The Ron Clark Academy App
The Ron Clark Academy app for your phone is a must-have! The teachers at the Ron Clark Academy have revolutionized the way they educate their students and have proven success with their methods. The RCA app offers resources and strategies directly from these teachers, as well as a community of teachers across the country who share pictures and discussions on how to make "magic" in the classroom. With this app I utilized the strategy of writing a song to teach academic content, and have since written my first song that my students and I sing about 3D shapes. It is so fun! You can just go the app store on your mobile device, search "The Ron Clark Academy", and download it from there.
Classroom transformations are a fun way to bring the academic content to life for your students! We learned about these when we had the amazing opportunity to visit The Ron Clark Academy and see the awesome ways the teachers were using the space in their classroom to engage their students. While it may sound overwhelming and expensive, it doesn't have to be! Many of the teachers completely transform their classrooms while spending little to no money. Their suggestion is to go out into the community and ask for donations for materials. For example, Mrs. Bearden (teacher at the RCA) completely transformed her classroom into a magestical forest to teach the story "A Wrinkle in Time". She went to a local nursery and they let her borrow many plants, which she returned at the end of the lesson. My plan for my first classroom transformation is to make my classroom into a Mario Bros. game. I want to use the resources I have to create obstacle courses that students can only complete once they have completed the math problem at that obstacle. I can't wait to see the excitement on their faces when they realize they are in a Mario Bros. game! Examples of these classroom transformations can be found on the Ron Clark Academy mobile app. You can also visit the following website to see examples from teachers at the academy.
The Kindergarten Smorgasboard
Mr. Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard is a fun and energetic kindergarten teacher who is passionate about making learning fun! He is extremely creative and constantly coming up with new ideas that he plans on his "scheduling sundays". He also has a TPT where he offers many of his resouces for teachers to use. I specifically used his "alphabet hats" for our Friday review of the weekly letter we covered. Students got to choose from two pictures of something that started with that letter (i.e. mustache for the letter m), and they would color it and glue it on to a sentence strip to wear around their head for that day. They loved it! If you are a kindergarten or first grade teacher, The Kindergarten Smorgasboard is a must-follow!