Friday, July 19, 2013

Jetlag Strikes! I Teach K ~ Day 3

Well, jetlag made an appearance the last two days and I was so spent that the effort to start a blog post did not happen.  But that just means you get a two-fer today! 

Yee!Haw! Numbers Round-Up-Kim Adsit

Take Away 1:  Always plan your math lessons so that the kids are defending and sharing their thinking.  "How did you get that answer?"  "What was your thinking for this problem?"
My little ESL kiddos are not quite going to have the vocabulary to give me an explanation until almost the lasts trimester (yes, we have trimesters instead of semesters).  What I think I might do instead is make some strategy cards.  Then students can point to the one they are using (if it's on there) and say a simple sentence frame like "I used strategy number ___."  Something like that - this is just my off the top of my head idea so if you have a better one please share!
Take Away 2:  Headband game for "Who Am I?"  You remember that game you play where you stick a card to your forehead and people give you clues to guess the card?  The genius of Kim Adsit has created a math version for kids using a stretchy headband and Velcro.  Everyone say it with me now..."Genius!"
I thought I'd be nice since I don't have her permission to post this pic on my blog. 
It is hard to see but she is wearing a dot plate card on the headband and receiving clues to guess the number 3.  I love how it encourages my little guys to talk and participate in using English.  Since my time with them is super limited I love anything that covers multiple objectives at one time!
Take Away 3:  I also learned all about the power of the rekenrek.  I had seen them before but never knew much about them.  Now, thanks to this session I feel adequately trained to use them in my classroom.  I can't believe how simple they are to use - so much better than an abacus.
I think the best thing about the rekenrek is that it requires students to start with all the beads on the right.  This way when they slide them to the left they are then reading the "numbers" from left to right.  I just have to say it again - genius! This is absolutely perfect for my kiddos because they speak Arabic which is read from right to left so it will be very natural for them to start on the right.
Take Away 4:  Teacher created rekenrek from PVC pipe and pool noodles.  I will definitely be getting the parts for this before I head back overseas.  In fact I am already planning out my Walmart trip for later today...
Take Away 5:  This is one we all probably know but I liked the reminder.  Teach all the strategies spending many lessons with them and then have students choose which one(s) work best for them.  I really need to keep this one in mind.  It's so tempting to rush through everything (especially if following a program) but I need my students to build that number sense.  I think Kim's numbers unit is perfect for this.

Early Intervention Aid for Kindergartners - Kim Adsit

Have you ever seen Kim at a conference?  She had me laughing so hard over this story of a little boy with Southern attitude who gave strange alien beeps and boink noises through the letter assessment.  It was so funny because I could relate.
Take Away 1:  Like Ron Clark, Kim Adsit suggests teaching to the middle.  You can spend all your energy all day every day and those low students just won't get it.  If you focus on the middle students at the start you can pull them up to grade level (or close) and then have time to work with the low students.  It makes sense.  Just think about how quickly those middle students can progress when they get that little push from you.
Take Away 2:  Sight word rings.  I have used these in the class and have plans for them again this year but now I have a new take on it.  Give students just the words they know on their ring.  Keep three baskets labeled 0-3 for students to place their word rings in after practicing.  Depending on how many they missed, they place the ring in the appropriate basket.  Then you add new words to their ring.  You always want them practicing three words they don't know.
I will be using my word wall wallets for next year.  I am planning on having students keep them in baggies just in case I find little flash cards everywhere.  Plus I will have them add their name (or number or icon - whatever system I decide to use) on the back of the cards so I can easily return them to their owner.  Then students can place their wallet in the appropriate basket after practice.  Because of time constraints I think I will do it by table group maybe once or twice a week.  I will have to see how my schedule looks and when I can fit it in.
The word wall wallets will allow them to have the best of both worlds - see all the words they need to work on AND only have the cards they know (plus their 3 unknown).  I will be creating a Fry's version soon - these are using the Dolch set. 
Take Away 3:  Number necklaces for differentiated instruction.  The kids wear a necklace with a number card on it.  The numbers are hole punched up to the number the student knows.  Students will begin practice starting with the last hole-punched number.  This one will require a little thought for me on how to incorporate this into my lessons.  Any ideas out there?

Simple Science - Shari Sloane

Still with me?  I know this is a long post.
Take Away 1:  Shari has a wonderful song about the five senses that she showed us a great action - perfect for my ESL kiddos!  Love you Shari! 
Take the fingers of your hand (either hand) and as you sing you will touch one finger to each sense, starting with your thumb on your ear.  Then move down your fingers towards your pinky.  When you finish singing about hear, see, smell, taste, touch your pinky will wiggle in the air for touch.  Brilliant!
Take Away 2:  Science Light Station
Provide students with a flashlight and assorted objects.  They will shine the flashlight on the object and see if the light goes through.  This will be perfect when we are studying the sun and night/day concepts.  Plus it's easy peasy lemon squeasy!

Emergent Writers - Shannon Samulski

Take Away 1:  Students are now coming to school lacking fine and gross motor skills they need for writing because they are plugged in and/or parents aren't encouraging things like finger painting and playdoh.  Shannon suggests having a fine motor station in kindergarten all year long.  Students can do things like push beans in a small hole on the side of a water bottle, hide 10 beans inside of playdoh and squish them out using only one hand, and flipping over cards or pennies without sliding them off the table to pick them up.
I think I'll set some of these up and it will act like a free choice center when they finish their work.
Take Away 2:  When practicing letter formation, try to keep things two-toned.  This helps the brain remember.  Some easy ways to do this:
* two-toned sand
*placing colored gel baggies (ziplocs filled with hair gel) on top of a contrasting construction paper color
*two colors of paint in a ziploc
Take Away 3:  Since students begin learning to write by first draw pictures, begin your writing lessons with drawing.  Then gradually add in putting words to pictures once they have told a story through their illustrations.
Well this was a very long post - thanks for hanging in there!  I will post all about day 4 later.  It was another day full of great information.  My poor brain is on overload.

1 comment:

  1. Lovin' following you! Hope you are continuing to enjoy your time in the states! :) It was so fun to hang out in Las Vegas! Can't wait til "I Teach K" next year!


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