So back to the professional development classes. I have gone to several in the past and my favorites have been Dr. Jean, and Deb Diller and now Donna Whyte. (If you click on their name it will take you to their blog. They also have websites that you could check out.) What do they all have in common...they are WONDERFUL. If you get the chance to go to any of their classes, I strongly encourage you to go.
My district has free classes all summer long that we are encouraged to attend if we find something that we feel we would use or like to learn. I was really lucky that I truly didn't have to go to any this summer because our principal had us go to about 35 hours last summer. (Yeah it was a work filled summer but I learned a lot about our new computers.) When we only have to have 12 hours each year. So I didn't have to go but these two classes just seemed to call my name to come. So I listened and I went and I am so glad that I did. The Presenter was Donna Whyte from thesmartiezone.com and she is amazing. Her first class was Phonemic Awareness. She wasn't telling us to find an extra 30 minutes a day to use her ideas. She showed us how to use them in the normal everyday activities that I never would have thought of changing. One example was how we take attendance. When calling out the names mess one up like instead of saying Donna say Nonna. The kids will tell you immediately that you got it wrong and correct you with the right sound. She would mess up one name a day and have the kids correct her. Another idea was to have a magic spoon. It's just a wooden spoon from the Dollar tree with curling ribbon at the base with maybe some glitter glued into the spoon part. The teacher takes the spoon with them when they leave the room. Anything the teacher touches the magic spoon with changes it's beginning sound or ending sound whatever you are working on. So say the teacher touches a table it is not a table but a bable if the letter of the day is b. How cute is that? My class last year would have loved it and it's simple and cheep to make.
The other class Donna had was Centers in a snap! She had some of the best center ideas. Most of her center games were the same game with different clip art for the season. She had a game named bang where the kids would draw a card with a sight word on it and say the sight word if they knew it they kept if. If they didn't know it the group would say the word and then put it back into the middle. If they drew a bang card the group all said bang and then the person that drew it put it back and one other card they had back. She had the same game but with a popcorn on it so they said popcorn instead of bang. This way you only have to teach the rules once time and all the games that follow have the same rules. How time saving is that? I bought her CD on center task cards (it was only $15) but this is how amazing she is. She told everyone that if they thought that they could make the ideas she had that they should take a picture of the idea and then make it themselves. She didn't care if you took pictures of her entire center cards to make them later instead of buying them. How AMAZING is that! She was so willing to share all of her resources. I also bought her book You Can't Teach A Class You Can't Manage. I just got it in the mail yesterday and I am chomping at the bit to read it.
(If you click on the image it will take you to Crystal Springs Books. It is $20.50 + s&h.)
Well this turned into a long post but I just couldn't help it. It's not very often that these classes are so good.
Hope you have a Beautiful Day!!