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Monday, September 17, 2012

Whole Brain Lesson Planning

So last night I watched my first training video on wholebrainteaching and it focused on the way you plan your lessons.  It was really a genius moment that struck me.  First you start with a question and have them repeat.  Then you answer the question with gestures and they repeat.  You teach with several turn and talk moments so they teach each other as well keeping them engaged.  Here is the part that was pretty awesome. There is a OH YEA/No WAY test where you ask a question and they answer yes/no.  If 80% get it correct move on if not reteach.  THEN...move on the QT (cutie) game.  They cover their eyes and you ask more in depth questions figuring out more in depth knowledge if you have 80% that understand move on if not...reteach.  I thought wow instead of a test on paper that makes perfect sense!  SO I tried it today.  Wow. This is restructuring how I teach and my entire philosophy but I am loving it.  I have participation and can't wait to see what they retain.  I hope that is shows awesome results! I will keep you posted.....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching

So I promised I would share some about whole brain teaching.  This is something new that I am trying this year.  To be honest, I learned this idea from youtube.  Since then I have started to read some of the articles online and am trying my best to implement some of the ideas.   First change has been that we review our 5 rules at least times a day sometimes more.  They are....

Rule #1. Follow directions quickly
Rule #2. Raise your hand to speak or stand
Rule #3. Listen when your teacher is talking
Rule #4. Respect others, respect yourself, and respect the school
AND Rule #5 Keep your dear teacher happy!  (my favorite!)

We have motions to go with each and the kids know them by heart by the end of the first week of school.  I get their attention by saying Class. and they say YES.  If they are busy I say hands and eyes and they say hands and eyes (put their hands together and eyes on me).  We have partner time throughout the day where they talk and I say teach...they respond OK and start talking.  I must say I have seen a HUGE improvement on the students response.  I can get their attention easily, I don't say near as much and it saves my voice because I can call out one word commands and they know what to do and how to respond.  My biggest challenge so far is being consistent.  I read online that for every 45 seconds there should be some sort of response.  This is very hard!  But I will say on the days that I am successful by the end of the day I think. Wow...what a great day.  This is going to be a journey this year and I'm excited to share it with you!  If you have any ideas, suggestions, struggles, etc. please comment!

Classroom set up.

Wow the beginning of the school year has been a whirl wind.  This blog will be about how my classroom is set up.  I love it!  It is very organized and the kids seem to really enjoy the room.

This is a picture of my cubbies.  On the wall I have my shapes, numbers with words, color words, etc.  I call this my math wall.  I plan on putting some math vocab words up as we learn them as well.



These two pictures are showing the front of the classroom.  I got these great cubes from Target when they were on sale.  They work great for a small group around the Smart board but also the lid comes off and it is an awesome place for storage!

 
This is my library.  I have the books labeled by Guided Reading level and interest.  The baskets are from Target as well.


This is my small group corner at the carpet area.  I never could figure out a good way to use that shelf until I got this idea from a 3rd grade teacher at our school.  Now I don't have to worry about hanging my chart tables, where my markers are, and it is a great place to showcase the books we are talking about in interactive read aloud, science, and shared reading.

 
This is my big book/manipulative area.  I LOVE the drawers.  At first I wasn't sure how it would work but I have all my math manipulatives in the drawers.  You wouldn't believe how much room that saves on shelves! 



This is my absolute favorite thing about my room this year.  I got the idea of these tables on pinterest.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!  I use them for their math manipulatives, pencils, glue sticks, writing supplies, writing paper, morning work paper,extra crayons, etc.  Everything is out of the way, the math manipulatives stay there all day and the kids don't mess with it until math.  It is amazing what an extra 12 inches will do.  It has also helped the mystery of the moving desk that happened daily last year.  I haven't had to straighten up my groups one time this year.  The desk stay in place and don't move!

 
I got this idea on pinterest as well.  I had saved Mr. Potato head from the trash at the end of the year thinking I would come up with a way to use it.  And low and behold it was on pinterest!  I started whole brain teaching techniques (which is an entirely other blog entry)...and when the kids win their smiley/frowny game at the end of the day, I add something to Mr. Potato head.  If the frowny wins I take something off, if we are tied...we neither add nor take away from Mr. Potato head.  When he is entirely put together we will have a special reward, maybe eating outside, or reading outside, a treat at lunch, etc. 

 
This is a picture of my mailboxes.  They were pink but didn't fit the color scheme so we painted them to match.  They work well.  The kids keep their folders in them and I put their homework, notes, etc. anything that needs to go home in their boxes.  At the end of the day they pack their folder, check their mail box, and that's that.



This is my word wall.  I am excited to have it in a place that is functional for the room.  I just finished up a sight word spelling test and I plan on using that data to come up with the words we will be adding on the word wall weekly.


 
This is a cabinet we covered in brown material and I plan on hanging up student work to display.

 

 

 
 This is a picture of our hallway again where we showcase student work.

I love my room this year.  I just wanted to share it with you!  Hope you can get some ideas to use as well :)