Tips I Learned at the SDE Conference for First Grade Teachers

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend the SDE Conference for Texas First Grade Teachers with my fabulous teaching partner and my lovely principal. The presenters were just THE BEST. I attended sessions presented by Jim Grant, Reagan Tunstall, Cara Carroll, and Erica Bohrer. I jotted down all the fabulous ideas I possibly could (15 pages!). Soooo, I had to be picky and choosey about what I wanted to implement first, because I only remember what I implement right away. Then, my brain empties the week's excess and I can't remember anything else no matter how terrific the idea was! Anyways, I'm going to share a few ideas I have implemented in this week's Five for Friday

If you're bored with your typical morning message routine, try this tip from Reagan Tunstall. Write a letter to your class and then do a different activity with it each day. I decided to incorporate the week's I Can...statements into my letter. 

Monday - Read with gesstures! I shouldv'e taken pics of the gestures we are using. Teacher fail. But, while reading, we use a gesture each time we come to a capital letter, comma, period, exclamation mark, or question mark.
Tuesday - Read with gestures, circle capital letters
Wednesday - Read with gestures, circle punctuation
Thursday - Read with gestures, vocabulary
Friday -Read with gestures,  reflection

According to my notes, Reagan suggested spending one day on capitalization and punctuation and one day on spelling and sight words. I have not incorporated our spelling words into the letter.

What I really love is how vocabulary that seems inpossible is totally understandable by the time you discuss it on Thursday after you've read the morning message four times and you've been applying the skill in class all week. Like "literary nonfiction." My kiddos actually use the word now!

I have a letter ready to go for next week. I think this tip is a keeper.

 Another Tunstall four visual aids in a baggie. Each member (of a group of 4) pulls one out of a baggie and discusses the reflection question with the his/her peers. The cookie and the ketchup were not specific suggestions from the conference, I just had those so I used them.

In my notes I wrote:

Key - What's the key point?
Star - What shined the brightest?
Heart - What learning did you love?
Flower - How did yoour learning grow?

Paper clip - What was added to your knowledge?
Rubberband - What stretched your thinking?
Puzzle peice - What was puzzling to you?
Eraser - What will you change next time.

My third, and final tip, from the conference (for now) is Pick-A-Pocket. Cara Carroll had some awesome ideas for a writing inspiration station. I haven't had time to make them all, but got started with the Pick-A-Pocket sentence strip. 

Pretty self explanatory...take a card from each pocket and write a story incorporating all the elements. 

This week we finished a ten day unit on data. We learned to take surveys, display our data on picture graphs and bar graphs, and analyze our data a variety of ways. I managed to snap a few pics.

This Build a Pictograph sheet is from Reagan Tunstal's Big Bundle of Math Centers. We walked around and asked ten friends, "What is your favorite type of weather?" We colored their answers, then cut out the colored tiles annd created a graph. 

Today we had a Friendship Party. The kiddos made mailboxes at home and brought them to school. Can you believe this one!!!??? So cute.


I'm linking up with Farley for the February CURRENTLY.

Listening - Mac and Brady, Leila and Tanner are singing their hearts out right now. In the mornings, I ask my girls (ages 5 and 2) how they want their hair. The answer is almost always like Mac, Elsa, Anna, or Milli. I've mastered Teen Beach Movie, Frozen, and Team Umizoomi hair, people!!!

Loving - Houston has a HUGE rodeo evey March. Most of the acts (after the rodeo competition) are country music, which I love, but this year I'm trying to find my inner Latina. For the record, I'm not Latina, but I aspire to be J-Lo-esque. As if. 

Thinking - I'm sooo tired by the end of the week.

Wanting - It's a real addiction, ya'll. Dr. Pepper is the enemy.

Needing - I won Teacher of the Year on my campus. Now I need to write some essays to compete for the district title. I'm very honored my peers voted for me...but essays? I think the judging committee should just visit my classroom. I'll do my best to write worthy papers, don't get me wrong...but stopping by is a better idea. Am I crazy?

Pageant Title - I dabble in a little of everything including song writing (for my classroom). This happened today. I'm planning a post on our Data Unit later this week. 

Happy February!!!