Saturday, September 22, 2012

Portable Practice Cards

I kinda "stole" this idea from my friend and fellow teacher.  She bought one of these jewelry holders for her lunch count.  When I walked into her room, I said, "Wow, that would be a perfect practice card holder!"  The next chance I got, I went out and bought one for my classroom.

I cut the words practice cards out of pink vinyl and adhered it to the top.  With the print, it is difficult to see.  The numbers are cut from black vinyl.   I have two sets of numbers from 1-10, one set for each grade.  Last year I numbered 1-25 and it was too difficult to keep track because in my grade book they are numbered on different pages due to grade level.  If you have the same kids all day, you would most likely number sequentially.  I also skipped a row in between to leave room for more kids.  Of course, I am not using practice cards yet.  I just placed some in so that you can see what it would look like. There are 3 white and two purple cards placed.  These little pockets are nice because they are small and you can see the card through them so the kids are reminded which rule they need practice on.  Previously, I had library card envelopes and you couldn't see the card.  The three larger pockets on the bottom are great for holding copies of the cards. Currently, I still have the old rules but I have great goals of changing these up this year.   I have this hung on a hook on the side of my file cabinet.

I am calling it portable because this summer I had the opportunity to train a little with Chris Rekstad on the practice cards.  It seemed like some of the new people where a little confused because we did not have any visuals with us.  This will be easy for me to pack up and take with me to a training.

Thanks again for stopping by.  I hope that you are liking what you see!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

We Get Our "KICKS" out of Learning and Achieving our Goals"

Hello everyone!  I wanted to share with you this year's Super Improver's Wall in my classroom.  I heard that we are now calling it the Super Improver's Team, but that still needs to be changed.  I have a plan on how to implement that change... more to come on that later.  I was trying to think of a creative way for the students to move up color ranks.  I have seen many of you come up with some really good  originals.  Then I happen to remember a story I bought from ATA (American Twaekondo Academy) when my children and I belonged there.  It is a story of a tiger that wanted to earn his stripes.  It tells a tale of determination and perseverance.  So, I shared the story with my students the first week in school and told them that we would determine our own goals and with determination and perseverance, we would achieve them by breaking records and making personal improvements.  With that said, I told them that they would all start out as white belt level learners.  Each of them would have to earn 5 stars in order to earn a stripe.  After they earned 3 stripes, they would move up a color with the goal of achieving "black belt" status by the end of the year.  Of course, I had the question, "What happens if we get black belt before the end of the year?"  The answer is simple.  "You will then work toward 2nd degree and 3rd degree etc.!"  Below are some pictures that I took today to share with you.

Of course, no one is this far.  I just added some various color belts so you can get the full effect.  The lighting in the room is not great for getting  terrific pictures.  That is too bad because the karate kids are really cute!  They are from digimyworld.

There is no difference between the yellow and blue backgrounds.  All the belts would not fit in one chart, so I had to use what I had.  I just separated them between 3rd and 4th grade.  This makes them easier to locate quickly.  That was the first thing I pointed out to the kids.  

Currently, everyone is still at the white belt level, but many of the students have two stripes and everyone has at least one.  I am hoping for some students to get to orange by the end of next week.  I also plan to take pictures at yellow and turn them around on green.  The same thing will happen on red and turn at black.  We need to keep it exciting!

I made some really cute certificates too with the same graphics to match.  I am planning to create a small ceremony to hand them their next ranking belt.  One of my professional aids came up with the idea to play "Kung Fu Fighting" during the ceremony.  I think it would be really motivating for those who did not receive three stripes yet to want to earn them.  Plus, to let all the kids celebrate by dancing for a few minutes would encourage them all as a team!  The more people that move up, the more "celebrations" we can have!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A New Beginning Again

Hello fellow Wibeteers!  I can hardly believe that this is my 21st year teaching!  When I look back, there are times that I wish I had WBT under my belt then.  I can personally visualize a few, let us say, challenging students that could have definitely could have benefitted from that.  Maybe I would have gone home less stressed or with fewer headaches if that were the case.  On the flip side, I also see some very well behaved students who could have really benefited from the Key Four.  Oh how things could have been different.  However, we live and learn and the past remains in the past!  I just consider myself very lucky to be spending my 3rd year teaching with WBT and look forward to the idea of using WBT until and retire, or at least that long!

Well, I hope to find everyone else out there in blog land having a wonderful start to their school year.  I wanted to share this photo with you that was taken at Walsh University in Ohio this summer.  I used in in my Power Point presentation during the first week of the school year.  Guess where I placed it in the slide?

