Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday nights... never boring for WBT Teachers!

I love Monday nights! I look forward to learning something new from Coach B at

During the summer, most Monday nights are open chats. We talk with each other about questions we have, great ideas that come up, and overall enjoy talking with our fellow Whole Brainers (aka Wibbeteers).

This week we were all pleasantly surprised when Coach showed up and talked with us live for about 15 minutes! He had new stuff to share! If you missed it, too bad so sad! JUST KIDDING! If you missed it... he has already added the mini webcast to the video library!

Coach B shared information that is new AS OF THIS MORNING! Coach B is always thinking! I for one am so thankful we have access to his continuous feed of information! An important idea in his new book "Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Students" is, "The longer we talk, the more students we lose." Coach is always finding new ways to shorten the amount of time we are talking to our students and increasing the time they are talking to each other about what we have taught them. His first new idea he shared tonight is an example of how to keep teacher talk brief!

When introducing the Teach-Okay, we had previously asked them to make a full turn to their neighbor. We still want them to make this full body turn. The full body turn helps activate the motor cortex. However, instead of saying, "Using a full body turn, tell your neighbor what I just told you about ___________", we are now going to simplify it by saying "face your neighbor". This will not happen automatically, we will scaffold the process. We will teach them this routine by practicing, "Face your neighbor, face me, face your neighbor, face me,..." All the while reinforcing rule 1: Follow directions quickly!

As they start to really turn to each other... not just turning their necks... but turning their full body... we will take it to the next step. The next step is to have them BOTH raise their hands when they face each other. Having their hands automatically raised, not only activates their Visual Cortex it will also help them remember that BOTH of them should be using gestures. One is talking and making the gestures while the other is mirroring the gestures. When this process happens, they are activating their mirror neurons. Don't forget by teaching they are speaking (activating their Broca's area) and by listening they are using the Wernicke's Area.

When we ask them to "face me", we want them to have folded hands. Folded hands in WBT is the listening position. An important principle to WBT teaching is keep it fun. When the kids are facing us we need to be smiling! We want to have the Limbic System engaged! The Limbic System controls our emotions. Teach Okay... is a prime example of why we are WHOLE BRAIN TEACHERS!

Okay, the above information was great to hear... but Coach had MORE to share! He wanted to tell us how to scaffold ORAL WRITING! OH SWEET MAMA! He was full of great information as always. If you haven't done much with Oral writing please check out Webcast 502

Below are Coach's Steps for scaffolding Oral Writing.

1) Teach Okay - One person talks and gestures while the other listens and mirrors the gestures. Make sure you switch so that both people have a turn to talk AND listen.

2) Air Capitalization (beginning of the sentence) and Punctuation

3) Air Capitalization of Proper Nouns

4) Bring the words to life (There is that Limbic System connection) Speak with lots of emotion!

5) Use the Because Clapper

6) Adder sentences. (We want the students to start giving more than one sentence answers.)

7) We want to teach the gesture for indenting paragraphs. (This sets them up to be able to speak MULTIPLE paragraph answers!)

8) Speak with Adjectives. We want the students to use adjectives in their oral writing.

Coach stopped here tonight... but you know that he will be adding more!

There is so much more to share but this post is already too long. Stay tuned for more information!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

2013 National Whole Brain Teaching Conference Pineville, LA

Three days of training for Teacher Heaven!

The energy at the conference for all three days was amazing! Whether teachers were learning about WBT for the first time or coming to refresh their Whole Brain Teaching back pocket of strategies, people were smiling and laughing. We need to bring laughter back to schools.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Chris Biffle aka Coach B at least five times. I have met Chris Rekstad and Jeff Battle twice. This conference was like a rock star concert for me. As soon as I walked in the doors of the hotel I saw Andrea Schindler... She is the reason I am a Whole Brain Teacher. Her videos are the first I watched. I was able to meet up with my Monday night WBT twin Julie Gustin, aka Southern Teacher. I can't forget to mention finally meeting Kathy Powers aka blizzard and Marty Hohman aka m_hohman.

I was further star struck when I sat in a meeting with WBT video rockstars, Andre Deshotil, Jasselle Cruz, Sarah Meador, Lindsey Roush, Kate Bowski, and Karly MacAleese. Seeing people like Deb Weigel and Farrah Shipley in person was just unreal.

Nancy Stoltenberg is a truly beautiful person. She won WBT teacher of the year and without a doubt deserves the title! I couldn't have done all that I have so far without her support. On top of the support and encouragement she has provided, she connected me with my newest friend Marie Everman. Getting to know Marie has been such a blessing.

