Tuesday, August 21, 2012

WBT Lesson Format

Just a quick note today.
I have to mention my experience with math class today. 
We have a new series and I am not familiar with it...it's a teach as you go thing!
And, alas...I have NOT gotten the 5-step lesson plan mastered yet! I am working on it!
So...I had a vocab page before the lesson worksheets. We were doing it together, it was confusing for the kids and didn't make much sense to me. Finally, I went over and grabbed the addition power pix poster and started over! Oh, yeah. SAVE. We talked about what addition meant, taught each other and then I asked...
Class? Yes!
Which way was easier for you to understand? The worksheet or the power pix?
There was an overwhelming cheer as they pointed to the power pix!
Sweet! What was I thinking teaching that awful worksheet?

Next, I created a power pix for science. 
Q: What is a star?
A: A star is a HUGE ball of gas that is held together by gravity. It gets so hot inside that it produces ENERGY!
(I'll try to explain the gestures!)
Hold hands up like twinkle lights (star)
Make a big circle with your arms (HUGE)
Interlaced fingers (together)
Pretend to pull down a window shade (gravity)
Mix a pretend bowl (inside of star)
Hold hands way out to sides as you say emphatically...ENERGY

The kids loved it!

Downside--I'm slacking on the scoreboard and can tell.
I've gotta get more scores on there! Keep the "game" going!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

FB Whole Brain Teaching Mini-Lessons

If you aren't a fan of the WBT Facebook page, head on over there and "like" it right away! Coach B is offering little mini-lessons on WBT techniques! Right now he is concentrating on critical thinking in the classroom! Who couldn't use some extra help in that area?

The more comments and likes each lesson gets, the more lessons will be provided. This is a great resource when you just have a few seconds and want a quick WBT jolt of learning! I think it is Coach B's way of adding some little "fun bursts" into our day!

Last year I was using the core 4-class/yes, scoreboard, teach/ok, and mirrors. I thought I was doing pretty well at being a WB teacher! My kids were engaged and having fun. I was having fun. But, I was clearly lacking the critical thinking piece.

I have already started using the "because clapper" with my firsties this year. They are really catching onto it and I see how important it is for them to connect their opinions with reasons and examples. There is a much deeper understanding of our lessons when this happens.

If you are struggling with critical thinking in your classroom, head over for some quick ideas on FB--or better yet, hop on over to www.wholebrainteaching.com and watch some of the archived webcasts or download a free eBook!

This is by far the most amazing thing I have stumbled on in my teaching career. It will make such a difference in your classroom environment, you’ll soon be a believer too!

Friday, August 17, 2012

After 3 days with WBT

I have had an amazing first 3 days with my little campers. They are picking up on WBT so fast. I couldn't be more proud of them. 

Some of today's highlights:
-we learned our last rule set, then practiced with teack/ok AND switch! I even added the "because clapper" - and they took to it like moths to a flame! 
-we had a power pic lesson on sentences. I added a few gestures to the ones already on the card...When we say, "A sentence is a complete message that MUST begin with a capital letter and end with an end mark," we reach up to the ceiling when we say capital and hold both our hands out (like saying HALT) when we say end.

I have a university education major doing her pre-session practicum in my classroom and she was so impressed with our WBT! She couldn't believe this was only their 3rd day with me. It looked more like the first quarter or even semester, she said! (Ahhhh....I'm loving it!)

Here is a picture of my whiteboard today--with my 3 rule posters and the other WBT posters we have learned. I didn't get as many tallies on the scoreboard due to having 10 pages of pre-assessments for our new math curriculum! That took up most of our day--YUCK.

We have even started keeping track of one activity on the board-putting supplies away. The 31 seconds was when one of my darlings had dumped ALL her markers out and couldn't get them back in the box in a timely manner. (We had a little mini-lesson on that afterwards!)

Here is my Power Pix Wall:

I followed the Power Pix lesson outline today-I downloaded them on my iPad so I could access them quickly when needed! We got down through the yes/no way part.

