Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 2 What's next???

What is next???

After a VERY hot first week, my class finally has learned and practiced all of the rules.  We are using the scoreboard and they are very motivated by it!

If you have not started your scoreboard yet, now is the time!  Remember the first level is simply smiles vs frownies for bragging rights.  I always wait until morning to count to see which side won.  I will be breaking out my smaller (2 inch) dice next week to get them excited for a uncertain reward.  I decided having a few sizes of dice might keep my dice option more powerful throughout the year.

If you have not already, be sure to communicate the classroom rules to your parents.  Letting them know the why behind the rules is always beneficial.  Speaking of rules, be sure you are practicing the rules MANY times a day!

Any Blurters???
Every year kindergarteners struggle with blurting.  Remember, just say "Uh Oh, what is rule number 2?"  This really works for most kids.  Don't forget right now you want to get 80-90% of your kids on board.  You will go after the beloved rascals with special tools later.

As you get into curriculum, think about what area you will feel most comfortable using the WBT lesson pattern.
Class / Yes
Options (Mirror words or Hands and eyes)
1 min direct instruction
Teach Ok (Kinder can use tell your neighbor at this point.
Assess by walking around

This should keep everyone busy for a bit.  Let me know if you have any questions!!!

Friday, September 2, 2016

First Day of School!! Ready, Set, Go!!!

Hi everyone!
In Michigan, Tuesday is the first day of school for the majority of us!  Here are a few reminders to start off your year in WBT style!

1.  Greet and Class Yes:  After welcoming your class and telling them how much you are looking forward to having them in class, introduce "Class, Yes"!   I do this while they are still in line.  Have them practice looking at you as they say yes!  Once inside go over the BIG steps of Class Yes.
SAY Yes!  STOP what you are doing, LOOK at your teacher,  Hands together!  The key to success is practice, practice, practice!

2.  Hands and Eyes:  I introduce this one quite early in the day.   Remind them you will use this when you have something VERY important to tell them!

3.  Mirror words:  I like to introduce Mirror words before I teach the rules.   Great way to be sure they are engaged as I go over our class rules.  Be sure to practice this a bit with the younger students!

4.  Class Rules:  Remember to take time to go over each rule thoroughly!  Role play right way and wrong way, practice until they know it!  Kindergarten teachers:  Remember the tweak of 1 rule per day!

5.  HAVE FUN!!!!  Remember to have fun while you are teaching all the rules!!

Have a GREAT first day!  Remember "You've got this!!"

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Getting ready to start the year!!

Can you believe it?? In Michigan, most schools may not start until the day after Labor Day.  That means we are only a few weeks from the first day!  Whether you have decided to start using Whole Brain Teaching in your classroom for the first time or you are a veteran, here are a few things you will want to prepare ahead of time!

Class Rules
Decide if you will be printing the rules from the website, making your own, or downloading a free set from TPT.  (Remember you should NOT pay for any WBT materials on TPT!)   Think about where you will post them.   I like to have mine posted to my board with magnets so that I can pull them down easily when I using the rule BONUS on the scoreboard.  I just put that rule right above my scoreboard.  It also comes in handy to be able to pull them down when we are "breaking" a rule.

This is a HUGE decision!  Where are you going to have your scoreboard?  It needs to be as VISIBLE and ACCESSIBLE as possible.  I have mine on a easel that is always handy but many teachers use their whiteboard near the place they do most of their teaching.  It is important to consider WHEN you will be using the scoreboard.  I use mine consistently during whole class instruction so I want it as close as possible.  Some teachers use a portable scoreboard, if you think that is a better alternative go for it.  Just remember the kids need to be able to SEE it!  Order or make a dice to add FUNTRICITY to your scoreboard game.  

Super Improver Wall
Choose your theme and get it all set up BEFORE school starts.  I have all my colors to match my board cut and ready so that it only takes a few seconds to change a students level at any time through the year.  Be sure to put your SIW in a place that you and your students will see and remember it.  Bigger in this case is better!

If you are venturing beyond the beginner and intermediate levels of WBT be sure to print the Brainies and Power Pix appropriate to your level.  You can access these by going to the free ebooks  at wholebrainteaching.com.

Stay tuned for a classroom video tour!  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Whole Brain Teaching story...so far!

6 years ago, I stumbled across a youtube video of Andrea Schindler's kindergarten class.  I was so impressed that I began trying "Class, Yes" the following day.  I began to watch videos and webcasts and followed the Whole Brain Teaching Facebook page.

I watched as my little distracted kindergarten students transformed into engaged, motivated, leaders!  The following year I added a few more pieces of WBT as I became more confident.  I kept my little experiment to myself until several teachers attending a learning lab in my classroom wanted to know what I had been doing.  They were amazed that I had taught a 1 hour writing lesson and my kids were 100% engaged.  As I learned how effective WBT was, I had a desire to learn more.   4 years ago I began the certification process via Facebook working closely with Andrea Schindler.   It was the greatest challenge and growing experience of my career.  As I sought certification I participated in the WBT intern program and became a site leader for my district.  As a site leader, I watched as teachers in my district were eager to learn more and implement WBT strategies in their classrooms.

Attending the last 3 National Whole Brain Teaching Conferences has been pivotal in my growing as a WBT teacher and leader.  Chris Biffle, founder of WBT and his exec board and staff are the most generous, kind, and passionate educators I have ever encountered.  Where else do you find a group of people who are incredibly willing to share all they know, for free??

In May, I was thrilled to finally become a Level 5 WBT Certified Educator.  It was so much work, but definitely worth it!!  Watching my students make amazing progress in all areas including academic, social, and behavior, has solidified my belief that Whole Brain Teaching is truly life changing.

I plan to use this blog to encourage others in their WBT journey, share what it looks like in my classroom, and share all the amazing pieces of the WBT website and groups.

Here are some of my favorite pics of this years National WBT Conference!

First day Vegas!!

This dear teacher is Very Happy!

Winner of the best PHOTO BOMB!