Melissa was rather energetic for having to be up so early- but we loved it! We all fed off of her energy! She had TONS of great ideas about to make math fun for our kiddos. Like I had previously heard in another session, she has had great success with math mats in her class. It's simply a mat with some design on it and the kids get to use novelty manipualtives to make it fun to count, add or subtract! For example, she said the mat could be a cat's face and the students could roll a die to find out how many whiskers to add to his face! This could be a great adding game for two kids! Or, you could make the mat a school bus and find little faces of kids to use as the manipulatives to add to the bus every time you roll that number on the die. As you can imagine the possibilities are endless! I even thought of a cookie jar and cookies--or a cake and candles---or ice cream and sprinkles....the list could go on forever!
But the most important part of her session, for me, was learning the format of her math station times. For her classroom, she does a math mini-lesson that is 5-10 minutes, then the math station time which is 20 minutes (she suggested doing 1-3 rotations), and finally there was sharing time which was 5 minutes. She shared that too often, teachers skip over the sharing time since they think it's not that important. But actually, it is not only important for us as the teacher but the kids need that time as well. They need to be able to reflect on how the rotations went, what could be improved for next time, and what they enjoyed or not enjoyed? This is a self-reflection time for all students. I have to admit that I have never done sharing time but I VOW to change that for next year!
The next presenter was Michael who was a representative for TouchMath. If you have never heard of it before, you need to Google it now! It's such a different way to teach numbers to those kids who just have a hard time understanding it! While I've never taught TouchMath before, my special education para used it with a few of my kids last year and they really caught on to it! I was so impressed. I'm still not sure if I will use it with every student but I will definitely pull it out for kids who need just a little reinforcement!
After lunch, I was Deanna Jump and Heidi Butkus---I LOVE THEM BOTH!!!
Deanna's session was called Alphapalooza (and if you haven't already, you need to pick up her Alphapalooza unit in Tpt!) Again, I was overwhelmed with good ideas--- so much so that I couldn't write fast enough! So here's bits and pieces of them-- 1. She read us a great book called I Ain't gonna Paint No More that she uses with rhyming, predictions, drawing conclusions, etc. It was so stinkin' cute! Check it out if you haven't already. 2. She uses cute paper plates for decorations. She simply adds a die-cut letter on a cute plate and instantly she has a unique title for her project or display board! 3. She does an activity called Our Class Family. She writes each child's name on a piece of construction paper. The child is supposed to cover one letter at a time using little pieces of colored construction paper (she has the kids go in Roy. G Biv order) and the student must cover the entire black line of that letter. She then displays them! I loved the end product!
Here are other slides she showed us!
(Change the yellow letter's for each child's name)
To round out the day I got to see Heidi Butkus. She is such a talented lady to create so many songs to help kids learn! This class was all about singing and spelling color and sight words. She even let us watch a few of her cuties practice signing the songs on a video-- boy, they were full of energy! Before long we were all up and out of chairs to sing along with her. The good thing about all of us being Kindergarten teachers is that we have no reservations when we are told to get up to sing and dance- we just do it and don't care what we look like in the process! We ended up signing all of the color words and a lot of sight words. I see me making a huge investment in ALL of her CD's in my near future!
It's hard to see but this says "make a sight word graph- Draw a sight word card each morning and fill in one square for each one, then sing that song"-- GREAT IDEA!!!