Monday, March 7, 2016

Peek at My Week: 3/7

Happy Monday!!!!! I am a little off on my week already since we did not have school today (holla at my Polish heritage and Casimir Pulaski)!!! Ready to head into this week with some fun and exciting lessons! Still feeling SO fresh after my conference in Schaumburg this past weekend (check out my post on that here!!)  Tonight I am sharing a Peek at My Week with my teaching twin, Beginnings With Baer to give you a peek at what our week will entail!!

This week, we are focusing on Dr. Seuss (hello Seussville!!!) and will practice our rhyming! We will continue to practice our digraphs by using a lot of whole group and partner work! I am super excited to get some of our new centers up and running. I also want to revamp some of our Guided Reading block so stay tuned for that! We also will be assessing our sight words.

We are continuing with decomposing numbers 11-20 and I cannot wait to get some hands-on learning with manipulatives and interactice tools! With end of 3rd quarter coming, we are working hard to master our skills! Fluency checks will be happening this week to make sure we known our subitizing skills and facts to 5!

Like I mentioned above, DR SEUSS IS IN KINDERGARTEN THIS WEEK! Sorry, I may be very thrilled ;) We will be diving into Dr. Seuss during our writing time! Last week, my kiddos worked on the biography of Dr. Seuss for their social studies and got a chance to explore some close reading through it. We will be reading his books, practicing opinion writing, and sharing new ideas! I cannot wait to get going!!

A fun week is in store for room 103! Thanks for checking out my peek!!!! Make sure you head over to Beginnings With Baer to check out what her firsties are up to!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

IL ASCD Kindergarten Conference 2016

Happy Saturday SUNDAY (okay, it was Saturday when I started writing this!!!)! I should probably change the title of this post to "Two days jam-packed with AMAZING presentations, ideas, and lessons from some of my FAVORITE bloggers and educators" or "OMG I FOUND DEEDEE AGAIN!" (I am only slightly sorry for the slight obsession). Anywho, I was lucky enough to get to go to the IL ASCD Conference that was hosted in Schaumburg, IL for the SECOND time on March 3 & 4. Let me tell you, if you ever have the chance to attend, even if just for a day, GO!! It is SO worth the sub lesson plans, and THAT is saying  something ;)

A little background on the conference itself: The conference is a two-day event that offers over 11 different one-hour sessions to attend as well as two key note speakers and a whole lot of booths and exhibits to see! It is a teacher's heaven!!!! Any topic that you are interested in seeing, there is probably a session for it! Music, technology, literacy, mathematics, fine motor, differentiation, classroom management, assessment, science, yoga in the classroom, etc! There are so many wonderful opportunities to hear some AMAZING and INSPIRING educators speak about. My favorite part is that almost all of the speakers are either currently teaching or recently out of the classroom so the information that they share is RELEVANT and helpful!

Now onto MY experience!!!! I attended this very conference with my teacher teammate Life in the Fast Lane last Spring and fell in love with it. As soon as January rolled around, we knew we had to go again! I could not wait to flip through the pamphlet and see who would be there and what topics would be presented!!! Now selecting the sessions that I wanted to go to came down to a science. Since some sessions repeat, I had to make a big chart on like 6 notebook pages that had all the ones I knew I wanted to go to FOR SURE. Once I made sure that I could go to all those ones, I filled in the blanks. I ran into a few errors when I saw a session that I was not sure about or when I switched a few around, but hours later, I WAS READY TO SIGN UP!!

The sessions I attended:
Sarah Howe: Empowering Little Writers
*My first session was with Sarah Howe, and I LOVED it!!!! She gave an amazing presentation about how she does writing in her classroom. She has an amazing system that she uses and she introduced us to the concept of mini book writing! She gave each of us our own to use as an example when creating our own! (I am sure I will make a post about this later once we begin using them!!!)

Deedee Wills (Mrs. Wills Kindergarten) - Assessment
* Oh me oh my! I mean, c'mon! It is DEEDEE! Of course I was excited to hear her speak, but her presentation was amazing. Her concepts on how to easily assess students informally was so simple and yet I had not even thought about it!


Deanna Jump (Mrs. Jump's Class) - Read, Set, READ
I LOVED this session. So much information that talked about how to use writing and reading in the classroom in a way that excites students. She explained how a reading lesson should go, how to use fun voices to intrigue the students, and how to get students to use inquiry based thinking. One thing that Deanna talked about was how when they do reading and writing prompts, she never asks for an example before they start writing because, like most, once a student hears an example it is the only one that they can think about! I also love her SWBS (somebody wanted but so then) and how interactive it was and concrete for students to fully grasp!

Kim Jordano (Kinder by Kim) - Move Over! Here Comes the MATH WALL!
*I mean, could you find a funnier educator? Seriously, she brings the real talk to teaching! I love how personable and real she is! Kim explained the Math Wall that she uses in her classroom and I am in love. Like actually figuring out where I can put this kind of wall in my room. She does so many things with her students that push them to think and are INCREDIBLY differentiated for all of the needs of her students!

Greg Smedley-Warren (Kindergarten Smorgasbord) - Reading Rituals & Routines
*I loved learning about Mr. Greg's Reading Routines (seriously amazing!) The amount of things that his students are able to accomplish in set time frames is amazing and definitely something I am eager to apply in my classroom!


