Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Swap Day

Today was swap day at our school - yes!  All the primary teachers drew an intermediate classroom to teach for the day and vice versa.  I drew the Grade 5 classroom and the Grade 6 teacher taught my Grade 1's.  It is amazing how many little details go into planning for a sub - especially for a teacher that you work with - I kind of wanted to impress her with my skills:)  Luckily, I had the WBT Sub guide created by the lovely Deb Weigel.

I have to admit I was a bit of a nervous wreck.  However, I was confident Whole Brain Teaching would save me and....of did!!!  This particular class had already done a little bit of WBT.  They knew the Class/Yes!, the five rules, the Teach/OK! already.    I taught the Scoreboard (the incentive was 1 minute early to lunch) and reviewed five rules within minutes.  We recited the rules.  I talked a little bit about how the brain works and the importance of keeping the entire brain active through gestures, visuals, speaking and fun.   Then I taught Bodies Up!  and Seats!  Finally, I added the Woo! and the It's Cool, Hand and Eyes, Mirror and Switch!.  The kids were really into it.  They kept on getting faster and more in sync with one another.  It was really cool.  I did have to ping pong a bit and practice a few times but it was still super exciting.

The first lesson was on Sentence Fluency from 6+1 Writing Traits.  I taught it like a Power Pix with gestures.  Then I had them teach their neighbour using the Teach/OK.  We did a really neat sentence building activity and I used Papers! and the count down to hand out and collect everything.

After recess, two students came up to the front and lead the class in the rules.  One even did it using a silly voice.  In Math, I had a few students teach the class.  There was some really cool teachable moments and I even threw in a quick mini-lesson on the equal sign with gestures.

In Social Studies, I taught the four requirements needed to vote in an election.  As a class we came up with gestures to match and the students taught their neighbour.  I even still remember them - lol!  Alas, they lost the Scoreboard before lunch so we had to try again in the afternoon.

In Science, I taught about the circulatory system using an analogy about cars and highways to describe arteries and veins, gestures included.  One students had the definition down so she taught the class.  At the end of the period there was a little time so I taught them my version of Mind Soccer and I used the material from the previous chapter on respiration for the questions.

The rest of the day was pretty zen.  They did win the Scoreboard for the end of the day so they got some D.P.A. (Daily Physical Activity) time out on the playground.  I really made them work for it - no calling out and staying in their seats was big!  All in all, WBT and the day was brilliant.