Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Rules

Is it completely crazy to add new rules in the last 31/2 months of the year?  I suppose it is, but the group I have this year has really thrown me for a loop, in many interesting ways.  SO...what's a girl to do when your class has tested all your tricks??? Get new tricks, right?!?!

Insert Whole Brain Teaching!  I have begun to research and understand how it all works. Baby steps to using the whole idea, if I ever adopt it all, but I am for sure posting and teaching the "5 RULES" in my classroom tomorrow.  To be honest, they are not really NEW rules, but more explictly taught.  I have to our PBIS expectations (but that is for a different post!) these rules will just help with the daily function and management of my students.

The main thing I LOVE about WBT is the hand gestures. This is something I already do for myself, but I am making an effort to use a gesture for every thing.  I started using them for lining up my kids today and it was AMAZING!!! They were so focused in the hallway and followed all the expectations perfectly!!! YES!!! No more saying the same expectations over and over while we are traveling in the hallway.  I just said a students name quietly, did the expectation gesture and mouthed the rule and they had to repeat it.  One reminder and they fixed the behavior.  I am so excited to see how this goes tomorrow.  I created some posters to use in my room to help them remember what the expectations were before we leave the room.  I will share when I create a credit page for the clip-art I used.

   Until then, here is the link to the cute 5 rules page that I found on Pinterest from Sunny and Bright in First Grade.  Do you use WBT?  How does it work for you?

According to Jeff Battle, Director, North Carolina Whole Brain Teachers:

Rule One: Follow directions quickly! (the gesture: make your hand shoot forward like a fish)

Rule Two: Raise your hand for permission to speak (the gesture: raise your hand, then pull it down next to your head and make a talking motion. This rule will be the most commonly violated. See below for how you stop this without criticism or negativity.)

Rule Three: Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat. (the gesture: raise your and, and then make a little walking figure with your index and middle finger.)

Rule Four: Make smart choices! (the gesture: tap one finger to your temple as you say each word.

Rule Five: Keep your dear teacher happy! (the gesture: hold up each thumb and index finger out like an “L” framing your face; bob your head back and forth with each word and smile really big!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentine's Day Party Fun

Friday February 13th we celebrated Valentine's Day with our annual party.  I was looking for some easy party ideas and games to make the afternoon festivities go smoothly, but pack in a ton of fun.  I found several games and the craft we did at: MomSwimBikeRun.  She shared all the fun Minute to Win it games we played (Cookie Face, Cupid's Bow and Arrow, and Marshmallow Toss) and the Heart Goggles craft that my 3rd Graders actually loved to create.  We did all the activities in stations and rotated to help my darlings follow directions better.  I had planned on doing the candy heart stacking game, but we ran out of time.  I meant to get pictures of all the games, but we were having so much fun that I did not get any of cookie face or marshmallow toss.  They kids decided to save their cookies from the floor by doing the game over their desks (so smart!) and I bought heart shaped marshmallows instead of miniature ones, which added a level of difficulty, but made it fun in a small space.  We started the party with a snack and passing out our valentine cards, then we played the games, and wrapped up with our photo booth and voted on our favorite Valentine box to put on display in the art display case.

Heart Goggles
Our Favorite Valentine's Box

Second Place
One Mom brought in a ring toss game and prizes

Heart Goggles and Cupid's Bow and Arrows Game

More Cupid's Arrows

Photo Fun
Photo Booth

Even the Mom's got in the booth!
Total our party was an hour, and it was perfect! Share in the comments some of your favorite party games!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Where have I been??? Plus a Tech Tip!

It's been a year while since I posted on here.  Life has been so busy. Going from 1 kid to 2 took it's toll on me.  I had a difficult pregnancy with my 2nd baby, I was sick for almost the entire pregnancy, very tired and ended up having my gallbladder taken out when baby #2 was 8 weeks old.  

Aren't they cute!

Now that G is almost a year old, life is settling into a new routine and I plan to get back to blogging a about what is happening in my classroom! For today, I want to share a quick tip for a new app/website that my technology integration teacher shared with me.  Plickers! My kids LOVE it.  It is so simple to set up, print the response cards and download the app.  You create questions for the kids that show up on your smartboard or projector.  The kids use their individual card to select their answer.  Then you can revel the correct answer and you can immediately see who understood the lesson, and who needs reteaching, or if the whole class missed the concept.  Plickers is available on android or apple products and you only need one device to make it work!

View from the camera on your phone or tablet
See immediate results!!!

Sample of the student Cards

The plickers website definitely could use some updates that would allow teachers to print results and the ability to put picture into questions, but I have heard they are working on adding some of these features in the future.  Regardless, as soon as my students pull out their plickers cards, engagement goes from a few to 100% participation.  The immediate feedback for the students is a huge benefit and I am hoping that after our next assessment, I will see a major improvement in student achievement. Hope you find this site as useful as I have!