All I can say is...WHAT BEAUTIFUL TIMING GOD HAS.
The next session I attended was on technology use in the classroom. While I am slowly venturing into the technology realm, I am nowhere near comfortable to teach others about it. All I can say is I LOVE ADOBE SPARK! I learned enough about it's capabilities through demonstrations and experimenting that I was able to create this fun little video of my students' writing! I have many plans for this app in my classroom including social stories for a student of mine and individual student writing reports! My kiddos were excited to be involved and see the end result as well! I encourage you to try it out!
Finally, I perhaps spent the most time reflecting on my own session. I presented on using hands on learning activities to teach ELA and math concepts. While doing the prep work for the presentation and then reflecting afterward, my thought was, "Yes. This is great, but what ELSE can I do?" Maybe it's the perfectionist in me, but I find myself looking on how to expand. I decided I wanted to encourage and support more hands on learning opportunities for my students and their parents at HOME. How can I make learning more fun for THEM? Yes, I send home a homework packet. It's simple and quick but it's not.....FUN. And not reflective of my classroom or how I believe students learn best. This week we had Kindergarten Parent Learning Day. It was a block of time in the afternoon where parents could come into the classroom and participate in learning activities with their child. This was the perfect opportunity to show parents a simple hands on activity and discuss why those kinds of activities are important for their child's education.
I used my Editable Card Games pack and typed up subtraction problems within 10. I then provided the following mat to each student. In groups, students took turns pulling a card from a bag (cute little bunny bags from Target Dollar Spot of course!). The student would read the subtraction problem and use jelly beans to solve the problem on their mat.
Parents enjoyed seeing the hands on approach and had fun participating in the activity with their child! To grab this freebie - just click on the pictures below. I added a jellybean card page for you to put your own equations on! :)
Additional;y, I've decided I want to take control over as much of my PD as I can. This summer, two fellow bloggers Deedee Wills and Reagan Tunstall, are offering a professional development opportunity in my home state. I know this will be a beneficial PD day and something I will benefit from. This is a great opportunity for me to grow as an educator and I am actually SUPER PUMPED about it! To check out the conference information click on the link below!
Whatever the professional development opportunities look like in your district, or building, or center, I invite you to self evaluate. Do you have input in decisions regarding what PD is offered? If so, are giving your input? If not, talk to your principal, the superintendent, your director...open the dialogue. When you do participate in professional development opportunities, are you an active learner yourself? Are you actively seeking information and content you can take back to your classroom? Are you taking time for processing and reflection? Are you given that time from administration? If not, ask for it.
Professional development opportunities are meant to help us grow as educators. When approached with the right attitude and supported correctly by administration, teachers can BLOOM and students will benefit.
Today is a district PD day for us and I am going in with an open mind, positive attitude and inquisitive spirit...can't wait to see what the day holds!