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Saturday, September 29, 2012

I Can't Believe September is Almost Over!

It just can't be possible that we will be in October on Monday! I guess the old saying is true "Time flies when having fun", and in my WBT classroom we are having fun!

On Friday we started the writing game.  The 6th graders had a blast! My 7th and 8th grade were a little less enthusiastic, but it was a little easy for them as we started with the basic 'and' complexor.  I stressed that we were starting at the very beginning and they agreed that the game was better than worksheets.   They were happy, though when they tried to beat their record in creating oral sentences.

As a novice to WBT I am struggling with a few things.  The first is the Super Improver's Wall.  I just can't seem to give out enough stars to the students to get them excited about improving.  My classes are 48 minutes long and time just flies; when the students leave I realize I didn't give anyone any stars. At this rate no one will reach the highest level.  My students can't get excited about the wall and I don't blame them; I blame myself.  I re-watched the SIW web cast and made a list of things to watch for in my students.  If anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate it.

Another thing that I struggled with this week were talkers breaking rule #2.  I am wondering if it might be time to introduce 'Practice Cards'.  I know it is a long year and I was hoping to hold off on the cards until November.  I can use some advice on this subject too.

I do have successes though. One is the Class/Yes that I described in my last blog; another is the Teach/Ok.  I have used the Teach/Ok many, many times this year.  I have given several quizzes, which I give every year, and have had higher scores than ever before.  I know that students teaching students works!

That's it for this week!
Power On!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September's Blog

Wow! I can't believe how long it has been since I have posted.  So much is going on in my WBT classroom, I don't know where to start.

First the Class/Yes is just awesome. I can't believe how well it works. The real test came in another classroom.  The students were talking and the teacher was waiting for them to get quiet, when one of the students yelled "class" and the whole class said "yes" and quieted down immediately.  The teacher was cool about it because he knew about my using WBT.  I just think that Class/Yes is the best thing since sliced bread.

Some of the other things I have been using are: Power Pix, the Genius Ladder, Electronic Super Speed Grammar, Red/Green Marker, Super Improver's Wall and of course the 5 Rules. I love having the Power Pix right on the wall for review, and the 'Yes/No Way' with the 'QT' test are quick and easy ways to assess my students knowledge. The Electronic Grammar is super cool and even my middle school students love the fun graphics. We have only finished the  nouns and verbs and they have been a great refresher for my 6th, 7th and 8th graders.  When I try and skip some slides for the sake of time my kids beg me to go back and let them name all the nouns and verbs; they won't let me bypass anything. Using the Red/Green Marker writing everyday for 10 minutes has been super too.  I have seen real improvement in my students' handwriting that has carried over to all other work.  Students know the skills of neatness, spacing, capitals and end marks. (so far) Students know that they will loose points on a paper if they don't use these skills.  I have used the Genius Ladder once, but will try and get in the practice of using it at least once a week. On another blog I saw the permanent Genius Ladder on a wall and intend on putting up one of my own!  I have to admit that the Super Improver's Wall is my weakest area.  I have been lax at handing out stars, but I hope to improve enough to give myself a star.

Check out Rule #5 Keep your dear
teacher happy- It's a
pic of  ME!
The bird's name is Biffy, and he goes to students who don't have a partner in Teach/Ok
Here are some of pics of my room that I have been meaning to add. A couple of my favorite pictures are the 'Practice makes Permanent' and rule #5; it is a picture of me telling my students to keep your dear teacher happy. 
That's all for now!
Power On!