I came to Louisiana to learn more about this wonderful miracle that is Whole Brain Teaching. Little did I know that I was going to be a part of the team. From the first meeting, on Sunday night, to working with Andrea on Monday, Tuesday with Chris Rekstad, and finally being able to address the entire conference on Wednesday about my favorite part of WBT ( Super Improver Team): I was part of an elite group of people.

I met and talked with some amazing people over the course of the last few days. I couldn't possible name all the people who I had the privilege of talking with about Whole Brain Teaching.

I have moaned and groaned for over a year about the lack of Whole Brain teachers in my school. No more whining (thanks Deb Weigel for the much needed pep talk)! I have a team of teachers across the country ready and waiting to support me all the way. I am going to lead by example, first in my classroom, then my building, then my district... This wildfire will spread!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

How does the Genuis Ladder benefit the writing process.

Question 1: How does the Genius Ladder benefit the writing process?
“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” Aldous Huxley

The Genius Ladder benefits the writing process by making writing simple, giving lots of practice with Oral Writing, and MOST IMPORTANTLY weaving the GOLDEN THREAD of FUN into your daily instruction.  Writing isn’t only difficult for our students, we as teachers struggle while teaching this COMPLEX content area. When students get lots of practice they gain more confidence. Any time you engage students limbic systems by weaving the GOLDEN THREAD of FUN, you AND your students win big time! 

Writing is a difficult subject for students and teachers. Students struggle with writing because there are so many BORING, complicated rules to learn. Thanks to Whole Brain Teaching’s HUGE collection of writing instruction tools, writing is no longer boring or complicated. Choose from a number of resources under the ebooks section of the Whole Brain Teaching Website. Genius Ladder is only one of many. There is even an interactive PDF presentation for the Genius Ladder created by Chris Rekstad, a co-founder of Whole Brain Teaching. Whole Brain Teaching helps teachers simplify writing instruction with Super Speed Grammar, The Writing Game, Genius Ladder, RedGreen Marker Editing and much more. 

Students beg to play the Genius Ladder. That’s right… students are BEGGING to practice grammar and writing. They LOVE creating silly sentences. Laughter erupts as the class works to change a BLAH sentence into a GENIUS paragraph. As the students participate in this beautifully simple, yet enriching game they not only learn about parts of speech they increase their vocabulary. They race against the clock to replace the noun, verb, or adjective in the provided sentences as many times as possible. 

Weaving the GOLDEN THREAD of FUN, is a necessity in ANY classroom. If you aren’t weaving the GOLDEN THREAD of FUN… you aren't in a Whole Brain Classroom. The quote at the beginning of my post makes an incredible point. Teachers are so bogged down with all the rules and expectations of data, common core, testing,… that we lose our enthusiasm. We can’t lose our enthusiasm … we have to lead our students to be genius’. 

For more examples of the Genius Ladder, watch program 504 on the Whole Brain Teaching Website. You can also watch Chris Biffle (aka Coach B), cofounder of Whole Brain Teaching play the Genius Ladder in this video found on youtube ( .  Also, watch the AMAZING Jasselle Cruz, fifth grade teacher, lead her students in an action packed Genius Ladder lesson complete with disguise cream ( .

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I made this video for my Jackson, MO friends that are hosting a WBT seminar in Cape Girardeau, Missouri this Saturday. They are talking about my FAVORITE subject the Super Improver Wall! I am unable to join them so I made a video. Here is the best part ... I did the video standing right in front of my Super Improver Wall!

Please check out my video!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chat Room Conversation...

I tried to host another WBT chatroom Pep Rally today! I wouldn't call the conversation I had a Pep Rally... but the collaboration time with a fellow 3rd grade WBT teacher was priceless. I have copied and pasted the conversation here for your information. We did a lot of great brain storming! I hope this helps someone!

 4:20 PM  daisydee226: Be sure to join me in an hour and a half for the SECOND EVERY WBT Chatroom Pep Rally!
4:21 PM  daisydee226: We will officially start at 7pm Central time!
4:29 PM  Southern Teacher: I'll be here too!
4:32 PM  daisydee226: WAHOO!
4:32 PM  daisydee226: I am looking at some old webcasts and trying to catalog the "hidden gems" on each video!
4:33 PM  Southern Teacher: That's cool. That will be very helpful.

