Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's Been a Super Power PD Kind of Week!!

Hello Fellow Bloggers!!!!
SUPER Teacher Here
I wanted to take a few moments and share the crazy yet productive week that I have had.
I had the opportunity to attend 2, yes 2, professional development Seminars.
I found both of them to be very informative and fresh with inspiration.
The first one, on Monday afternoon, was initiated to celebrate
Literacy Week 2013.
We received training on the
Martha Speaks
Reading Buddies Program

Cover to the print resources
It is a cooperative style of learning that stresses the importance of teaching
vocabulary as well as the effectiveness of cross-age reading.
Monday, all of our upper grade classrooms "buddied" up with lower grade classes and we met
for the first time this Friday afternoon, yes I am still talking about the same crazy week. :-)
Each of my 5th graders was paired with a 2nd grader and they worked together through a fun five step process that includes the following:
1. Watch Together - Big Buddies and Little Buddies sit together as a whole
group and watch one of the  Martha Speaks episodes.
2. Talk and Play Time - All buddies then have the opportunity to interact by discussing questions
about their favorite parts of the show and how they feel the show relates to them.  They also participate in a game or activity (provided by the program) that reviews the key vocabulary words.
3. Read Together - Next, the Big Buddies read a picture book to their Little Buddies.
The 4 special vocabulary words are embedded in the story.
4. Write Together - Each of the Little Buddies are provided with a lesson journal
that the Big Buddies help them complete referencing the story and
how it could relate to them.
5. Wrap-Up - The last step of the day is to review the special words and can include songs, chants or the sharing of journal responses.
One Word? Impressed
My students matched up with their Little Buddies and did a fantastic job. It was so rewarding for me to watch them do what I do all week long. I would definitely recommend linking up with another grade for reading and learning.
Also, did I mention that our school has all of the sessions separated into small totes complete
with books and activities. Yes, my school ROCKS!!!
Ok, that is what I learned on Monday and implemented on Friday afternoon.
Now let's fill in some of the days in between......
Tuesday - normal day.....ummm, what is that, really?
Wednesday and Thursday were WOW days!
I had the opportunity to attend a two day Singapore Math Seminar.
Singapore Math 70 Must-Know Word Problems, Level 2, Grade 3  -
Another Word? Impressed Again,
I, being a Math lover found everything that was presented to be something that
I wish I had learned back when I was in elementary school. Our presenter was awesome and really knew how to speak to a room full of teachers.  That, my friend, is not an
easy task.  I hope to post some of the
actual things that I learned later on.
If you get the opportunity to attend a Singapore workshop, do it.....
So, that, my friends, is my week in a nutshell.
Hopefully you can kinda see why I feel like I have
super powers this week.  Of course, the craziness of this profession is what
keeps us going, right?
'till next time friends......Blog ON!


  1. Hi Donna:

    My sixth graders read with their kinder buddies every Friday! It's one of the best parts of the week. Now I want to find out more about the Martha Speaks program.

    I JUST looked at that Singapore math book in the local teacher store yesterday. I'm glad to hear you think that the program has potential. Our current program is so weak, and more than half of my students don't know their math facts and they have very limited number sense. I am always on the look out for something new. Now I am encouraged to take another look.

    And... super cute super hero graphics! :)

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. Hi Kim,
    Thanks for stopping by! Singapore Math will surely be worth a second look. It stresses Math facts (using Math bonds) from early Elementary on up. Oh, and their method for teaching the "age" word problems and ratios are awesome. I shared a very small "nugget" with my classes on Friday and they were so excited. Singapore stresses the fact that the student needs to see the problem in concrete terms (manipulatives), then using a model (drawing) and finally in abstract. I could go on all day about it. Check out Step-by-Step Model Drawing by Char Forsten. Great Stuff!

  3. Sounds like you had a fantastic week! It is amazing how a good conference can remind us of why we chose the profession to begin with! We are all learners at heart. :) Have a great week!
    ~ Leah

  4. I love the writing on the binder idea! Thanks for sharing-I'm your newest follower-Heather



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