Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Scoreboard and the Super Improvers Wall - Management with Whole Brain Teaching Style

I am linking up with What the Teacher Wants for Management Monday Linky party!!  Behaviour management of in my classroom is masterfully managed by two wonderful Whole Brain teaching techniques!  The first is the Scoreboard!

The class receives Smilies for good behaviour and Frownies for behaviour that needs practicing.  If students receive a Smilie they have a one second party - Oh Yeah!  If they get a Frownie they give a Mighty Groan!  It is so much fun!! The goal is to get more Smilies than Frownies.  The best part is the game is rigged!!  The teacher decides whether the class wins!!  Remember to keep the score within + or  -3 to ensure there is hope of winning!  If the class wins they get 1 minute of an educational game or anything that motivates them.  Remember to start the year off with small rewards as it is a LONG year!

The second part of the management duo is the Super Improvers Wall.

Here is the reasoning behind the Super Improvers Wall: Two students have a foot race. The faster student wins and she gets an "A" from the teacher. The slower student loses and gets an "F". Every day, they have the same race. Every day, the result is the same. After a while, the fast student loafs and the slow student quits. Of course! The grading system is unfair and doesn't motivate either kid! The teacher creates a new race. Now, the fast student only gets an "A" when she beats her previous best time. Same with the slow student. Now, each student always runs as hard as possible!

Students earn Super Improver stars for improvement, both academically and behaviourally - tailored for each student.  After 10 stars they move up a level!  With 10 levels there is room for endless improvement!!  I adore my Super Improvement Wall!  It is priceless!

Click here for a recent post regarding the Super Improvers Wall!  Then head over to What the Teacher Wants for more ideas!!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Pointer Counting WBT Lesson and Activity

Last week I taught my very first math lesson with Power Pix!  It was so much fun!  The kids had a great time because of course it involved a little snack...  These are a bit of a review from Kindergarten but I like to start my year off with them just to see where my kiddos are at!  Here is a little synopsis of my lesson plan:

Class/Yes! "Today we are going to be talking about pointer counting!  Tell your neighbour what we will be talking about!"

Class/Yes! I show them the Power Pix. Mirror! Mirror check!  "The question is: What is pointer counting?"  Mirror and Words, " counting?" Class/Yes! "The answer is: Pointer counting is pointing and counting!" (with gestures).  Mirror and words. "Pointer counting is pointing and counting."
Whole Brain Teaching

Class/Yes! "Turn to your neighbour and one partner will ask the question - What is pointer counting? and the other will answer with big gestures - Pointer counting is pointing and counting - over and over until I say switch." Teach/OK! Oh, oh, Switch!

Class/Yes! "Now let's practice.  Let's count these _____________.  Count with me!  Now let's count these ______________ the wrong way." Count and skip a number or begin at 2 instead of 1.  "That is the how not to pointer count!  Oh yeah!"  Give a few more examples.  "Turn to your neighbour and come up with some Example Poppers of how to pointer count and how not to pointer count.  Be prepared to use a Because Clapper in your answer!"    Class/Yes! "What are some of the Example Poppers you came up with?"

Class/Yes! "Now it is time for the Yes!/No Way game.  If what I say is true, say Yes!  If what I say is not true, say No Way!"

Is this pointer counting?
Is this the pointer counting Power Pix?
Is this the pointer counting gesture?

Class/Yes! "Now it is time to play Cutie!  When I say Cutie! put your head down on your desk, cover your eyes and put your fist out in front of you.  If what I say is true, put your thumb up.  If what I say is not true, put your thumb down.  Cutie!"

Pointer counting is pointing and counting.
2, 5, 27, 6 is pointer counting.
1, 2, 3, 4 is pointer counting.

"Heads up! Now we will practice pointer counting with a snack attack!!  Take each penguin and fill the circles.  Starting at the arrow, pointer count as you eat!"

Click on the picture below for your free copy!!

My Whole Brain Teaching Blog

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Classroom Pictures with Whole Brain Teaching Style

 Classroom picture time with Whole Brain Teaching has arrived!!  Here is my calendar bulletin board with the 5 rules posted, as well as the No Guff! poster in the bottom left!  You can download the posters for free at


Up in the top left hand corner you can see the first Math Power Pix - "pointer counting" ready to go next to my SmartBoard!


Below is my lovely Power Pix Wall of AMAZINGNESS!!!!  I am super pumped to use this baby!  Download Power Pix for Math and Language Arts K-3 for FREE at


Here you can see my Genius Ladder.  Get your free printable here.

Now for the Super Improvers Wall.  I debated back and forth on how I was going to implement this.  My partner teacher next door was a great help.  I finally decided that 2 areas in my room would work best.  The first area is right at the front of my room beside the SmartBoard and in front of all the desks.  Here I posted all of the Super Improver recording sheets for easy access by me.  So far it has worked like a charm!!!  Incidentally, it has replaced my Practice Cards Chart for those of you that remember the Practice Cards.  When I was in Mattawa I asked Chris about the Practice Cards and he said he wants to focus on the Scoreboard and the Super Improvers Wall as the main management system.  It hasn't let me down.  My students were so pleased when I acknowledged them individually for improving academics and behaviour.


This bulletin board is closer to the floor.  I decided to leave it up for my students to post their recording sheets once they have passed a level.  This is kind of like a wall of fame!  Get your free printable here!


Enjoy my friends!  Please let me know what you think!!!  Any questions are welcome!!!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Classroom Decorating Update...a Tip...AND a Freebie!

I have been hard at work in my classroom this week.  My Power Pix Wall is up and so is my Super Improvers Wall! All the laminating I did at home came to school and went up around the room.  It is really beginning to come together!  I am excited for the big reveal.  I need a couple more days though so be ready:)

Now for your tip!!!  So I was in the process of creating Reagan's freebie Oh Good Graph!

I was searching around my room of a circle large enough to trace to create the pie chart and the Venn diagrams.  All of the sudden it came to me what would be perfect!

Dan, da, da, dah!!  The garbage can worked as a perfect tracer and both graphs were made and up on the wall in no time FLAT!!!  I can't wait to use these activities as getting to know you activities!!

Anywho, as I was putting together my classroom I decided to update and beautify my 5 little Self-Assessment posters I use for my students to compare their work to and decide whether or not it is finished.  I have them bring their work up and compare it to each poster until they find a match.   I ask them to explain their choice to me using a Because Clapper.  

Initially, I guide them through the process I tell them if I agree.  If it is a WOW! (WOW!'s usually receive Super Improver Stars) or a Good! then they are finished! If it is a Working on it!, etc. then they go back at erase or add to it!  It works quite well and it helps to increase the quality of the work that is handed in!

examples of student work

I ended up adding a couple of My Writing and My Colouring/Coloring Stoplight checklists along with a 3 Star Sentence anchor chart.  
Student Self Assessment
I have my students complete these after writing or colouring assignments.  

A Grade One Nut and Her Squirrelly Crew

Students take out a red, green, and a yellow crayon.  For each item on the list they colour in the corresponding circle depending on what level they have reached.  Red = Working on it!  Yellow = Good! and Green = WOW!  Then I come around and if I agree I circle my choice at the bottom of the list.  Once again, if they get a WOW! they may receive a Super Improver Star or whatever reward system you use in your classroom.  I find these little dandies quite effective!  Often I have them glue them to the back of the work for easy access when looking marking their work!  Enjoy and let me know what you think!!!

Student Work, rubrics, checklists