Sunday, March 18, 2012

Word sorts, iPads, and Wonderings

Not necessarily in that order.

My wondering is first.
We watched a very cool Ted Talks (do you know Ted Talks? Seriously cool stuff here, bloggy-friends). It is  given by play researcher Stuart Brown, and stresses the importance of play. This is importance stuff. Humor me and watch it. You will learn something, I promise.

Who knew that play was really as critical as all that? I tell you what: it seriously made me consider my teaching strategies with my firsties and rethink some of the things that I do. The biggest problem we all face is time, right? There is simply just not enough time in the day to do everything we need to do, let alone throw a whole lotta play in the mix. But here's the thing - we know that this is really critical stuff for the brain, right? So let's make a pact to be smarter than the system. Between all the rock star edu-brains we have collectively, we should be able to come up with some kick-ass ideas to bring play back into our learning. Here's my wondering:
I wonder how you can bring play back into your day. Share one small idea that you will try in the next week or two.

That brings me to my next subject, which really has a lot to do with the first. I was just talking with a K teacher on Friday about how little time there is in K for role playing or play-based centers. I realized that we absolutely can utilize play-based centers during readers and writers workshop, not to mention how easy it is to do for math, health, science and social studies. I saw this great idea on Pinterest where kids sort "french fries" into McMdonald's fry boxes. Wouldn't a food-themed set of sorts and writing be SO COOL? So I whipped up three activities that I am going to use when we return from spring break. Check them out!

These are just the instructional posters that go along with them. The whole kit includes all the materials for all three activities, including prep directions, the instructional posters, common core state standards for each, and all the printable material you need. I can't wait to introduce the kids to them!

This week is spring break, as I already mentioned. Yesterday was grad school all day, and then I didn't want to start my real break with a horrible, no good, very bad classroom so I spent the majority of my day there today. I am setting up my Writer's Eye bboard, a new writing center, and new area of working with words. I had to clean up the bunnies and send them packing for the week with one of my students.

Ok, lastly the iPad. Is it horrible that I feel a little lost with it? I'm no techie-idiot, but I really need to do some research on the best way to use it with in my teaching. I did get this pocket organizer app that has task lists and calendars and all kinds of shiny whistles and bells. I realized that I can do all of my lesson planning on it, have it sync to my google calender (and vice versa), and can use it instead of my written calendar which is always a bit of a mess. Plus, it gives me an excuse to carry iPad with my where ever I go.

Tomorrow we are off to the Wisconsin Dells for some serious play time. I'm even more ready to go after watching Stuart Brown! Have a Fab week!!


  1. I love TED videos! I had not seen this one. Thank you for sharing!

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  2. Great video, Ihave been attending an Eric Jensen PD about Brain Research and the importantance of movement. It does put a new look on getting those children playing.

    BTW I am your newest follower

    1. It's nice to meet you! I had read a lot of Jensen for my grad research, and couldn't get enough of the brain research. You are so lucky to get to see him!

  3. Just found your blog, can't wait to explore it. I'm your newest follower.

  4. Very cute blog. I just awarded you the "One Lovely Blog" award. Stop by my blog to grab your award.