Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chapter 21: The Bulls Eye Game

Compare and contrast the Bulls Eye Game with any other method you have used, or have observed, for dealing with a challenging student.

Over the last 8 years of teaching, I have used a few different classroom behavior management plans for my students. I have used everything from sticker charts, colored cards, intense behavior plans, and classroom economics systems. WBT has shown to be the most effective in dealing with different kinds of intensive students. When it comes to getting the best out of a challenging student, you must have a large toolbox of strategies to motivate them.

In comparison to the Bulls Eye Game, I used a behavior intervention plan for my more intensive children. The behavior intervention plans used a format, which targeted student’s individual difficulties. Parents and children are asked to attend a meeting with me so we can go over the expectations of behaviors. Each week the student would choose the action they were working on and I would rate their behaviors in the AM and PM with a notated happy, medium, or sad face for their parents to see in their planner. The parents were asked to discuss this with the child each night and sign the planner. Each morning the child would discuss, with another adult in the building, how they planned to be successful and what that would look like. They would go over the notes from the teacher for the previous day and set new goals. This would go on all year. The student may be assigned a ‘job’ around the school, not in punishment, yet to help them feel like they were contributing to a larger part of the school.

The Bulls Eye Game is similar in many ways by targeting behaviors that the student needs to work. This helps the student build critical thinking about how and what behaviors help them attain that goal. Where the Bulls Eye Game differs is that the teacher and the student form a partnership where both practice the ‘right way’ and the ‘wrong way’ to act. The child may say a rule and the teacher will show both ways of acting. Then the student does the same. The student also has control of the behaviors they are going to practice. If they are struggling to meet the goals, they can change the plan to help them be successful. The involvement of the student in the classroom changes to an active, even positive, interaction. The student feels they are a part of a team.

The key to both interventions are to partner with the child and provide behavioral support so the student may be more productive in school and in life.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chapter 20: The Independents

Think back to your years in middle school. Evaluate how effective the Independents would have been with a group of your teenage peers.

In my middle school years, I might have been one of the kids on Independent Island. I was a follower and struggled to follow rule number 2.  I was a constant talker when I wasn’t supposed to be. As I recall it wasn’t always social talking, I often was so excited to share what I was thinking or what we were learning. Before I realized it, I had others off task with talking as well.
The Independents is a group where the teacher wants to single out a group of students who may be souring the other students.  This group has gone through the scoreboard, practice cards, SIT, and the teacher is ready to employ the next level. This level takes a group of kids and turns their behaviors that were effecting the entire class, to only affecting their group. The teacher quietly alerts the group members that they have been put in their own group on the scoreboard and tells the class that they are no longer held back by the behaviors of a select group, it turns people in cliques against each other.
Any time a person in the group struggles, they all suffer the consequences. One breaks a rule, they have a white rule card pulled. Since no one wants to earn a practice card and take time from recess, they begin to speak up to the rule breakers. This shows the students that actions of one person in a group have negative consequences. This is a very important life lesson they need to learn.
After being in the group for a day, all they have to say is that they don’t want to be in the independent group anymore. The next day they are given the chance to change their behaviors. If their behaviors warrant further grouping they will go back into the Independents group.
This life lesson was something I learned myself. As an adult I shy away from the negative actions of others to create my own positive atmosphere. When sitting at a table of chatty people, I will ignore their behaviors and remove myself from the situation in order to show I do not tolerate others taking away from my learning. This is the same behaviors we teach our students when we follow this plan.
I hope in my classroom I don’t have to rise to this level, but I know if I need it, it is a level that puts more positive students behind the teacher and takes the audience and support from the most challenging students.

Chapter 19: The Guff Counter

Write a note to an administrator explaining why you believe the Guff Counter will be an effective classroom management technique.

