Sunday, March 16, 2014
In December, my classroom began hosting a student teacher. One of the best ways to teach a student teacher how to keep control of the class is to teach them about constant rehearsal of the rules. Since this is the second student teacher I have hosted since using WBT, I have come up with a few ways of doing this. We rehearse rules, classroom procedures, and teaching procedures with the students daily. This helps foster a smooth running classroom without too many ‘hiccups’ with the gradual teaching release. I teach my student teachers they must demand the same respect I demand from my students and because of this, they are more successful with classroom management. Here is one of the ways we practice teaching procedures.
C/Y: I have noticed that we are doing a fantastic job teaching our neighbors all of the wonderful skills we are learning. Compliment your neighbor with a MIGHTY OH YEAH for being an amazing teacher!
C/Y: One thing I have also noticed is that we are using gestures and the because clapper to ‘beef up’ our answers. Give me another MIGHTY OH YEAH!
C/Y: At this time in the year, my expectations will only go up since you are almost 5th graders…OOOOOOHHHHHHH! 5th grade is just that much more demanding. I think you will do just fine. Turn to your neighbor and teach them our teaching procedures. You must use gestures, a full body turn, and speak in complete sentences while using some kind of brain toy! T/O
Immediately, and it will happen, call attention as soon as a student isn’t completely turned talking to their neighbor or if they do not clap and say teach as instructed, after all they are rehearsing their teaching procedures.
C/Y: I noticed some of our partners must not have pulled their easy release swivel button on their chair. Their bottoms were glued to their seat, their head moved but their knees are not pointed to their partner. Tell them “It’s Cool!” Lets practice this, with a full body turn, knees pointed to your neighbor, teach your partner using gestures and a brain toy how we teach our neighbors. T/O
Immediately, call attention if students are following procedures or if they are not. Playing Scoreboard Ping Pong will always result in students doing what is expected. We continue to practice until all students are teaching to the expectation! We even call attention to those who are consistent Super Improver Stars are awarded for AMAZING teachers.
I have found the more we practice, the more we improve. Oh, YEAH!
Mind sports are the games we like to play when we have a limited amount of time in the classroon. We use this each week as the reward for homework and we play for fun when the kids have earned extra time!! Here is a link to my Mind Baseball Notebook File. In order to keep the questions fresh and the review up to date, I put the question into a word document. Here are my top 75 question.
