Saturday, July 21, 2012

2 Weeks to Go!!!!

Well, there is only two more glorious weeks of summer and then school begins again.  I am so very excited about this school year it is scarey!  It seems as though the summer has flown by, but when does it not?

I have put up my Power Pix walls in my new classroom.  The pictures seem a little darker than I had wanted, but you can see them okay.  Last year, I used the power pix and my students LOVED them.  So, we will bring them back for another year.  It was a very important part of my daily instruction and I feel as though it is a huge benefit for any classroom.

This year, I am limited to bulletin board space.  Quite frankly, I have NONE!  So, I have made my own on my concrete walls, one on each side of the window.  It actually worked out nicely, and the children will have no problem interacting with it (laser pointer with shapes)!

I tried to incorporate 1 Power Pix a week that correllated to what the weekly skill was that we were focusing on.  I keep the Pix on the main teaching wall until it is mastered then we add it to the Power Pix board.  I choose a Pix leader and everyday we choose a row and column to review.  My students love it, it makes them feel like the teacher!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Okay, so I have finally have a clear picture on my NEW classroom and it is coming together pretty nicely now!  Beginning to feel the calm before the storm as well as feeling at home....a new home.

I decided this year that I was going to add to my WBT strategies that I began using (with success) last year.  This year, it is the Super Improver Wall.  I am so excited and I know my little munchkins will be too.  I had to do a bit of online research to see what and how other walls looked like.  It is important that it is appealing to the children, at least mine!  Here is what I came up with:  a blend of a few different bloggers:

I watched the webcast.....503 and was amazed at the simplicity of this strategy.  There are so many great things about the Super Improver Wall but for me, it is POSTIVE and second, it is FREE!  Wow, that is always a good thing to a teachers wallet. 

So this is what I have gathered through watching the webcast and reading other blogs:

1.) there are 10 levels that the children must earn their way through

2.) each level, the student can earn 10 stars;  1 for every time they show improvement in something.
         a.) examples of earning stars are (K-1) sitting correctly on the rug, raising their hand to speak
              improvement with fluency, handwriting, math, the possibilities are endless!!!

3.)  When reaching a new level, the color of their star (index card or whatever is used) changes to the color of the level. 

4.) after reaching the 4th level, take a picture of the student with some friends making funny faces.  Print it out and on the next day of school, place it on the wall BACKWARDS.  The student has to reach the next level (or 5 more stars) to flip over their picture.  That is AWESOME!  Let me hear you say "Oh Yeah"!

5.)  Continue taking pictures every other level as an incentive.  The students will love it.

6.) If you run out of levels...add more!

7.)  You can get really creative and name your levels to correspond to the theme of your classroom (ex.  dinosaurs from smallest to largest, parts of a tree starting with nut all the way to a large oak tree.  Again, the possibilities are endless)

8.) The key to this strategy is that the student is not doing anything other than bettering themself.  There is only one competition and that is student vs. self.  How wonderful is that. 

9.)  After the first level is completed you can go so far as to have the student set their own personal goals to achieve.  Now that is differentiated instruction if ever I have seen it!

10.)  You can even tie the Universal Homework Model to the SIW (not sure yet on how that works but will soon find out)!

This is just a quick overview of the webcast and the strategy.  I might not have gotten every part, but it is a good start for me.  I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement instead of negative.  I do not like to holler (and I do not think I did one time last year).  This is only going to make my happy room even happier!

WBT is teacher HEAVEN!!!

Blessings to all,

Amanda Mc.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Give me an "OH YEAH"!  I have my Whole Brain Teaching blog up and running.  Not too sure as to what I am suppose to post, but in time I believe I will figure it out.

I have been working day in and day out in my new classroom.  Yes, I said new.  I had to move classrooms this year for I am moving to FIRST grade!  Whoo hoo, I am so excited.  Therefore I had a blank slate for where to put all of my WBT items (that I oh so love).

First up........THE RULES. Oh how my students love the rules! It was one of our favorite things to do every morning.

I am limited on bulletin board space and have this skinny board on top of the dry erase board.  This year, we are going to use a laser pointer to point as the class recites the rules with gestures!

More to come soon,

Amanda Mc.