Monday, April 27, 2015

The Educator's Room Conference is Coming to Atlanta!

Hey there, it's Gary again. The 4th grade teacher from Metro Atlanta.  From 2009 to now, I've had some major changes brought to my life through this little blog of mine. I've gone from a avid scrapbooker to a TeachersPayTeachers designer to a blog collaborator. It's never a dull moment around here. Which brings me to my reason for today's post.

Just thought I'd drop in and let you know about a little secret.

There's a really great opportunity coming to town for educators. The Educator's Room is a collaborative blog started in 2012 by Frachesca Warren to bring news about what's going on in today's classroom by the people who know, the teachers! Their blog covers topics that encompass all aspects of the teaching world, from instructional strategies, to legal matters, and opinions about current practices. You should give it a shout. I've already got my eye on the "Teacher Branding" article. I never thought that I need to live my brand as a teacher. I thought we were all doing the same thing, how am I different than the herd?

On July 17th (a Friday), they are going to bring their first ever conference of amazing speakers to the hallowed halls of the AMA Executive Center. The title for the conference is "Empowering Teachers as the Experts." Isn't that just thrilling? It is a one day event with several breakout sessions offered throughout the day. I can't believe how many different topics they will have on hand in the given time. The list of content is mind-boggling. Besides the usual Reading, Math, and Literacy, there are sessions on student behavior, classroom management, educational technology, and my newest interest branding.

And guess what? I've been invited to become part of the Blogger Brigade! Don't you just love that name???? I am very interested in seeing what is happening on the front lines of education. I am already feeling a shift in methods as our school embraces the new BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement this year. My students definitely jumped at the chance to bring in their devices. We had some talks about how and why to use them. Unfortunately, I've already had to remove some devices for a time to help them learn the proper use of electronics in the classroom. I am not downhearted by this, though. The outlets this brings into the classroom are endless, but still need to be handled appropriately. I know I will find some answers at the TEC2015.

Here's a little teaser from the list of scheduled events:
* Zap! Bam! Boom!  Math Strategies that Work with Felicia Young
* Building a Classroom Culture with Danquel Williams
* Gamification and Learning: Why our Education model must change with Cari Harris
* All Students are Motivated, are You? with Linda Darcy
* Guided Math: Meeting the Needs of All with Mandy Gregory
* Empowering Struggling Readers with Dr. Shakenya Harris-Jackson

WAAAY too many good ones to get them all in. I am going to have such a hard time trying to figure out which sessions to attend. But that's going to be all the more fun. This way the time between now and July will pass quickly as I juggle my decisions back and forth. Several of the sessions are repeaters, so if you can't get into it at one time, there's another chance later in the day.

This is an opportunity not to be missed! So head on over to The Educator's Room website and check out all the details coming to Atlanta this summer. Can't wait to see you there.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Primary Peach Blog - Launch Party!! and Blog Hop

Hello to YOU!

If you found this page too early, you need to start out the Blog Hop on ThePrimaryPeach. But if you just arrived from The Fabulous Life of an Elementary Teacher's page, Welcome!

My name is Gary Fryns. I'm a fourth grade teacher currently educating young minds in Metro Atlanta. I've been teaching for a total of 24 years and have had 1, 2, 3, and now 4th grade experience. I started blogging in 2004 and turned to TeachersPayTeachers in 2013 as a way to share my ideas. This opened up a whole new universe for me.

Here I am with my favorite visiting author, Kristine Asselin.

On March 2 of this year Mandy Holland Gregory  of Mandy's Tips for Teachers sent out a call amongst the GA Bloggers group on Facebook. She wanted to know if there was any interest in creating a blog that we all contributed to on a routine basis. It wasn't long before over 25 people responded in the affirmative.

The Primary Peach was born. A blog intended to share ideas and strategies for elementary educators.

Want a chance to win one of four TpT Gift Certificates? There will be one GRAND PRIZE worth a whoppin' $50 TpT Gift Certificate, and three more lucky winners who will receive a goodly $25 TpT Gift Certificate! Head on over to the Primary Peach to enter the Rafflecopter. Good luck!

This collaborative effort of some amazing educators will launch this weekend. To introduce ourselves to y'all we thought it would be perfect to start with a little blog hop so you can visit with each of them along the way.

Just for you I created a little End of the Year poster (8.5 x 11) that you can hand out to your kiddos this year. They will fill it out with all the Insider Secrets to the teacher that a new student in your room would need to know. There's a HE and a SHE version included in the file. Click on the link beneath the picture for your goodie.
Hope you find our little blog helpful and information and keep returning for new and exciting updates!!
Oh, btw. Watch for my blog post on the Primary Peach this coming Wednesday!
NOW, to continue with the blog hop, head on over to Amanda and Stacia's Colloboration Cuties page for your next freebie.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Reading Game - A Review

A while back amidst the falling snow and freezing temperatures I told you about my Top Ten booths from the EdExpo. My #8 (no particular order) was for a company called The Reading Game run by Erika Bird and her father. Erika has such a great personality and was so easy to talk to she just drew myself and Felicia into her booth to see what she had in store.

Once she began displaying the game cards and materials and shared a quick version of the procedures my little brain was immediately thinking of those students in my class that would most benefit from this. I was telling Erika about one of my students that is reading on a First Grade level in Fourth Grade and how I thought this program would help solidify her sight word vocabulary. Erika offered to send me the game FOR FREE if I'd blog about it.


I did a little dance when I opened that package that arrived not too long after the Expo and had to jump right in. I called J (my student) over and started sharing the cards with her from set 1.

There is a set of color coded cards (six sets of cards in all) that introduce 5 new words at a time. Each set gets progressively harder. The cards are laid down in a Memory Game style and students flip cards over trying to make a match. They need to say the word on the card as they flip them over each time to help fast recall. J and I were playing and she was struggling a bit with some of the words from set 1. One of the boys in my class wondered over to see what we were doing. As J struggled he calmly pointed out letters and reminded her of the sounds.

I had such a huge smile on my face.

Once J could recognize the words and read them without trouble (we played several rounds) I pulled out the first book that incorporates the words introduced in set 1. After my initial read through I thought some of the sentences would prove difficult for J - there were complex sentences and such throughout the story. She did very well with it and wanted to move on. I call that a success!

I can't wait to share this with my colleague next door who just received a Non-English speaking student from Honduras. I'm very interested to see how it goes with her.

Thanks again Erika for the generous opportunity to try out this game!