Thursday, January 8, 2015

WBT 2014 Reflections

WBT 2014 Reflections
The season for giving gifts has passed and I am wondering about the gifts that I gave my wonderful children from 2014. Yes they all got a gift that was wrapped in Christmas paper that they loved to rip open and see what was inside.  They all came to me with such excitement to show me what they had received.
It was actually the unwrapped WBT gifts that I was wondering about. I think I gave them the gifts of knowledge,belief and understanding. I gave them knowledge on how the brain learns, belief that we can all improve and the understanding that our classroom was a very safe and supportive learning environment.
I gave them the gift of knowledge about how the brain learns. We talked about how the brain works and how we need to do certain things to help ourselves learn. We need to use our eyes, ears, speech, movement, repetition, and we need to have fun. We used our power pics every day to help us learn the concepts and skills so needed in year 1. The golden thread of fun was carefull woven in each day. This knowledge empowers children to guide their own learning.
The next gift was the gift of belief that everyone can improve. Through the use of the super improvers wall each child was encouraged to set goals and was rewarded when they achieved these individual goals. It was wonderful to look back in those final days and remind each other about the things we had improved in. The children laughed when I reminded them of individual progress points along the way. They certainly displayed happiness with the progress they had made.
This final gift is one that excites me and sets our classroom above many others.  The final gift was the gift of understanding that our room was a safe and supportive learning environment. Through the use of ‘help me’ the children knew it was ok to not know an answer and that their peers were there to help them learn it. I really love this simple but oh so powerful WBT strategy. It supports our school code of conduct that states care for others and care for learning.
The really exciting news is that the teacher in the class my students are going to in 2015 is also a WBT teacher and all these wonderful gifts will keep on giving in 2015.