Jul 25, 2014

Vegas Tips & Tricks!

Well, you are probably tired of hearing about Vegas, and in all honesty I have tried several times to get my thoughts together to post for you all about my experience.  Yes, it was soo much fun and I met so many fabulous teachers and presenters, but most of all I learned more than I could have imagined and have had a difficult time organizing all the fabulous ideas to be able to share them with you.  I have made the decision that it would be like a short novel to share it all in one post, so I am going to give you some of the “golden nuggets” I learned over several blog posts. 

I have to start with a quick photo collage of the beautiful views of Las Vegas and some of the fantastic presenters I met.

DeeDee Wills from Mrs. WillsKindergarten

Deanna Jump from Mrs. Jump’s Class

Mary Amoson from SharingKindergarten

Kim Adsit from Kindergals

Annie Moffat from the MoffatGirls

Kristin Oldham from The TeenyTiny Teacher

Greg Smedley From Kindergarten Smorgasboard

The quality of the pictures isn't the best. That's what you get when you ask strangers to take your

Today is about some quick tips and ideas.  Many of these are like a V8 momentreally why didn’t I think of thatlol.  These are not all new, but I feel that they bare repeating.

Tip #1-When having your students join you on the carpet how do you have them sit?  I’m not talking about criss-cross applesauce, I mean who are they sitting next to?? I have always just tried to make sure they were not next to someone who would distract them and chat with them.  However, several presenters suggested sitting them according to abilities.  Well Duh!!  Put your “bless your heart” (lower) babies in the front next to you where you can best help them.  In the middle row are your average learners.  In the back are those students who will get it all on their own.  This is so easy yet totally brilliant.  Please tell me I am not the only one who has not thought of this.

Tip #2-When you are in whole group, walking down the hall, etc and you see a student(s) who is not on task just casually remind the group “check yourself “.  This just reminds them to think about what behavior they should be displaying in that situation without you calling them out and disrupting what else is going on.

Tip #3-Use songs or chants during transition times.  This helps make the most of your time.  Instead of saying it is time to come to the carpet and then waiting for them to do it.  Put on the song “Come to the Carpet” (By Harry Kindergarten and it is one of my kiddos favorites) and they know where they need to be by the time the song ends.  Another example is you can sing the 5 little monkeys and by the time they have all fallen off the bed they should be cleaned up and in their seats.  You can really use any song or chant to review any concept you have been working on.

Tip #4-Are you having trouble trying to figure out how to store all those beautiful anchor charts you make.  Problem solvedgo to Target, like now, well maybe not if it is the middle of the night when you are reading this.  Anywho, they have XXL Zip Lock bags.  Right there next to all the other zip locks, I promised I went yesterday just to see for myself.  I did get 2 boxes for now.  These will hold and protect your charts perfectly.  If you have a nice storage closet you can then attach them to a hanger with clothespins and hang them. 

Tip #5-Make a playlist for your iPod, iPad or phone with all the songs for each theme during the year.  Also make one for each day of the week.  This way you can quickly access the songs you need, if your still using old school CD’s this is the way to go.  I already had a playlist for my calendar time, but really the kids get bored doing the same songs every day.  So, now I am going to make a different playlist for each day.  That way I can change up the songs, while still working on the same skills and it can be fun and engaging for the students instead of the same old thing.

Well, that is just a few tips to start with.  I don’t want it to be too much. Then your brain will be on overload like  Next time I plan on giving some tips related to using Reader’s  & Writer’s workshop in your room. 

To see what else happened in Vegas head on over to Deirdre's blog A Burst of First.  You'll find lots of great stuff!!

What are some great tips you have.  I love to read your comments and thoughts.



  1. Laura.....I LOVED looking at all your beautiful pictures. What wonderful tips. These would be great for any grade level for sure!! Can't wait to read more about your trip. I'm still super jealous that you got to go. Next year I'm going in your suitcase!!!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Great idea about the giant ziploc bags! I never would have thought of that!

  3. Laura, I'm so proud of you for posting this! I loved all the tips you shared since I couldn't make it to the conference. Excellent post!

    A Teachable Teacher