Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dr. Jean's Amazing Resources!

I realize I have been a little MIA from the blog scene lately. School has been pretty overwhelming this year and blogging has been the last thing on my mind. However, last weekend, I attended the Early Childhood Winter Conference put on by our local county Department of Education and two great things happened. One, I presented my first professional development sessions with a teammate of mine, and I saw THE Dr. Jean in person!

If you teach elementary grades, you may not have heard of Dr. Jean Feldman. She is an amazing woman who has worked in education her entire life. She primarily works with early childhood students, pre-K and kinder, but her resources are great inspirations for all grades. I want to share just a few ideas with you.

First of all, the most important thing to her is that teachers smile. It's such a simple concept, but one that can easily be forgotten. With the stress of more rigorous standards and testing, the pressure can sometimes bring out the worst in me. Regardless of what I'm feeling, my kids deserve to see a happy, smiling adult each and every day. So even on my worst day, I have to try to leave the drama in the car and put on a happy face for my students. Of course this is much easier said than done, but important nonetheless. One little trick to add a little happiness to your classroom is to sprinkle in some cheers!

In college, my classroom management professor gave each of us our own set of cheers and I have had them ever since. These little babies are just quick little ways to say "Good job" in a variety of cute and fun ways. Check out these four below:

She offers all 50 of her cheers on TpT for FREE! Yes, FREE! Click HERE to get a copy for yourself!

Dr. Jean also has a website that she uses to share tons of free resources. Check it out HERE. 

Another thing she is well known for are her songs, both silly and academic. I mentioned that she works primarily with early childhood, so most all of her stuff is for the little ones, but her songs incorporate motion and cross the midline, which is great for the brain and brain breaks. Although she has tons of academic songs for little ones on her website, I want to share one of her silly songs that I heard for the first time last weekend and loved! It's called "Tooty-Ta!"

Y'all. You have to do this video with your kids. You just have to! We did it as adults at the conference and I just about died laughing. It is silly, gets your body moving, and makes you laugh! My third graders and I have done this song at least five times this week and they still get a kick out of it! It's a great brain break, and helps my struggling readers listen, follow directions, and work on oral language. And I promise, if you are feeling stressed, this song will help you relax- at least for a little while! ;)

Dr. Jean has made it her mission to share everything she has to offer with fellow educators and I absolutely love her for it. You can purchase her materials from her TpT store but also get tons of free ideas, videos, and lessons from her website. If you teach pre-k, kinder, or first, be sure to check it out.

The second part of the conference I co-presented two sessions on increasing oral language in the classroom with a teammate of mine. Increasing oral language has been on my mind a lot in the last few years, especially since attending an amazing training called Talk, Read, Talk, Write two summers ago. We shared some simple ways to increase the amount of academic talk in the classroom.

Of course, in true first-time presenter style, we forgot to bring all of our posters and activities with examples on them. LOL. But, we managed to make it through and had some great educators collaborate and share. Despite our mistakes, I think everyone was able to walk out with at least one idea to take back to their classrooms.

I'll do another post soon (LOL, I know! Soon may be a month from now!) and share the ideas we presented about. For now, go check out Dr. Jean and print those cheers for yourself! You'll be glad you did!

Have a great weekend!

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