Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Great Staff Development Day with Dr. Rich Allen

We had our summer staff development day yesterday. I didn't know how it was going to go, but it was FANTASTIC! Dr. Allen was hilarious and full of great ideas.

Here are some of the things I want to integrate into my classroom next year:

  • Let students get up to get their own work pages. This sounds crazy, but he made a good argument. He says that if this is part of the routine and the kids know that they have other chances to get out of their seats, then it will not be chaos. One of his biggest points is: GET YOUR KIDS MOVING! 
  • Use the room to answer questions. For example: Ask a question and say if you think the answer is A then go to this side of the room, but if you think the answer is B then go to the other side of the room. You can also use this same idea with the four corners of the room.
  • My favorite idea was to put letters on the floor in any pattern (sort of like a big hopscotch board). Then the kids get to jump out their spelling words. Many teachers have had great success with this. It stimulates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.
  • He also said this is a great idea for a hundreds chart. I don't know if this is something I can use this next year, but I will be thinking about it.
  • Every ten minutes, step back and ask the kids, "What do you think?" and let them talk to each other. He said that we need to use the natural rhythms of human interactions in learning, instead of fighting against them.
  • Learning partners: this is the person they are assigned to during the week. It changes every week. This way they can quickly pair up and discuss.
  • Use an hourglass timer to make sure you stop every 10 minutes and let the kids discuss what you just taught them. He said that we need to stop talking over their thinking.
  • His biggest point was to use music. I love music, but he took it to another level. He has his playlist on his website and I am going to be downloading a lot of the songs to use next year. I want my lessons to have a sound track. I want the day to have music cues. This is what I am most excited about for next year. I just need to get speakers with a remote for my ipod.
  • He also taught us about how our memory works. He showed us how to use memory pegs. It was awesome. I am not sure how to use this with 2nd graders, but I will be thinking about it.
I am going to buy his book. 
The other great thing he introduced to us was WordToons. This is just so much fun. Our principal is buying the school license for us, so I am going to be using them next year. If you want to check it out click on the picture.


YearntoLearn said...

I love using music in the classroom. You mentioned Rich Allen has his playlist on his website. Can anyone access the music? If so I'd love his web address.
I'd love to know more about it.


Mrs. Morris said...

It is just a list. You have to get the music yourself. Sorry!

Suddenly...2nd Graders! said...

Can you tell me, is the Wordtoons book mainly just 3 letter words? I would like to use this in my Word Work area for Daily 5, but I teach 3rd grade, so I want to make sure it is age appropriate! Thanks for your help!

Mrs. Morris said...

You will have to contact the author. I haven't seen it yet. I would say it has longer words, but I don't know 100%. As soon as I get ahold of it, I will leave another comment here.

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