I just have to say that I had the best time at the I Teach K conference this year! I've been to the conference two times before, but I enjoyed myself so much this year! My bestie was there with me and we had a blast! It was fun seeing some new presenters and going back to see presenters we saw in the past. I'm going to break this up into two different posts, because there is a lot to talk about. :)
Ok - this is going to be a little long. Are you ready? :)
Opening ceremony with Jack Hartmann, Sharron Krull, and Donna Whyte was so much fun! I just love singing Jack Hartmann songs in class and he didn't disappoint. He even taught the group the signs to One Small Voice. I felt like an A+ student, because I already knew the signs. lol Sharron Krull taught us some fun ways to use scarves to add some movement to our songs. Donna Whyte shared a fun piggy game to play with students.
Our first session was with Catherine Kuhns. She shared a lot of great books to use during math. Pattern Fish and Pattern Bugs were two of my favorites. She also shared a math activity called "Algebra Triangles." I will share about these in another post. All I can say right now is that I love, love, love this idea!!!
The second session we attended was on Nursery Rhymes and it was with Vanessa Levin. She was such a fun presenter and gave a lot of good ideas for using Nursery Rhymes in the classroom. I especially loved how she broke down the nursery rhymes into different themes throughout the year.
The third session was with Sharron Krull and it was on circle time activities. She shared a really great book called A Soup Opera by Jim Gill. I could really see my student's getting into this book. It's now on my list of "To Buy" books.
Our final session of the day was with Kim Adsit on things that you can use from dollar stores. Do I really need to say anymore? She is a great teacher who is very, very funny. She had a ton of ways to use things that you wouldn't even think of.
Our first session of Tuesday was with Melissa Leach on balanced literacy. She was one of our favorite presenters from last year so we decided that she was on our list of must see this year. This was a great refresher in what is best in a balanced literacy classroom. I think the best reminder that I took from the shared reading portion was that you don't have to cover everything every day. On the first day, read the book and let the kids get all of their "stories" out so that you can really use the text for the rest of the week to teach and reinforce concepts. Such an easy thing, but I have gotten away from that.
The second session was also with Melissa Leach. It was on blogging in the classroom. Unfortunately, I don't think that this would be allowed at my school, but it is such a great idea. If you are interested, she shared kidblog.org as a great resource to use if you want your students to blog. The safety features are great.
The third session of the day was on the first 30 days and it was presented by Donna Whyte. I loved that she had one rule: Do the right thing. Doesn't that just epitomize what we want our students to do? Of course, you will need to do mini lessons on what the "right" thing is and isn't. It's so simple and I love it! I also liked her idea of an expert book. In her expert book, it had pages for things like tying shoes, opening milk cartons, etc. She then put pictures of students in the expert book so that other students knew who to ask for help. I'm so doing this!
Our last session on Tuesday was on integrating math and science with Kim Adsit. What a great session! So many great ideas on how to easily put those math and science standards together. I thought her idea of a winter clothes relay would be so much fun. The idea is to have two students draw a card with a winter clothing item on it. Students would then have to make a prediction on who would take more time to put on the item. I think my students would love playing this game!
I hope you enjoyed the run-down of my first two days of the I Teach K Conference. Stay tuned for the second half of the conference!