Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quick Update

Today I was teaching a lesson on nouns to my 3rd grade class.  We ran out of time to complete the lesson because they had to go off to their specials.  Now, I need to give that whole entire class a ten finger woo because they begged me to keep them from gym class so that they could continue with the lesson!  What a great bunch of kids!!  I am really fortunate this year.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

One month update

Wow!  I can't believe we have been in school nearly a month now.  I also didn't realize how long it has been since I have updated my posts.  Well, it is turning out to be a great Whole Brain Teaching Year so far!  For parent conferences, I had 13/19 parents attend.  This is a record breaker that I am proud to share. The more parent positive involvement, the better success of the students.  If any parents out there are following my blog, thank you so much for attending.  I hope that you enjoyed my presentations and have a better idea of what is going on this year in my room.

I have to say how impressed I am with my 3rd graders.  They have really taken a front row with Whole Brain and are having a blast while learning.  It seems that the genius ladder has been a sweet success.  Not only have they been doing well with it, they actually begged a substitute I had this week to do!  The excitement is adding to their success.  I can't wait to see the paragraphs and essays these children come up with.

The fourth graders didn't seem to loose any of their WBT knowledge over the summer break.  They came right in and went with it.  They are working hard and we are working on improvements with gesturing.  I have many quiet students in this group.  Our schedule has been very challenging in providing us with enough time to do all that I want to cover with them.  I have to remember that it is a Learning Support classroom with mixed disabilities and learning disabilities.  I have to cut my self some slack when the going seems slow.  I don't want them to be rushed and defeat the entire purpose of what I am trying to do here with WBT.

Our Super Improvers Wall is on the move.  We have a couple of pictures already posted.  The most challenging is finding improvements with those "perfect" students who always do well no matter what.  Talking with the other adults this week, I have everyone's help to find something that has improved in each student every week.  We all know that everyone has something to improve on, it is just harder to determine when "Sally" has improved when she always gets A's, follows classroom rules, completes 3 star homework, etc.  We are trying to focus on things such as being more vocal, asking for help, or explaining a new concept well with animation and gestures.  It is easy to find improvement with "Jimmy" who may be a fence sitter, a rule breaker, or a C student when suddenly they participate, follow classroom rules, or complete homework.  It is my goal to get some stars on the wall for my dear little "Sallys"!

On to my videos for my last point. Most of my parents have given permission for their students to be in the videos.  Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks we will be able to put something together.  My students are getting excited for this.  Keep checking back for those to be posted before Halloween!

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Just thought I would also show something fun I made for my personal care assistance.  Since I have 5 of them working in my class at various times, I knew we needed to be super organized.  I will be using them to keep score while transitioning back and forth between my room and the general education room.  They will also be working with either their own students or small groups.  I made them these altered clip boards with cork boards, sticky notes for portable score boards, and a small strip with rules pics so they can rehearse with their students or small groups.  I also gave them timers for helping with Super Speed Games.






Each one represents a part of their personality or their life.  I wanted them to feel welcome as well as prepared for everything that I have up my sleeve!  Enjoy!  I hope all of you are having an AWSOME WBT year so far!  Thanks for stopping!
With a Mighty Oh- Yeah we have completed our first five day week with students!  Some days were better than others, but overall, it is going well.  There are tweeks that need to be ironed out with kids coming and going out of my room.  I try to do as many lessons as possible with the entire group, but I really need to work on those with extra special needs in getting time to work with them individually.  Right now my motive is to get everyone on the same page.  I want to make sure that the students understand what we are doing and why as well as the personal care aids.  Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to have us all working in small groups as needed with my aids using WBT as their method of instruction when working with either their student or a small group.

The biggest challenge I ran into this week was the universal homework model.  Parents were so confused.  I think they kinda got the hang of it by the end of the week to a point.  When we have open house in two weeks, I am going to invite parents to come into my room and listen to demonstrate WBT.  At that time, they can ask questions and clear up any concerns about homework.

Pardon the repition in pictures, but I took more pictures with my camera instead of my phone, so I want to post them again so you don't get stiff necks.







I still have to label my power pics by rows and columns, but I wanted to get an idea how they will layout.  I think I am going to have to push the math boards together to allow at least three more.  I am thinking that when I run out of room, I will put them back in their binders and start new.  The binder will be in a central location for independent or small group review.  I will also go back and review by using my Smart Board so that they don't think just because they are down, we can forget about them.

I really like my Super Improvers wall.  I found some extra name plates from another year.  The kids drew their name however they wanted and we hung them.  I couple have already earned stars.  We are hoping to get some pictures up by Open House.  We definately should have pictures turned by parent conferences in Oct. for parents to take a quick peek.