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!