The keynote session was Dr. Debbie Silver. I read her book Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers 2 years ago and really enjoyed it. It is about modifying what you do to meet the need of your kiddos. Today, she was engaging, funny and worked to remind us of the joy of teaching. She had me laughing and relating throughout.
My first session of the morning was with Laureen Reynolds about shared research projects. She shared some insight on the Common Core standards in this area and a few ideas that I am excited to try with my kiddos! The ideas were ones that she has used successfully with students. She also talked about short term and long term projects, which I never gave much thought to the duration of my projects.
The first idea that I thought my kiddos could absolutely do is a graphic organizer to share their research. We used graphic organizers to organize our research but never as the actual "product" of our research. Why not?!? If information can be found in different places, why can't the products be varied too!
Another idea she gave was to make an A-Z book about a particular topic. She mentioned that her favorite topics were her school/community/state. I think my kiddos would love making an A-Z book about our school, so I'm hoping to give it a try this year.
My second session today was with Eliza Thomas about "Ten-ness". The session focused on games that can be played to practice making 10. I'm hoping to incorporate more math games next year, so this session was great.
While I liked the games she shared, and I will absolutely use them, I think my favorite thing was she talked about how to write easy, visual directions for the kids to be independent. When we wrote our directions, we practice in this way. I love the idea of making it as easy for me and as user friendly as possible to make the kids independent.
My final session today was a half day session with Dan St. Romain. I attended one of his sessions last year and knew I needed more. He spoke about behavior management.
I ended up buying his first set of 10 lessons about social-emotional development. I have known that social-emotional development is important, but I realize that I need to spend even more time on this. Students need to have the opportunity to try to work out their differences without my interference. They rely, many times, on adults or adults step in and solve it for them rather than letting students try to work it out. I'm very excited to intentionally incorporate these ideas in my room.
One idea he shared was showing students appropriate behavior through puzzles. He took pictures of students making positive choices and cut them in half to make a puzzle. These puzzles were then part of a center where students could put them together while reinforcing positive behavior choices.
I also loved the picture book suggestions he gave to teach different social-emotional skills. I had not heard of many of them, so I'm looking forward to checking those out as well.
I'll be back with more learning soon!