Thursday, July 21, 2016

I Teach 1st 2016: Day 3

Today was an exciting day as I knew Mary from Sharing Kindergarten would be presenting.  I always learn something new in her sessions, so I was excited to attend 2 this morning.

The first session I attended was about technology.  She is a rockstar with technology, so I knew I'd get some ideas that I can incorporate into my classroom.  She shared the app "Good Reader" where you can open a PDF and the kids can write on it on their iPads.  Mary uses it for her phonics study and adds novelty to activities that might otherwise be monotonous.


A second idea I liked was how she makes Plickers more accessible to her students.  She adds the letters to the backs of the cards so students don't have to look at the front to find the letter then turn it around for her to see the answer.  She noticed that it caused some confusion and incorrect answers when students actually knew the answer but didn't hold up the correct side.  I haven't used Plickers because I thought I would be difficult for my students to manage the card, but this seems make it very accessible to K kiddos!


The next session I attended was about Science and Social Studies instruction. I've seen Mary's Print and Play packs when they post, but have never really looked at them.  I loved some of the great ideas in these!  She didn't promote these as part of the workshops, but instead, offered suggestions of how to do the activities cheap/free.  One example is living and nonliving.  She had a sheet where living things were colored one color and nonliving a different color. It was suggested that you take a magazine picture and circle living/nonliving in different colors.

I love how she incorporated literature into the suggestions for some topics such as Tops and Bottoms for plants.  I already use Tops and Bottoms but I love news ideas that I can add/change/adapt for things I am already doing!

The first session I attended this afternoon was about iPad apps.  One that I liked was Tell About This. In the app, you choose a picture, then you can record yourself talking about a prompt relating to the picture.  I could see this helpful in students using vocabulary and especially at the beginning of the year when writing can be more of a struggle.


My final session of the day was with Katie Mense from Little Warriors about fitting it all in. I loved this quote that she shared!


I would describe my classroom as "organized chaos" when it comes to my materials.  I start off really well, and I generally know where everything is, but sometimes it gets a little out of control.  The "paper trail" in my life can become overwhelming.  I thought the way she labeled this literature organizer/mailbox was great.  I think it would keep me organized and make the kids a little more independent.  I currently empty their folders for them, but this would free up some time in my morning as well!

Tomorrow is my final day here.  I'm looking forward to a few session before heading out.

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