Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wise One and MInd Soccer

Last week Mind Soccer was mentioned as a soccer game to play inside but the smiley faces had to win to learn more about it. amazingly th very next day th e smiley faces did win and the fun began. The students are divided into two teams sitting on opposite sides of our big red mat. A yelow beanbag is placed in the middle of the mat. Students get in the ready position with hands on their knees and then the questions begin. "What is a sentence?" The hands fly up in the air and the correct answer is given. The children are recalling questions and answers from our power pix wall. Mind Soccer is a great tool to rehearse things covered in class time, when we use other wbt strategies to help us learn. Mind Soccer is also a time of laughter as the children add drama to their little kicks of the ball. The slow motion kick seems to be the most popular at this stage. We have had some free kicks given to the other team due to put downs and teasing. We have also had some ball changes to the other team for incorrect responses. The children are lvoing mind soccer and so am I. It is another fun way to see who understands a concept and who needs more help with it.  The only concern I have at the moment is how to encourage the slower children to keep trying.  I do not want them to stop playing because others are faster. Perhaps I can change the game to my choice not hands up. I am interested in any thought on this topic.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wise One and WBT

Week two already. We have started so many different aspects of wbt and now we are learning to use these on a regular basis. This week the children met Biffy Blue Bird who helped us with our rhyming words. They were amazed when we had our first try at 100 words with the electronic version of Superspeed 100.We have now learnt all our rules and are practicing them daily. We have also started using our Super Improvers Wall. On Friday we had our first game of Mind Soccer when the smiley faces won. They are certainly keen to play that game again.

Next week I will begin having students as rule leaders and I know they will love that. The funbursts to practice rule one are enjoyed by all and the children are getting the idea of following directions quickly. Demonstrating breaking the rules or what something is not, seems to work with this group of children. Getting 100 percent participation is something to continue to work on. At this stage they are not use to using their whole brains and the expectation to be involved in what we are doing.

I have made many changes to my room and the way the class runs. Part of this is because I have a child repeating and I do not want year one to be the same as last year for him. Secondly, it is because of the reading I am doing in relation to the brain and learning. David Sousa's book How the Brain Learns gives lots of great foundation information that is really helping me. It is putting Whole Brain Teaching into perspective and encouraging me to go deeper with what I am doing. I certainly feel inspired.

I have adjusted my jobs for students to be week long jobs rather than daily job, changed to make better use of time. I am giving students more time to enjoy reading rather than always read and do a follow up activity. This is after reading The Book Whisperer. I am changing how I run my blocks of time in class to make better use of the prime time to teach and learn in a lesson. I am learning so much and looking forward to taking my class forward with whole brain teaching.

Week three I will be using red green writing, the genius ladder and superspeed grammar. I will keep you informed of progress and am going to add some photos of my room as well. I am also going to look into the Crazy Professor reading game. Maybe this could help with read to self time.

To the stars, hoot, hoot!