4:35 PM Southern Teacher: My parents are wanting me to do more interventions with their kids
4:36 PM  daisydee226: Use super speed games as intervention
4:36 PM  Southern Teacher: I've start SS math, but it's skills that won't be helped by that.
4:36 PM  daisydee226: As long as you can document growth... (or no growth) on a graph... it can be used
4:37 PM  daisydee226: What type of interventions are they wanting?
4:37 PM  Southern Teacher: Like using a vocabulary word in the context of a give sentence. They have no problem matching the word to a def. but they can't tell you which sentence it would fit in.
4:38 PM  Southern Teacher: They don't really say. They've hinted at/asked if I reteach skills that they majority of the students don't understand.
4:38 PM  Southern Teacher: I do, when necessary, but not with vocabulary words.
4:38 PM  daisydee226: Would Genius Ladder help with that? You could use content vocabulary as part of the sentence frames
4:39 PM  Southern Teacher: I'm not sure. This week they will start doing an extra homework assg.  That I used to use. They have to write a sentence using each of the 10 vocab. words.
4:39 PM  Southern Teacher: They can memorize well but of course that's not what the entire test will be!
4:40 PM  Southern Teacher: I'm spending about 1hr and half each day on reading lessons.
4:41 PM  daisydee226: That isn't a bad thing... are you using oral writing with the vocabulary... you could award SPECIAL SIW/SIT stars for using vocabulary in ORAL writing!
4:41 PM  daisydee226: I just don’t want you to have to lean on worksheet type work... that is more work for YOU!
4:41 PM  Southern Teacher: I was going to try something like that on Mon when we review the 10 new words.
4:42 PM  Southern Teacher: Ask them to give me a sentence using the word but not with the sentence I've given.
4:44 PM  Southern Teacher: Well, I plan to have the partners talk about the sentences and then I would choose some of them to share their sentence with the class to discuss that way.
4:44 PM  Southern Teacher: I wouldn't always ready their sentences myself.  Just maybe every other week.
4:45 PM  daisydee226: SOUNDS like a GREAT idea!
4:46 PM  daisydee226: Could you do a green/red marker type activity with that... circle in green when the sentences are good... red... when it doesn't agree or make sense
4:46 PM  Southern Teacher: It's just stressful. I mean, we've only been in school for about 4 weeks because of the 4 day hurricane holiday.
4:47 PM  Southern Teacher: I could go around and do that while they are reviewing them with their partners!
4:47 PM  Southern Teacher: Then I could ask students to share their green ones.
4:47 PM  daisydee226: That's what I was thinking!
4:47 PM  daisydee226: YES!
4:48 PM  Southern Teacher: I've been thinking about how to use that more.
4:48 PM  Southern Teacher: I did it a few times for cursive handwriting sheets I gave as review at the start of the year, but haven't really done much of that since.

4:49 PM  daisydee226: I love red/green marker!
4:49 PM  Southern Teacher: I wish there was a red/green for behavior lol
4:50 PM  Southern Teacher: I have a very talkative class who can be sneaky. I caught one sending little notes to another one.
4:50 PM  daisydee226: there could be!
4:51 PM  Southern Teacher: They've been together since K pretty much as 1 class. I think1st was the only time they were split.
4:51 PM  Southern Teacher: So they are such good friends they love to talk and want to all the time!
4:51 PM  daisydee226: I think once you get more fluent with WBT that will help... we BOTH know that we have to step up the scoreboard!
4:52 PM  daisydee226: I know that I have WAY less behavior issues when I am ping ponging on the scoreboard all day!
4:52 PM  daisydee226: The scoreboard will NOT be the death of us... it will be our redemption!
4:53 PM  daisydee226: I got up to 30 marks on each side of the board the other day! WAHOO!
4:53 PM  Southern Teacher: Well, see that's where I'm concerned. Even on days where I use the scoreboard and have 40-50 marks, it's still out there
4:54 PM  Southern Teacher: I don't want to move to practice cards yet, so I guess I need even more marks.
4:56 PM  daisydee226: hmmm...
4:56 PM  daisydee226: There has to be something that will work!

4:57 PM  Southern Teacher: I've tried using more/less homework problems as reward. That doesn't do much.
4:58 PM  Southern Teacher: I can't use recess time because that's a set schedule for our PE teacher who takes them out for that.
4:58 PM  Southern Teacher: I'm considering 1 minute of free talking time.
5:00 PM  daisydee226: that might work!
5:01 PM  daisydee226: I can't really use recess either... they have lunch, lunch recess, then at 1:10 the third grade teachers go out and for 15 mintues we have our "second recess" the kids don't understand
5:01 PM  daisydee226: that they are actually getting two recess times!
5:01 PM  Southern Teacher: Mine get a 30 min recess and 35 min PE
5:01 PM  Southern Teacher: lunch is a 20 min chowdown
5:01 PM  daisydee226: EVERY DAY?
5:01 PM  Southern Teacher: yep
5:02 PM  daisydee226: WOW!
5:02 PM  Southern Teacher: but that's the only "specials" they have.
5:02 PM  daisydee226: only PE... you are music and art teacher!
5:02 PM  Southern Teacher: We have a spanish lesson 1 time a week with our hs teacher.
5:02 PM  Southern Teacher: Yeah, we sorta don't have music or art.
5:02 PM  daisydee226: that is so sad!
5:03 PM  Southern Teacher: We do some art as part of projects we do for some subject areas, but there isn't a lot of time for that.
5:04 PM  Southern Teacher: I pull out some stuff for major holidays too, but that's about it.

