Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Ron Clark Academy & Kahoot FREEBIE!

Hi there!
 Thanks so much for stopping by!  It's Amber from Mrs. Masters Kinder Love and I have lots to share with you today!
http://mrsmasterskinderlove.blogspot.com/

I am going to be sharing all about my experience at The Ron Clark Academy! I will warn you, there are A TON of pictures in this post AND my mouth is open in just about all of them (so sorry)! Honestly, it was just that kind of experience! 
Here's a preview: 
So it all began this past summer when Sarah (she teaches 2nd grade at my school!) and I discovered that we both read Crash Course by Kim Bearden. We kind of joked about asking our new principal to send us to The Ron Clark Academy, and then figured why not just give it a try. The worst he can say is no. So in the craziness of the first week of school, we talked to our principal and he decided to send us, as long as we agreed to provide PD to the rest of the staff upon our return.
Obviously, we were thrilled! 
Sarah and I also read The Essential 55 by Ron Clark and were super-pumped to see Ron and Kim in action! 

So on January 16th we flew down south  for the National Educator's Conference at The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia! We were among the first group of people to see the new "Hogwarts-inspired" addition at RCA!

When we first arrived, Ron Clark was greeting us off the bus! He picked me up, hugged me, (all the while I'm squealing with excitement!) and then students took me by the hands and led me into the building. As all of this is happening, music is blaring, everyone is dancing and cheering, and all I see is bright, smiling faces! The most amazing children came up to welcome me and then engaged in a conversation better than most adults (myself included). It was truly remarkable from the moment I stepped off that bus. I knew right then and there that my life as a teacher was never going to be the same. 

Next, we were given a tour of the new facility by an 8th grade student. We were amazed that he knew every detail about the school and the meanings behind each piece in the school. 

As I walked around, I kept thinking "Is this really a school?!" 
Two of my favorite "new" rooms were Hope and Wade King's rooms'.
Hope's room was literally a reading wonderland. I walked in and instantly wanted to curl up with a good book.
Mr. King's room was next door, and it screamed FUN! Look at all those vibrant colors! I wasn't able to observe any of his classes in action but can only imagine the learning that takes place in this room!
After exploring the rest of the facility, we had to spin the wheel to determine which house we would become a part of. Students are randomly split into four houses upon their arrival at RCA. The houses, Altruismo, Amistad, Isibindi, and Reveur each have a special meaning and bring a family like bond to the students and staff at RCA. Students can earn points for behavior, academics, manners and other accomplishments. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is named the "House Champion". Sarah and I both spun Amistad and were warmly welcomed to the house.

The next day we arrived at RCA bright and early! We kicked off the day with breakfast and a show put on by the RCA step team. It was incredible! We spent the rest of the day in workshops with the master teachers at RCA and had the opportunity to watch Ron Clark teach a math class! I have never seen student engagement like this! At one point the students came over to all of us and we had to work through an algebra problem together. Ron said that if 21 or more groups got the correct answer, that he would push the BIG, RED button. I was dying to see what would happen!
24 groups got the answer right!
It was time...for the BIG, RED button!
The student working with us grabbed my hand and pulled me onto the table the students were sitting at. Ron hit the button and "Turn down for what" came on, the lights went off and we all began dancing on the tables!
Way too much fun!!
Here we are in action!!
 My favorite thing about this picture is the man in the blue beside me. He was a principal (probably in his 70's) and he was still rockin' it on that table!!

We spent time in Susan Barne's classroom learning about the blues and incorporating it into content areas. We also had the privilege to observe Brandon Fleming teach Greek Philosophy.....equally amazing!
Wade and Hope King each showed us some of their best instructional strategies in the classroom.
I had to snap a pic with Hope King!
Also, the sweatshirt I'm wearing is my "house" shirt. Yay Team Amistad!
The last part of the afternoon was getting"slide certified". I love everything the slide stands for at RCA! It's all about taking risks, and being different. I may or may not have gone head first :)
Next, we headed back to the hotel for a quick rest before the evening's festivities. BUT first I had to get a few pics of the outside!
And now on to the evening festivities.....
TACKY PROM!!
Isn't Kim Bearden just the cutest?!

RON CLARK!

SO much fun!!

Now, onto our last day... :(
Sunday morning both Ron and Kim shared more of their personal stories and inspired us all to take back pieces of what we learned at RCA and make it work at our schools. We also heard from Wade and Hope King as they shared their stories of traveling to The Ron Clark Academy as teachers from South Carolina and implementing the house system in their previous school district. We ended the morning with a Q&A session with the staff and a book signing with Ron and Kim.
I can wholeheartedly say that my time at The Ron Clark Academy was the BEST experience of my teaching career. I have never felt so inspired and ready to take on the world. Every teacher should make it a priority to go to RCA at least once in their teaching career. You will be forever changed, just like me!
Be bold. Be different. Be you.
AND
As Ron Clark says "Make it happen".

The last thing I want to share with you is a FREEBIE!
Have you heard of kahoot?! 
It's a FREE game-based classroom response system.
You can create your own quizzes, surveys and discussions OR choose from the thousands of ready-to-go quizzes. Students can use technology to engage with each of these. Kahoot is a fun, engaging way for students to review content AND it's a great way for teachers to assess what their students know.
You can read all about setting up kahoot from Kelly and Kim's Kindergarten Kreations! They provide step by step directions and pictures to help get you started!!!
Here was my problem....
 I didn't have technology for all of my students.
Solution: Hope King had a great idea to print cards that have the color boxes like the answer choices on kahoot. Then you can just add a clothespin and students are able to move the clothespin to their answer. Genius!

I got started right away making these for my classroom of kinders!
Click on the photo below for your FREE copy or click HERE!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/da7rbg8dtu4rg0h/kahoot.pdf?dl=0

Have a fabulous week!!

4 comments:

  1. I am planning a trip to RCA and cannot wait to experience the magic! Thanks for sharing your amazing experience!! 😁

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessica, I hope that you will be able to go soon! It is truly remarkable!! :)
      Amber
      Mrs. Masters’ Kinder Love

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  2. I had no idea you went to RCA. It sounds like such an inspiring weekend, thank you for sharing!
    Kristen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristen, I hope you'll get the opportunity to visit. It really is life changing! :)
      Amber
      Mrs. Masters’ Kinder Love

      Delete