I am looking forward to my first WHOLE week with WBT! I am so grateful to have found such a life-changing movement dedicated to helping teachers bring learning fun into the classroom. I can't imagine teaching any other way now. I have been sharing it with other teachers this week and they said they want me to do an inservice day and teach them about my "whole brain stuff!" And--my practicum student wants to learn more about WBT! 

Can I hear an, "Oh, YEAH!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First Day with WBT!

Oh My!
I absolutely LOVED how our first day went.
It was so amazing and I am in awe of how well my little campers picked up on WBT! Of course I had a great outline to go by.

First of all, after parents were finished dropping them off, taking pictures and unloading school supplies I called for the class's attention - alas, no class/yes ... YET! They were eager and ready to listen anyway. Back up for one second-on their morning work activity they had a place to write their teacher's name. I told them it was posted some place in the room--most of them found it pretty quickly. I gave those that couldn't pick it out a hint (it is RED). So, when I was ready to introduce myself, I counted to 3 and had them say my name out loud. Then I explained that when I was talking, I expected them to look at me and stop talking (using gestures as I explained, of course). They responded well, and we went straight into the class/yes lesson.

The first few times I did not have as many responses as I would have liked, but we kept on plugging away! They had a bit of a harder time with the "anyway I say class, you say yes" part, which surprised me. They finally got the hang of it and did a good job the rest of the day--with some reminders of how to fold their hands and LOOK at me! Overall, I was pleased. :)

Next, we practiced rule 1. Fun! Since my 3 rules are adaptations of the 5, I introduced the first part of my rule 1--"follow directions quickly". Success! We practiced all day long--with LOTS of fun bursts thrown in randomly. After several practice sessions, I added the rest of it--(...do your best...make smart choices for all the rest) but we concentrated on the directions part for today.

Next, the scoreboard game. I LOVE introducing it as a game. I did not do it that way last year. It was so energetic and motivating for the kids, especially when I would give a smiley for a great job, but follow it up with a frownie for the few that were not looking, quieting down, etc. It got a few more on board rather quickly. TEACHER HEAVEN!

Here is my scoreboard at the end of the day (along with my Happy Camper lanyard--it has a scoreboard on one side and class roster checklist on the other).

I am so excited about how today went...I can't think straight! I hope my rambling makes sense! (By the way, they each got a s'more hand stamp for beating me at the scoreboard game!)

I introduced mirrors, the 3peat, teach/ok (yes, in first!) and did a power pic lesson on letters and words.

My big ahah moment was when I decided to try the 3peat for lines. I had never attempted it last year. I did bodies and chairs and other simple commands, but not LINES--wouldn't everyone lining up at the same time be chaos? NO---not the WBT way!

I did lots of prep work before we tried it...explaining how those closest to the door would obviously be the first to line up, how we must walk and how it was not a race. I asked it the tables in the front of the room should be first in line...they said, "no!"
AND--we even did a because---in response to, does it matter who gets in line first? No, BECAUSE we are all going to the same place, was their reply. (They are so smart!)

So...I took the plunge. I said, "LINES." They did it! Oh, sweet mama, I could hardly believe it! The next time, I was actually able to walk to the front of the line and out the door to recess...they were so quiet and orderly. I'm a believer!

I can't think if I did anything else today, but I'm so excited to be starting my year off the WBT way. Thank you, Coach B. for a wonderful outline and all the support you give us that makes teaching so enjoyable!

Here are some pictures of my classroom. I've already posted my Super Improver's Wall and Power Pic wall--(oops, didn't get a pic today after I added my two pics!)

How about you? How was your first day with WBT?
(Remember, if you'd like to know more about this amazing movement, just go to www.wholebrainteaching.com!)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

WBT Webcasts and New Camping Products!

If you haven't been tuning into the WBT webcasts over the last few weeks, you are missing out. Coach B is explaining how to set up your first hour, day and week in your Whole Brain Classroom!
Woo Hoo!

The next FREE webinar is Tuesday night.

Another WBT site to check out is the

Last thing for today...
I've been working on a cute banner set for my classroom (camping themed of course!) and I've finished it. There are 5 complete A-Z sets in 5 colors (brown, green, blue, red, gold).

You can head over to TpT to get yours!


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