Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fire Up Conference

So many great presentations are the fire up conference. Here is the summary of what I learned and of idears I took!

Fire Up Conference Reflection

Session #1: The Importance of Teaching Creativity in the Classroom by: Ryan Hipp
Ryan has written two books- Kids and Music, Curious Glimspe of Michigan – I would love either of these two books J
·         We live in a very visual world. So teach visually.
·         Creativity brings out personality in students. It helps the students become who they are.
·         There is a fine line between encourager and facilator.
·         The Dot, Ish by Peter H. Reynolds (Want these books too) – can help kids learn about creativity
·         Things that prevent creativity:
1.       Negativism
2.       Control
3.       Overspecialization
4.       Fear of failure/ridicule
5.       Impatience
6.       Jealousy
7.       Apathy/laziness
8.       Uniformity/tradition
9.       Fear of change
Don’t allow the classroom to become stagnant-it is important for things to change.
Cool writing activity- dump out a bucket of nicknacks –allow kids to draw from to start up a writing activity

Session #2
Elementary Classroom Management –Dan Vandenberg
Some important ideas:
·         Read over every single kids cum before school starts and talk to previous teachers.
·         Welcome note to each student that is on your student list.
·         Be ready for the first day of school-always have extras.
·         Know the yearly curriculum and create a sequence and scope for the entire year before school starts so that you know you can fit in all the important information.
·         Send out a “What’s Up!” so that the parents know what is going on the week before.
·         Closure is huge at the end of a lesson.
·         Important not to leave out social studies and science.
·         Create open communication line between the parents right from the beginning.
·         Send home homework that kids can do: it isn’t a bad idea to create 3 levels of homework.
·         Discipline Plan: Write it out before school starts give a copy to parents and to the principal.
·         If a teacher has a discipline plan it makes you not the bad guy any more.
·         Change seats every two weeks!
·         Give jobs to all students.
Loved this session! Dan had tons of wonderful things that he presented to us!

Session #3 – Sure Wish I’d Know Sooner- Charles Bultman
·         If you do not have an elmo- video camera/flex camera’s are $25 they can make a good make shift elmo.
·         Hands out a tri-fold instead of a syllabus.
·         Shows a new literacy term every week with a cartoon.
·         FUN homework idea: Pepper the toilet and take one drop of dish soap. See what happens?
·         One Rule: Do nothing to hinder either teaching or learning.
·         If emotions rise during the discuss, “hang up” the phone and dial again later.
·         Do not be their friend stay their boss.
·         Do not tune out during a movie that is showing-stay focused or do not show.
·         Ideas for student helpers:
1.       Paper Hander outer
2.       Paramedic –help the sick out, took notes for the sick
3.       Attendance taker- highlight who was absent on the list
4.       Time timer Set- exact time left
Enjoyed Charles Bultman’s presentation…he had lots of energy and lots of good ideas for teaching especially for middle school and high school.

Session #4
How to WOW Moms and Dads in the First Month of School –Dave Sipka
·         Send letters out to the kids before school starts include things like: favorite color and a picture of yourself.
·         Write a letter to the editor the newspaper and tip them off about something cool happening in the classroom that would be awesome for them to come see.
·         Video yourself teaching and put it on for students to watch.
·         Create a packet of information for elementary parents:
1.       Homework Packet-how long should homework take
2.       How do we handle birthdays?
3.       How do we collect $?
4.       Absent- How do we handle parents?
·         People love pictures, take tons of pictures.
·         Open House of classroom even if no one else is doing it.
·         Plan for a positive phone call home each night. First phone call home should be a positive one.

Some great basic ideas. But I was kind of disappointed. I was expecting a better presentation.

Session #5
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this session. It inspired me to blog and post up all the cool ideas I am learning about and trying in our classroom. This will allow me to have on-line ideas of sweet stuff I have used, learned about and want to try out.
Here are some websites I learned about and want to try out: (database of resources) (notecards/flashcards)  (For looking up topics)
Team/group blog

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cool Art Idea for Halloween

Loved how the students took the witches legs and made them incredibly funky to practice patterns and colors. The students also each created a different style boot made of black construction paper as well taking a ribbon to be the top of their pants line.

Here is one example:

Daily 5

Here are some of the daily 5 activities we have been using in our classroom.

My First Classroom Decoration

I took my students art from our introduction to plants and a review of writing in oreo sentences and created this bulletin board for our classroom to have up during parent teacher conferences.

Sorry We Missed You Note

We created a basic "sorry we missed you note" to go home with students who were absent.

Fly Guy

I love Fly Guy books and so do my students!

Example of Cool News Letter

Here is an example of the newsletter that Mrs. Brown is sending home everyweek to our parents.