What I Learned in Vegas

Where do I start 5 days 19 sessions, 2 Keynotes…Some of it is a blur.  So glad I took over 600 photos with my iPad to help me remember what I saw and learned.

I was fortunate enough to sit and be an active participant in Kathy Griffins Session- A Circle of Learning: Differentiated Games for Whole Group Learning.  Just to clarify notKAthy Griffin the comedian, Kathy Griffin the Educator. If you have never been to her blog make sure you do, afar reading mine of course.  Can I just say WOW! Kathy is the sweetest person ever, as so, so smart!.  I'll do my best to recap the highlights of her presentation.

Kathy shared different strategies that she uses to get the kids to the carpet, and to keep them involved while at he carpet.  She uses a lot of music and movement- Something I am a HUGE fan of.

Transition to Circle Time
Sing a song
Repeat a funny phrase
Do an echo chant

Count Down to Sit Down
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 (Teacher says zero-not the kids) heads up!
Use this when you need the kids to one to the rug.  You may be saying z-e-r-r-r-o-o-o-o-o…so everyone makes it.

If You Know Your Letter Sounds
Great fun song that is interactive.  The kids are singing and moving at the same time.
Kathy has a YouTube video that demonstrates the songs and she has the files for sale at her TpT Store.

Sing Pete the Cat I love my Shoes
The kids love Pete the cat I equate him to the Barney of yesteryear.  He is magical. To play put color words in a container draw a card and sing the lyrics the match the color.  So simple and o much fun.
Pete the Cat White Shoes

Battle of the Bands
I loved this one and can't wait to use it.  It is sung to the tune of We Will Rock You- by Queen
Battle of the Bands Alphabet songLetter b letter b says "b." clap, clap "b" 
"sh" "sh" says "sh" clap, clap "sh"
Battle of the Bands Alphabet Song

Another great activity to use especially during the first few weeks of school is Kathy's song and video Did You Ever Have the Wiggles?
Kathy also shared how she uses objects and a question to keep her circle time interactive.  For example she might ask the kids to syllabicate their name while pushing their arms out and making the toy sand grabbers make noise.
If your name was Emily
Em-- Right arm out squeeze grabber
i-- left arm out squeeze grabber
ly-- Right arm out squeeze grabber
---Pass grabbers to next kid.
OR-- Ask a question  
Teacher says: MaryDo you like apples?
Pass the grabbers to Mary
Mary Answers Yes, I like apples
Mary asks John: John do you like apples?
Pass the grabbers to John
John Answers: No, I do not like apples.

She had the little grabbers which can usually be found in the beach toy section of stores.  Here are a few I found on-line.  I think Walmart, Target and Michaels all have these.
sand grabber Kathy Griffin Educator

sand toys, time4kindergarten
sand toys, time4kindergarten

Remember to start small, procedures were important. Choose one activity and practice, practice, practice and model, model,model.  We all know how we want to jump right in and do everything all at once.  But, if we don't stop to take the time to teach the procedures then we get frustrated when the kids can't follow the rules.  

I'm ending today's post with a slide/quote from Kathy.  Her quote is so true and a much needed reminder.
KAthy Griffen educator

If you want to visit Kathy's TpT store just click below

1 comment

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing! I have been blogging about my amazing Vegas sessions too! I still feel like I have LOTS more to share! It was amazing!