Saturday, August 4, 2012

Super Improver Wall-Jungle Style

In order to maintain a positive classroom environment and facilitate goal setting, I decided to put in place the Super Improver Wall as was demonstrated at a Whole Brain Conference. I was absolutely in love with the idea that I could motivate students positive behavioral changes, promote Super Star behavior, and encourage all students to continue to set new goals when other goals had been mastered. This lead to my wall called the Super Improver Wall.

My classroom theme is Wild About Learning. I have animal print, monkeys, 3-D trees, and jungle fun surrounding the walls of my eMINTS (technology driven) classroom. It was only appropriate that I modify the current Super Improver wall to meet the needs of my classroom. Thinking about jungle animals, I chose animals from each of the layers of the rainforest to be my movement up to the treetops of the rainforest.

How I began the process:
When I attended the conference, I became excited to see how this motivation of improvement would work within my room. It was one of the first things I chose to implement in my classroom after I had set the groundwork of WBT strategies. With a small cork board, 10 different colors of construction paper, card stock with a picture of the jungle animal and their name, I set out to show students just how incredible their goal setting could be.
In order to make each label of the levels, I used PowerPoint to create a template. I created 2 rectangular shapes in one slide (as large as fills the space). I then filled these shapes with a texture. I found clip art from the internet and added the name of each level. Using this same template I created each of the 10 layers for the wall. I cut squares for each student in each of the 10 colors and labeled each animal with one of those colors. White is the first color they begin with.

How the wall works:
The 10 levels of the wall signify the 10 levels which students will improve upon each year. At each level, a student will have a color behind their picture associated with the color designated to the animal at that level. In order to move up to the next level, students must receive 10 improver stars (drawn on a square construction paper). Once the level is mastered, they move to the next level. The picture I have shown here shows the levels of the improver wall and how I have chosen to make this look fun and inviting. As students continue to move up the wall they change goals, modify current situations and see where they would like to make improvements. I conference with them as well to add my input. One of the best parts of this system is the fact that the students who succeed the most are the students who have the most improving to do. This allows the student to master small successes and move onto the next. Super improver stars are awarded for anything from model behavior, to returning homework. Student who have mastered all levels at the end of the year will have their picture taken and remain on the Wall of Fame for all future students to see (and for them to return and brag about at a later time). What a motivational thought!

How to make this program fit your classroom:
As you can see from my picture, I do not follow the same names of each level as the WBT website. This is the beauty of the programs. You can make them fit your classroom. I chose animals from the layers of the rainforest starting on the forest floor and heading to the tops of the trees. I have seen other teachers use owls, food chains, planets, and so much more. Have fun creating your very own wall!