5:05 PM  daisydee226: I noticed in your video that the kids call you Ms. Julie
5:05 PM  Southern Teacher: Yep.
5:05 PM  daisydee226: Do the other teachers at your school go by first names?
5:06 PM  Southern Teacher: Some do. some don't.
5:06 PM  Southern Teacher: Our 2nd grade teacher does. She got married after she started teaching in our school and she didn't want to confuse them with a different name lol
5:10 PM  daisydee226: So... I know other people are on here... they must just be watching videos...
5:10 PM  daisydee226: A couple people are logged on!
5:10 PM  daisydee226: Of course this is 2 hours early... LOL!
5:11 PM  daisydee226: I think I am going to step away for a while and watch some videos... I need to watch the Test Prep and Prove it videos!
5:14 PM  Southern Teacher: OK. I'll be in and out.
5:15 PM  daisydee226: :)

5:39 PM  daisydee226: AHH! I think I know what I want my first submitted video to be about!
5:39 PM  daisydee226: I am watching the State Test Prep video... I think I am going to video myself TEACHING the kids test taking strategies!
5:41 PM  Southern Teacher: OH, I'd like to see that
5:41 PM  Southern Teacher: I could let my kids see it too.
5:41 PM  Southern Teacher: I'm not sure what I'm going to do next.
5:42 PM  daisydee226: I would stick with math / graphing lessons so that the feedback Coach gives you can be consistently about one content area... or focus
5:42 PM  daisydee226: We teach graphing through out the year so I know I could continue video lessons about graphs.
5:43 PM  daisydee226: I will be teaching the test taking skills throughout the year... so I can continue to video THOSE lessons
5:43 PM  daisydee226: If I video EACH one... that would be a great resource for other teachers!
5:44 PM  daisydee226: My first substitute said I should make "BLUE'S CLUES" type videos for other teachers to show to their kids.
5:44 PM  Southern Teacher: Well, we took a test on it already.
5:44 PM  daisydee226: She can't get over the fact that I looked / sounded like the Blue's clues guy
5:45 PM  Southern Teacher: I might try using the compounds lesson I have in English on Monday
5:45 PM  Southern Teacher: Blue's clues, Blue's clues
5:45 PM  Southern Teacher: Find the pawprint, that's the first clue.
5:46 PM  daisydee226: LOL.... that is doubly funny with the PAW print because of my classroom theme!LOL
5:47 PM  daisydee226: I should do a video JUST for your class on something! I could talk to you like I talked with my sub in the videos I already did!
5:48 PM  Southern Teacher: Well, I might be joining a planning committee that would mean I'd be out of the class 3-4 times this year. If I do accept, I thought about making some.
5:48 PM  Southern Teacher: But it would be kinda neat to have another teacher do that.
5:49 PM  daisydee226: MY KIDS LOVE THEM... and keep begging to watch them even when I am there!
5:49 PM  daisydee226: :)
5:49 PM  Southern Teacher: LOL, that's cute
5:50 PM  Southern Teacher: Do you have your students stand up to respond?
5:50 PM  daisydee226: I can see it now... me coming on camera... looking around... saying... WHOA... hey Toto... I am not in Missouri anymore... hey... wait... Ms. Julie... is that you... am I in Louisiana? ... LOL
5:50 PM  daisydee226: that would be fun!
5:51 PM  daisydee226: I don't have the kids stand up to respond all the time... but they focus very good when I do!
5:51 PM  Southern Teacher: Coach mentioned they should be doing that when I call on them
5:51 PM  Southern Teacher: I haven't done that before.
5:52 PM  daisydee226: They really like... my kids EVEN remind me if we haven't done it that day!
5:52 PM  daisydee226: I don't do it all the time though!
5:53 PM  Southern Teacher: See a lot of mine are "shy" when I call on them to answer my question so I'm worried about having them stand up.
5:53 PM  daisydee226: My shyest students are now the best...
5:53 PM  daisydee226: I can't explain it!
5:53 PM  Southern Teacher: Maybe you could do that in your video from Missouri
5:54 PM  daisydee226: I could... you mean... I could explain to them how that works?
5:55 PM  daisydee226: That might be tough not being able to see them.
5:55 PM  daisydee226: I wouldn't know how long they are talking...
5:55 PM  Southern Teacher: yeah, but if I decide to film my compounds lesson Mon. I guess I'd need to do that anyway.

