Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Ultimate Sharing 2.0 and New Teach/OK Claps

Sigh - this is me during Sharing time these days:

If I have to hear one more child say: "This is my bear.  It is special" - there is going to be issues!!  Dun dun duh!!  Ultimate Sharing 2.0 to the rescue!!

For those of you that haven't read my first post on Ultimate Sharing - you can click here.  For those of you that have - time for version 2.0!!!  I teach Grade 2 as well as Grade 1 so I needed a way to spice up their Sharing at the end of the day.  Critical thinking has been on my mind lately so I decided that a perfect time to squeeze it in would be during Sharing.  Here is what I came up with to paste into my students Sharing books.

Now that the year is progressing, Grade 2 students have the opportunity to earn stars for the class to earn an educational game or activity when the class earns 100 stars. 

1 * Sharing – Neat, written description (at least 3 sentences that include adjectives and adverbs) of Sharing object, in complete sentences, including “because”.

2 * Sharing - Neat, written description (at least 3 sentences that include adjectives and adverbs) of 2 sharing objects describing the similarities and differences between the two objects. 

3 * Neat, written description (at least 3 sentences that include adjectives and adverbs) of 2 sharing objects describing the similarities and differences between the two objects, as well as connecting it to some other object they have already shared, a concept they have learned in class, or to an event, person, or book. 

As a reward we decided that having a dance party would be amazing and I may or may not have said they could dance on their desks for a little, small, very tiny amount of time.  Hey - it is called Daily Physical Activity people and it is in the curriculum!!!  Apparently this is very exciting for the kids!!  Probably about the same as crawling underneath their desks - lol!!   Voila - Ultimate Sharing 2.0!!

Here is Ultimate Sharing 1.0 wording just in case you don't have it!!

Now that the year is progressing, students have the opportunity to earn stars for the class to earn an educational game or activity at the end of the week. 

1 * Sharing – Neat, written description of Sharing object, in complete sentences.

2 * Sharing – Neat, written description of Sharing object, in complete sentences, including “because”.

3 * Sharing - Neat, written description of Sharing object, in complete sentences, including “because” and a Sloppy Copy or rough draft.

YES!  This makes Sharing time so much more enjoyable and educational!!  Double bonus!!!  Already today Sharing was SO much better!!

P.S.  I have some new Teach/OK! versions:

The Baby Clap: Use one finger on each finger to clap.  Use a baby voice to say Teach.

The Sticky Fingers Clap:  Clap hands together and pull them apart very slowly like they are covered in honey.  Look at them disgustedly as you say Teach.

The Sumo Wrestler Clap: Stamp the floor and slam your hands together for the clap.  Use a loud, booming voice to say Teach.

The Begging for Mercy Clap: Clasp your hands together and shake them on an angle towards the ceiling while using a pleading voice to say Teach.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Fresh Class/Yes! Ideas, Teach/OK! Ideas and Einstein's Triangles - the next generation of Critical Thinking - WBT Style!!

My class has been on fire with new ideas for Class/Yes! and Teach/OK!  I was starting to get a little ho-hum about our Snowball Class.  They suggested Frozen Class! and they say Frozen Yes! and freeze like an ice berg!!  LOVE!  Also, they came up with SSssssss Hot Chocolate Class! and they say Ssssssss Hot Chocolate!

Also, I was finding that the Teach/OK was producing some less than stellar Oh YEAHS!  So I just changed up the clap - now we are doing marshmallow claps and sliding claps - imagine the possibilities!!

Last, but certainly not least Einstein triangles have been Mr. Biffle's newest critical thinking technique to be introduced into the WBT umbrella!!  I am pumped because I know it is the big catch word these days in the most districts around here!  So this is how it works:

During the 5 Step Lesson Plan:

Whole Brain Teaching

Students repeat the concept definition 2X rather than over and over again in the very beginning of the lesson.  After they have repeated it they move on to the second part of the triangle.

Students compare and contrast the new concept with other concepts they have already learned.  Gestures are included while they discuss these similarities and differences.

Third, students make connections between the new concept at other concepts, their life, or the world.  Gestures are used!

This innovative idea is easy to use and covers any critical thinking objectives.  Students are taught to use the Elite Eight words to help them discuss critically:
Click on the picture for extensive information on this new innovative method!!!
Happy Whole Brain Teaching!!!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Free Common Core Whole Brain Teaching Lessons You Don't Have to Teach!!

So I have been able to tune into the free webinars every Monday put on by Chris Biffle and his latest series has involved free lessons, using Whole Brain Teaching, that cover Common Core concepts!!  Genius!!  This is just perfect for May and June!!!  

All you have to do is be a free member of the Whole Brain Teaching website, select Free Ebooks from the menu at the top and click on Common Core.  There are several different Adobe files to download and use IMMEDIATELY in the classroom!!!  Topics include verbs, comparing, contrasting, sentences, topic sentences, paragraphs, inferences, evidence, using because, etc!

