Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Teaching with Intention: Chapter 2!

Defining beliefs and aligning practices!  

I love to teach kids new "things"! My favorite way is to lead them on a path that allows them to discover new learning on their own.  I typically straddle that line between coach and cheerleader depending on the situation and child.

The guiding principals that I hold near and dear to my heart are:

*all students want to learn
*all students can learn, my job is to speak their language for learning
*what I say and do MATTERS! Each and every decision I make will make an impact....either positive or negative...... No pressure!
*kids learn when they are excited and engaged...Kids learn best when their teacher is also excited and engaged

This chapter asks you to reflect on how you know kids are 'getting it'.  I think in kindergarten this is pretty easy!  K kids are so open...Their faces say it all! I can literally see their eyes light up when they get it or get all squinty when they are confused.  When they don't get it I try my best to see where the confusion lies.... Then it's game on!  I feel like I would do whatever,whenever to get a kid to 'get it'.  It's a mission!  It may take just a simple rewording... maybe small group work.... maybe having another child explain it in their words... finding more real life examples..... extra practice.... whatever it takes to see the light in their eyes.

Taking a deeper look into all my decisions and practices to ensure they align to my beliefs is a somewhat daunting task.... imperative, but daunting!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Teaching with Intention!

I have not blogged in about umpteen years : (  Have a few kids and that happens!! But this summer I have a ton on my 'to do' list..... One of which is to start blogging again.... even if it's short, even if it's barely coherent...but blog for blogging sake!  Last school year I found The Kindergarten Smorgasboard and if you haven't checked it out.... DO IT!  Not only are Greg's TPT products darling, they are very meaningful and hands on... my three favorite things.... DARLING, MEANINGFUL, and HANDS-ON!  So anyways, he's doing a book study and I thought to myself "get on it, girl!"  So here it goes, my thoughts on Chapter 1 of Debbie Miller's Teaching with Intention

Chapter 1:
Debbie Miller asks you to dream big in her first chapter of Teaching with Intention. As a kindergarten teacher that seems easy enough! My dream classroom has students huddled together over iPads creating ebooks together, a small group of at risk students with me reading an above level book for the first time, a pair of students working on a script for a retelling they'd like to perform for the class.... It's easy to dream big in kindergarten! Oh, no! The realist in me is laughing... Those deep belly laughs that are challenging to stop anytime soon... The realist in me just pointed out that little Johnny is hiding under the table, little Suzy's glue is clogged, and little Tommy just had an accident..... Then the phone rings, the secretary calls to say little Jennifer will be picked up in five minutes. My actual classroom is never a dreamland but I look froward to Debbie walking me through the process of finding my classroom happy place!!


Some of these dreams I am already working towards... others I'm working on a plan! 



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Class of 2025...Graduating with Technology

     Well, the new year has begun!  August and September are a big blur...... months you'd like to forget..... October can't come fast enough.  I think it's simply a necessary evil as you start with this diverse group of 5, 6, and 7 year-olds (many who have never been exposed to what a 'line' might be and then there are some who can already read) and you slowly but SURELY mold them into your little kindergarten soldiers students.  By the end of September you can begin to start teaching content and you start to feel like a 'real teacher' not a hen trying to keep her chicks from running around the farm! 

     We have started to use our clickers. I am fortunate to have Sparks this year!I just love them and would recommend them to anyone asking!  Here's a news story from a local channel about my classroom use of clickers a few years ago.  Click here!

It's amazing to think that this year's K class will be graduating in 2025!  YIKES!  
Check out these stats from LearnStuff:
Notice the growth of Twitter and Facebook in 2 years. AMAZING! Speaking of Facebook...be sure to check out my class Facebook page here!

Graduating With Technology

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Math App!

