Wednesday, August 15, 2012


This is a creative thinking, problem solving, team challenge that runs across Queensland. I am The Regional Director for The Sunshine Coast. We have 322 students involved in preparing for the challenge. They are given six weeks to solve a challenge and 10 minutes to present their solution to a panel of judges. The Challenge can be Language Literature, Social Sciences or Science Engineering Challenge. Students also tackle a spontaneous challenge that is seen only at the event and they get ten minutes to solve it.

I am very busy working on this, WBT and the lovely children in my class and have not been paying much attention to my blog or certification.

The Challenge finishes on August 25th.

I will be back on board with all the  action from wonderful one after that.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Student Engagement and The Red, Green Writing System

The Red, Green Writing System is one aspect of the Whole Brain Teaching focus on students making progress in their writing skills.  The system uses timed writing sessions that have a clear writing skill focus. One red dot is placed above a poor example of the skill. A green dot is placed above a good example of that skill. Students know exactly what to stop doing, and what to keep doing.

This has been our fourth week of using the Red, Green Writing System. I am amazed by the difference that ten minutes of free writing with a clear focus on particular skills, can make. When I told the children it was red green writing time, they cheered. One boy proudly announced he knew what he was going to write about.  Weekly diary recount writing about our weekend adventures had never recieved that response. The fact that students are given a choice on the topic has increased motivation.  They know what the focus is and they get immediate feedback has led to writing progress with increased student engagement.

Rewarding students with stars for improvement on the Super Improvers Wall has added to the excitement now associated with Red, Green Writing. Students no longer write similar things each Monday. Critical thinking is used as students ask and answer their own questions each week. What topic shall I choose? How shall I write it? What text type shall I use? What punctuation do I need? Am I using my writing lines? Am I forming my letters neatly and correctly?  The children are really thinking about their writing now.

In conclusiong the Red, Green Writing System has greatly changed my approach to Monday writing time. It has also changed student attitudes to writing and progress in writing skills. I am looking forward to great things happening with the children as they grow a love of writing.

Whole Brain Teaching and Australia Zoo

On Wednesday the 25th of July our Prep, Year One and Year Two class went to Australia Zoo. Before we headed up to catch the bus, we made time to review the Power Pix for prediction.  We used mirror words and actions to recall the question and answer. Students then responded to Teach ok and told their knee buddies what they thought they would see. Critical thinking was happening right at the start of the day. Students were then given the opportunity to draw what they thought they would see. Making decisions to participate, enjoying what they were doing, looking, listening, talking and moving, all in the first 40 minutes of the day.

We had a spectacular day out. The students and I arrived at school the next day tired, but ready for more learning. Again, we reviewed the Power Pix for prediction. The use of mirror words, actions and teach okay all helped focus the students back to our lesson from the previous day. Students went back to their desks to check their predictions and mark yes next to something they did see and no next to something they did not see. A very practical example of the use of prediction.

Next on our daily plan was writing time. We used a poster on Recounts to help us focus for mirror words and actions, question and answer. What is a recount? The strategy of teach oaky was then used to teach their knee buddy what a recount was. We then used our airboard braintoy to help us review the three parts of a recount. After more use of teach okay to discuss the sequence of events, it was time to write. The children worked well getting their ideas on paper and then conference their writing.

At the end of the day we used cotton buds to help us paint something we saw at the Zoo. In conclusion the students used critical thinking throught the day as they made decisions about their work and how to communicate their understanding of our Australia Zoo excursion. Expressing their opinions about their experiences revealed some interesting facts. It is so simple and effective to use Whole Brain Teaching techniques to enhance student engagement and learning outcomes.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jumping In

Holidays were a mix of fun, family, friends, relaxation, study and preparation. Having made the decision to jump into Whole Brain Teaching, I knew I had some work to do. A hot topic in the forum has been ’ how to get started’.  At our school we started Term Three on July 12th. With over a week of school completed, I can share what has been happening in my classroom as we all jumped into a new term.

When you jump into a river it is best to check the depth and plan how you will jump in and where to jump in.  Being well planned and deliberate were keys to jumping into this term well. During the first five days I kept a record of every technique or tool that I used. We have used class yes, scoreboard, mirror, teach ok, switch, blow and release, hands and eyes, power pixs, red green writing, yes no smart cards, the rules, practice cards, threepeat, purple reward cards, UHM(3 star homework), Superspeed rhyming, 100 and grammar, Super Improvers Wall and classroom leaders. I made a discovery I really am a Whole Brain Teacher. I am no longer dabbling on the edge, I really have jumped in.

