The past two weeks I've been implementing Whole Brain Teaching.. I wanted to chat about how it's going because no one at my school does WBT so I need some friends to exchange ideas with me! If you have also been implementing it please share how its going!
Love it, use all day every day. If my students are being super chatty (like after recess and their eating snack) I just say 'Class' over and over again in different voices which relieves my frustration since it is silly and to make sure they all get quite and stay quite!
My first graders last year didn't really grasp this too well. I introduced it towards the end of the year but they just never waited for me to say 'Teach' and then say 'Ok.' My kiddos this year have it down. They are pros!
I tell them I want to talk to your partner about ............. and they sit and listening and look at me until I say 'Teach' sometimes I forget and I wonder why they are still staring at me like brillant little listeners and some of them will give me a hint but moving their hands like I do when I say 'Teach.' So cute.
But I'm loving this and my kiddos are doing GREAT. I will say I fuse WBT and Kagan together since I do pull random sticks from my 'Cup of Chance' and they have to tell me what their partner has said. This really holds them accountable for listening and for making sure each person has a chance to speak. I only do that when they are sharing opinions, predictions about books, etc. Not re-teaching something like in WBT.
I started the scoreboard hour 1 of day 1 and would never go back.
I love it. I have it on a personal white board (even has a handle) so it travels with me to the carpet, when I sit down for morning meeting, when I stand in the front of the room and students are at desks, when they are in line I bring scoreboard with me by the door. I think this is key... having a traveling scoreboard so you don't have to be standing by the board all the time to award points.
Also I can't handle giving out another prize on Fridays. I have so many rewards happening on Friday we just couldn't play for another one. So my class voted on earning a class pet.. they convinced me and I agreed on a fish or a turtle (I'm not sure turtles are even allowed but I'm leaning towards a salt water fish tank thanks to my dad also convincing me and telling me he will help fill it up with what he catches in the bay).
So each day we play to earn another point towards them receiving a class pet. They have to have 20 points to earn it which means 20 days of more smiley face tally marks than sad face. This week out of 4 days they only earned one, just ONE, smiley face point. I've been a little strict but Friday they did shape up and are learning that in the afternoon they still have to be as good as they were in the morning.
Super Speed Math
Thursday we spent 15 minutes setting up our Super Speed Math folders and then Friday we began to practice it.
There are some rules in Super Speed Math that are a little tricky for some of my kiddos like where to start next time you play. But I think after one day of practice most of my class has got it. My students really had to focus when I was explaining the rules but after a lot of modeling they have it down.
I'm proud of how they were doing! I will say some of my students love it and some of my low ones still aren't quite sure about it. They have a hard time with the 0's but with some practice and continuous play they will also see growth. Some of them already did and got more into it.
Overall, I think it is going to be GREAT and not a lot of work at all to practice math facts. Rather than playing Around the World with math facts, we can just do Super Speed Math and there is 100% engagement rather than just the two students answering math facts for Around the World. Upgrade!
We say our rules every morning with gestures. Download them here.
My students are taking a while to get into the gestures (whats up with that?) but now are into them just when we do rules. I love saying them every morning. I love how they are numbered so I can say class what is Rule #1? And then they repeat it. It reminds students of the rule without calling them out.
I love how my students are nudging each other and saying the rules with them with their fingers and gestures rather than talking. They are holding each other accountable to get points on the scoreboard.
Universal Homework Model or Star Homework (Read more about it here)
We are starting Star Homework this week! I can't wait to see how it will go. I'm sure the first week might be a little rough but we can only go up from here.
I'm anticipating a lot of questions from parents but am ready to answer them. My parents are so much more involved than I anticipated which is great, I'm just hoping they embrace this homework model! Wish me luck!
I do gestures a lot and have students repeat after me and do them with me. I just don't use 'Mirror' often. I need to go watch more videos on this to implement it so it is a little less flawless. My students kind of catch on though when I want them to use their hands and when so I don't always need to say 'Mirror.'
This is something I need to work on, how about you? How do you students do with Mirroring you? Keep in mind, my students do not like using gestures! I use them, they use them, then when they teach their parents they don't use them! Must practice this...
I think that is mostly it. I thought about implementing the 'Six Common Procedures' like lining up, handing in papers, etc. but it is a little too much for me. Do you use them? How does it go?
On a different note, this is my first time linking up to Oh' Boy 4th Grade's Currently but I'm thinking it is going to be a new monthly tradition.
Please share your experiences with WBT so far! I love to get more ideas for my own classroom and how to improve it :)