5:55 PM  Southern Teacher: I do like the Zork! idea.
5:55 PM  daisydee226: I always forget about the planet Zork!
5:55 PM  Southern Teacher: I wish I had something to go with it...costume like
5:56 PM  daisydee226: make a tinfoil hat! LOL!
5:56 PM  Southern Teacher: some alien ears or something
5:57 PM  Southern Teacher: I might go on a hunt at our local Walmart. It's prob time for them to have Halloween stuff out!!

6:24 PM  daisydee226: It is almost time for the PEP RALLY!
6:24 PM  Southern Teacher: Yay!
6:24 PM  daisydee226: I wonder if we will have new PEP RALLY ROCK STARS!
6:25 PM  Southern Teacher: That would be cool.
6:25 PM  daisydee226: I figure not many will be here because I advertised so late! I didn't know if I would be someplace that I could host a Pep Rally!

6:40 PM  daisydee226: You should come up to Missouri this summer... if it is in Warrensburg (like I hope it will be) you could stay with me!
6:41 PM  Southern Teacher: That would be kinda neat.
6:43 PM  daisydee226: CORE 4 is Class-Yes, Teach-Okay, Scoreboard, and Mirrors...
6:45 PM  Southern Teacher: I have that on a sticky right here lol. I wrote it down one day during a webcast and stucky it there.
6:45 PM  daisydee226: the other three are Hands and Eyes, Switch, and Classroom RULES
6:45 PM  daisydee226: LOL
6:45 PM  Southern Teacher: HERS
6:45 PM  daisydee226: I almost forgot the rules just now
6:45 PM  Southern Teacher: Hands & Eyes, Rules, Switch = HERS
6:45 PM  daisydee226: AWESOME!
6:46 PM  daisydee226: that will help me!
6:46 PM  Southern Teacher: I just noticed that
6:46 PM  daisydee226: AWESOME!

6:47 PM  Southern Teacher: Sometimes I feel like I know a lot of WBT and other times I feel like I know nothing. lol
6:47 PM  daisydee226: I have been copy and pasting our conversation this time as I go along so that I don't forget any good ideas!
6:48 PM  Southern Teacher: I think I reviewed the main stuff in my blog post.
6:48 PM  Southern Teacher: I might have missed something though
6:48 PM  daisydee226: I feel the same way sometimes!
6:49 PM  Southern Teacher: I think working towards certification has made me feel like that. Especially since I've made that first class video
6:50 PM  daisydee226: I think that is part of the idea... Coach wants to really push us to be our best!
6:53 PM  Southern Teacher: True

6:58 PM  carolinealexius: HI guys
6:59 PM  daisydee226: Hello!
6:59 PM  daisydee226: We have another PEP RALLY ROCK STAR!
6:59 PM  daisydee226: Julie and I have been hanging out for the last two hours!
6:59 PM  daisydee226: We are over achievers! LOL!
7:00 PM  Southern Teacher: Hi carolinaalexious
7:01 PM  Southern Teacher: I'll admit it. I'm a WBT webpage stalker lol
7:02 PM  daisydee226: Julie... we may be WBT sisters... we are so similar!
7:03 PM  Southern Teacher: I know! It's just way too funny how similar we really are!
7:04 PM  daisydee226: We have got to meet up this summer... NO MATTER WHAT!
7:04 PM  carolinealexius: I used to be a stalker, but then I began my instructional time student teaching
7:04 PM  Southern Teacher: I have one trip to Vegas already booked.

7:04 PM  carolinealexius: My supervising teacher put the no on me using Mr. Doofus and Mr. Smarty.  I have to say Mr. Smarty and his friend or something like that.
7:05 PM  Southern Teacher: I'll have to plan my summer a lot this time lol
7:05 PM  daisydee226: I wondered about the doofus thing... but I am forging ahead with it!
7:05 PM  daisydee226: I don't have any summer plans yet... because of my big February trip!
7:05 PM  carolinealexius: the students loved it, but teacher worried about parental calling.
7:06 PM  Southern Teacher: I mentioned it to my kids too. Haven't heard anything from my parents yet
7:06 PM  daisydee226: I figured I would cross that bridge when I get there... they are enjoying it too much right now!
7:06 PM  Southern Teacher: Trust me, if anyone is going to hear about it, I surely will.
7:06 PM  carolinealexius: ha
7:06 PM  daisydee226: LOL... you are proably right Julie!
7:06 PM  daisydee226: probably