The 18th of July was our 100th day of year one. To celebrate we made a post it note collection of the 100 things we like about year one. To my delight Whole Brain Teaching techniques and tools featured highly on the list. I am currently gathering permission slips for our first video as we continue to jump deeper into that river of Whole brain Teaching. In conclusion the decision to jump on in, has been a good one. If you are reading this and you are not sure what some of these things mentioned are, why not check out and see if you would like to jump in.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Joy of Sharing Whole Brain Teaching

Today I attended the 2012 Christian Schools Australia Conference with 816 other delegates from Christian Schools across Queensland.  In the afternoon we had the choice of 71 different sessions to attend. Whole Brain Teaching was a session that was presented at two different times in the afternoon.  Over the last two weeks I have worked on this presentation for many hours. I developed a Power Point and asked Coach B and Tony Ryan to give me feedback. The slides were reduced, some videos added and the Power Point was transferred to a Prezi for extra pizaz.

Forty five teachers selected the Whole Brain Teaching sessions. Teachers represented every year level from Prep to year 12.  My knowledge and experience is very much as a Primary Teacher but I think the strategies of using brain facts with direct instruction and cooperative learning could also be applied in high school.  Every Teacher fully participated in the session with many taking notes and commenting that they will be looking at the website and incorporating Whole Brain Teaching in their classroom. It was great to see the joy on the teachers faces as they experienced Whole Brain Teaching and the Big Seven.

At four different times throughout the session Teachers were asked to share their knowledge about Whole Brain Teaching with their knee buddy.  Questions asked demonstrated that they were using critical thinking when deciding how they could use these strategies in their classroom. This could have been extended by asking all the Teachers to think deeper about their next steps.  More direct questioning could have been used to help develop this deep thinking.  A closing Game of Mind Soccer could have been used to add to the fun of learning about Whole Brain Teaching. In conclusion it was a joy to share Whole Brain Teaching with other passionate Teachers. You can view the Whole Brain Teaching Prezi at

To the Stars
Lynette Rudduck 245 cps, 5 followers
Webcast (3) 150 cp, Facebook (2) 20 cp, Bonus points(2) 50cp, You tube video(1) 25cp

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Fresh Start with Whole Brain Teaching

The holidays are drawing to a close and it is time to start the preparations for a new term. Today I visited the newsagent and purchased cardboard, stickers, rulers and pencils to start making classroom signs. First on the list is our Three star Homework chart. Next I will be making our Genius ladder. Then I will make a new Super Improvers Wall Chart. These are all items that will be used regularly in our classroom. Linda Conway states that "It's not what is poured into a student that counts but what is planted."( These charts help to work on planting positive concepts about learning in the minds of our students.

The Three Star Homework chart encourages effort and individual progress. Students in my grade one class are challenged to read, practice sight words and complete a spelling task each night, Monday through Thursday. If they can complete each task, each night, they get three stars at the end of the week. Each star counts toward the amount of Mind Soccer we get to play on Friday afternoon. Much to my amazement I have been asked how they can get four stars. A little effort each day helps prepare students to build good habits for future learning and plants positive concepts in their minds about learning.

The Genuis Ladder is something the students really have taken to and use the terms on the ladder in their own conversations about sentences. My goal with the new chart is to use it more regularly each week. My plan is to link it with Green and Red Writing System and the Grammar PP. Writing is such an important skill to develop and help students improve at their own level and pace. By using these Whole Brain Teaching strategies students will be encouraged to work to their personal best, no matter what that is. These consistently used techniques will help to plant more positive concepts about learning.

The Super Improvers Wall has so many wider reaching uses with the main focus on individual progress. Children love to be acknowledged for the effort they put in. Building in solid, regular feedback for children on their progress is essential in developing a childs love of learning. Each star or progression on the chart helps plant more positive concepts about learning.