Dear Administration,
            As you know, I have been busy at work with my amazing class this year! I am so appreciative of the fact that you support my classroom and my teaching using the Whole Brain Teaching system. I have been excited to share each level of the behavior system and I wanted to explain how the next level works. I know you love to hear what is going on in Room 116.
            The next level of the behavior system deals with the students who like to talk back. These students may have not learned that this kind of behavior is impolite. In our school and in my classroom this kind of behavior needs to be changed so we are able to learn at higher levels. This next step is called The Guff Counter. Here is a little run-down of the system.
            You know my student Mack. Well, he tends to talk under his breath in response to me asking him to follow the rules, or work hard. He may even give guff to other students. This may seem harmless but it gives him power in the classroom. The other students hear this and think they too can act like this. Soon, I will have little power and my students will run the class. Well WBT has a solution that actually takes the power away from students like Mack. On the lower half of my scoreboard, I will write a new level. Any time a student like Mack gives me Guff, I will make a mark, taking away a minute of recess from the class for every guff word said. I know, you may think this is harsh, but Mack thinks he has an army of students who back his guff towards us. It is our job to show Mack that we don’t support his behaviors. Now, I don’t plan to turn them against him in a negative way, I just plan to give them the voice to say that our class doesn’t run this way.
            This will not work though unless I train the class to respond appropriately, so I will practice with the class by picking students who wouldn’t be caught giving guff. As a class, we will practice what to say and this will allow for each student to know that we are a united front against anything that takes away from our classroom. We will practice this throughout the beginning of the year when I see that I may have some students with bad habits. I will begin by using the Super Improvers Team, then employ practice cards, then when this isn’t working, I will bring in the Guff Counter. When I say, “That sure sounds like guff,” the students will kindly ask the Guff giver to “Please Stop”. I may even reward the class with an extra minute to cancel out the minute taken away. This allows the Guff Giver to see that their classmates do not support them. Positive peer pressure at its finest! Sometimes, I may say something like, “Oh that sure sounds like guff.” If the students are fast enough and I don’t have the chance to make a mark on the counter, I will not add a mark. This shows immediate feedback and the students may not even know who was guffing. I plan to train the students so that I don’t have to make any marks, ever.
            Please feel free to come, watch, and practice the Guff game with us. You too will see how positive this feels and I hope to show you that the Guff game works for our classroom!

Teaching in Style,
Mrs. Long

Chapters 17-18: Practice Cards

Write a letter that your students will take home to their parents, describing why and how you will use Practice Cards.

Dear Families,

We are off to a great start this year. Our normal classroom procedures have been taught and mastered by many. I am certain your student has told you much about our classroom. I bet they have come home and explained what we are learning with excitement and FUNtricity. We have created a learning place where students are respected, respect others, and we have fun all while learning through the Whole Brain Teaching system.
    Each day we set goals for our learning, we follow our Five Class Rules, we compete with the scoreboard (level 1), and we exceed our goals on the Super Improver Wall (level 2). If you have not had the chance to see our classroom system, it is worth a few minutes of your time. You will walk away amazed.
    Even though we have made tremendous progress with classroom behaviors, we are continuing to expect students to follow our rules. Since we are still learning, no one is perfect, we are introducing a new level to our behavior system. This 3rd level is called The Practice Cards. Now I know many of you have had your students behaviors leveled with a green, yellow, red, and black, but this is very different. In our classroom, we do not penalize a student for not getting something right. It is the WBT philosophy that students need more practice. Thus, we have practice cards for when a student is challenged by a classroom rule. Here is an example:
    Sarah is a bright student and always wants to do what is right. She is energetic and excited about everything. She often adds great discussion points to our learning. Sarah tends to be challenged with staying in her seat during work time and will wander around the classroom to get a tissue, go to the bathroom, talk to a friend, or sharpen her pencil. Yet the expectation is for her to be working. We have learned that Rule 3 is to ‘Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.’ Sarah practices this skill and still needs to continue to practice. She has earned stars on her Super Improver Wall for improvement. In order to further her practice, we have begun to use Practice Cards to help remind Sarah of what it looks like to follow this rule.
    When Sarah has forgotten to follow Rule 3, I simply place a white practice card in her pocket. She knows that she has 2 minutes of practicing Rule 3 at recess time. I will also send a quick note home to ask that she practice for 2 minutes (or any amount of time that you see fit.) Please sign and return this note and I will let her take this card out of her pocket. If she doesn’t bring this note back, she will continue to practice this skill.
    As the year goes on and Sarah is making great progress, I will add in the purple card to reward her for following the rules. This purple card will cancel out a white card she may receive. Students are highly motivated to change their behaviors to cancel out practice time. She will receive a letter to you explaining that she is working hard to correct her behaviors in class.
    Once Sarah continues to show improvement, she will be given the chance to monitor her own practice time in the classroom by tally marking on a green practice card, each time she follows the rule. If I see fit, at the end of the day, Sarah many cancel out any white card she may have since she is clearly practicing her rule following.
    I thank you so much for your time, and look forward to sending home letters explaining how awesome your child is doing with following the rules. Thank you in advance for your home support. When we join home and school support, students succeed!

