I am so excited to share this post with you! I just recently went to a two day Kim Adsit conference. Her workshop was titled: Work Smarter not Harder. I mean how does this not sound like the best conference ever? I feel like I say this everyday of my life. I would like to start off by saying if you have never been to one of her conferences it should be on your teaching bucket list. She is so funny, her ideas are flat out genius, and she truly does make teaching seem easy. After every conference I attend I always reflect over my notes/pictures and decided what three things I can implement immediately in my room with out feeling over whelmed. Well, this was a hard one, but I managed to come up with just three!
My top three I am going to blog about today are her carpet bags, carpet set up during mini lessons, and the easiest way to do a running record. This one absolutely BLEW MY MIND!
I am only going to blog a short snippet of how these work, but I will provided a link with more information for the genius herself…Mrs. Kim. Basically, Kim makes a carpet bag for each child in her room. These bags contain a small baggie with a pencil, counters, linking cubes, dice, expo marker, mini dry erase board, etc. Basically all the crap you hate having to pass out to your kids because it takes forever! Not to mention your kids fight over the color of cubes. I’m sure you get where I am going…WE ARE SAVING TIME AND HEADACHE! She also but the kids calendar math folders, traveling word walls, Working Mats, clipboards, Writing Folders, etc. These are basically taking the place of a disaster inside a desk because we all know that a 6 year old can’t keep a desk clean longer than a day!
You can click the picture above to get a direct link to her blog where she goes into more detail about what is in the bags. She sells a unit with everything she uses for her bag. It is around $8.00, but it a huge time saver. She uses plastic reusable grocery bags and tapes the sides with clear tape so all the folders don’t fall out. You can snag these at the Dollar Tree or Target $ bins for around a buck a piece and they last about 3-4 years.
Carpet Set Up
I have always heard of assigned seats at the carpet and I have always just made a point to keep behavior problems away from other behavior problems. Kim Adsit does her carpet set up much like my picture below. She puts her kids that will learn regardless at the back of her carpet. These are her “high flyers”. I made the mistake of always pairing a high with low because I knew the lower student would need more help, but really what happened is the “high flyer” does all the work and the student that needs the most help gets nothing out of it.
I love that she has her neediest kids or as she calls them her “bless your heart” children up front with her. She can manage off task behavior better (because these are almost always the ones who are off task), she can help jump start pair share conversation, but can still hear the kids in back and make comments on their conversation. This also holds the students in red accountable for buddy work or side conversation on pair shares. I started this right when I got back and it has made a huge difference!
Running Records Made Easy
This was one of the moments during the conference where I was blown away by something so simple….a RUNNING RECORD. Everyone does them and everyone needs them to be done and scored quickly. We use a DRA 3-4 times a year, but for monitoring during guided groups and conferences we use a running record. I always hate when I hand a child a book that I only need him to read a few pages out of for a quick pop-in reading conference. I hate this for 2 reasons: I get to count all of those little checks/miscues to come up with a word count and it wastes so much time! This was the simplest thing I have ever seen. She made her running record by inserting a table 10x9. Each word gets a box. When the child is done reading you can count down the row and times it by 10 and then add any additional boxes. You literally get the word count in 5 seconds! Count the child’s miscue and divide it by your 5 second word count and there is your accuracy %. It is seriously the smartest thing ever. She gave us a copy in her conference handout book, but because of copyright I can’t really copy and share. I decided to create my own below for you to try and use in your room if you want to. Click the image for a freebie!
I will be doing another post this weekend with my attempt at visual lesson plans! We will see how this goes.