I have used two lessons in my Grade 1 classroom with GREAT success!  The first one I used was on topic sentences!  Students get to attend Whole Brain College and Coach B had them so revved up and ready to learn!!!  All I had to do was read what was written on each slide!!  The second lesson I used was on verbs and boy was it effective!

Some little tips: in Adobe go to the view menu and select Full Screen Mode.  Use the arrows on your keyboard to move from one slide to the other or back.

I'd love to hear if you tried it out and how it worked for you!! Let me know!!!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Why didn't I start them earlier??!!! Practice Card Freebie - Happy Valentine's Day!!

So I have been taking my time this year to introduce the practice cards to my little muffins.  I wanted to exist with just my Super Improvers Wall for as long as I could.  After a few tough weeks and with so many interruptions because our school is SO busy - wonderful BUT busy - I just felt like I was losing my sanity!  I thought - why not try the practice cards?  Why not - what could they do but move our behaviour to the next level.  That is exactly what they did.  I introduced them as Level 3 in our Whole Brain Teaching game.  Just like a video game, our classroom game keeps getting more difficult!  Who thinks they can beat Level 3, I said!  Most muffins were super enthusiastic and there were more than a few who did not like the results of a practice card.  For those of you new to these cards of joy, here are the guidelines:

1. Students receive practice cards for breaking any of the 5 Classroom Rules.  Cards are placed under their name or number (for privacy - although the kids know each other's numbers anyway) on a pocket chart in the room.  Often I do not say anything - I just go and place a card below that child's name or number.  Sometimes all it takes is me to walk towards the practice cards for the behaviour to stop.  Sometimes, I will give a child a card to keep at their desk to remind them to follow a rule - they must give it back to me if they break that rule - works great for Rule #2!!

2.  Students may receive a maximum of 2 practice cards per session or until they are able to spend their time practicing that rule.

3. Students miss out on any games, free time, centres, etc. earned by the Scoreboard, until they have practiced the rule/s that they broke.

4. Students practice rule/s broken with gestures and repeating of each rule for 2 minutes (a timer works well for this or I just keep them practicing until I say their time is up).  Time spent practicing increases as the months of school go on.

5. Students start fresh again in my classroom after recess, after lunch, and after centre time as we get a reward for winning the Scoreboard at these times.

I LOVE these little cards!  They have really saved my sanity and the kids love the additional difficulty in winning our classroom game.  If you wish, you can send home letters to parents outlining rules that were broken for them to help their child practice at home.  Download the Practice Cards free ebook at  You must sign up for free as a member to have access to these free downloads!

Get your own free bug themed practice cards by clicking below!!!  Please let me know if you have any questions!

classroom management

Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Whole Brain Teaching!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

First Free Webinar of the Year!

Hey all - the first free Whole Brain Teaching webinar of new year starts in half an hour!  Be there or be square:)

Dear Whole Brainers!
Nervous about Common Core?
Tune in to the free, live, webcast Tuesday, January 8 at, 5 PM Pacific, 6 PM Mountain, 7 PM Central, 8 PM Eastern.

Dig this!
The program features a HUGE, MULTI-DAY lesson, in cartoon form, that you can pop into your classroom computer projector and let me, Coach B, teach your kids ... while you sit in the back drinking foamy lattes! Isn't that ULTRA COOL???

Power to the Teachers!
Chirs "Coach B" Biffle

-- want up to the second news on Whole Brain Teaching, check our Facebook page.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Digital Scoreboard App and Comparison/Contrast with Bears and Power Pix!

Boy, oh boy!  With Halloween and all that sugar and then a long weekend, technology problems, lots of classroom visitors, daily interruptions and trucking over for assemblies I was starting to lose my faith in WBT - that's right, I said it!  Not only that, the kids were tired, sick and cranky...I was tired and my patience was thinning.  After some thought, I realized it wasn't WBT that was the problem.  This week I regrouped, got some sleep and so did the kids.  We had to revert to a little practicing, brought a little more energy to the classroom, and it paid off.  Loving that Scoreboard!!!  To top it off one of the Kindergarten teachers at my school showed me the brand new Scoreboard App she bought!!  So cool!

You can choose different Smilie and Frownie faces!  You can have different Scoreboards for different classes!  It is small and portable!  LOVE!

This month we are learning about bears so I whipped up this little Venn diagram to compare and contrast grizzly bears and polar bears!  We had been orally practicing comparing and contrasting sentences for a few months now.  It was time for a little sentence writing!  Click below for a little freebie!

To help review comparing and contrasting I pulled out the comparison and contrast Power Pix for a little visual stimulation!
Here is what one of my little ones came up with!!

Happy Whole Brain Teaching!!  Stay strong!  Stay consistent!  Never give up!!

Free Whole Brain Teaching sessions this Saturday, November 17th and next Saturday, November 24th!  Click here for more info!