Sincerely yours,
Mrs. Long

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chapter 16: Improving State Test Scores with the Super Improvers Team

Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the plan described in this chapter for improving state test scores.

This chapter Improving State Test Scores with the Super Improver Team has shown many key points to educating students for standardized tests. One of the biggest points was the tennis comparison; we cannot expect our students to play a great game of tennis when we only allow them to practice a few times a year! This set my brain in motion. Throughout the year, it is expected that we measure our student’s growth through tests that ‘look like’ the state tests, with the end of the year tests being the biggest of measures. Practice is what they need, but we can’t give them a test every day. So how do we help supply the needed skills? We must teach proper test taking skills, analysis, and high order thinking in order to allow these skills to become what is known to athletes as muscle memory.
I am a huge fan of the weekly layouts to teach students the skills needed for exemplar answers.
Week 2-6: Prove It! + Show Work is a way to eliminate wrong answers by proving why an answer is correct and the other answers are incorrect. We started using this last year in my math class and this was HUGE! It seemed tedious to the students but it really helped them see how to think critically about a multiple choice question and select the best answer.
Week 7-12: Prove It! + Show Work + Doofus/Trickster/Smarty is a great way to not only have the students prove answers correct and incorrect but then label these answers with Doofus, Triskster, or Smarty. This skill has been taught for years but the names of the answers are fun and engaging! The Doofus is the obvious wrong answer, the Trickster is and answer that is almost right and the Smarty is the correct answer.
Week 13-18: Prove It! + Show Work + Doofus/Trickster/Smarty + Double Underlining adds in a key component to test taking strategies. In traditional test taking, we tell students to underline key information or phrases. This strategy adds to this. Students must read a second time and underline the most important information. Oh Yeah!!
Week 19-36: Prove It! + Show Work + Doofus/Trickster/Smarty + Double Underlining + Headings teaches students they need to fill in the following headings of Key words, key numbers, operations (+, -, x, /) procedures, and showing their work. Only after this is finished is their work finished. Ten Finger WOO!
The drawbacks to these strategies I find would be the time it would take to have students go through each of these steps for each problem on a worksheet or test. While saying this, I also believe that sometimes the amount of problems we expect students to do can be overwhelming. Our current district assessments must match the other teachers’ in our grade level. This would make it difficult to just cut out certain problems. Also, I wonder if this would lengthen the time students are completing the State Assessment. For some this would be great to cause them to slow down, yet others take much longer as it is and they would be extending their time. On certain parts of the test this is okay, but I wonder how they would do on the timed portion. Even with time being a drawback, I will be implementing these strategies since they seem to be so powerful!


Chapter 15: The Super Improvers Team

Evaluate the strengths and weakness of the Super Improvers Team as applied to weak, intermediate, and academically advanced students. Include a note evaluating the Super Improvers Team’s possible effectiveness with extremely challenging students.