One of the math apps I love to use in Kindergarten with the iPads is KG Math. You can find it here.   What I love about it is that it is actually geared towards kindergarten. It hits tons of standards and they keep coming up with new updates with more games.  The game does cost $1.99 but I think it is worth purchasing.  (I am not getting any kickbacks for recommending this app... I just truly love it : ) 

Here is a screen shot of some games the students can choose.  It is a very simple format and extremely kid friendly.  I love that they even included symmetry!  How many symmetry activities do you find??? Not many!  The only complaint (which I hope with one of the updates they will change) is that if a student gets it wrong there is not an explanation or teaching moment that helps the child.  This is the one drawback I see.  I'm hoping that feature will be there soon!  Maybe if enough of us check it out and send that suggestion then it will happen...... 
What math apps do you love?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

UDL Glog!

Have you heard of the Universal Design of Learning?  Check out the glog I created here to help understand some of the vital points.  If you are not familiar with glogs they are soooooooooooooo much fun!  Look for hot pink arrows to click on (you'll hear my voice, seriously, try it : )  There is a movie you can watch, and links you can click on...... Click around and you'll figure it out, seriously, if our students can do it than so can we!!!!

Want the cliff notes????  No two students are the same, no two students process information the same, and therefore students deserve to have information presented in multiple ways, students should be encouraged to showcase their knowledge in multiple ways, and students should be motivated in multiple ways. 

What are some ways you differentiate within your classroom?  How do you make sure you're reaching all of your students? How do you KNOW you are????? Inquiring minds want to know : )

*Share this link with someone and you'll receive 10 bonus points.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Kleinspiration: The Biggest Give-Away Yet - Thank You Readers and my Personal Learning Network!


So..... want to enter a give-away with TONS of wonderful prizes?????  I have not every won one of these before but I'm feeling lucky today... How about you????? (Maybe I shouldn't blog about it then I have a better chance of winning!!!!!!!!!!!!! OK, I can't keep my mouth closed for that long.....)
If nothing else check out Kleinspiration and you'll find something, no matter what grade you teach.
Click here to check out the Give-Away!  Good Luck and let me know if you win!!!!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Hx6V689Fveo/T_BzDhTdtZI/AAAAAAAADmc/28FoGmDuhiI/s1600/kleinspiration+1000+follower+give+away.png

Monday, June 25, 2012

Student Data Folders...New App!

So, how many of you keep the traditional student data folders???? (My hand is raised...) In kindergarten it looks like this..... Little Johnny does poorly on the rhyming test, I take the rhyming test upstairs to make a copy, I 3-hole punch the copy, write the date, put it in Little Johnny's binder.....Then of course when I give an important test that I mom and dad to see at conferences I 3-hole punch and keep it..... keep a few writing samples.... make a copy of a behavior slip sent home (I call them 'oops reports')......The list is endless, then the binder is filled, blablablablabal Such a bother, but I obviously see the benefits and need for these binders or BELIEVE ME I WOULDN'T DO THEM..... 
So today while blog hopping/stalking I found this post by KindergartenWorks
 

Click on the picture above to read her description of a time-saving organizational power-house app for the iPad/iPhone called 3 Ring.  It can be found here at http://threering.com/.
Check out this short video about 3 Ring!


 The organizational aspect is AMAZING.... The general idea is that it's a 'virtual data binder'.  Simply take a picture of the document, choose who and what it belongs to, and it's uploaded. So, at conferences I can pull up Little Johnny's writing to show mom and dad what he produced.  "Oh, what was that, mom and dad? You're not sure what is expected from a kindergarten kid at this time of the year.... Well, let me just pull up all of the class' writing about ol' Abe Lincoln and we can just take a little peek at the rest of the class' work."
Ok, seriously, pick your mouth up off the floor and go check it out....
Oh, you're concerned because your school is low on funds and won't purchase any apps? 
IT'S FREE TO TEACHERS!!!!
So, I'll be downloading this on my personal iPad (which I got for Mother's Day.... do I have the best husband or what?????) and playing with it this summer.  And I'm sure my principal will be getting an email very soon about this app and what we can do with it...... Just think of the possibilities!!!!!  What are your ideas????