Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vegas - That's a Wrap

I'm the first to admit it's CRAZY it took me THREE blog posts to tell ya'll about Vegas & I Teach K!

Once again, I'm joining A Burst of First to tell you what happened in Vegas.

I'm excited to share what Kim Jordano from  Kinder by Kim's  "Bookmaking" Make & Take workshop was all about!  I'm normally not one to go to M&T sessions.  Not sure why.  I guess I prefer to get as many ideas as possible during a workshop instead of just sitting and doing a M&T.  Boy, am I glad I went to this M&T class! 
There were TONS of extension ideas how to use the books we made.  Kim provided a bag full of patterns, papers, and all the materials while she gave us the best, step by step directions.  Here are a few really bad cell phone photos from her slide presentation...
a "clothespin" booklet...

a "When I grow up" Booklet...

 "Eating Through the Alphabet" book and "Kindergarten Poetry Journal"
Doesn't that  ribbon just add the cutest finishing touch?
Collection of "Self Portraits" with simple but colorful paper plate photo frame...
We made several others including my favorite...the "Popcorn Book"!
Kim has graciously shared her patterns & directions for this workshop.  Click here to find out all about it!
I must tell you a bit of what I learned in Amanda Bistline's "1,2,3 Come Count With Me!" workshop.  I was absolutely in AWE of Amanda in this session!  She shared activity after activity of ways we can keep our students engaged with hands-on learning!  Honestly, I think you could teach all your math standards using this approach and never pull out a worksheet!  I loved it! There is an excellent post by Amanda about this session on her blog.  Take a look here and you'll see more!
Using a dice & Unifix cubes for building a staircase as you count...
 Quick & easy center of dot stickers & plates plus a counting manipulative of your choice!

Use a Sharpie to write numbers on slices made of pool noodles & use them for ordering
Inexpensive star stickers are good when learning to add or subtract...

Number Munchers...

Dollar Store cookie sheets simply made into Ten Frames...
So my week was INCREDIBLE! 
I enjoyed every minute of the workshops and shopping for teacher goodies was a treat, too.  I toured around Vegas with my hubby, dined at celebrity chef restaurants,  met Penn & Teller, and even saw the Grand Canyon for the first time!

I was also lucky enough to make a new friend from The Apple Tree Room at the big Blogger Party! 
Funny how you can teach different ages and live in very different parts of the country, but you immediately hit it off because you're both teachers!

I hope you've liked reading about my experiences at I Teach K.  I've loved sharing it with you!

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Book Talk Tuesday - A Lesson Found Within

I've discovered some wonderful books at the Book Talk Tuesday linky party hosted by Mrs. Jump's Class.  Today, I'd like to share a big book I bought at a yard sale from a retiring elementary teacher.  I hadn't heard of this book before and really wasn't sure I needed it but she insisted I add it to the stack of teacher stuff already discovered from her garage.  And who could possibly resist a $4 price tag for a big book in very good condition? Not me!

Once I was home, I sorted through all my treasures...with a little help from the Big Kitty, of course!

I began reading This is The Bear and The Picnic Lunch by Sarah Hayes.

This precious book is about a boy and his little teddy bear who want to have a picnic lunch together.  Throughout the story, it becomes obvious their picnic will be ruined by the boy's dog.  I knew the rhyming verses and the softly painted illustrations would capture the attention of my class.  But as I read farther along, I started thinking.  Asking question after question. 
How would I use this book? 
What time of year would I read it? 
Could I incorporate it with a rhyming activity? 
Or just read it for fun?
As I turned to the last pages, I discovered a lesson was right there within the book!

That sweet teacher, who had just retired and was letting go of all her precious resources, had used this big book to teach her class about speech bubbles!  Hand-cut from sticky note paper, she must have given her students one of the speech bubbles and instructed them to write what the boy, his teddy bear, or the little dog might have said at the end of the book! 

Such a clever idea and one I'm sure her students loved writing! 
I can think of quite a few other books I could do this lesson with, as well. 
Can you?
Thanks for visiting and be sure to browse what others are sharing at Mrs. Jump's Book Talk Tuesday.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It - Cut, Cut, Cut

It was a rainy weekend here in Georgia and I got MUCH more done than expected!  I'm linking with 4th Grade Frolics and ready to see what everyone's doing to get ready for the school year! 