7:07 PM  daisydee226: I wish Coach would pop in and surprise us! I know he has a conference all day and will probably be meeting with board members tonight... but I think it would be cool if he dropped in!
7:07 PM  Southern Teacher: I have a group that likes to voice their opinions this year caroline. We were talking about that earlier
7:08 PM  Southern Teacher: They might still be in conference right now with the time difference
7:09 PM  daisydee226: The mini conference in Missouri went well today!
7:09 PM  daisydee226: We covered the Core 4 and Big 7... plus the parts of the brain
7:09 PM  Southern Teacher: It's so cool to be able to have these conferences all over the place.
7:09 PM  daisydee226: We even introduced Super Speed 100 and Super Speed math
7:09 PM  Southern Teacher: Have you don't that with your kids? the parts of the brain?
7:10 PM  daisydee226: not yet... but I want to!
7:10 PM  daisydee226: We may do that RIGHT before P/T conferences and video it to put it in the hall for parents to watch while they wait!
7:11 PM  Southern Teacher: Well, we have a grandparents day coming up - done in evening hours for first time.
7:12 PM  Southern Teacher: I think I might tape a little - where are we now - 20 yrs later kinda thing to show
7:12 PM  daisydee226: of course I am not sure if the kids that parents don't want them on YouTube would want their kids in it!
7:12 PM  Southern Teacher: All of mine said yes to doing it.
7:13 PM  Southern Teacher: I told them that it would be a way for them to see what their child is doing in the classroom.
7:13 PM  daisydee226: I have two... one even wrote a note saying school yearbook is the only picture we can publish of her!

7:16 PM  daisydee226: WELL! RAH RAH GO WBT!
7:16 PM  Southern Teacher: Sis boo bah!
7:16 PM  daisydee226: ummm... our virtual stadium is a little empty!
7:16 PM  Southern Teacher: Boom
7:16 PM  Southern Teacher: Maybe too many college games tonight?
7:17 PM  Southern Teacher: LSU is playing but they aren't on TV lol
7:17 PM  daisydee226: I HAVE to advertise in advance... but I haven't been sure when I can do it!
7:17 PM  daisydee226: I know that Saturday isn't the best night for this ... but every other night I am busy with school stuff!
7:18 PM  Southern Teacher: yeah, lot of us are

7:18 PM  daisydee226: Plus... this was originally 3rd grades GRADE LEVEL night... and I am not sure if others are still meeting or if those meetings fizzled out too!
7:18 PM  Southern Teacher: I haven't seen anyone else chatting during the week
7:20 PM  GataGirl: What has been working for y'all?
7:20 PM  Southern Teacher: Hi buddy
7:21 PM  daisydee226: RAH RAH!
7:21 PM  Southern Teacher: Deanna this is my coworker from school.
7:21 PM  Southern Teacher: She teachs K.
7:21 PM  daisydee226: hello!
7:21 PM  GataGirl: Hey, Jewels
7:22 PM  GataGirl: Hello All
7:22 PM  daisydee226: I was just about to say the third grade and K teachers seem really active!

7:28 PM  daisydee226: Okay... so I really got some good stuff from the State Test Prep video!
7:29 PM  Southern Teacher: Oh, do tell
7:29 PM  daisydee226: I like the acronym... DVR... Daily Practice, Visual Behaviors, Rewards
7:29 PM  daisydee226: Something that REALLY caught my attention is that he said we should start DVR the SECOND WEEK OF SCHOOL!
7:29 PM  Southern Teacher: I remember something about that at national
7:29 PM  daisydee226: OOPS!
7:29 PM  daisydee226: I guess I will start next week! :0
7:30 PM  Southern Teacher: I don't remember what visual behaviors is
7:31 PM  daisydee226: DVR is for Test taking strategy practice
7:31 PM  Southern Teacher: oh - the prove it kinda stuff
7:31 PM  daisydee226: YES!
7:31 PM  daisydee226: Visual behaviors are the underlining and such!
7:31 PM  Southern Teacher: I've modeled it some with our grammar practice book, but that's about it.
7:31 PM  Southern Teacher: I didn't call it Prove it or anything.
7:32 PM  daisydee226: I need to start more
7:32 PM  Southern Teacher: me too but there's so much other things to work on - like those vocabulary words
7:33 PM  daisydee226: you can use those strategies for your vocab words!
7:36 PM  Southern Teacher: If they have some multiple choice in their practicing I can
7:37 PM  daisydee226: you can use DVR with matching and constructed response!
7:37 PM  Southern Teacher: I need to go back and review all that. I don't really remember it much.
7:38 PM  daisydee226: I found the video very beneficial!
7:38 PM  Southern Teacher: Which one was it
7:39 PM  Southern Teacher: 521
7:39 PM  Southern Teacher: ?
7:39 PM  daisydee226: yep!
7:39 PM  daisydee226: I was also going to try to watch the prove it video
7:39 PM  daisydee226: 506!

