Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back to school

Well, I'm back in my room today trying to get things ready for the new school year.  I can't believe it's already time to get back to it.  I'm in a new classroom this year, so I'm trying to find new places to put things.  I've found new homes for my PowerPix walls, my Class leaders wall, my Genius Paragraph, my Super Improver Wall, my Scoreboard, and my rules.  I'm getting there.  I'll have to post some pictures when I bring my camera in.  It's coming along.  I just wish it were coming along more quickly. 

As I get more accomplished, I'll be posting more.  I'm going to be enjoying my last few weeks with my little guys! 


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer's here and just as busy!

I returned from my maternity leave five and a half weeks after having my 3rd baby boy.  It really went by way too quickly, but with the state testing coming up and pay being docked, it was time to get back to school.  I actually returned a week before our testing began, which gave me a little time to get us back on track with behavior and a few last minute reviews.  I was thankful to find that my second sub had been utilizing some Whole Brain Teaching techniques with my class.  She found the Super Improver Wall to be a huge help in controlling behavior. 

My kiddos were still able to review concepts that I had taught them by utilizing their Whole Brain Teaching gestures, so that gave me hope as I returned to the classroom.  I am anxious to see our test results as we also used Prove It the entire year.  My kids were really excited about Prove It during the year, and I feel like they had a good foundation to use on their testing from the exposure throughout the year. 

The last couple weeks of the year flew by with our track and field day, talent shows, yearbook assembly, and so much more.  The behavior of my kiddos really stayed on track though thanks in large part to Whole Brain Teaching.  They were excited to continue to earn stars on the Super Improver Wall and ultimately get to take their Super Improver cards with them.  I'm excited about getting back into my classroom and getting my Super Improver Wall set up for this year.  I think this was the biggest thing that worked in my classroom this past year.  They knew that it was based solely on their improvement and nobody else's.  That says it all!

This past week, I attended a 2-day conference in my hometown with Coach B!  What a fantastic two days!  Even though this was my 6th Whole Brain Teaching Conference, I still took away lots of new and fun things to do in my classroom this next year.  I loved the "grabber" that Coach B presented as well as the Problem Solver, Magic Mirrors, D.V.R., and so much more.  I will be posting more about this conference next time.

My colleague, Susan Floyd, and I will be presenting 6 mini conferences during the 2012-2013 school year in our area, so be watching the forum and calendar for those dates on the Whole Brain Teaching website.  We're really excited about getting more teachers on board with Whole Brain Teaching.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Way too long!!!!

I didn't realize that it had been so long since I posted on my blog.  Wow, how time has gotten away from me.  We're obviously back from the holiday breaks, and haven't had much bad weather, so I feel like we're getting things accomplished in my classroom.  However, now I'm getting ready to go out on maternity leave...right before our state testing, and I'm a little bit apprehensive.  I feel like my kiddos should be prepared since we've been working with Whole Brain Teaching all year long, the genius paragraph, Prove It, and much more!  They seem to be retaining information, because I can ask a question about something that we talked about during the 1st week of school and they come back with the gesture!  I hope to be returning right before MAP testing.  I guess my biggest concern is their behavior with me being gone right before MAP testing.  I've actually had subs this year when I've been gone to meetings that do not want to return to my classroom.  The class and I seem to have an understanding and we get things accomplished, but I think that is in large part to Whole Brain Teaching.  My subs don't always come in knowing much about it, and it looks like I'll actually have two different ones while I'm out, and I'm only taking 6 weeks!!!!!  Keep me, my class, and my sub in your prayers!!!!!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Crazy times in 3rd grade!

Another month has gone by, and it is getting harder to find the time to post on my blog!  I'm so sorry it has been so long.  We've been busy here in 3rd grade using our Whole Brains!!!!! 

I'm happy to say that I've had the pleasure of having several guests in my classroom to see the use of WBT, and have had positive responses from all of them.  Everyone has said that they are taking WBT back to their classrooms, and then they've been e-mailing with questions after their visits!  To date, I think I've had around 11 teachers in my room this year, and I know I have at least 4 more coming in the week after Thanksgiving break. 

I also have an update on my student teacher who was with me the first 8 weeks of school as well.  She is now in her second 8 weeks of student teaching, and is currently placed in a 5th grade classroom in another district.  She e-mailed me and said WBT works and it's amazing!  She wasn't using it at first, but then was asked to review the parts of speech with the 5th grade class, and she decided that she would use WBT.  The class's response to WBT was astounding, and she said they loved using the gestures and teaching each other.  She even commented on the fact that their behavior improved after introducing the PowerPix and gestures.  I told her I wouldn't steer her in the wrong direction, and that WBT couldn't be beat!!!

