Sunday, October 26, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Yes, I have been around ALMOST that long! (my grands, my dad, and me in 1961)
Friday, October 17, 2014
It is so difficult to find time for travel to out of town professional development opportunities, not to mention asking for and receiving funds for doing so. And, if you have been online at all in your search for ideas to help your students, you undoubtedly have seen the buzz word (acronym), "PLC".
The late summer startup, #TeacherFriends fits the definition to a T of what an online PLC is:
A professional learning community, or PLC, is a group of educators that meets regularly, shares expertise, and works collaboratively to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students. The term is also applied to schools or teaching faculties that use small-group collaboration as a form of professional development. Shirley Hord, an expert on school leadership, came up with perhaps the most efficient description of the strategy: “The three words explain the concept: Professionals coming together in a group—a community—to learn.”
Tho we are not physically in the same room, we share, become educator-friends, and enjoy sharing and receiving information that makes us know we are abreast of the newest best practices in education. All of this by just joining in with other educators once a week for one hour (or however long you decide to participate). You can even be there in your jammies--a major selling point to joining in on the fun of an online community.
Refer to this post for some twitter tips:
We have several guests lined up for October-November! Check out our schedule:
Each of these educators are amazing in their own right, and have so much to share.
If you are interested in reading previous guest chats, here is a link to storify, the online log of all tweets from specific chats. Lots of links and ideas! https://storify.com/kimvij
I encourage you to try twitter for your professional community connections. You will not be disappointed! Be sure to join our practice chat at 8:30 p.m., EST each Tuesday (right before our chat) to learn about how to participate. My favorite tip:
Use #TeacherFriends when responding to ANY question or tweet. Also, use http://bitly.com to shorten links you share in your tweets. Twitter is limited to 140 characters, so make your tweet count!Be sure to read this blog post for more twitter how-to info!
Sunday, October 5, 2014
The Bonus Round (ten minutes)
And...if you are blessed enough to have a para or a tutor in your room, you can pull students to your reading table for intensive trace and chant support using Jan Richardson's method of teaching letters and sounds. Students basically say the letter name as you help them trace the large letters. Then they say the sound as you trace again. Do this every day to see significant improvement.
I always end my guided group time with name or word making activities. The new group of students will need intensive support with names, so I am prepping this set that I use every day with my own struggling readers (only one or two).
This is an editable set for sequentially working with names. Grab it here.
for beginning sounds...
For fine motor...
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Saturday, September 20, 2014
I am so honored to be part of the monthly Bright Ideas Linky! I hope you can take away an idea or two after reading my post this month!
Do you have a teaching/response technique that is your go-to plan for teaching a skill??? Here is mine! I do this every day during the first quarter of school.
Each year we spend a great deal of time discussing how many syllables our names and other nouns have. To make this concept stick, I have incorporated three movements into listening for syllables. For instance, this morning's lesson began with a short review of alphabet letters and sounds, the initial consonant sound of five objects, our letter of the day (Uu), then our read-aloud entitled, "I Have a Pet". After reading the selection, I set out to achieve two goals:
1. Think outside the box: What other animals
could be considered pets? What are special
considerations for their care?
Would it be more difficult or easier to care for
a turtle, frog, snake, etc.?2. Listen for the number of syllables in names
of other animal groups (cats, dogs, fish, etc.,).
To get full engagement--all eyes on me--I love
to hold my arms in the air after a friend has
suggested a name. I wait until all eyes are
watching (I love to try a few "false starts"--
it really makes them stay focused), then help
them listen as we clap the name.
For instance, "alligator". We
clap the syllables four times, stomp them four
times, and finally jump and say the syllables
After trying this with every suggestion, you
can try taking the movement away and
challenge students to just hold up fingers
for to show how many syllables.
Most important is the use of the correct term,
SYLLABLE. Kindergarten students can learn
these terms, and should recognize words like
nouns, verbs, adjectives, syllables and more.
This important skill has become a game in
my classroom. Students ask to play the syllable
game. That's a win-win in my book!
For more Bright Ideas click through the linky
below. :) If you want to keep up with me
I encourage you to follow me on facebook and
other social media sites by clicking on the
buttons at the top of my blog. Thank you for
Monday, August 25, 2014
This year I decided to go with a sports theme for many of the things we use every day. Our name tags, bus tags, journal covers, and outer hall reflect the T.E.A.M. spirit our class will be nurturing all year. We have all seen the "Together Everyone Achieves More" T.E.A.M acronym over the years, and it is as important today as it has ever been.
The giant calendar is large enough to hold student photos, the date, birthdays and special days.
Our whole brain rules posters and higher order thinking verb poster is on the right.
board. This location was chosen for easy reference to letters, names, words and more!
assigned seating for small group instruction. No more scramble to a certain seat!
lawn furniture paint (for plastic) to make it a sunny yellow! LOVE!