Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fan and Pick

8 years ago my school was chosen as a Title 1 school of the year. As part of the award, we received a grant and invitation to the National Title 1 conference. Although I didn't go to the conference, my administrator did and while there, went to a class on cooperative learning presented by Kagan. When she returned to school she started us down a road we are still on today. That summer she sent several teacher to attend Kagan Summer Academy in Florida. While I have a feeling some went to enjoy the benefits of Disney World what happened was they caught the Kagan Bug and brought it back to our school. With a core group of teachers trained in Kagan's philosophy and using the grant money to bring a Kagan trainer to our school her vision for change was implemented. The goal, have every teacher trained and using Kagan's structures in our daily teaching. Every month, we have a structure of the month and are expected to train our students and use it in our instruction. Kagan has become part of our culture and I doubt I will ever go back to a more traditional way of teaching.

This month's structure is Fan and Pick.  Fan and Pick is based on groups of four students (most of Kagan's structures are for cooperative groups of 4). I have these mats in the center of each table to help students.

This structure is one that I use everyday in my classroom. My Cubs love it. Here's how it works:
(most of Kagan's structures are based on cooperative groups of 4. Each student is assigned a number and letter. This is introduced at the beginning of the year. By now all of my students know their name and letter)
Step One: Student 1 takes the stack of cards, fans them and turns to student 2 saying, Pick a card, any card.
Step Two: Student 2 picks a card and shows it to student three.
Step Three: Student 3 reads the card aloud (We use sight words).
Step Four: Student 4 checks for accuacy and coaches if necessary, cheers if correct.
(I have added a little something here, if student 3 does not know the answer, he/she asks student 4 for help, if student 4 does not know the answer, anyone at the table may help. If no one at the table knows the answer, the students raise their hands and I come to help)

Here my little Cub is picking a card
Now she is showing the card to student 3.
This structure has been very successful when reviewing sight words. Other Kindergarten teachers have used numbers, colors, and letters. All of my students are engaged and actively learning. It is an awesome sight to see.
If you want to learn more about this structure or any others, I have provided a link under the picture of the management mats.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

If you don't follow any other blog...

Follow this one!

I have found so many wonderful free downloads AND some wonderful blogs I have not seen before. So, hop on over and see all the amazing freebies today. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm Back!!!!

It has been a long time. I appreciate all those who have kept checking back. Wednesday was the big day. I had to say goodbye to 6 of my little cubs. What a hard thing to do. It is amazing how fast you get attached. Now that I have "only" 27 cubs, I can't believe how quite it is. Now that things are a little more manageable, I made a freebie just for next week. Hope you enjoy this fun Fire Prevention activity.