In conclusion prepartion is key to Whole Brain Teaching success for the children and for their teacher. Any one ready to plant good things this term? The best thing about planting is that you eventually see a beautiful plant. I look forward to having lots of beautiful learning being planted and growing this term.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

To the Stars

This term has been an interesting one for me.
*I had a student teacher for four weeks and was able to inspire her with the joys of WBT. She made great progress and I am sure will be using WBT again in the future.
*I accepted more responsibility at work for a short term.
* Attended several professional development days.
* Opti-CLUB started in the Primary school with around 20 students a week attending.
*Opti-SKILLS started for all of Year Seven and Eight students.
*WholeBrainTeaching Certification Started.
*This blog got some much needed attention.
*Some FANTASTIC LEARNING happened as we launched more and more into WBT.
*My Grandaughter turned one.
*My daughter gets married.
* Today I am feeling a bit of the hardship as dealines approach for reports, and end of term is coming, and the wedding gets closer. I am reminding myself to reach for the stars.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Student Leaders

Today I introduced our new, We Care for Our Class chart. On it I have listed Student Leader jobs for the children to do each day.  It amazes me how seriously they take the selection of these jobs each morning during our morning meeting time.  Each meeting starts with a song and the selection of jobs for the day.  We now have a student leader who is responsible for helping us practice our rules each day, as well as our table leaders who hand out papers, our pet leader who feeds the class pet(fish) and other jobs.  The purple hero cards were introduced today as well.  We are all excited that things change and our class does not stay the same.

The student leader for Speak and Listen time did a great job and told people when it was their turn.  Everyone listened and responded so well. I was able to do some individual reading assessment during this time.  The children really like the idea of being leaders not just someone doing a job. Realising just how grown up they can be even though they are in grade one, has been a revelation.  It is a blessing to have such a lovely class.  I look forward to seeing the growth in the children as they take on more leadership in the classroom.

The hero purple cards are something that has caused great excitement.  It is really good to reward the student who do so well each and everyday.  I have now laminated my white and purple cards and have seperate containers for both.  In the past I was reluctant to try the practice cards but now am so glad I did. The concept of student leaders is another thing I have been slow to take on, but am now happily trying all sorts of new things.  All this has lead to more joy and more engagement from the children and I.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Super Speed 100

I orginally found WBT while doing some research homework for a Master Teachers course with Tony Ryan. Intially it was a you tube clip of a teacher giving a calendar lesson just like the one I had given the day before but oh so much better. I was excited and hooked. So the next chance I had I tried my new and improved calendar lesson with amazing results. I watched more you tube clips and then started to think that some of these ideas and methods were a bit over the top and corny. So I pulled back a little while still being excited about the wholebrain theories I was reading about on the website. I shared feedback at the Master Class and shared my excitement with the theory and my hesitance with the over the top nature of some aspects but basically I was hooked.

Term break came along and I spent most of that holiday reading and watching clips and taking a huge number of notes.  Some parents had complained about the sightword program we were using at the school. During that two week break I discovered Superspeed 100.  When the new term started I was ready to go with Superspeed 100 as my new sightword program. When I tried it in pairs the children were cheating and jumping ahead and or got really mixed up with whose turn it was. I decided to change tactics and made it an at home program for the parents to do with their children and I did the powerpoint and other activites in class to work on sight words.

The children loved having a goal to work towards and the parents loved it as well.  When this year started I also ran with it as homework.  Then along came WBT certification and I thought I really need to give this another go. Now I have excited children thanking me for sightword practice and those children who were not practicing at home are now getting extra help from their classmates.  The number ones are so pleased to help and the twos loved being helped.  I already have a number of children who have achieved 1oo words and the year is only half way complete for us.  The benefit is that I have so many children making great progress in reading because they already know so many words.

Teacher Heaven!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oh Happy Day

Well, it was another day in teacher heaven.  I am using more and more WBT in the classroom. Being part of the certification process has spurred me into action.  Today the children invented a gesture for digraphs and happily shared it with each other. We used gestures in maths to practice what is the equals sign. We used our scoreboard and practice cards. We also used the grammar power point and power pixs to review nouns, adjectives and verbs.

Some highlights of the day were exclamations of joy as we finished another round of two minutes of SuperSpeed with the ones helping the twos.  Children coming up and saying how much fun it is, and even hugging me for letting them do SuperSpeed 100. The children are so excited to help each other and beat their own records.  I was initially using superspeed as a homework program which for some families has really worked well. Now doing it as part of our daily routine, no one misses out.

When I initially tried to introduce SuperSpeed 100 in class the children were really confused by it. Now they are older and know what it is all about.  They are totally with the program, just like so many other WBT things we do each and everyday. In some ways I think it is me that is holding them back because I have been reluctant to do some things but as I have introduced them they all work and the children love them.