Having used the Super Improvers Team for a year now, I can see how each student in my classroom reacted to the incredible, motivational, gesture of a single star. With each student working their hardest to earn the next level on the Super Improvers Wall, I was able to find the perfect motivational tool to meet students at their academic and behavioral level and raise them to their personal best. It was incredible to see the lower achieving students reach to beat their goals in academics and behaviors. Man did they move fast. In my opinion so many of my challenging students were rarely told they can accomplish greatness. I witnessed my intermediate students who could get by with just their bare minimum, strive to be better because they were only competing against themselves. My high achieving students were celebrated for their greatness, but the SIT kept them reaching for the stars because it was no longer about being on top and outdoing others, it was about beating themselves.
We used the SIT for rewards in so many areas. We charted growth in multiplication and division timed tests, books read per week for Accelerated Reader, homework excellence, test improvement, rock star behavior, behaviors with partners, and so much more. The great thing about the SIT was that students were rewarded for some of the smallest things, yet this made a huge improvement in their overall confidence in themselves and their behaviors in class.
Each week my students filled out a SIT half sheet of paper. They wrote down if they had met their prior week’s goal, what their new goal was, and what they think the teacher thinks their goal should be. This helped me see what they want to work on and helps them reflect on what they know I want them to work on. They keep this on their desk to remind them of their goals.
At the end of the year, my students received recognition from our principal for reaching personal goals and accomplishing the coveted top tier to the SIT! To see the look on some of my most challenging students when their name was called (and the look on their past teachers faces) I knew I had found a gold mine! It was such a motivation key in my classroom this past year and I wouldn’t go without it in years to come!! Talk about TEACHER HEAVEN!!


Chapter 14: Scoreboard Levels

Which of the Scoreboard levels are you most likely to use next year … and how long do you estimate you will stay at each level?

Each classroom is different but one thing is for sure, when the teacher employs support systems to teach students accountability, the teacher and students reap the benefits! In a WBT classroom, the scoreboard holds the keys to control and support of the student’s behaviors. The varying levels of the scoreboard are what make it work so well.
Looking at my class list for next year I see using Level One:  The Standard Scoreboard, Level Two: The Super Improver Team, and Level Three: The Practice Cards. I plan to implement Level One on the first day of school. This sets the tone for the rest of the year. I will use the ping-pong method (awarding a smiley and frowny close to the same time to regroup students) as well as the marker move (to entice students to work just a bit harder) and the fake (to show students they are on the right track, but not all the way there). Since there are so many ways to vary the scoreboard, it will be used all year long.
Level Two will be brought into play once the classroom is running with little effort. This is normally the first week. I will have the Super Improver Wall up in the room in the beginning of the year, but I will wait to unveil what it entails. I take pictures of the students and post these on the white starter level. Each level will signify the students and how they are improving. Once this has been initiated, it will go through the end of the year, making sure not to award too many or too few super improver stars so it lasts all year long. When I notice that students need to practice their behaviors, a little more, this will bring on the third level.
Level Three will be employed when I have narrowed down my categories of students. My Alphas, Go-Alongs, and Fence Sitters will have worked their way into a routine, whereas the Challengers will need to find their way by practicing intensely! I found that this was necessary in December/January timeframe last year. Each class is different but I hope to hold this off as long as needed. I begin with simple practice of the rule when the student had trouble, move to practice in class and recess practice, to practice at the time of difficulty with outdoor recess practice. Once this gets to this level, we bring in the letter home, which also has the same practicing. I only need this for a few students and needed it very little last year but it worked like a charm.
I am prepared to use the other variations of the scoreboard if necessary but I won’t know if I require them until I get to know each child and what their needs are in my classroom.


Chapter 13: Daily Classroom Procedures

Using WBT techniques, describe how you would teach your students to efficiently perform a classroom procedure (not described in this chapter).

