Why do I go to conferences? Of course to travel to new places. Of course to learn to new things. Of course to meet new people. Of course to eat and shop. However, to bring something back to my classroom. This can be hard with so many wonderful new thoughts swarming in our brains. This weekend I had the opportunity to travel just next door to Dublin, Ohio for the Dublin Literacy Conference and spend time with Eric Litwin and James Dean. This wasn't the James Dean in blue jeans and a white tshirt. This was James Dean in blue jeans with a beachy button down shirt open and a tshirt sporting that blue cat I tend to rave about and review; Pete the Cat, Pete the Cat Rocking in his School Shoes, even my shoes!
Now that we've established I'm a big Pete the Cat fan then it's safe to assume I'm bringing something back from spending time with his creators and I am. However, it's not anything you might guess. I'm bringing back more music from Eric Litwin. Eric said these words of wisdom in between some really grooving and moving moments for his audience.
1. Interactive music is a way to build community.
2. Build community every morning, before every lesson...a song.
3. Movement with structure is more manageable.
4. Movement is clearly defined by starting and stopping.
5. We have to move and cue our students to make books and songs interactive.
I had so much fun during this session. I didn't take a lot of notes. I was moving, smiling, singing, and enjoying myself. Eric Litwin, who has a teaching and administration background, made an important suggestion. A song before each lesson, lots during a day. Songs have vocabulary, sequencing, structure, rhyme and so much more. I'm not an apple user, but I do love Amazon and found Eric Litwin in their music department. I now have next to my running playlist an Eric Litwin playlist up in my cloud.
Tomorrow we will be interacting with -
Now let's hope my filter at school opens my Amazon cloud for music.
Photo found on twitter via @maryleehahn, thanks a bunch!