Friday, March 29, 2013

Dr. Marcia Tate, Instagram & Five for Friday!

Hello and happy Good Friday to all my fabulous teacher peeps!  Yay for a 4-day work week and a 3-day weekend!! 

Can I just say, that living without a computer almost pushed me over the edge?!?!  There are many, many, MANY things you can do from your phone........but blogging is not one of them. Don't get me wrong.........I know it's do-able.........but it's not!!!  Not to mention that my graduate courses are all online and I'm about 3 weeks behind on those.  Lots to do :{

The first thing I wanted to share with you all is the workshop that I attended with Dr. Marcia Tate.  Ohmiword........that woman is a genius.......and she's an inspiration.  I loved every minute of that 2-day conference.  I didn't look at my watch once.  The time simply flew by. 

The first day's workshop was entitled, "Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites".  She has written a book with this same title, and then went on to make more subject specific editions (available on Amazon):
She also wrote a book about classroom management (see below):

The first thing she told us on Monday morning was that she had 3 reasons why every teacher needed to use the 20 instructional strategies that she was going to share with us.  She told us that they:
  • increase achievement for all students
  • decrease behavior problems (a successful student rarely disrupts your class) and they
  • make teaching and learning fun!

Needless to say, she had 200 teachers with ears perked and sitting on the edges of our seats.  Who doesn't want that?  We all want our students to be successful!  We all want to spend more time teaching and less time managing behavior......and we all want to have a good time doing it!!!

She then went over 20 instructional strategies and how to use them in your classroom.  She used 16 of the 20 on us while she taught her workshop.  It was effortless (it seemed) and we all had a blast.  The thing that I thought was the most interesting wasn't necessarily the 20 strategies, but the reasons behind why they work.  She explained quite a bit about how the human brain works, especially memory cells.  Isn't that what learning is mostly about?  Remembering what you have been talking about, working on, etc?  If you can't remember it, did you really learn it?  Long term retention should be our goal, not just passing a test or completing a worksheet.  They need to know the information we teach in our classrooms to become life-long learners, not just test-passers.  

The second day we talked about assessment in a workshop called, "Assessment:  How do we know they're learning?".  For this workshop, we discussed and learned about different forms of assessment and why you should use an assortment of both "selected responses" (the multiple choice, true/false, matching types of assessments) and "constructed responses" (products and performances).  Between the 200 teachers in that room, we came up with over 50 ways that we could assess our students' learning without using a paper/pencil type of test.  We all know that sometimes we have to use a paper/pencil type of test........we really do.  But sometimes we over use it (I know I do).  I do it because it's easier for me to grade and it's easier for me to prepare.  But how many students do I have sitting in my room that know more than I'm aware of.......because I'm not assessing them the "right" way?  That's something I've been thinking about all week.  What if I gave them multiple ways to show me what they know??  Food for thought.....

Moving on......just a little note.  Third Grade & Lovin' It now has an Instagram account.  Some days you just wanna share a photo and not write an entire post about it......ya know?  If you wanna follow me there and get a look inside my classroom, I'd love to have ya :)

Last, but certainly not least, I'm linkin' up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for some Friday fun :)
1.  Starbucks.  Need I say more?  This stuff can turn that frown upside down.  I {heart} Starbucks.

2.  This Easter is my baby girl's very 1st Easter!!  We are having my sisters and their kiddos over tomorrow for some egg and Easter cookie decorating fun!!
3.  I don't have a picture of this........but I got my hair done on Tuesday and I love it!  My hair needed some attention........and I needed some alone time.  Gotta love the salon :)
4.  This blogging calendar is {da bomb}!  It is an excellent way to stay organized with your blog and linky parties and giveaways and all that good stuff.  You can get it here from Gina @ Third Grade Tidbits.
5.  We had to take Jaci to an ENT this week......and guess what???  We're gettin' tubes put in her ears in a couple of weeks.  She took the news quite well :)
Whew......that was a long one!  I hope you all have a fantastic Easter weekend!!!  
Keep livin' the dream,


  1. Enjoy your baby's first Easter! It is our baby girl's second Easter this year. We took her to an egg hunt last year but she didn't quite get it. This year at her day care egg hunt they said she definitely got it and knew exactly what to do. Crazy how fast they grow up! Thanks for shouting out my blog calendar! And I hope the procedure for tubes goes well.
    Third Grade Tidbits

    1. Thanks, Gina! I'm not sure Jaci is gonna get the egg hunting down or not......but it should be fun to watch, either way =)

  2. Wow! It sounds like the conference was awesome. I cannot wait to learn more about the 20 strategies. The blog calender is so cute and now, on my wishlist - thank you! :)

    The Brown-Bag Teacher

    1. Yes, Catherine.....the conference was awesome! And you will love the planner! Thanks for stopping by =)

  3. Hi! Just found you through the 5 for Friday linky. I love your blog design. Christi did mine too.:)

    iTeach 1:1

    1. Hi Kristin......Thanks!!! Christi is pretty awesome, huh? Thanks for checkin' out my blog =)

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