Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Making your own Power Pix?

At the Phoenix conference we practiced making our own Power Pix.  Some teachers shared this site that provides kid friendly definitions for different terms.  Thanks Phoenix teachers!!


Beginning Gradually in the Classroom

So here is Andrea Schindler's document for starting Kinder adjusted for First Grade!

Day One:
Class Yes!
Rules 1-5
Scoreboard Game
Hands and Eyes!
Criss Cross Applesauce
Bubble in your mouth
Lines, Lines, Lines
Seats, Seat, Seats
Cubbies, Cubbies, Cubbies
Backpacks, Backpacks, Backpacks
Tell your neighbour

Day Two:
Practice all the routines introduced so far
Teach your first 5 Step Lesson
Pencils and Erasers, Pencils and Erasers, Pencils and Erasers
Name, Name, Name
Work, Work, Work
Papers, Papers, Papers
It’s cool
Ten finger woo

Day Three:
Practice all the routines introduced so far
Continue to teach one 5 Step Lesson a day - try to make them short as it is the beginning of the year.

Week 2:
Practice all the routines introduced so far
Weekly Stars (When students get 10 stars, which usually takes about a week, they earn a special reward, like a five minute game of Mind Soccer).
Introduce the Practice Cards when you feel the time is right and approximately 85% of your students have bought into the Scoreboard Game. If you start the Practice Cards too soon you will have a ton of students practicing and the goal is not to have any if possible. Some teachers wait until Thanksgiving or January to introduce them and some do not use them at all. It really depends on your class:) Begin with the white cards. Gradually, introduce the purple and green cards - this may happen days, weeks or months later. Remember, it is a long year:)
Month 2:
Begin teaching two Five Step Lessons plans per day. You may even increase this to 3 or 4.
“Milestones to Reach for Further Routines”:

*If you have used the individual pocket chart and still have a select group of students who are exhibiting undesired behaviors, use the Independents Group

*Once students are comfortable with “Tell your neighbor”, move to “Teach! Okay!”, with both students talking

*Once students are comfortable with “Teach! Okay!” add in the "Switch!"
*Once students are comfortable with "Switch!" add in "Tag Team"
*Once students are comfortable with the “Teach! Okay!”, teach the students the Crazy Professor Reading Game.

Here it is in google.docs

New to WBT? Here is how!

When I first began Whole Brain Teaching I didn't have the luxury of going to a conference, even though they are free:)  So I began by using several different resources that WBT has to offer.

1. I began by watching all of the videos on youtube.com - I am primarily a visual learner so I watched them over and over gain, especially Andrea Schindler's Kindergarten video.  Every time I watched it I saw new strategies!

2.  I practiced in the mirror and with my sister.  Basically, I taught a lesson with my sister and she played the role of the student.  This was very helpful as it helped me utilize the words and it allowed me to practice out-loud so I could find the right order and rhythm.  Also, it was a lot of fun for both of us.

3. I read all of the free e-books available on the website.  Yes, it was a lot of reading but the stories and techniques are so good that it went by really fast!!!

4.  I began reading all previous and new posts on the forum.  I found these very helpful and useful for solving problems in the classroom.

5. I began signing up for weekly free webinars with Chris Biffle on Thursday nights.  These particular sessions went through the Big 7 and gave me a clear visual, as well as different variations for using them in the classroom.  Look for future webinars offered by WBT.

6. Then, I logged in to attend the free Livestream chat sessions on Saturday mornings given by Chris Biffle on the Brain Toys.  This was amazing because I could participate with comments and suggestions.  Look for future Livestream sessions offered by WBT.

7.  Finally, I attended the conference in Phoenix.  This really helped to fine tune the little things although I did find out that I was doing most of the techniques correctly!  Oh yeah!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Phoenix Conference Synergy!

It was so amazing to meet the Whole Brain Teaching crew in Phoenix for the first time these past four days!  What an awesome, creative, terrific bunch.  Hi to Coach B, Chris R., Farrah, Deb and my dedicated driver Angela M., who all made me feel at home and part of the team:)

Furthermore, it was wonderful to meet and talk to all the passionate teachers in Phoenix.  Those kids are sure to be blown away by everything you bring to the table on a daily basis!  May Whole Brain Teaching inspire you in your teaching.  Questions, comments, and concerns are vehemently welcomed as you weave WBT into your daily teaching.

This weekend, the Genius Ladder, inspired my teaching.  I will be using it daily with my students this year to help improve their writing. Oh yeah!  See the forum at www.wholebrainteaching.com for more on this cutting-edge WBT concept.

Also, tune into my blog for a future post tentatively titled, "New to WBT? Here is how!"

Happy teaching!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Back from my travels...

So I have been away from my computer awhile traveling and visiting - lots of people have brought up Whole Brain Teaching to me!  Everyone seems to be very positive about the whole concept.  Some can't wait to try it.  I have also met a few up and coming teachers who I have eagerly shared the concept and methods with.  They were very responsive!  Hope they try it out!  Happy teaching/summer/planning all!!  Off to Phoenix on Sunday for my very first face to face conference!!  Oh yeah!!!