This past year my class became masters at the 3-peat. After learning the ways to pass papers, line up, go to our seats and turn book pages, we quickly began 3-peating everything. Being an eMints classroom we needed a signal for turning on computers, loging onto the internet, switching the mouse or keyboard to the other partner, turning on and off lights and the projector and so much more. My students surprised me! One area that I enjoyed the 3-peat was during vocabulary work. When we were looking up definitions, synonyms and antonyms in the dictionary, the students would 3-peat the word back to me and then scurry in their books to find the definition. As soon as they would find the word they would shout our the page number and the rest of the class would 3-peat so all could read along.  Here is how this was taught.
Teacher: Class, I do!
Students: Yes, I do!
Teacher: Since you all have become so great at the 3-peat around the classroom with our normal daily procedures, we are going to practice this within a subject. Each week we practice vocabulary and find the information of each word. This week we might just be ready for a high intensity round of Vicious Vocabulary! Turn to your partner and teach them what I just said! Teach!
Students: Okay!
Teacher: Class, oh greatness!
Students: Yes, oh greatness!
Teacher: Who wants to know about our new game? (Students begin to beg to learn the new game.) Mirror words, (students activate mirrors by saying mirror words and putting their hands up.) Vicious Vocabulary (pause for students to repeat) is a game where you will race (pause) to see who can find our vocabulary word in the dictionary (pause) the fastest! Turn to your partner and teach them what I just said. Ta-Ta-Teach (like you are sneezing).
Students: Ta-Ta- Okay!
Teacher: Classity cool!
Students: Yessity cool!
Teacher: When I call out the vocabulary word you will 3-peat the word. Tu-tu-Teach!
Students: Tu-tu, okay!
Teacher: Class-ka-tool!
Students: Yes-ka-tool!
Teacher: So when I call out the vocabulary word and you 3-peat the word you will open your dictionary and search frantically for our vocabulary word. Toon-tastic teach!
Students: Toon-tastic Okay!
Teacher: Classity oh my!
Students: Yessity oh my!
Teacher: Mirror words! So I will call out the word (pause for all to repeat), you will 3-peat it (pause) and frantically search for the word (pause). When you find the word, (pause) you will call out the page number and wave your hands quietly above your head (pause). Once all students have their hands in the air (pause), we will investigate the word! Teach!
Students: Okay!
Teacher: Let’s practice! Voyage!
Students: Voyage, voyage, voyage! (Students shouts out the number, 326, and waves hands in the air. Wait for all hands in the air.)
Teacher: Coo-coo-class!           
Students: Coo-coo yes!
Teacher: What page?
Students: 326, 326, 326!
Teacher: Great! Lets practice again. Harbor!
Students: Harbor, harbor, harbor. (Students do the same as before. Each new practice time the students get faster.)
Teacher: Class, oh my!
Students: Yes, oh my!
Teacher: You have gotten so good at this. Next time I suspect you will be even better at this game. Great teaching! High five your partner!


Chapter 12: Mirror, Hands and Eyes

Creating gestures for core knowledge is a common challenge in WBT.  For example, a gesture for active verbs is churning your arms like you are a steam engine; a gesture for passive verbs is folding your arms. Invent and describe gestures for three core knowledge terms (and don’t copy any existing gestures from WBT!).

