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."(ntlf.com) 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.