Friday, October 16, 2015

Two Days of Pirates, Books and Hogwarts and I Never Left Ohio

I need to blog and share the first teacher conference I ever went to this week.  I have had my teaching license for 19 years and have never gone to a teacher conference.  Lots of workshops but never a two day conference!  Wow talk about packed with information!  I went with two other awesome teachers and the principal from my school to AMLE 2015 (Annual Conference for Middle Level Educators).

Here are some of my favorite sessions...

I went and saw Dave Burgress from Teach Like a Pirate.  You know I had to go see the Pirate.  I already read his book which was very motivational and inspiring.  This session was fast pace, extremely fast pace  and had hilarious anecdotes about gaining student buy in, hooking students with a teaser (think burning bra and many Victoria Secret bags) and BBQ-ing steaks (creating and presenting lessons).

Here is a picture of what was up when I walked in.

I have to admit I sent the picture to my hubby just to see what his reaction was!  LOL

"Read Together ~ Succeed Together:  Creating a Culture of Literacy though an Invention / Enrichment Period.  This session by Hudson Middle School (Hudson, Ohio) teachers and principal was my favorite and really had me thinking. If you love the Book Whisper (I love this book) this group really implemented a lot of Donalyn Miller's ideas in their Intervention / Enrichment period. They set aside 30 minutes, four days a week devoted to reading;  independent reading, genre studies, and other literacy activities. Every teacher in the building participates no matter what they teach.

Another favorite was  from Dominion Middle School in Columbus, Ohio.  The teachers and principle presented how they divide their 6th - 8th grade school into four houses similar to Harry Potter's Hogwarts or Ron Clark's Academy.  I just love this idea!!  I am in a K- 8th grade building and would love to have mixed age group houses work as a team collecting points for good deeds and grades. They meet once a week.  The kids participate in a once a month Fantastic Friday where they play Minute It To Win It games such as Hungry Hippos (just think kids belly down on a scooters with a laundry basket out front collecting balloons in the middle of the gym floor).  These teachers had all of us out of our seats popping balloons, they passed out tickets for prizes, we were shaking our booties to get the ping pong balls flying and doing the Nae, Nae! This session was full of energy!  LOVE!!!

Those were my favorites and there was a few duds ( I do not like being sold anything I seek out that product.) but if I can walk away with a least one thing I can use in my classroom this conference was a success.  A success that truly has inspired me.

Do you go to conferences?  What are some of your favorite sessions?

Happy Friday !!


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