Kim Adsit (Kinder Gals) - Prop Up Your Centers
*Besides being a great end to the first day, Kim shared how her centers were full of hands-on and interactive activities that kept her kids busy and working effectively. I love the variety of activities that she used!

Jen Jones (Hello Literacy) -Word Up! Vocabulary Instruction in the Primary Classroom
*I mean, what a way to start day two! I have been dying to see Jen Jones present and I was NOT disappointed!!!  She brought some amazing technology into her presentation and showed us how to integrate it into our students' learning vocabulary. We even got to get up and play a quick round of Quiz, Quiz, Trade (holler at me Kagan!!)! I never realized how easy it is to put tier two and three vocabulary into everyday conversations and how switching words around helps students grasp the concepts. I love how she mentioned that we should never ask our students to define something, but rather EXPLAIN it. With this way, you are able to see if your student truly understands the word! She showed us Flocabulary (which I am totallllly going to be using! PLAIN AND SIMPLE, GUYS, SHE ROCKS!


Deedee Wills (Mrs. Wills Kindergarten) - Peek at My Week
*Of course I had to see Mrs. Wills again! She gave us a glimpse at her week, how she sets it up with lesson plans and how her daily routines happen. I would love to be a fly on the wall in her room! Seriously she has so many amazing ideas. I love her visual lesson plans and hope to begin those again after a long hiatus!


Kathy Griffin (Kathy Griffin's Teaching Strategies)- Procedures for the First 30 Days
Kathy took us all the way back to beginning of August/September and those fist 30 days with our BABIES (literally, they are so small when they start!!) She shared how she gets her procedures started right away and how she teachers quiet signs as well as strategies for students to get their wiggles out while listening.


Deedee Wills (Mrs. Wills Kindergarten)- Math Stations
*Oops, signed up for another session with Deedee ;) I was eager to hear about math stations because our school does them quite different from many of the teachers that I have looked at. I love how structured her Math Stations are. I am currently trying to figure out how I can work the structure that she uses to fit my math workshop needs. I love that she regroups between stations so that students are able to process what  they did and explain what they learned or how they were successful! Also LOVE her math tool kits! Each student has a partner with a binder that has all of the math manipulatives and templates that are needed for the week.



Deanna Jump (Mrs. Jump's Class) -  Guided Reading 101
*Going out with a bang!! Ended my amazing two days with Mrs. Jump (and loved every second of it!) Deanna shared how her guided reading set up is and the strategies she uses to teach each group. She explained how she doesn't start her guided reading groups until after the first 4 weeks of school. I love the strategies and songs that she uses to help strengthen her student's fluency. I currently have like all of her guided reading materials sitting in my basket on tpt ;)



The sessions that I attended provided me with such a wealth of information, and not just statistics or blah blah information. No no no! I am talking useful information and ideas that I can take and ACTUALLY apply in my classroom. Deedee and Deanna both had great sessions on math and literacy stations as well as guided reading (definitely a huge fan of Deedee's students' seats with dual storage purposes!) and all I can say is I am ready to revamp and organize how to best meet my students' needs efficiently and effectively. I also LOVE the idea of a "Dessert Tub" that Deedee shared. She got the idea from another one of my FAVORITE bloggers Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade! It is a task for students to do if they complete work early. Remember, not all students will get dessert ;) The ideas that they share are seriously SO simple and require little prep! There was not one point at any of the sessions where they told you to buy their products, instead, they provided so many ways to do these stations without having to buy a thing!

The major thing that I took away from the conference as a whole is to DO YOU. Take the ideas, the lessons, the guidelines and make them YOU. Your classroom will not look like anybody else's classroom. It isn't supposed to. You have to find what works for you and your babes. How remarkable.  I mean it. How remarkable that your classroom is completely different from all others. Your classroom is where YOU and YOUR STUDENTS get to challenge each other to dig deeper, work harder, and have fun learning. By listening to the PASSION and EXCITEMENT in each and every presenter I was blessed to listen to, I felt so happy, so at peace. I loved all the ideas that I got. I am so eager to take WHAT I learned and manipulate it so that it works in my classroom, it has MY spin on it, and it helps MY kiddos.

Thanks to the wonderful and inspiring teachers that work so hard and LOVE what they do!!! If you ever get the chance to attend this conference, I 100% recommend it!

Sunday Scoop: March 6

It isn't just any Sunday, it is the Sunday of a 3 day weekend! So really, it is like an extra Saturday, right ;) Anyway, today is the day to link up with Teaching Trio for Sunday Scoop! I love this link up and getting to see what other awesome teachers are doing or plan to do for the week!!!

Finish Dr. Seuss plans. We are starting our Dr. Seuss two week unit and I could not be more excited!!! I cannot wait to get the room decorated and ready and all of the lessons up and started! It will be a little Seussy in Room 103!!!!! I also have to build my new organizer that will hopefully keep me prepped and ready week by week ;) ANNNND I have laundry that is long over due to get done!

I hope to get my closet reorganized for spring clothes! Love the switch out and seeing the brighter colors (I may be guilty of a very black winter wardrobe)! I also hope that I will get to be outside more! I would love to get some miles in outdoors, because everyone knows outdoor miles feel SO much better than indoor miles!!

I can't wait to get a mani and pedi with my blogging twin! Some much needed relaxation and twin time! A little pampering never hurt anyone, right ;)

Thanks for checking out my scoop!! Make sure and head back to Teaching Trio to link up and share yours!!!