Saturday, September 7, 2013

A month already

I can't believe its been a month already. Talk about time flying. I knew I would be a bit rusty. I was right I was a bit rusty, but not as out of practice as I was worried about.

Being a believer in WBT, day 1 I walked in planning on starting with a bang. We did class-yes, teach-ok, scoreboard, the 5 rules. It was a disaster. I can't even imagine how I could have improved it. The fight was almost immediate. I had some that loved it, some that were just too cool, and some that would never do it, not ever! Ok I'm exaggerating it wasn't all a flop but my challenging students came floating to the surface and made themselves know right away. All the better though, I don't need wasted time.

Class- yes is fun for all, but we're just now, 4 weeks later, really getting it the way I like it. The school standard is a hand up and all hands go up. I prefer the class-yes because the class has a

Teach-ok was the biggest flop, turning and talking was confusing to them even with me giving them the words to say. I had to back off and really build them up. My focus has been math, easy to break down and give a small chunk too. Ironically enough teaching your shoe or pencil was what made it start working for them. In the past that part was too silly and groups needed to be really comfortable before that would work. I guess when your pencil can't talk you have to do all the work.

Scoreboard has won me over again. If my students have taught me anything I know not to ever let it drop, my worst days are when I don't use it enough. Although I'm still working on what really motivates them to win.

The five rules worked differently this year. All my belongings are still in Michigan (whole ordeal way to crazy to tell you now), so the kids helped me out by drawing the rules in groups. We went through the rules, with the normal half-hearted hand gestures. We practiced and got it right, even with a few who didn't want to participate. Then in their groups, they designed the posters. One expectation, everyone had to equally be involved in the drawing/writing. I can honestly say that while every group went about it differently all my students are represented in the posters. Some groups had each student draw a picture, some groups drew one picture and painstakingly divided up the work so everyone did exactly the same amount of work. It was golden to see the solutions.

It has taken a while to get the rules down and everyone participating. I held off on mirror until we had the basic gestures for rules down.

Magic has happened. More of my class is willing to try when I introduce things. I introduced mirror, most of the group tried it out. We giggled at each other, some did very tiny gestures. Some tried not to do any. A couple refused to try, "Ok then please sit over there" was my response. By the end of the week even some of my tough cookies were trying. But Friday, one of my toughest kiddos decided to take my words literally and mirror me even after our fun had passed for the moment. That was the magic, she was so into it she was listening better that I had seen. In her mind I was going to be bugged by it, I know she was trying to irritate me. Honestly thought it was one of the best lessons I've had with her. What she didn't realize was that while her hands were moving she wasn't trying to talk to someone else, or messing with her stuff, and if others looked at her they had to look at me to see what she was doing. I love it!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Class Dojo

I found this site called class dojo, through some wonderful teachers that have had great success using it, looks interesting and has some awesome features.  Like students and parents can set up accounts.  Parents can get regular updates and somewhere you can leave comments for them.  Oh and paperless I love that part.

I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate this site to the scoreboard.  I'm looking for ideas or thoughts.  Any WBTer's out there using class dojo? Any who have ideas?  Comment and share please!

Thanks in advance all

Saturday, June 22, 2013

WBT first attempt so long ago

I've never really talked to anyone about why I started using WBT. The day I discovered it for myself was a memory that popped into my brain recently. So I'll share.

I learned about WBT when it was called power teaching. Actually the first time I heard about it was from the teacher next door. She had just begun to implement it in her room and told me a little about it. Honestly that was my first year and I'm not sure I fully comprehended that she was talking about a whole movement. I think it sounded like a few things I was starting to do so it never sunk in as something different.

A few months later I was looking for games to use while students were reading. I found Crazy Professor Reading Game. It's still my favorite for reading. I think I watched that video about 20 times. I even showed it to my students so they had an idea of dramatic reading. When we tried it I instantly loved that I could survey my entire class and see who wasn't using hand gestures. Gestures were a clue that they were probably on task while, no gestures usually meant a teammate was off task.

From there it was love. I was completely sold, the more I tried the more I liked.

Guess I got to be done for now. I've got to go train my replacement so I can move in a few weeks.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Getting the ball rolling

I like to begin with something that teaches me a little about the kids and lets them get comfortable in the setting. In the past I've used a shoe "stepping into _____ grade." This year I wanted something different, so I drew a rocket ship.

Here's a link to the shoe and rockets I drew
shoe drawing are blank so you can add your own questions, while there are more options for the rocket:
shoe page        rocket page

*edited to actually make a clickable link.

planning and packing

Right now I'm still about 2 months from moving to Arizona. Planning for the move is well underway. Packing has begun, however we really don't have that much to pack. So what do I do? Plan. 

I will be getting to Arizona the weekend before I have to report to the new teacher stuff, my time before students start will be limited. My plan is to pull my ideas together for the first week, and create some of my class decor ahead of time. Once I get to meet my new team and my see my class schedule I'll hammer down the exact plans. I'll over prepare until them. Plus I like being able to change things up once I've actually meet the kids, you just never know what they need.

I'll post stuff for you as I create it, or I'll link you to resources once I find them. 

Happy summer all!

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Stuff

Start looking for posts again from me. I just got a teaching job in Arizona. Of course that means another cross country move for me but my husband, David, seems to love the drive (not joking he really likes it) so off we go. In august I'll be starting my year with 4th graders and couldn't be happier. Just got to quit my current job. Which is always hard, sort of like breaking up with someone.

So I'll be posting again for now probably setting up my class or rather preparing to set up my class. I'm moving in July, I have to report July 22, and school begin August 5th or something like that. Money will be tight, with a move that's about 80 days away, that makes it fun.

This year I'm making a lot of my class decorations ahead of time. So I'll be posting whatever happens to be my focus of the moment. Anything I think will help others or that I happen to really like.