 Cut...Cut...Cut! I spent hours cutting a big stack of lamination and now I have six new centers!  The cards on the left are part of the Kindergarten Smorgasboard's "File A Sound" activity where students "file" the card according to the initial sound.  The "Rhyming Rings" on the right are from fellow Georgia teacher, Karen Cox at PreKinders.

A good chunk of my cutting consisted of all these little circles!  They're part of the "Muffin Tin" alphabet learning games from Julie Lee at Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten.  My class absolutely LOVES any game using a muffin tin so I know these will be an instant hit!

It does take some time to cut the circles but I did the whole set while watching Braves baseball this weekend. Somehow they managed to get through three games with only one rain delay.
Oh, see my little scissors?   These Cutter Bee scissors are lightweight and just pointy enough for nice corners & cutting tiny details.  Do you have a pair of Cutter Bees?  I couldn't live without mine!
Yum...Yum...Yum! I made a Peach & Blueberry Cobbler over the weekend!  So easy & so delicious! 

The crust is a simple mixture of self-rising flour, sugar, and milk.  You it mix together and then pour over a stick of melted butter.  The "secret" to this cobbler is DON'T STIR after you pour!
Fresh sliced Georgia peaches and plump blueberries... 
 stirred with sugar & lemon juice then brought to a boil...

 and poured over the cobber mixture...DON'T STIR!
Yummy goodness warm from the oven just waiting for a scoop of vanilla ice cream! 
Thanks for visiting with me and have a GREAT week!
I'll be posting Part THREE of my I Teach K summary tomorrow!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What Happened NEXT in Vegas?

Day 2 of I TEACH K  has to be one of my most favorite days...EVER!
My sessions included
so you know it was an incredible day!
Kim presented a brand new session "Wacky Wonderful World of Words Mini Lessons". 
She also sported one of the precious Show & Tell Aprons from Kinder-gardening 
and gave us more ideas for using it in the classroom.  I'm so glad I ordered mine! 
Kim's presentation focused on the concept of a Reader's Tool Box and how she teaches sight words.  This session was full of strategies I know I can easily implement in my class. 

Next up was Heidi Butkus' session to help at-risk kinders meet the standards. 
I've read Heidi's blog for awhile and was familiar with her letter & sight word songs,
but this was my first time to actually meet her.  I'm really fan now!

Heidi shared the importance of using simultaneous multisensory techniques. 
What that basically means is that children will learn best by hearing, seeing, saying, and doing! 
Well, isn't that's quite the concept.  We all know that but it's still  
something we all need to be reminded of and something we need to plan for in our lessons.

Heidi's session was packed with simple ideas to teach kids letters & sight words. 
How basic is this?  Yet I'm pretty sure I don't always do it!

 Doesn't it make sense that children will learn the letter best if they see it while they're singing it?
My afternoon was especially inspiring due to the enthusiasm & experience of
Kathleen presented one idea after another to get your school day started on a positive note. 
Here are a few slides she shared showing some of her Greeting activities.  Can't wait to try them! 

Kathleen also spoke about her morning work, daily jobs, Morning Meeting, and her calendar.  
I've been pleased with my morning routines but after seeing Kathleen...
I know there are MANY things I can change, tweak, and improve!
And one session wasn't enough! 
I also attended Kathleen's "Independent & Proud of It" Learning Centers workshop!
Not only did Kathleen talk about great activities for your students to work on like these...

but she also stressed the importance of teaching these skills BEFORE you begin independent centers:
  • how to roll a dice
  • how to use a BINGO bopper
  • how to use glue
  • how to use a dry erase marker
  • where to put finished center papers
  • how to solve a problem
  • how to clean up centers
I hope you're enjoying reading my experiences at the conference. I feel like I could go on and on about it.  I've already written two long posts but there's even more.  I still haven't shared what I learned from Kim Jordano in her Bookmaking session so I want to come back to do that.   Honestly, I really want the teachers who weren't able to attend I Teach K to feel like they WERE there. I hope by sharing my story, nobody feels like they missed out on anything.
Be sure to read more I Teach K and Vegas stories here.

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