Wow what a great two day conference held in Mississauga this past Thursday and Friday.
With the opportunity to visit eight different workshops and hear two fabulous keynote speakers; Donna Whyte and Enrique Feldman, my head is full of new ideas to try. I am one to try and jump in and change everything to make my program even better, however I am learning that sometimes it's better to go a little slower for the kiddos in my class. They so thrive on routine and when I change everything because it sounds so great to me they are thrown into the whirlwind of keeping up.
So with all the great things I am taking away from this conference, I will store most to try next year in the fall. The two ideas I am going to practice right now can be implemented without the kiddos even knowing.
The workshop I was looking most forward to was about documentation by Amy Murray. We played with, and learned some of the ins and outs of the Evernote app. This looks like a great tool for on-going documentation using pictures, videos, audio files, and typed notes. I can document the kiddos work samples, add what they said and cut and paste in the curriculum expectations. This app also allows for my DECE and I to share the input notes and pictures, as well as allowing me to share each child's portfolio with their families for a specific period of time (for example: only the 2 weeks right after reporting is done).
I'm going to try this for the next couple of months to see how it works and if I think it will be a worthwhile app to peruse long term.
Enrique Feldman delivered a fabulous workshop on brain games. I have done a few different brain activities with my kiddos, more I must admit at the beginning of the year. However, this workshop really reaffirmed my belief that all students benefit from brain games to get their thinking focused prior to a task orientated activity. Brain activators also help with settling the bouncers down when they seem to be winding up.
Brain games are easy to perform anywhere and anytime. We just need to think about activities where the students are completing two separate movements activities (therefore holding one in their brains
while performing the other).
I can't wait to share some of this learning with my kiddos and my colleagues. This was a great professional learning experience.