IRC 2015 and my first Teacher Blogger Meet-Up!

Well, hello October! Where did September go, am I right? I can't believe we've already been in school over a month. The group I have this year is absolutely fabulous and we are having a great time in Kindergarten! Recently, my staff and I were able to attend the Illinois Reading Conference held in Peoria, IL. I took away many wonderful tips and tricks from some of my favorite social media teacher friends as well as some new friends, too!

Illinois Reading Conference 2015

This is a favorite conference of my staff and I. We love being able to learn about reading instruction, books, new authors, strategies, and new ideas over the few days we are at the conference. This year I was able to attend many wonderful sessions, but I narrowed those down to my 2 favorites. 

Can You Read It? Yes We Can!

I had the pleasure of attending a session that was given by Kathy Brown and Sarah Martino who are the authors of "Kindergarten and the Common Core! It's Easy as ABC!" I highly recommend that you check their book out if you are a Kinder-teacher. My eyes were opened by their developmentally appropriate, Danielson based, simplistic ideas of how to incorporate assessment all throughout your daily teaching and class work. My favorite suggestion they gave was to create an observational assessment clipboard for yourself. On the left side list all the students names, and then in each column create a space for each of the Common Core standards or Report Card standards that you will be looking for. As you go through your daily activities (they are big proponents of the "turn and talk" method) you can check for your students' understanding. As you observe them completing a standard or report card task, simply write down on your clipboard the check, plus, or minus (or whatever method you use for your report cards). This way when you get to report card or data gathering time all you have to do is take out your clipboard and enter your information. No need to be pulling students to do individual assessments, and you have a daily/weekly/monthly checklist of your students' progress! I am definitely going to start doing this in my own classroom. You can visit their TPT store by clicking the picture of their book below!

Transform Your Teaching with the Power of Social Media

My second take away is a session which was given by Colleen (Literacy Loving Gals) and Michelle (Big Time Literacy) all about the power of social media! What I love most about finding and connecting with teachers on social media is the ability to have professional development at my fingertips! I am a self-proclaimed Instagram obsessed girl, and I have found it is my favorite mode of social media to keep up with new teaching ideas. Instagram gives you a quick snapshot of a great idea someone is using in their classroom, and for us teachers the quicker the better! Colleen and Michelle did such a great job highlighting all the different ways you can use the power of social media to build up a PLN or Personal Learning Network of teachers, many of whom you will never meet in person. Social media is the best outlet for teachers to lean on each other, learn from each other, and support one another. Check out Colleen and Michelle on their blogs! 


Chicago Teacher Blogger Meet-Up

I closed out the weekend with a FABULOUS Chicago Blogger Meet-up hosted by Kristin from Teaching in a Nutshell! Thank you again, Kristin!

I got to meet some amazing teachers, make some new friends, and even meet some of my favorite teachers and TPT designers that I follow on Instagram and other social medias. We ate at Lou Malnati's (deep dish is my kryptonite...) and had a wonderful time getting to know each other! Of course there were some fabulous prizes and giveaways as well, and I am pretty pumped about my swag bag. I can't wait until my next meet up!

Have a fabulous week, pals. Keep smiling!