7:40 PM  Southern Teacher: I almost hate to watch that. I'm thinking I should watch the Class-yes, Teach-Okay, and Hands and Eyes
7:40 PM  Southern Teacher: Since that's part of what we need to work on.
7:40 PM  daisydee226: Might be a good idea... if you feel you need practice with that... then I would do that!
7:40 PM  daisydee226: OR... you could watch some of kate bowski's videos... so is AWESOME!
7:40 PM  daisydee226: and at our grade level!
7:41 PM  Southern Teacher: It's difficult. I know what it's supposed to look like, but it's getting them to do it that way.
7:41 PM  Southern Teacher: I've started making the entire class practice things when it's not the way it should be.
7:42 PM  daisydee226: I think you are doing the right thing... are you approaching it like this... "Thank you for reminding me that we need to practice that! Can someone show the WRONG WAY to.... " Then give a smiley for that
7:42 PM  daisydee226: then practice the right way
7:43 PM  Southern Teacher: I have a feeling that we will be doing that often on Monday before we film our lesson that afternoon
7:43 PM  daisydee226: If you don't show frustration... and seem really thankful for the need to repeat the kids are thrown off and they like that they get to "practice the wrong way" and not be in trouble
7:43 PM  daisydee226: :)
7:44 PM  Southern Teacher: I just hope that the wrong way practice doesn't stick.
7:44 PM  Southern Teacher: I have some "sillies" who would continue to do the wrong way just because.
7:44 PM  daisydee226: It won't...only have ONE student show the wrong way... whole group practices the right way
7:45 PM  Southern Teacher: That's true.

7:46 PM  daisydee226: Did we scare our fellow PEP rally rock stars away?
7:46 PM  daisydee226: They can chime in too!
7:46 PM  Southern Teacher: See, having a pep rally is helpful
7:47 PM  daisydee226: I am by no means an expert... I am just thinking out loud... I plan to use these ideas for my class too!
7:47 PM  daisydee226: RAH RAH!
7:47 PM  Southern Teacher: Not sure - Hello out there! You're all welcome to join us and ask questions

7:50 PM  daisydee226: Okay... what next... ?
7:50 PM  daisydee226: Did you say that you changed rule 1?
7:50 PM  daisydee226: I can't remember if that was one of the things we both did!
7:50 PM  Southern Teacher: Yes I did
7:50 PM  Southern Teacher: They picked up on it pretty quick.
7:51 PM  Southern Teacher: I even changed my rule signs, I just have to put them up
7:51 PM  daisydee226: Mine too! My librarian LOVES that change!
7:51 PM  daisydee226: I just but a red strip of paper with the word immediately over the old poster... I think that helps them remember more!
7:52 PM  Southern Teacher: I did a little work in Paint to get mine changed.
7:52 PM  Southern Teacher: They look just like the original ones, but have the change.
7:52 PM  daisydee226: It is the one ... I "randomly" grabbed the day "we" decided to change the rule!
7:52 PM  Southern Teacher: I did it not long after we talked about it
7:53 PM  Southern Teacher: Needed a little something after that extra long Labor Day break

7:53 PM  Southern Teacher: I'm going thru my packet of stuff from the conf. and I found the one with the leadership buttons
7:54 PM  Southern Teacher: I bought them all and pinned them on a smiley face lanyard I had.
7:54 PM  daisydee226: Yes... I need to start using those!
7:54 PM  daisydee226: GREAT IDEA!
7:54 PM  Southern Teacher: My student leader wears it
7:54 PM  Southern Teacher: that student gets to lead us in rules reivew, take down our attendance/lunch choices and other odd jobs I might need
7:54 PM  daisydee226: So ... you have one student leader for all jobs... or one for each button?
7:55 PM  daisydee226: Coach talks about having one for teach okay, class yes, hands and eyes!
7:55 PM  Southern Teacher: I was thinking about that.
7:55 PM  Southern Teacher: I'm considering having one for teach-okay
7:55 PM  daisydee226: I don't think I could keep up with that... the buttons would have to be HUGE!
7:55 PM  Southern Teacher: I'll leave the buttons on the lanyard. The kids kind of like it.
7:56 PM  Southern Teacher: I've only had 2 student leaders. I tell the class that I'm looking for a new one, but I need that person to show they can be a good leader.
7:56 PM  Southern Teacher: Not so easy to do
7:56 PM  daisydee226: I have some smiley face lanyards... from dollar tree awhile ago... I could have a lanyard for each job!
7:57 PM  Southern Teacher: That's cool

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Open Chat Aug 21, 2012... AMAZING STUFF

I just finished rewatching the Open Chat video from August 21 on YouTube. Amazing stuff on that video. I am here to give you a run down on ALL the amazing things that were discussed. I will also provide time stamps for when the information was discussed... since this was an informal chat Coach spends a lot of time reading the chat box so things can get a little slow if you are watching the video for the first time.