Another highlight of the day was one child noticing that another child had gone for two days without a practice card and was congratulating him for the extra effort.  I have been amazed by the effectiveness of those little bits of white card with numbers on them. I am also amazed by the diligence of the children to do their practice time. We made use of class/yes, mirror, teach/o.k., air whiteboards, and student leaders for rule practice.  The more WBT we do, the more evident that golden thread of happiness is as it works its way in and through each one of us.

I am so glad I found WBT!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Make your Dear Teacher Happy

Today we talked about what makes our room special, and how can we make it better.  The fact we can all be a super improver was stressed.  The children gave me some suggestions like I should have a sit and read in library corner some days and I can help with clean up. The children mentioned lots of WBT treasures within our discussions. One thing we don't have is the WBT rules as the College has one set of rules we all use.  We have added gestures to our rules and practice them daily and use them just like the WBT rules.  I have mentioned ''make your dear teacher happy" is a rule in some schools.  The children love this rule and often mention it. I have explained we can not change the school rules even though they have tried to tell me to. This has become an unofficial rule in our room much to the childrens delight. Oh how nice that they see that as important. Another day, another slice of teacher heaven.

Friday, May 25, 2012

It is reporting season at our school.

The children and I both really like Teach/ o.k. I love the fact that I can check on children's understanding of a concept so easily and immediately help them. The children love the fact they get to teach each other. The children are improving at using gestures. I still have a few that are holding out and am working on 'everyone participates'.

Today we played a quick game of mind soccer to review a few concepts before a mathematics assessment.  The children so love to play and keep tally marks of the kicks.  So much learning from such a simple activity.

We also selected some power picks to review before we completed a writing sample for our profiles.  The children had to re- write the joke "What dog is best at keeping time?  A watch dog!"

Thank you WBT for a happy report writing season.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Today was another lovely day in wonderful one and the WBT world. The children love the scoreboard and regularly pray that they will get lots of smileys. This always makes my heart sing. I am learning more and more how to use this scoreboard to its full advantage.  This week I have introduced level two in year one.  We have just had a student teacher for the last four weeks and I felt it was a good time to introduce something new as we restarted our journey as teacher and children. 

I currently have the cards in a box near my portable whiteboard. When a child needs to practice a rule I ask them to come and get a card and place it on their desk. One boy who was talking during morning roll call was asked to take a rule one card. He came to the front took the card and said "thank you." I replied "your welcome."  He, thanked me, for giving him time to practice a rule.  I must say this impacted me quite alot. I am not sure I have ever been thanked so nicely for giving a child a consequence in my entire teaching life.

My next thoughts relate generally to the results of WBT. I had the opportunity to work with 80 year 7 and 8 students today for approximately 1 hour. I will be doing this once a week for the next four weeks.  We are working on Opti-MINDS skills as part of a whole school push on thinking skills. The session went really well. I was my usual self, saying the things that I would normally say, and realised how much these older students were responding. I said our time together was precious and a boy just near me sighed "oh how nice". I joined in with one group and when I read their response and replied "Oh I get it", we were able to laugh together about their solution to a challenge. I congratulated a student for re-reading the challenge and later mentioned I had observed some students doing this. I saw him say to his friend "I did that".  I think I sampled some highschool teacher heaven today. As one girl left the room and handed me her folder she said "that was so much fun" and had a huge smile on her face. 

On relection it was not that I was using any particular part of WBT. I was getting them to use their whole brain. It was also my overall approach to the session and to the students. After many years as a teacher I think I am enjoying it more and more.  I also think I am really influencing students lives in a positive way.  I am excited about my next highschool session.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 2012

Well it has been a while since I visited the idea of having a blog. 

The past year has been a journey into a whole new era in my teaching life.  Last Easter I discovered Whole Brain Teaching.  The more I explore this approach the more I am so totally sold on it.  Which is a funny thing to say, when it is all free. is full of resources to enhance your teaching and the childrens learning journey and outcomes. I first watched a video and it was like seeing myself teach, only better.  The next day I put the ideas in place and have been building on them ever since.

There are many things I like about WBT and today I will share just one.  I love the convenience of being able to go online, find a resource, look up some information and educate myself in the comfort of my home.

I have a passion to share what I have learnt and having been using every opportunity to do so.  I share with staff whenever the opportunity arises.  I have spoken of my experiences and discoveries at a Regional Christian Schools Conference. In July I will speak at a State Christain Schools Conference.

Tonight I start my journey toward my Whole Brain Teaching certification.