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.  wholebrainteaching.com 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.