Gestures are key in the cornerstone of WBT. Some of the gestures, which come in handy for me, are those dealing with the core subjects. Reading and Math seem to be the most utilized areas with gestures.
In reading, I use a few gestures with reading comprehension. Main ideas and details are shown as a flat hand and then fingers below. We discuss how a main idea needs supporting details like a table needs legs. So when I say main ideas we use a horizontal flat hand with palm facing down. Then for the details we straighten our fingers down to the floor as if they are legs to our table. As we read, we will discuss the main idea of a paragraph and then the details, which support this main idea.
Meta cognition is a large reading skill, which we show by pointing to our head then the text as we are reading. We say "when the books says ____ (and the point to the text), I think (point to head), because (use the because clapper)  _____."
In math, geometry is a great area that uses gestures. When we find the area of a polygon we use the gesture of an L with the thumb and pointer finger of one hand for length, crossed arms for the multiplication sign, three fingers in a w for width, arms in an equal sign, then two fingers for the squared sign.  It would go something like this, "length (L with the thumb and pointer finger), times (crossed arms for the multiplication sign), width (three fingers in a w), equals (arms in an equal sign), the answer, squared (two fingers for squared).
When we learn coordinate grids, we use our arms in a large L shape to show the x-axis and the y-axis. I tell the students to think of their armpit as the zero-zero mark. This always raises a chuckle! We also stand up and chant that you have to walk before you can jump when you are plotting points on a grid. This means you must go along the x-axis first (the first number in an ordered pair) then jump up the grid (second number in an ordered pair). We will actually walk and jump the axis when we practice plotting points! In order to distinguish the difference between the axis we raise our arms above our head and talk about how a Y has a long, vertical line just like the y axis go vertically.   
With the properties of math, we use the following gestures and words to describe the rules:
Commutative property: we chant, "It doesn't matter the order (move hands back and forth crossing each other), the answer's still the same (one arm over the other forming an equal sign in front of chest)."
Distributive property: we chant ‘distributive’ over and over while we motion taking a number from a closed fist and distributing it twice to the opposite side of the fist.
Associative property we discuss that if three friends sit together, two sit together, and one sits away it’s still the same as if one sits alone and two sit together. We chant ‘associate’ while putting our arms up in parenthesis around our neighbors.


Chapter 11: The Scoreboard

From the 15+ variations of the Scoreboard in Chapter 11, pick five you will use in the school year. Explain why you picked each one and estimate how long you will use your selection before going on to the next.

Based on my experience the more I use the scoreboard, the better my students behave! In order to keep the scoreboard working and my students excited I must use a variety of tactics to employ success. Here are my five variations of the scoreboard, which I will be utilizing, in the coming year.
I will begin the year (the first day) with the standard scoreboard. This will help to solidify the class rules, teaching chants and movements (such as lines, pencils, and papers) as well as beginning the year by teaching my expectation. This is important because the first days of school are the foundation to how the classroom will run. I will also utilize the ‘ping pong’ method to increase excitement. The ‘marker move’ will also be employed since this is a great way to build upon their desire to succeed. The ‘Fake’ will also be added in for the same reasons. Incentives will be implemented in order to keep their attention. These will vary.
While utilizing the standard scoreboard, I will monitor my classroom to make changes as needed (perhaps quarterly changes), for every classroom is different. The next step I will use is the ‘doubler’. This adds a little ‘extra’ to the sides of the scoreboard without actually adding more. Each time you add two points to the side they receive. Two points for the smiley side “Oh Yeah!” two points for the frowny side “Ugh”. Lots of points will be on the board but they still balance out!
My next administration will be the ‘vertical morphin scoreboard’. This extends your scoreboard downward so the students can earn ‘high powered’ points for being super amazing or super sad. This will allow you to say things like, “That was good for a fourth grader,” (normal smiley) or “That was amazing like a fifth grader,” (super smiley). This can be varied by using the ‘horizontal morphin scoreboard’ but instead of extending the scoreboard downwards you add extra columns. The additional columns add extra points, ‘super amazing ‘adds 2 points in the column and ‘super sad’ would add two points to the column, whereas the smiley and frowny are still one point each.
As I see that certain methods need tweaking, I will implement new strategies to keep my scoreboard fresh!


Chapters 8-10: Teach-Okay

Write a short dialogue, like one of the samples in Chapters 8-10, demonstrating the use of Teach-Okay in one of your favorite lessons.

Teacher: Class, I can!
Class: Yes, I can!
Teacher: Today we are going to explore a major topic in 4th grade. Turn to your partner and tell them how excited you are to learn a serious 4th grade skill. (clap, clap) Teach!
Class: (clap, clap) Okay!
Teacher: Class, oh my!
Class: Yes, oh my!
Teacher: Today’s very important, advanced skill, is all about reading and the different types of books there are to read. (sound effects, Dun, dun, dun!) We are going to learn about the genres of reading. With a full body turn, tell your neighbor what we are going to learn. (clap, clap, snap, snap) Teach!
Class: (clap, clap, snap, snap) Okay!
Teacher: Class, class!
Class: Yes, yes!
Teacher: There are so many ways to classify reading but for our class we are going to sort our reading into 10 categories. Today we will learn the names of these genres and each week we will focus on a different category and the types of books in these categories. With a full body turn, teach your neighbor how many genre categories there are. (whistle twice) Teach!
Class: (whistle twice) Okay!
Teacher: First we will talk about fiction and non-fiction. Turn to your partner and discuss the difference with fiction and non-fiction. (long whistle) Teach.
Class: (long whistle) Okay.
Teacher: Class-a-doodle-do!
Class: Yes-a-doodle-do!
Teacher: Fiction stories are made-up stories and non-fiction stories are real stories. High-five your partner if you got this right! (Wait for high-fives) To help me remember, I say this little chant, “Fiction is fake, non is not!” Three-peat this with me, Fiction is fake, non is not! Fiction is fake, non is not! Fiction is fake, non is not! Now, with your partner, make up a gesture to help you remember the difference. (Clap, Clap) Teach!
Class: (Clap, Clap) Okay!
I allow students to show their gesture and then let students pick their personal favorite.
Teacher: Now for the good stuff! There are six fiction genres! Teach your partner how many fiction genres there are. (clap, clap, snap, snap) Teach!
Class: (clap, clap, snap, snap) Okay!
Teacher: (Loud booming voice) Class!
Class: (Loud booming voice) Yes!
Teacher: Mirror words, There are six fiction genres and three non-fiction genres (three-peat this using six fingers then 3 fingers).  Now my mathematicians know that 6+3=9, nine doesn’t equal 10 so something isn’t right… there is one that is called the odd-ball. Everyone salute the oddball since there is an oddball in everything… hahahaha.  Teach your partner how many fiction and non-fiction genres there are. Make sure to use your gestures. (stomp, stomp) Teach!
Class: (stomp, stomp) Okay!
Teacher: Class oh my!
Class: Yes oh my!
Teacher: The six fiction categories are (make fun gestures for each) Fantasy (fairy wings), Realistic Fiction (hands on hips), Mystery (pretend to look through a magnifying glass), Historical Fiction (point thumbs backwards), Traditional Fiction, and Science Fiction (pretend to be a robot). (This is where I unveil the bulletin board of genres and bring attention to the fiction categories.) You will be able to look up here at the various book covers and the names of the genres to help you throughout the year. Teach your partner the fiction genres. (pat legs) Teach!
Class: (pat legs) Okay!
Teacher: Class cadoo!
Class: Yes cadoo!
Teacher: (Mirror words) The three non-fiction categories are Autobiography (point to self), Biography (point to someone else), and Informational (point to head). (Three-peat) Teach your partner the three non-fiction genres. (Clap, clap) Teach!
Class: (Clap, clap) Okay!
Teacher: Class, kablewy!
Class: Yes, kablewy!
Teacher: Let’s review, there are six fiction and three nonfiction. Teach your partner the six fiction, then switch and the other partner will teach the non-fiction. Then complete this the opposite way. Each time you repeat this try not to use the board if you can! (Whistle) Teach!
Class: (Whistle) Okay!
Teacher: Class, Focus!
Class: Yes, Focus!
Teacher: We have discussed the six fiction genres and the three non-fiction genres, now we are going to look at the oddball. See, the oddball isn’t real or made-up. It can be for fun or it can be for feeling. The oddball is (drum roll) Poetry! Now teach all of the genres to your partner! (drum roll) Teach!
Class: (drum roll) Okay!
Teacher: Coo, coo, class!
Class: Coo, coo, yes!
Teacher: Now that you know the names of the genres we will develop our understanding of each category for the next 10 weeks. We will begin with realistic fiction in our first book club book Fourth Grade Rats. Rub your hands together and tell your partner how excited you are to start your first official 4th grade book study!


