Thursday, July 30, 2015

WBT Chapter 1 and 2 Intro

I am so excited about this new school year!! There are so many new things I cannot wait to use in my classroom and full implementation of Whole Brain is the big one!!! I am working toward my WB Certification and I am going to begin with the Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids which should really just be Whole Brain Teaching for ALL Kids instead because it really works for everyone!

The more we talk, the more students we lose! Teachers blame the kids because they are not interested but how many times are we as teachers interested in sitting and listening. I know I do not like sitting still and listening. We lose so many teachers each year because teachers are tired and kids are bad disruptive. 

Yelling doesn't work.
Calling parents often times doesn't work.
Sitting and waiting doesn't work.
Taking things away work for a second.
Giving junk works for a second.

So what do we do? 

If you haven't been to a WBT conference, I HIGHLY recommend going. You leave feeling energize, excited and without a voice because of all the fun you are having! During these next few posts, I am going to blog about the different aspects of WBT and how to capture your students without giving away junk and without yelling. You will probably end up loving your job again! I know I sure do!! 

So where did WBT come from?

After 25 years of failure, Chris Biffle finally figured out what works with most kids. He has worked in some challenging places, but he worked daily and nightly trying new things and he is still to this day trying things. In fact, the last day of our conference he said "so last night I came up with a new strategy and I am going to teach it to you!" He is excited and wants to help any teacher who will listen and try. These conferences are free and so AMAZING! 

WBT teaches and reaches all parts of the brain instead of 1 or 2 parts at a time. That is why WB is so powerful! I can't wait to share more about how WBT has changed my classroom. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Scoreboard Updates

We have made it to Thanksgiving Break!!! I am so excited to have a break but I am also thinking... "how have we already been at school for 74 days?" This is crazy!! It is going by so fast. 

I have some phenomenal kids this year and they keep me on my toes daily. Last time I blogged, I had decided to get rid of my clip chart and solely base my "behavior" on the scoreboard. I have to say, I have not missed my clip chart at all and the score board has worked pretty well. There is a question I have asked myself many times:

  • If I have the same ones over and over causing the mighty groans, what do you do to address that one child? I usually try to call out the rule number they are breaking so the class and redirect but good gravy... two of the students, it is a constant battle. What do you guys do??

Some days are better than others. There was one day that we worked on our score board during a task where they had to give everyone an opportunity to think before blurting it out and they HAD to raise their hand. After the first few times they got the hang of it and ended up with like 25 Might Oh Yeahs... only here was the problem, when I had them return to their desk, they earned a Mighty Groan and one of the responses was "it's ok, we have enough Oh Yeahs that we can get some Groans." That comment made me very sad and so the class and I had a conversation about how we should do what is expected not just because we get a smiley but because it makes us feel good knowing we are doing the right thing. That day, even though they had a TON of Mighty Oh Yeahs, they ended up not winning the scoreboard that day. 

So my plan for December?? I am making a new scoreboard that has a Santa and the Grinch on there! If they win that day, the Elf will be at school, if they lose... the Grinch will arrive the following day. I think this will be a fun little Christmas spin on the Scoreboard and make it a little festive. Plus, the Elf tends to bring little items to school each day so I know they will really want to be sure to beat the Grinch!!! Now, off to find a Grinch stuffed animal! Happy Thanksgiving.
If you want to snag a Christmas Scoreboard click here

Below are a few of my scoreboard pictures. I planned to take pictures daily but as you see, I didn't :)

Oh and we are doing super on our Super Improver Wall!!! The kids LOVE that they can earn stickers and some are super close to getting to the next level!!! We are earning stickers for fluency, math facts, RTI, clean desk, good handwriting and SO, SO, SO much more! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Some Updates and Self Goals

Has it really already been 40 days of school????

It has been quite an eventful 40 days of school. We have been going, going, going and not too long ago we found out that our family will be welcoming a sweet baby boy in the spring!! We are beyond excited about this amazing turn of events! We just celebrated our little girl's first birthday so this will definitely be a fun experience. 

So, what WBT have we been using in the classroom? We have been doing all sorts of fun things! We love using class-yes to get our attention, the kids even use it when we are doing activities like calendar. I have attempted to record a Calendar time for the blog. Keep in mind that we have been at school for 40 days and they are first graders but they are doing an outstanding job. During calendar, our meteorologist is in charge. I am there as a guide which you can hear me a little during the video. I tried to edit my voice out for the majority of the video but I hope this will give you an idea of how I incorporate Class-Yes and the brainies into our daily routine.  

Calendar Time Video

My first graders are loving the brainies! We use those all day long. I love seeing them silently reading and doing the brainie motions. It shows me that they are looking at punctuation and other things in the stories they are reading. They also use them when they are talking to each other. It makes my heart smile seeing them use them and love them as much as I do.

