Day 4 was the last day of the conference and I woke up that morning a little sad that it was all over! I was sad to know that all of the great sessions would soon be ending, all of the wonderful people I met would be returning home, and of course my week long vacation from "life" was coming to an end! On the flip side, I was very excited to get back home to share all of the
For the morning session of day 4, I saw Dina VanderWilt talk about Kindergartners and SMART Boards! Since I've used a SMART Board for more than 5 years now, I felt pretty confident in my abilities to use it, but boy, did I learn a lot in this class. She really showed us how to utilize it more than just using it as a projector (which many of us have been guilty of at some point)! She helped us think of ways to keep the kids engaged while other children were using the SMART Board. A good tip she shared was having every student that was sitting, to have their own personal SMART Boards too---which was merely a dry erase board. That way, even though every student couldn't be at the actual board, everyone was still fully engaged and working! Too often, I find my kids that are sitting on the carpet, are daydreaming and not paying attention!
Another wonderful idea she shared was that she made her kids a class set of seat pillows. The students were allowed to sit on the pillows and the pillow held all of their supplies in them! On one side of the pillow it was just the fabric and on the other side, there was a built in pocket that took up half of that side. In that pocket is where they kept a dry erase board, a marker and any other papers and charts that the teacher wanted them to have. How brilliant-- AND SIMPLE! She was so energetic and so schooled in the world SMART Boards--I was so jealous!!
If you use Handwriting Without Tears, you can put the Mat Man pieces on the board to show letter formations!
Other manipulatives that are available to use on the S.B.--shapes, ten sticks, one's cubes, hundreds blocks, snap cubes and coins that looks real.
Here is Dina showing us how she uses the S.B. with The Very Hungry Caterpillar book.
Later in the morning I attended the session by Deanna Jump called Math Magic! And you guessed it, this class was amazing too! Soon, she will be finishing this unit called Math Magic--I would suggest getting it once it is available!!! We talked about all things math and the basics that your students should master - thing like one-to-one counting, cardinality, conservation of numbers, and subitizing (instantly recognizing the number of something without having to count it). She also told us that there was a second stage to subitizing--when the children are able to add 2 sets of something quickly. (I admit- I didn't know the official name of this action!)
She also talked about other math concepts that are important such as doubles, part/whole, number relationships, one more/less, anchoring the number 5 and 10 and dot cards. I've used dot cards in the past but I've seen a lot lately about their importance so, for this upcoming year, I am going to use dots more in my class-- maybe even during calendar time and for the lunch count check in???
All of these math concepts we do everyday but I think it'll be important for me to reevaluate how I'm currently using them in my class. I'm going to do them more purposefully this next year!
Using the dot cards to match to number cards.
Building sets using numbers and dots.
A little blurry but it's all the different ways to make the number 9.
The kids put down the monster eyes using ordinal numbers and critical thinking.
After lunch, I went to my very last session. It was hosted by Shari Slone and called Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Fun--and it was a make-and-take session! :) Her website is www.kidscount1234.com and it's full of great ideas!!! Go check it out--after you're done reading this post! I was able to check her calendar book that was created by her and Kim Adsit and yes, I'm going to have to give in and buy it! It was cute and had TONS of great pages to use at calendar time. Again, I love that idea that ALL kids are engaged at the same time, even though they may not be standing at the board.
One cute idea I loved that was so simple and she said her students loved it. When her class is whole group practicing stretching out and blending sounds in words, she tells them to move slow like a turtle when stretching and move fast like a rabbit when blending. You could use puppets or pictures on a stick. I love putting visuals with things that are abstract. It gives the kids something to really link with the action.
Another great idea she had was phonemic substitution with the song, Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, which can be found on her School is Cool CD. Check out her website that has the words and a picture of her book she made with the words too. I love the idea of doing phonemic substitution with popular songs! I bet the kids would love to hear the original song and then love to change the words to make it sound silly!
Well, that concludes my I teach K conference trip! It was a great trip that I will never forget! It was well worth the money! Hopefully, I'll see you there next year!