Chapter 7: Five, Powerful Classroom Rules

Describe how you will teach, and continue to reinvigorate for the school year, one of the Five Classroom Rules.

In my opinion, I feel that the five class rules are one of the most important pieces to the WBT foundation. With these five basic rules, teachers are able to minimize behavioral difficulties and students are able to learn at new levels since the classroom works like a well-oiled machine. The rule I find to be the most useful and will discuss is rule 4.
Rule 4 is my favorite rule because each of our students have varying levels of self control. In the last 7 years of teaching, I find students need help learning what ‘smart choices’ are. Using the 5 class rules, WB teachers are able to facilitate high level expectations without using frustration or anger towards the class. When a student is not making smart choices, the teacher says, “Rule 4” and the class echoes, “Rule 4, make smart choices!” This helps students to not feel singled out and makes for a terrific teaching moment.
The way I would teach this rule other than in rehearsals is to have students make videos of the rule. Since my classroom is an eMINTS classroom, pairs of students will use their iPads to video each other making poor choices. Then the student will interview the person who was making the poor choice and talk about what a smart choice would be. Finally they will video making a smart choice. The pairs will create mini videos of the poor choice and the smart choice. Each pair will rotate around the iPads and view each video. This will help to solidify what kinds of actions this rule encompasses.
Videoing will also be done with each rule and we will vote on our favorite videos for each rule. The expert video will be the first group to wear the coveted pin! I plan to keep the rules fresh and fun by posting them on each students website and having the students show them to other WBT classrooms. Each quarter we will create new videos with more advanced showings of the rules to keep the students fresh on the expectations.
I plan to use the rule pins this year to nominate students to wear when they are showing exemplary skills in the rule. These coveted pins/lanyards are a special gift when students model expert level behaviors in the selected rule. This is my ‘buy in’ since students want to show their abilities by wearing the pins, BIG time bragging rights! This also transfers to the hallways and to recess since other students in our grade level will have these bestowed upon them by their teachers.


Chapter 6: Class-Yes

Get ready for some quick WBT Certification Points! Invent 10 variations on class-yes!

Variety is the spice of life and when trying to get the attention on 23 focused students it is only appropriate to have a large list of ‘Class, Yes’ chants ready for delivery. If we fail to vary our delivery, students will fail to engage.
1.     Class-a-doodle do, Yes-a-doodle do.
2.     Class-a-class-a-ding dong, Yes-a-yes-a-ding dong.
3.     (In the tune of baseball-themed CHARGE chant) Da na na na na na, Class! Da na na na na na, Yes!
4.     Class-a-re, class a ro, class a roo, Yes-a-re, yes a ro, yes a roo.
5.     Classini, Yesini.
6.     Oh my class, Oh my yes.
7.     Class I can, Yes I can.
8.     Class, I’m focused. Yes, I’m focused.
9.     (Begins soft and ends loud) Classity, classity, classity, class. Yessity, Yessity, Yessity, Yes!
Claps, stomps, snaps
10. Variations claps and snaps and feet stomping before or after Class, Yes.
a.     (Clap, clap, snap, snap) Class. (Clap, clap, snap, snap,)Yes.
b.     (Clap, stomp) Class, Class. (Clap, stomp) Yes, yes.
c.      (Clap with a slide off of palm-swish noise, twice) Class, Yes.
Holiday themed
11. (In Santa voice) Class, Class, Class. Yes, Yes, Yes.
12. (ghost voice or witch voice) CCLLAASSSS, YYYEEESSSS
13.  Gobble, Gobble, Class ,Class. Gobble, Gobble Yes, Yes.
14. (With hands folded by chin in sappy love voice) Class, Yes.
15. (In a cold voice) Burr, burr, Class, class. Burr, burr, Yes, yes.