion given was to provide a distraction for the student who was escalating. This will help break the habit of misbehavior. It is not rewarding a child for distracting them, but it is trying to recondition them to be more successful in the future. By ignoring behavior, it will make the student less likely to escalate. One of the best ways to prevent conflict is by strengthening your relationship with that student. It is ok to ask your teammates/colleagues for help. Sometimes a student just responds better to another person! This is a hard one for me sometimes, but it is oh, so true.
This post is going to get really long if I keep going, so I'm going to do another one with my afternoon sessions, both of which were with Jen Jones from Hello Literacy. Stay tuned!