To Michelle and Meg's surprise, they had 43 participants from 5 different school districts! A Fantastic turnout! The participants ranged from student teachers to teachers with 30+ years, a great mix for sharing and learning.
For those new to EdCamp style workshops, participants and organizers suggest topics and people "vote" with sticky notes to show interest in a topic. The organizers then take the top workshops and organize them into time slots and rooms. The EdCampKinder day ended up being slightly different as there were a few tech workshops that all had some interest so those topics were housed in one room, while the remaining 6 most popular topics were in other rooms throughout the day. The sessions then ran by people sharing their thoughts and ideas on the topic of the session. Some sessions were "guided" by teachers with lots of knowledge in the area, while others were more free-flowing.The great thing about teachers, there is never a lack of leaders in a room to run a chat!
The first session I attended was about ideas for math. This session was held in a kindergarten classroom and led by that teacher. She shared with us all the ways that she makes her room rich in math. This particular teacher approaches number sense the way most of approach letters - a number of the week. She spends a whole week on 1 number and does different activities with the number throughout the week. This is something that I am planning on adding to my classroom after spring break. They explore the number, make it different ways (using manipulatives), draw about it, makes stories about it, journal about it and make a class poster of what they know about the number.
She also spoke about the students exploring addition using a balance scale to come up with difference numbers that balance (equal) the scale on both sides. This is a phenomenal manipulative that I am hoping will be added to my classroom soon.
This allows children to learn and understand why things happen, and not just that 2+4=6 because I told it is. This video shown a Kindergarten student explaining his learning about math.
Here are some items around the class that inspired me!
|The front of the snail made with tissue paper to show the pattern|
|The back of the snail to show pattern|
|Using a 10 frame to show the number on the calendar|
|Sign in board|
great thing about EdCamp is that it is a fluid day. You are free to move
around between sessions, so when this group started talking about
document cameras (something I know a lot about), I left and joined the conversation about apps in a different room. In this
particular conversation, I became the leader as everyone else at the
table was fairly new to iPads.
We had a long conversation about the educational value of iPads and why
they are great for kinders before I started sharing some of my fav apps.
The table was blown away when I shared with them what my class last
year had done with book creator. Here is the blog I wrote on that. |
Before we knew it 30 minutes was up and it was time to move on to the next session. I made my way to sharing session on behaviour strategies in the classroom. This is an area where a teacher can NEVER have too many ideas. The thing that stood out the most to me is that in Abbotsford, each district behaviour specialist has a TA attatched to them and your school based team can request that the TA comes and spends 6 weeks with a student that is having a tough time behaviour wise. I also learned that in Abbotsford, they have a special program called TKRP (Therapeutic Kindergarten Readiness Program) for children under 6 who have already been diagnosed with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress. When I googled this organization, I was shocked to find that while it falls under the Fraser Valley Child Development Center, it was only available to residents of Abbotsford.
As a group, we shared things that we have tried with varying degrees of success in our rooms to help students with behaviour issues, here are some of my favourites: