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Saturday, August 25, 2012

My First Week of School 2012

After the first week of school I am totally excited and totally exhausted! So much has happened that I don't know where to begin, but as they always say "start at the beginning", so here it goes.

Tuesday the 21st was our first day, and only a half at that, so I didn't get to start WBT.  We had a fun academic assembly with all 6-12 students reviewing the student handbook, talk about Character Counts and the Renaissance programs.  Our lead teacher did an awesome job making all those tedious tasks fun. Some of the highlights were; an iMovie, hitting the most important student handbook rules, starring the junior class acting out the right and wrong behaviors (it was hilarious), Do You Know Your Teachers? game show, and my favorite, What Not to Wear fashion show by the cheerleaders and some very brave HS boys.  The morning ended with the Junior High/Middle School separating from the HS to learn about the changes in our Jostens Renaissance reward program.

On Wednesday was my chance to start with WBT. I was almost ready, with my Power Pix BB up, the Super Improver's Wall up, "Practice makes Permanent" posted above my White board, the scoreboard up, my rules posters printed and my WBT cheat sheet notes ready.  I wanted to put up just one last thing on a high wall, but I didn't follow rule 4 (make smart choices), stood on a desk and took a nasty fall.  As I was lying on the floor thanking the Lord that nothing was broken, (although everything hurt), I wondering how I would deal with teaching WBT that day. I managed to get up (with the help of another great teacher, who is also my husband) and start my day that included an ice pack on my left thumb and wrist. 

Time does move forward and soon the students arrived in my room. I started with Class-Yes and had a great time teaching it to my first class, and all my other classes. The students picked it up very quickly and had a good time saying yes in many ways.  I can't believe I wasted tons of time in years past, saying give me 5 4 3 2 1 voices off, only to have some students still talking. Class-Yes is the BEST!
I then taught the students Teach-Ok, the Scoreboard, Mirror (gestures & words), and the 5 rules. I even used my nasty fall with rule 4; make smart choices, to emphasize the point! I put up the rule posters as I introduced each rule.  The kids loved the rule 5 poster because I took a photo of myself and glued it over the happy face so they see my face with the words "keep your dear teacher happy." All of that took most of the 48 minutes I have for each period.

On Thursday we did some reading testing, but Class-Yes was so valuable in bringing the students to attention. On Friday I introduce Red/Green Marker writing.  After the rules review, explaining Red/Green marker, and writing for 10 minutes there wasn't much time left.  I started with the skill of neatness and was 'pleased as punch' to see some of my messiest handwriting students write neatly.  I hope with all the practice they will continue to improve.  Within the next week I will introduce the Super Improver's Wall, Genius Ladder, and the Writing Game. I can't wait for the Webcast on the 28th to reinforce what I have read about the Writing Game. 

I am so ecstatic I stumbled upon WBT on Pinterest last May. My journey has begun. This will be a great school year!
Power On!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer School Jump Start is Over, Getting Ready for Real School!

Starting my WBT adventure during Summer School, Jump Start was awesome. I used Class-Yes and it was a total success. The classes responded very well, and it was great to just say "class" and then have their complete attention.  I used the scoreboard a little, but realized I will have to work harder when school starts to remember to give smileys and frownies more often.

I just finished watching the archived Web cast "State Test Prep", and I was blown away.  Such great information on how to practice and prepare for those dreaded State Tests. I recommend this web cast to any teacher that has to give tests. The Super Improver's Wall was so tied in with this practice of the state tests, that I am going to start my SIW right away.  I had been thinking of waiting awhile because trying everything at once can be overwhelming.  I can't wait to see my students' improvement on the the state tests this year.

Power on with WBT!

Friday, August 3, 2012

My very first Blog!

Hi,
Well, I did it! With all the excitement I have found from learning about Whole Brain Teaching (WBT), I decided to start a blog. What Fun! I cannot wait to start school in T-minus 18 days. I have already started WBT in my summer school Jump Start class.  I am only using Class-Yes and the Scoreboard.  The class-yes has been amazing.  When I say "class" my summer school students snap to attention and say "yes". This is so exciting to see. My plans for the first part of the year include: Class-Yes, Teach-Ok, Scoreboard, the 5 rules, Mirror, and Power Pics.  I might even throw in a little Crazy Professor.  I hope by second semester I can incorporate the Super Improvers Wall.
Well, that's it for now, stayed tuned for more of my adventure in teaching with WBT.
Kathy :)