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!