Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Part 1: Debbie Diller Conference (Finally)

I know, I know... again long overdue. I am just no longer making promises on a time frame so I can stop having to apologize ha! 

Anyways, I wanted to share some insight with you from the Debbie Diller conference. (That was oh, in June! oops)
First, my teacher bestie and I met the Debbie. She was adorable. I just wanted to squeeze her! Don't worry, I refrained. 

The first day of the conference dealt with Math and Literacy Workstations. Day two focused on small groups. 

Important things I loved/ learned from The Debbie (Day 1 of the Conference)...

#1. She introduce the book Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt. She read the story to us and explained how she had a discussion with her students about "jumping into the unknown". She used the example towards teachers starting workstations. However, I think I am going to use this same concept at the beginning of the school year. I love to build a family community in my classroom and I think telling the students who are scared about first grade how great the "jumping into the unknown" can be will be a great way to start that! Check out ma girl's blog for a cute activity she created to go with it.
PS Ffi, go ahead and send me my free copy! Thanks ha
Click the link below for her activity!

#2, Try pairing students by level so the higher kids do not have to do all of the work. I know... I kind of gasped at this when I first thought of two of my lower babies together. But then I had this a-ha moment...
 put in the workstations things that your lower students can be successful with and then differentiate in order to reach your high students. Debbie suggested putting a baggie or box at workstations with a colored dot. Each group knows which dot of supplies is for them.  For example in math workstations maybe have a baggie for lower students with smaller numbers and the higher can work with larger numbers. Simple right? Same activity, just modified to meet individual students needs. 

#3. You can actually write on your small group table using DRY ERASE markers... who knew? This will make it a lot easier for me instead of having to pass out the dry erase boards. 

#4. Debbie introduced ideas for the Creation Station. I have never used this station but I thought it could be something new for me this year. She had students work on How-To Books (after modeling how to make them many times). Her examples from the classroom were adorable! Students were so creative with ideas on how to make various things. She also suggested using a date-stamp when adding to the their books! 

#5. If you have a large classroom remember that you can always reproduce the same station twice! Two listening stations, two big book, etc. This will eliminate the problem of having to create 14 different stations around the room! Also, remember that stations can be portable. Place them in a large plastic bin with a lid and voila, portable station! 

#6. Drink Stirries for small pointers. Duh right? Cheap... easy... done. 

6. Number Roll or Wonder Woman Belt... great idea for math when using concepts such as count on, count back, one more/ one less or two more/ two less.

And then at the end of our day... Ffion FORCED me into Lakeshore Learning.  Just look at that happy lil' kid smile.

I will be posting about day 2 (small groups) in the future... remember I cannot make anymore promises ha. Just kidding! I'm in the middle of no where right now, so it looks like I'll have a lot of time to post it tomorrow!

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  1. Thanks for sharing these great ideas. I'm itching to go in to my classroom and write on my guided reading table with dry erase to see how it works!


  2. Great photo of excitement in Lakeshore!