1. What is an example of a reading theme?
2. What is the meaning of theme?
3. What is a main Idea?
4. What is a conjunction?
5. What is an article?
6. What is a factor?
7. What is a product?
8. What is a quotient?
9. What is a dividend?
10. What is a divisor?
11. What is an equation?
12. What does an equal sign mean in a math sentence?
13. What is a sentence?
14. What is a noun?
15. What is a verb?
16. What is an adjective?
17. What is a pun?
18. What is a character trait?
19. What is a setting?
20. What is a plot?
21. What is an inference?
22. What is a sum?
23. What is a difference?
25. How many sides on a pentagon?
26. How many sides on an octagon?
27. How many sides on a hexagon?
28. What is an angle?
29. What are parallel lines?
30. What are perpendicular lines?
31. What are intersecting lines?
32. How do you find the area of a figure?
33. How do you find the perimeter of a figure?
34. What is associative property?
35. What is commutative property?
36. What is the distributive property?
37. What is the identity property?
38. How many hours in a day?
39. How many days in a year?
40. How many days in a week?
41. What do we call a group of words that can’t be taken word for word? They have a figurative meaning.
42. What is it called when you compare things using like or as?
43. What is it called when you compare things by saying one thing is another?
44. Give an example of an idiom.
45. What point of view is it when the narrator is inside the story?
46. What is the author’s purpose when he writes fiction?
47. What is the author’s purpose when he writes expository text?
48. What is the sentence called that tells what a paragraph is about?
49. What point of view is it when the narrator is outside the story?
50. What are the two words at the top of a dictionary page called?
51. What is the word we use that means the type of literature?
52. What is an example of rhyme scheme in poetry?
53. What does the prefix un- mean?
54. What does the suffix –er mean?
55. What do we call the little paragraphs in a poem?
56. What do we call a poem that has no rhyme pattern?
57. What do we call the rhythm in a poem?
58. What kind of poem expresses feelings?
59. What kind of poem tells a story?
60. What two parts make up a setting?
61. What do we call the directions that are written in italics before the dialogue in dramatic literature?
62. What do we call the words the actors speak in dramatic literature?
63. What do we call two complete messages (or sentences) that are put together with a command?
64. Name a type of proper noun that needs to be capitalized.
65. What do we do before we write the first word on the first line of a paragraph?
66. What kind of sentence do we start our expository writing with?
67. All the paragraphs in our writing must support what?
68. What are the 5 parts of a sentence?
69. What is a solid?
70. What is a liquid?
71. What is a gas?
72. What are the three branches of government?
73. What are mixtures?
74. What are solutions?
75. What do states collect in order to pay for things like roads and parks?
Monday, March 3, 2014
Chapter 30- Mind Blowing Classroom
Since I have already designed my model WBT classroom, I will sum up what I have utilized in my class over the last two years and what I plan to use in the future. Each year I have continued the program parts that have worked added something new to master.
The Big Seven created a fun environment where students knew expectations and learned how to work as a team.
Super Improver Team created independent, motivated students who would do anything for a colored piece of paper!! Goal setting, reflection, and mastering behaviors became a task that students looked forward to, rather than dreading.
Super Speed created automatic readers and mathematicians who were fluent in reading and fact practice.
The Crazy Professor Game created expressionistic readers who engage in interesting dialog with their partners about otherwise rote reading practice.
Who would have thought my teaching heaven could have been better?? Well it got even better in year two.
By adding the Genius Ladder the first week of school, students were able to grasp how sentences begin and how we make them more interesting. Long gone are the days of boring (snore) sentences. Implementing adder sentences made students think in complete thoughts and add definition to their thinking.
Super Speed Grammar became a great way to facilitate grammar terminology in a fun way! Students zoomed through different slides learning verbs, nouns, adjectives, and so much more! Long gone are the worksheets, say hello to collaborative learning.
Common Core lessons, added to the WBT website, provide great practice to the class on key topics for reading. Students mastered topic sentences, paragraph structure, compare and contrast and so much more!! Going to WBT College was just what my 4th graders needed!
In the near future, I will begin the process of oral writing. I am very excited about adding in complete oral sentences with the goal setting of the Wacky Star Fun Button. My class is sure to jump for joy when this is introduced this month.
Throughout the last two years of teaching, using the WBT methods, I have found so many resources and teaching changes that have made my students achieve at high levels. It is AMAZING how much my teaching has changed. With that said, here are four of the ways I have utilized these program in my own classroom, or plan to implement, to create an environment which is engaging for all involved!
In Chapter 26, we learn when students are put in charge of the class attentions calls they become more confident in the classroom. I love how you can choose students each day, or few days that are the Rule Caller, Class, Yes, or Switch announcer. As students are chosen for these roles, they gain confidence and self-worth. I would like to expand how often I use this strategy in the coming years. I go through times where I use it for a few days or not at all.
In Chapter 27, we review the ‘BIG SEVEN’. Each component of the Big 7 contributes to the structure of WBT. The formation of the class rules, scoreboard, attention getters, and much more create the foundation needed for a high energy, high learning environment. Students engage in learning in an interactive way. I would like to continue to work within the Guff Counter area since I have a few students that I think this would benefit from a positive response from their classmates.
Chapter 28 gave great resources to the research study conducted using Whole Brain Teaching. I plan to use this chapter to explain my rationale to other teachers, administrators, and parents when explaining why WBT works so well. The ability to show how Direct Instruction and Collaborative Learning come together in these programs is amazing. When you can positively reinforce behaviors, amplify attention, and increase memory retention in every subject of the day, students achieve to high levels.
Having data (as seen in Chapter 29) to share and show evidence of efficacy is necessary when proving how a program works. The research time invested in the WBT practices proves that this model increases student learning and teacher effectiveness.