Some other things we are starting this week is our Super Improvers Wall!! I have had the wall displayed since school has begun but in first grade, it takes time introducing all the things in our classroom. I have since added name cards on the wall next to the "ladder" and on their cards they each have a ten frame. As they work on their goals, they will earn stickers and once they have filled up their ten frame, they will get to move up on the wall! I know they are going to do a super job with this and they will be very excited to start using it. I will start off with some universal goals for all students to work towards and we will post those, but they will also start receiving individual goals as we see fit when the time comes. We will also incorporate the Super Improvers League with our goals as well.

I cannot wait to get to school tomorrow to share the news that we have joined the Super Improvers League!!!! They will be given specific things to do and try to beat their time... then we will get to see how our time looks next to other classrooms in the nation... and even the world!!! If you would like more information on the Super Improvers League you can visit the Facebook page. Our team name is Mercer's Magnificent Minds! They will be super thrilled to do this!

So, I have a confession to make, I have not been using my scoreboard. I started to use it and found myself not doing a good job and reverted back to my old ways... I know, shame, shame. I love giving out fuzzies and I won't go into much detail about my fuzzies but I am going to try my hardest to use the scoreboard for the rest of the month and see how it goes. My biggest problem is using it regularly and all day long. How do you use your scoreboard and keep yourself on task to use it? I feel like I need a scoreboard for my scoreboard:)

My goals for the week/rest of the month:
- use a scoreboard daily and better
- begin our Super Improver Wall (would it be weird to have my own ten frame card for myself and my goals)
- start competing in the Super Improver League
- enjoy this lovely weather with my lovely firsties

How do you use your Super Improvers Wall??

Wish us luck!!!! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Classroom Tour

So it has been a little stressful trying to move into a new school, figure out the best way the "flow" of the classroom is going to work and then to top it off... moving into a new home the weekend before school starts too... AHHHH... talk about stressful fun!!

Anyways, here are some shots of my new classroom. I love how it turned out and I really think that it is going to be a GREAT year!!! My kids are pretty much amazing!
This is the front of my classroom, I made a new number line this year that incorporates odd/even and touch math as well. That and I love how big and clean they look too :)

So since I made a new number line, I figured I would make an alphabet chart too!!! This is just in rainbow order, I tend to do a lot of things in rainbow order so why not!! The bulletin board (not finished) is also my Phonics board!! I am SOOOO excited about this board! One of my favorite things to teach is phonics!!! 

Another shot of the front of the room.

Side view.

These are the close ups of the alphabet and number line pieces, all I did was print off the alphabet in the biggest font that all the letters would print on a regular piece of paper, then I ran them through the copier on colored paper... This is SO much cheaper then buying an already made set, and much cuter if you ask me.

So these are the only pictures I have before school started... below are the pictures I took after a few weeks of school, so it is a bit of a mess but I needed to get this blog post up so here we go...
Small group area, and completed phonics board, as we learn sounds, I will post them up as a reference.

Dry erase dots during small group have been the best thing EVER!!! I have had these for about 3 years now and do not think I could live without them.

Computer area

Our meeting area where all of our WBT goes on!! This is our magical spot :))

Our Super Improvers wall, which I am still trying to learn and figure out so I have not quite decided what all my plans are with this... How do YOU use it in your classroom?

Pencil station, jobs and where pretty much everything lives... on this book shelf: Spy Folders, Pencils, Sanitizer, bandaids, lost and found etc.

Clip chart for behavior

Word work center area.
Blue baskets are where the Fluency Center is.. I am so excited about this area!!! Thanks to First Grade Parade

Here is a snap shot of the things found in the baskets!!! She explains it all very well!

Groups and birthdays.

And that in a nutshell is my classroom! I hope you have enjoyed :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

When I Say Whole, You Say Brain.... Whole...


I am excited to announce that I will be a WBT *Whole Brain Teaching* Intern this year and will get to learn so much more about WBT and when it is all said and done, I will be a WBT Living Legend. Through this blog I plan to share accomplishments, trials, and PTL (Praise the Lord) moments of Whole Brain and my classroom in general. I have taught using WBT for a few years now, it is LIFE-CHANGING Ya'll, It isn't a new curriculum, it isn't a way to arrange your room or how to write you lesson plans but it is a LIFESTYLE in the classroom. This takes no extra planning in your part, it just takes you a minute to change your words and your outlook in your classroom. WBT is a great way to improve your disruptions and management in your classroom. 

But first, here is a little bit about me. I have been teaching first grade for about 6 years now. I student taught in first grade, got hired in first grade and plan to stay in first grade but I know that God laughs at our plans so I will change that to... I would like to stay in first grade. Some of my favorite things about first grade...

- Zero the Hero
- Music esp the Halloween Music
- 100th Day of School
- the innocence in a firstie
- Calendar Time (That may be my absolutely favorite time)
- singing and dancing
- Saxon Phonics

When I am not teaching, I love to spend time with my husband who I have loved for over 10 years (we have been married for about 5 years).
We have recently been blessed with a gift from God and we call her EC.She is our pride and joy and everything she does is pretty much amazing.
 We also have 2 fur babies who we love dearly. In my space time I love to quilt and sew, you may even see some projects on here... maybe... and I can sometimes cook and bake when I feel like cleaning my kitchen.