You got it!  Rule #5.  The kids got the biggest kick out of it.  When I talk about Coach B and fellow WBT along with showing video, that is one thing.  It is another when I prove to students that I actually have met these people.  To them, it is like going to Hollywood and meeting someone famous.

This next picture is of an old, broken podium that I inherited from a fellow teacher that retired at the end of the school year.  All summer, I knew I wanted to use this as my place for the Key four.  Well, I stayed late and went in extra early for a few days and this is what I got.

Since completing it, The Super Improvers Wall has been changed to The Super Improvers Team.  I am not going to change that on the podium, at least not this school year.  When you stick vinyl onto vinyl, it is no longer removable!  It will have to stay.  I will just change up the actual wall here in the next couple of weeks.

Speaking of the SIT, please come back soon.  I plan to post mine this year.  I feel that I did come up with a really good idea and can't wait to share.  I was just waiting on a few to move up ranks prior to posting to really get the idea.  Have a great week!

This is the top of the podium for any crafty teachers out there.  That is chalkboard paint that I used so that I can take WBT notes if I need to while teaching!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Coming Soon

I can't believe I have not posted since March!  I apologize to my viewers.  Time flies so fast and I thought I had something from April and May.  It could be because I had some failed post that I attempted to put up from my iPad.  I also tried to load a video from the last week of school, but our district network was not working properly and it failed to load.  It was a rushed video asking students their favorite part of WBT, but it didn't go as planned.  Since I teach learning support, students were being quickly pulled from my classroom to do fun activities with their homeroom.

Now on to my "coming soon"!  I am going to organize a Back to School blog hop for all you WBT out there.  You will be able to hop along from my blog to about 15-20 other blogs by staff and interns of WBT.  See all the ways we begin a new year implementing WBT from the key 4, critical thinking, and the Super Improvers Wall.  Let us help you get started, or let us hear your ideas and what works and what doesn't!  I hope to offer some blog candy along the way as well.  Keep checking back.  I will update the information with a date and time to begin the fun!  I will also post back to the forum as well.  Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

State Assessments

This week is filled with administering the state assessment.  It is difficult going from a day of fun filled, learning to these grueling days of testing.  We are having light and fluffy afternoons though.  Most of the kids are not returning to my room; however, those that do are taking advantage of computer time, movie time, and simple games.  We finish up the testing on Monday next week.  That leaves me with only 3 days of instructional time because they are off for teacher in-service that Friday.  I plan to spend that time doing a lot of superspeed along with a unit on poetry.  Writing poems using oral writing first just might be fun!

Stay tuned for our last week in March.  I am planning a March Madness where the 3rd and 4th graders duel against each other for the Super Whole Brain Students.  I still have to firm up the plans for that week, but we are looking at scoreboard, homework points, super improvers, maybe a mind soccer (or mind basketball) match.  Maybe we can even get parts of it on video!  Keep checking back!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Electronic Super Speed Grammar.wmv

Yesterday, I had an extra aide in my classroom, so I took advantage and had her video tape my 3rd grade class. They were doing a review on adjectives using Coach B's wonderful, new Electronic Superspeed Grammar. The kids love using this tool and will actually beg me to use it! I thought they did such an awesome job that they could have taught the lesson themselves. Next time! I apologize for a narrow video. I forgot to make sure the videographer turned the phone horizontally. The bright sunshine also made the lighting poor. I hope you enjoy it though.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Crazy Professor Reading Game

This was a quick video that my 3rd grade learning support class did. I wasn't planning to video tape, but we were acting out "Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears." It was such a fun story and the kids were having a ball with it. I stopped them, picked up my phone, and we started again. I couldn't waste a great teaching moment. The best part, all of my students got a 100% on the test the following day!

To find out more about the Crazy Professor Reading Game, check out the Whole Brain Teaching website at and view free downloads. I hope that you enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What did you get for Christmas

Yesterday was our first day back after the holiday break.  Of course, 3rd and 4th graders are still excited about sharing what they received for Christmas.  I took the opportunity and turned it into an oral writing activity.  They rephrased the question to come up with a topic sentence and incorporated air punctuation.  They then were required two adders and a concluding sentence.  It was a great activity and the students didn't realize they were working because they were talking about the gifts they loved!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Genius Ladder

I recorded this video right before Halloween and am really late getting it posted.  My third grade class is usually my most energetic bunch; however, I believe they became camera shy the day we taped.  I hope you like what you see.  Now that the holidays are behind us, I hope to have another video over the next month or so.  A lot of it will have to do with how many snow days we have.  I really would like to demonstrate utilizing the five step lesson planner.