Sunday, June 26, 2011

Incorporating PowerPix

So, my students had mastered the 5 classroom rules, were loving the scoreboard (especially when they won), and seemed to be totally on board.  I was still learning about Whole Brain Teaching myself, so the best key to my learning was the website.  I found the eBooks to be especially helpful, the PowerPix were awesome, and the forum was there to answer questions.  I didn't start posting on the forum until January, but I was still able to get some great ideas from others who had posted.

Since I was still learning myself, I decided that I would pick out a couple of different PowerPix to incorporate into my teaching.  I really liked the Nouns PowerPix, and thought that it would be a great place to start with my students, since that is a review skill.  So, I familiarized myself with it, and jumped right in.  They loved it!  They got to move, talk, teach, and thump on their desks for the "thing" in "a noun is a person, place, or thing!"  I was ecstatic.  Of course, what made it even better was when I asked them what a noun was during our shared reading lesson, they could tell me, show me, and then identify nouns in our reading!  Wow! 

My class was active, engaged, and loving learning!  I was having the most fun teaching that I had ever had in my 6 years!  I wasn't coming home frustrated about my day, because I really had very little discipline to deal with.  The scoreboard was taking care of pretty much all of the discipline problems!

So, what about math!?  We were working on place value, and low and behold there are PowerPix for place value.  That was going to be my next step. 

Friday, June 17, 2011


Okay, so I know that I'm taking you on a journey in my classroom during the 2010-2011 school year, but I have to take a short break to tell you how excited I am about the upcoming school year.  I just returned home from the WBT National Conference, and I have to say what an amazing time I had!  I picked up some new ideas that I'm pumped to use in my classroom this year.  The sentence ladder is going to totally transform my students' writing.  Super Speed Spelling...can't wait!!!!  Thanks for all the great tools to use in my classroom to help my students learn and be more successful!

Okay, back to my 2010-2011 school year.  I felt that my students had a good foundation with the classroom rules and the scoreboard.  Of course, I had used "Teach-Okay" to teach the rules!  This was huge.  From the beginning I had students telling me that they were loving 3rd grade, because they got to talk to each other and move during class time.  Our building only has one recess a day, so it is extremely important for me to incorporate movement into my lessons.  Let me think about this for a minute...students move in WBT!  What a perfect tool for a teacher to use in their classroom when their students have very little opportunity to get out of the classroom and move!  At our first parent/teacher conference, I had parents telling me that their children loved school, and that this was the first year that it wasn't like pulling teeth to get them to school in the mornings.  Again, I have to give props to WBT for this.  My kids were talking and moving, but they were moving and talking about stuff I wanted them to talk about!  Ooooh, what a great year this was going to be!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Starting the 2010-2011 School Year

The beginning of my school year was sure to be somewhat crazy with an original roster of 29 third grade students.  I wasn't sure where I was even going to put them all, but it all worked out.  Three of the 29 didn't even show the first day, so I was left with a little uncertainty of my actual numbers until after the first week.  I ended up starting the school year with 26 kiddos and kept the same 26 until after Christmas break. 

I had the scoreboard up in the classroom and ready to go and dove right in with the 5 classroom rules.  Rule #5 quickly became my kids' favorite.  We mastered the classroom rules quickly and they could tell me right away what every rule was, what it meant, and could show me how they all looked!  We were well on our way.  My kiddos loved the scoreboard right away...something about competing against the teacher! 

I had looked at several of the WBT eBooks, but still wasn't entirely sure where I wanted to start.  I loved the PowerPix and was anxious to start finding ones that would apply to our district curriculum.  I was amazed at how many correlated perfectly and would be useful in my classroom!  So, I had a lot of learning that needed to take place on my part and on the part of my students.

This was just the beginning, but I felt like this was something that I had to give a try and follow it through.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Here it goes!

Okay, so this is my first attempt at blogging, so we'll see how it goes! I am a third grade teacher who loves Whole Brain Teaching, and am excited to share the successes I've had with fellow educators and get them on board for Whole Brain Teaching.  I'm going to take you on my journey of Whole Brain Teaching in my classroom, and what a difference it has made for me as an educator!

I was first introduced to Whole Brain Teaching when I returned from maternity leave in November of 2009.  I wasn't sure exactly what to think at first, because I was only getting bits and pieces from co-workers.  I had missed the big presentation everyone else received because I was spending some quality time with my new little guy! 

I decided that I would attend a workshop on May 21, 2010 (the day after school got out) with Chris Biffle.  That is when everything changed for me, and I knew the 2010-2011 school year was going to be totally different...and different it was! 

The 2010-2011 school year was fabulous all thanks to Whole Brain Teaching!  I could sit here and write all night, but I'm a busy mommy of I'll return later to continue to take you on my Whole Brain Teaching journey!