Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
I had the wonderful opportunity to demonstrate WTB in a 2nd grade and 4th grade classroom at Boyne City Elementary School. It was a wonderful experience. In particularly, the teachers wanted to see how the Scoreboard worked to motivate students and how Teach-Okay engaged students in the learning process. the kids were marvelous, enthusiastic, and really into it. Even the shy ones were engaged and working hard to tell their partner what I was teaching. In the 4th grade class, the teacher told me the class had been working on using transition words in their writing assignments. I was able to give them a definition of transition words with gestures and the kids worked really hard to teach the concept to their partner. We had two 4th grade classes in the same room (40+ kids, wow!), so the noise of kids teaching and learning was loud and exciting. The kids really got into the score board and in the spirit of the season, we used "Ho, Ho, Ho" for the 1 second celebration and "Bah, Humbug", for the mighty groan. The ideas came straight from the kids. It was a great opportunity to spread the WBT message and work with students and teachers to improve my skills and craft as well.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I set up my Super Improvers wall for my three Resource room classes and it is working great. I created 10 levels (different colors) and posted a sign at the front of the room stating what the Super Improvers goal is for the week. This week they are working on completing their homework assignment each night. They earn a star for each night it is completed. I also have two emotionally impaired students who work independent of the rest of the class. They too earn stars, but they must show effort and production during class time. One of them is thrilled to earn stars for her effort and completing her work during class time. Who would have thought an eighth grader would work so hard to earn stars and be the first to move to Level Two! It's what we live for in special ed land. The score board is working well and I have only had to use the Independents one day in the past 4 weeks. The particular student involved did not want to continue to be an Independent after one class period. He got the message loud and clear without raising my voice, showing anger towards me or any of the negative vibes usually associated with discipline. It was great!
Sunday, October 23, 2011
I started the Genius Ladder in my resource room reading and writing classes (5th, 7th, and 8th graders) this past week. I went great. The kids loved the idea of "bringing nothing but their voices and ideas". We started with a blah sentence and moved right up to a full paragraph with several adders within twenty minutes of brainstorming. An unintended consequence of the Genius ladder was as the kids were brainstorming adjectives I realized many of them had limited vocabularies when it came to coming up with interesting or different describing words. This gave me an opportunity to discuss different words they could use other than obvious ones. for example, if they were describing a dog, they might come up with "little" dog or "mean" dog. I would suggest "tiny" or "vicious" dog as alternatives to their suggestions and add to their own vocabulary. When they had brainstormed a number of adjective, I allowed them to choose the one they wanted to insert in the sentence. It also gave me an opportunity to work on "adder" sentences. Typically, any of my students who struggle with writing have a difficult time adding details to their paragraphs. They seemed to better understand what they were to do when I used the term "adder" versus "detail sentence". It also gave me a chance to find out how much background knowledge they had regarding the topic or subject of our paragraph. The exercise went very well and they seemed pleased with the paragraph they ended up with. All in all, it went well and I cannot wait to continue to teach writing using the Genius Ladder. My advice is look for unintended opportunities to assist your students in areas of writing they struggle with that you may not have been aware of or may have taken for granted that they knew.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I have implemented WBT in my resource room classes and have converted my co-teaching partner to use WBT in her ELA class. For the first time I am implementing the Super Improver Wall and plan to introduce the Genius Ladder in the near future. The Score Board is going great and kids really get into the mighty groan and the 1 minute celebration. This year I am more conscious of how I am teaching content by using Teach-Okay and Mirror rather than simply talk, ask if they understand, and move on. The kids love the fact I don't talk all the time, they get to talk to each other, gesture with their hand,... and it's fun.