I can't wait to get even more teachers in our district on board and using WBT! 

I hope everyone has a very blessed Thanksgiving, and enjoys the time off with family!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sorry it's been awhile!

Hey everyone! 

So sorry that it has been so long since my last post!  Things have been crazy here.  I have now taken back over my classroom, since my student teacher has moved on to her next assignment, and am still busy mentoring our new 3rd grade teacher, writing up articles for our district newsletter, and presenting on WBT!  That doesn't even top being a wife, mommy of 2 boys, and expecting baby number 3! 

I have my Super Improver Wall up and running.  I have included a picture of it, so you can all see how I have it working for me!  I also included some updated photos of my PowerPix walls, and my Class Leaders board to show how it works for me to rotate pictures. 

Class Leaders Board:
 My Math PowerPix Wall:
 My Communication Arts PowerPix Wall:
My Super Improver Wall:

As for my Super Improver Wall, every student has their own card with 10 different colored levels.  They get to place their stars on the bottom color, which I have labeled as Fiery Red.  Once they earn 10 stars, they move up to the next level, which is Sunny Yellow, and so on.  After four levels, they get their silly picture taken, which is turned backwards until they earn 5 more stars.  Then they get to flip it over and continue up their card!  This is working wonderfully for me, so I wanted to share it.  It keeps me from having to change their names on different colors, and it saves on stars because they can pick whatever color star they want to place on the different colored levels!  I love how they applaud each other when someone in the class earns a star. 

Please feel free to share your feedback.  I love to hear other Whole Brain Teaching ideas!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Class Leaders

Last week I posted some photos of my PowerPix walls, Class Leaders wall, Genius Ladder, Scoreboard, Practice Cards, and Rules.  I've had a few questions about how my Class Leaders wall, and I'm thrilled to share! 

My Class Leaders wall has a Class/Yes leader, Mirror leader, Teach/Okay leader, Rules leader, Hands and Eyes leader, PowerPix leader, Mighty Oh Yeah! leader, Mighty Groan leader, Human Counter leader, and Stopwatch leader.  I don't utilize every leader every day, however I do use a Class/Yes leader, Mirror leader, Teach/Okay leader, Rules leader, Hands and Eyes leader, PowerPix leader, Mighty Oh Yeah! and Mighty Groan leaders daily.  I put one Velcro dot on each leader spot on my wall, and then I took pictures of my kiddos by themselves.  I then laminated the pictures and put a Velcro dot on the backs of their pictures.  When I choose my leaders, and I choose them according to leadership quality and homework, I place their picture on the leadership position they are going to hold that day.  I then place a button on their desk that they will wear throughout the day.  They are super pumped about seeing their pics on the wall and getting to wear the buttons.  I don't use them every time I need something, so I can keep them on their toes a bit.  When I need a Class/Yes, I simply point to or tap that class leader on the shoulder.  This goes for all my other leadership positions.  My PowerPix leader is one I'm really excited about because they can get up in front of the class and review PowerPix we've already learned about so far this year!

I have a few students that haven't been able to be leaders yet this year, but they really want that leadership position.  I have explained to them what it takes to be a leader in my classroom.  This has improved their behavior in my room...not to the point of leadership yet, but they're getting close. 

I hope this helps explain my leadership wall a bit.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Busy times!

I know it's been a few weeks, but I think we're on track now.  My classroom has been a whirlwind since the first week.  I have added a student teacher to the mix, and have learned rather quickly that I have several challenging students this year.  We're getting things rolling and WBT is proving effective with classroom management.  I'm trying to mentor the new 3rd grade teacher and train her in the ways of WBT, while also trying to train my student teacher as well!  Both of them are totally on board with WBT and loving every minute; however, they are both trying to learn the curriculum and a teaching style at the same time. 

My PowerPix walls are up and being added to almost daily.  I've also created some science and social studies PowerPix and they are up on some other walls.  They don't totally have the grid system added to them, but they are proving to be very effective.  My kiddos love the PowerPix!  If I don't have one for a skill we are teaching, they get a little upset!

I need to get started on the Improver Wall as well, as I think it would be beneficial in my classroom.  It would be a great tool to use with some of my more disruptive learners. 

Adding some pics of all the stuff I have up and running so far.  Please be sure to give me some feedback.  Looking forward to hearing from all of you!