Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tell All Tuesday: Summer Flashback...Way Back!

 Here is another Tell All Tuesday! I have 2 this week.

Firstly, here is my Teacher Bucket List.

Learn more about close reading: I think I've been under a rock somewhere and missed the boom when the close reading buzz hit. Sometimes I think it's what you hear going around your school and honestly the most recent is the Common Core critical vocabulary. I've heard a few teachers talk about close reading but it didn't really resonate with me until this summer. At least I have summer to catch up.

Support others in WBT: I absolutely adore Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) and though I'm no expert I love what it does for my classroom environment. I've had more teachers want to know more about this thing I'm doing in my classroom and I'm trying to share without jumping and hugging all over them! I'm hoping I can support these teachers the best way possible to make learning and using WBT a long-term commitment for them.

Grow my TpT store: I've had a Teachers Pay Teachers store for a few years but didn't feel the creative but hit me until this summer. I've been working on printables for my store and have a few new ones up and others in the works. The extra income would be nice so that we can fix up our little home and take a nice vacation.

Now, on to this!

Guess who?

This is me in 1973 (OMGoodness). Now, these black and white photos were intentional...we had colored photography back then! My aunt's sister was into photography and took these pictures of me in the backyard. I actually was into scrapbooking a few years back and made this page for an online challenge. I'm not doing much scrapbooking lately but I do cherish the ones I have completed.

If you'd like to link up for a Tell All Tuesday, teacher style, then head on over to My Day in K and Teach Talk Inspire to see the linky!

If you missed my 20% off sale in my store this week, make sure to link up with my socials at the top. You'll find my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter there and if you link with those you won't miss any of my freebies, sales or giveaways...hinting one may be coming up! Stay tuned and happy Tuesday!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Some of My Dreams...

I thought I'd get real for a minute and let you in on some of my dreams for myself. These are some things I'm currently wanting in my life and is fun think on and make goals. Maybe writing it out for all of you to read will help me attain these goals.

Walk more for better health
I really don't like to sweat and that is one reason why I don't exercise. I know I need to be moving for better heart health and weight loss (please don't ask, just trust me). My grandfather had high blood pressure and I know walking can help prevent that. Plus, my two little dogs would love it if I took them out on the leash more instead of letting them run the yard.

Grow as a teacher
I'd like to grow as a teacher and always keep improving. I believe teaching is more of a science and that there are certain formulas that help me become the the teacher that I would have wanted and needed to have when I was in first grade. I would like to use more Whole Brain Teaching techniques more consistently and get my students to become more passionate about writing.

Create effective curriculum
If you've ever heard me say that teaching is my hobby it is because my secret ultimate job would be to write curriculum, though I would want to at least teach part time because I do love that part as well. Teachers Pay Teachers is helping me fulfill that dream to create content that is worth learning. I hope that I can continue to refine and craft resources that are helpful to not only myself but others as well.

Go on a Disney Cruise!
I have never been to Disney World nor have I ever been on a cruise so I figure if I put the two together it's got to be much greater than the two alone. My mom, who's also never been on a cruise, was just telling me she would like to go on one. I've been thinking about it ever since. Maybe in the next year or two we can make that happen.

What are your dreams? Anything like mine or completely different? Tell me in the comments. It's fun to dream and share our dreams!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WBT's New Book - 122 Amazing Games Chapter 3 Link Up

Welcome to the chapter 3 link up for the Whole Brain Teaching 122 Amazing Games! book.


If you would like to read about the other postings, check out the Pinterest links in the sidebar on the right.


Chapter 3

Top 10 Games

If you want more helps for your classroom management and behaviors then this is the chapter for you.

1. Super Improvers (individual growth)

I personally use and love the super improvers wall concept and have been using it in my class for the past 2 years. The main goal of using this game is to reward for improvement and not ability. Think about it, kids are rewarded by ability through grading but when do they received recognition for daily improvements? There should be 10 levels the students are working through and you can make up the color-coding and themes for the levels. Here is the one I currently use:

Not pictured is the white Rookie level at the bottom and at the top is a darker orange Bulldog 100 level. Beside it I have a small pocket chart with each student's color-coded card. All students start on white at the beginning of the year and to fill up their cards they need to fill in the ten-frame with "super-improver" stickers. When filled I put a new card up and their finished card is taped with packaging tape on the back of their homework folders. As they collect them on their folders they may show them to family and friends. Give each student their own goals to improve upon and let them know you're watching and waiting for them to improve. The book has so many other great details pertaining to this game alone. Check it out!

