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

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