Yesterday, I got to spend the day with some brilliant teachers learning at the Dublin Literacy Conference. I was thrilled to meet several of the teachers who's blogs I follow regularly. If you want to know more about using technology during readers workshop, check out Franki Sibberson's blog at A Year of Reading. I also got to hear Cathy Mere and Katie DiCesare talk about better using read alouds in the classroom. You can find their presentation here. Both of these ladies teach first grade so it was easy to see how I can use these ideas in kindergarten. If you have not checked out their blogs you need to do so.
I always leave sessions such as these knowing I still have a lot to learn but thankful that I have to opportunity to learn from experienced teachers. I'm also thankful that these teachers are willing to share their ideas and methods that work.
I ended my day in a session with Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I have long loved her books but I was unaware of all of the other work she has done. She is a person "who makes things". I don't know that I've ever met someone more creative and smart. She was the kind of person you leave wanting to be her friend. She has given me several ideas I can use in the classroom, I'll share after I see how they go. Please check out her videos online...she is brilliant.
Overall yesterday was a great day of learning and getting great ideas. I know it's nerdy but I LOVE great professional development.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
This is a story about Ramon a boy who loves to draw. When his older brother makes fun of his drawing Ramon gets discouraged and starts throwing everything away that isn't "perfect". Little does Ramon know his little sister is covering her bedroom walls with his discarded art. She calls them "ish" because they are kind of like the real thing. This changes Ramon's whole view and opens up his world to new possibilities.
This book changed the whole culture in my classroom, especially in writing. Kindergartners have a tendency to want to spell everything just the way adults would. This book freed my students to spell and draw things to the best of their ability "ish". I use that word everyday and encourage my student's parents to use it too. This simple book and the simple word "ish" has solidified the idea that as long as the kids try their best that is all I'll ever ask of them. Thank you Peter H. Reynolds for writing such a powerful book.
Friday, February 25, 2011
In this story, Elephant has a bird on his head and he seeks help from his friend Piggie. Piggie gives him a simple solution that in turns causes her problems. Piggie and Elephant are both very dramatic about the situations they are in. These books are hilarious and leave my class laughing out loud. Mo Willems' use of large text, and bold words also makes this (and all of the other Piggie and Elephant books) great for teaching kids to read with expression.
I've decided to start a blog so that I can share some of the books that I love to use in my classroom. My hope is that other teachers and parents will be exposed to new literature they had not yet discovered. Please feel free to leave comments about the books I show or add new books for me to discover. Hopefully we will all learn something new.