2. The Brainy Game 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Whole-Brain-Teaching-Brainy-Game-1250507Gestures is the name of this game...for writing and critical thinking. My first graders are able to present a sentence orally and still show me with gestures the capital letters, punctuation and when to use "because" in a sentence to give more information. There is a card that can be downloaded and printed featuring all the brainies. Using the brainies lends itself to learning in many modalities and supports brain research on how the brain is stimulated and learns. Mrs. Shipley has a freebie download for this. Click on the picture for the link.

3. The Scoreboard (class growth)

 Drawing tallies under a picture of a smile face or frown face to keep the students in check to know they are making their dear teacher happy or not. I keep a laminted credit card-sized scoreboard with a mini permanent marker on a cord around my neck to keep track of my class scoreboard. I like that I have it anytime, anywhere we are. Coach B advises to stay within +/- 3 because a close game is always exciting and keeps the students on their toes. I've acquired up to 40 tallies in all by the end of a day. In the book you will find more details and even levels to keep it interesting throughout the long school year.

4. Leaders Rule

By finding out who your leaders are in your classroom, you have the key to the rest of the class climate. These leaders are going to meet with you often so that they know you are looking to them to show their leadership and model it daily. This encourages others to want to be leaders as well, which you can renominate in a couple of weeks.

5. Practice Cards

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Super-Improvers-Wall-and-Class-Rules-Freebie-Potato-Head-Theme-1317408Cards printed ahead of time displaying the rules will give you an advantage. If students are not following rules, they may have a card (rule) to review and practice with gestures during recess. As students show their need to practice a rule because of their behaviors, you could place the rule card on top of their super improver card or in another place; the book suggests putting them in library pockets on a board with names or student numbers labels. I tell my students if they are not following rules they are not super improving, which means no chance for stickers at that time. Students will learn that they never want a "time out" on the super improver game. Coach B suggests using this half-way through the school year, if possible. You can find free downloads of these cards, such as these from the TpT store "Markers and Mascara" (click picture for direct link).






 6. Long Talk, Short Talk or Plan Together

If a student needs you to speak directly to him/her about their behaviors, give them this option. A long talk is where the teacher talks on an on about the behavior and expectations until the student looks uber bored. A short talk is where the teacher briefly talks about the behavior and expectations. Plan together is more mature and where the student talks about how s/he can improve on the negative behavior with the teacher, not about others and their behaviors.

7. Wrong Way-Right Way Practice

Students enjoy practicing how not to act and that would be the "wrong way" practice of a behavior. The teacher then follows up with the students showing the "right way" behavior. Not only is this great practice for social but emotional behavior as well. I will have students practice telling each other, "Sorry" to one another. The wrong way is quick and mean-spirited and careless toward the others feelings, and the right way is looking at the person and slowly saying s/he is sorry and they will not let it happen again (hopefully!).

8. Classroom Engagement Average (CEA)

Think about your students for a moment and how you would rate them on a scale from high to low (4-1): Alphas, Go-Alongs, Fence Sitters and Challenging Kids. Consider the Diamond rule and Alphas are always on target, whereas the Challenging Kids have their own random targets/agendas. If you start the year averaging your student growth weekly based on this scale, you should see drastic results by the end if you are a Wibbiteer!

9. Challenging Kid Average (CKA)

I had a very challenging student this year in my class and I tried my best...at least I thought I did. If I would have had a systematic way to see his growth and progress then I would know if I'd done what I needed to do to help him. CKA is really tracking what strategies you are using and progress made by the student(s).

10. Mind Soccer

Hash marks on the board for a field and the eraser on the chalk tray as the soccer ball, the teacher asks questions for reviewing past concepts taught and awards points to the teams by moving the soccer ball back and forth "across the field" toward each goalie. Everyone wins because it's fun and educational! Use mind soccer as a reward instead of toys, candy or gum.

I hope you enjoyed this brief overview of chapter 3. Heidi from Droppin' Knowledge might be back from the National Whole Brain Teaching Conference soon. She may drop a comment about her take on this chapter. Next Sunday we will have chapter 4 up. The schedule has us doing a chapter every Sunday and Wednesday and many of you have shown an interest in wanting to host a chapter on your blog. If so, let me know by leaving a comment below and I'll get back to you.

Leave any comments you have about this chapter and we will get back to you. There may even be some WBT Execs listening in and they may respond too! How exciting is that???