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TAGT Conference – A Teacher’s Perspective

December 16, 2008

It is always a sacrifice to be away from the classroom, but I feel I benefited greatly from having attended TAGT. The keynote speaker, Dr. Marcia Tate, was particularly energizing and entertaining. I plan on using her list of “20 Essential Strategies” in my classroom immediately. As a matter of fact, I shared one  strategy with my students recently and they became overwhelmingly enthusiastic. One GT student responded “I want you to go to more  conferences!”

Listening to so many experts across the country reenergized me and gave me plenty of ideas to spice up my own curriculum. One presenter on the kinesthetic learner offered many options to keep kids engaged and actively learning. Her “F5” method of taking a moment to “refresh” oneself with yoga poses and stretching was a big hit in my class as well.

I want to use more open ended options for students as suggested by Dr. Bertie Kingore. In particular, she noted that sustained silent reading accounts for great gains in vocabulary development. Making time for DAILY silent reading simply must become more of a priority.

Dinah Zike’s “foldables” provide endless ways to incorporate creativity into the curriculum. Likewise, The Bag Ladies’strategies to make portfolios and other “folded paper” products were exciting to see.

Susan Wangler is a 3rd grade teacher at Wilson Elementary.

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