KinderGals: Favorite Conference Ideas & a FREE Game!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Favorite Conference Ideas & a FREE Game!

Going to conferences is amazing! Not only do we learn new ideas and feel validated, but we also get that shot in the arm that inspires us to do better. This post includes some of my favorite ideas that I share during conferences. Be sure and read all the way to the bottom to grab a free game you can share with  your kids!

DI: Easy as Pie

DI: Easy as Pie is always a popular session. In this session we look at  formative assessments. We have all found ourselves behind the 8 ball when it comes to putting grades on report cards! When we find ourselves in this situation, we turn on youtube, or some other video, and proceed to call children over, one at a time, to assess.  While this gets the job done, it's not our finest moment of teaching. We want to find ways to include formative assessments as part of our teaching. Here is one way to do that.
Each week we have a different "club". During our morning meeting children may join the club by "doing" whatever the standard is.  Each day I allow 4-5 children to have a chance. By the end of the week, everyone has attempted. For those kids who don't volunteer, I call them over privately! Be sure you have established a climate where it is brave to answer when you are not sure! In this environment, children are applauded for attempts! Now you can pull a small group to support any children who need extra support in mastering the standard.
Make an instructional focus checklist for each week. This means, pick a few math and a few literacy standards you are going to look for mastery. Provide centers, small group, and large group activities where children will have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery. Make notes on the recording sheet. Now, use this sheet to plan your small groups for next week. You can grab some of my favorite DI forms for FREE in this blog post.
Having a hard time keeping up with note taking? Use a camera! When you see children demonstrating mastery of a standard, simply snap a photo! This is a great way to show parents what you are looking for!


Interventions is another hot topic at conferences.  Do you have a hard time figuring out how to manage your intervention time? In this session, teachers learned how to do just that! I showed several interventions that can be used with the whole class!
One way this is easily accomplished is playing math games with a dice.  Here's how to play this game:
  • Get a game board, a more and less board, a dice and 2 colors of unifix cubes.
  • Invite the first child to roll the dice and count out that many unifix cubes. (using only one color of cubes)
  • Place the cubes on any image on the game board.
  • Now, the second child has his turn. (using the other color of cubes)
  • Continue taking turns until all the images on the board are covered with a unifix cube. 
  • Each child collect their color of unifix cubes, arranges them on tens frames, and determines how many cubes they have.
  • Invite the children to put a cube on the more or less card depending on the results.
  • The child with less, spins the spinner. If it lands on less, he wins. If it lands on more, his partner wins!
This game is easy to differentiate! Here are a few ways:
  • Increase or decrease the number of squares with images resulting in higher or lower numbers to compare.
  • Provide the children with two dice. Roll, add the two dice together, count that many cubes.
  • Roll 2 dice, subtract, count that many cubes.
  • Provide the children with a regular dice and then a wooden cube with +1 or -1 written on each side. Invite the children to roll both dice. Then, they add or subtract one from the regular dice. Count out that many cubes.
Want to grab more of these Roll, Count, Compare games? You can find them here!
There is a FREE Roll, Count, Compare game at the bottom of this blog post. Scroll all the way to the bottom to find it!

Organize Your Thinking

My last session for today was Organize Your Thinking! In this session, teachers were give a plethora of ideas on ways to use graphic organizers. Marica Tayte tells us that graphic organizers are one of the 20 strategies that make children smarter!
We used these circle maps to create wheels for our school bus! For each circle map, we sorted a set of clip art pictures to identify the things in our room. This is a great activity for the beginning of the year.  As I show the children each picture, we must locate that item in our room.  This allows the children to become familiar with where things are located in your room!
Another idea was this bat Venn diagram.  After reading Stelleluna, we read each fact. The children were invited to determine if the fact was true of bats, birds, or both!
Another idea was this Friends Tree Map. We started by having a discussion about things friends like to do. Then, each child was given a strip of paper to record how they would complete the sentence "Friends like to..." We repeated this for all 3 columns. Don't feel that you have to do all 3 columns in one sitting. This is easily completed over the course of 3 days!

ESGI and DI for the Little Guy

I also had the chance to hang out in the ESGI booth today and share some ideas! If you aren't familiar with will change your world! In their booth, I did a quick presentation about making the most of your small group through differentiation. I took the standard number combinations and demonstrated how to get the most out of instructional time.
Here's a quick overview:
First, assess each child. Here is a quick video that shows you how. Click here.
Make each child a necklace and punch out the number combinations that he has already mastered.
You can also easily use ESGI on your ipad or computer to do the assessment.
Now, ESGI will show you a bar graph for the assessments. This allows you to click in the green to see who has mastered the standard or click in the gray to see those who have not.
Now, how do we use that data?
First....large group.  Let's say you are in large group and you are using two different colors of unifix cubes to show combinations for a given number. For example, if the given number was 5 the children might have 1 red and 4 whites, 2 reds and 3 whites, etc. BUT, now instead of everyone having to do combinations for 5, they simply look at their necklace and find the first number NOT punched out. That is the number they use!  All of the children are using unifix cubes and making number combinations, but some are on 5, some are on 6, some are on 3, etc.
How about small group? As teachers we look at the bar graph to make our groups. We can pull all of the children working on 5 together, etc.
I love ESGI and what's even better is they love teachers.  You can try ESGI for FREE! Simply go here and get started. Be sure and use code "ADSIT" to get two months free and to SAVE if you decide to purchase!

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1 comment:

Michele said...

Thank you for the great ideas and freebie! I loved watching your video on facebook yesterday and look forward to the next one:)

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