OPEN CHAT = lots of fun quality time with Coach B. This chat was wonderful BECAUSE Coach was able to share some great new ideas and answer questions on some old ideas without the stress of staying on topic! There was wasn't a topic to stick to!

Coach started by asking about how the Super Improver Wall was going in our classrooms (1:23)! He reminded us that the Super Improver Wall should not start until Week two or three of school! Most importantly he dropped THREE very cool NEW ideas!

FIRST, Coach suggested having two kinds of stars on the SIW (2:00). The first star being for any kind of improvement that we see! The second kind of star, (HOLD ON TO YOUR SEATS!) is for Critical Thinking. Whenever we see a kid make improvements in providing answers with proof of Critical Thinking gave them a SPECIAL star. What a great way to integrate Critical Thinking (welcome Common Core) into EVEN the Super Improver Wall.

Here is a BIG reveal! Coach is working on a Super Improver Wall for POWER POINT (3:17)! Check out the video... he explains it beautifully!

Now for the reason that I decided to rewatch this video! We now have Super Improver TEAM (5:55)! Place a box on the Super Improver Wall for the group. Write a goal that the WHOLE class is working on. Place stars in the TEAM box when the class is improving on that goal! Keep THAT goal up for one week. The point in that team goal can become part of a students points if they need one more point to change levels! Say your class is working on placing hands in the listening position when you say Class and they say Yes! If the class earns a point for that on Wednesday, everyone has temporally earned that point. They can only keep that point if on FRIDAY they have nine stars... that TEAM point becomes their tenth star and they can change levels! WOW! Powerful stuff! I can see students working harder to earn stars if they think they can add that team point to their card!

As if new stuff about the Super Improver Wall wasn't enough he gave us more tools for critical thinking (9:02). He begins by showing us the mini lessons he has been giving on the Whole Brain Teaching Facebook page! Lesson 1 on Facebook is "What is Critical Thinking?" The answer on Facebook is "Critical Thinking is supporting an opinion with lots of strong evidence." Coach has made that answer better (9:45)! "Critical Thinking is supporting an IDEA with lots of strong evidence. Idea is a more generic term."

Lesson 2 is "What is the Simplest Form of Critical Thinking?" (10:45) "Critical Thinking at its simplest: Teacher Prompt because ____________," Give the students the idea and the because prompt... and then ask the students to fill in the blank! He asked us to give examples of how we can use that teacher prompt! Since the the night of that program I have asked my students to do this several times! They are doing better and better EVERY TIME! Here are some examples of what I prompt the students to answer:

- We need to follow directions quickly because _______________________.
- Grandma is a noun that can be a proper AND common noun because ___________________.
- We need a zero place holder in this number because ______________________.
- We follow our FOUR MAGIC MOVES in the hallway because _________________________.

Those are just a FEW examples... I am so impressed with the level of improvement my students have shown!

Coach took the Critical Thinking Conversation one step further (TOTALLY NEW INFORMATION!) be telling us the FUNDAMENTAL Skill of Critical Thinking (15:20). The fundamental skill of Critical Thinking is the ability to distinguish between weak and strong evidence" He even told us HOW to TEACH the students to distinguish between weak and strong evidence (16:55). Just like with other lessons in WBT we need to have them PRACTICE the wrong way ON PURPOSE! They can't know why the right way is right if they can't compare it to the right way. Teach your kids the pitty pat clap (17:18). Example: Rule 1 is good rule (pitty pat: tap one hand with the pointer finger from the other hand) because it is the first rule. That is a weak answer. We want to ask our students for STRONG evidence. Tell them you don't want BABY answers... you want ____ grade answers (insert your grade level in the blank!).

Here is the big point on the fundamental skill (18:27). "We want kids to be able to distinguish between strong and weak evidence. If they can't distinguish between strong and weak evidence they can't support their ideas."

He give the IDEAL pattern for kids practicing this skill (19:30). Here is an example: Rule one is a good rule (pitty pat) because it is the first rule. This is weak evidence BECAUSE being the first rule doesn't make it a good rule. When they follow this pattern they are then reasoning about their reasoning! WOW! Powerful stuff... watch the video about this... Coach delivers this with his usual vigor!

The rest of the video is mainly Coach answering questions of the Wibbeteers that were present for the live audience. Below is a list of topics covered with the times they are covered!

Review of the Switch: 30:30

Pencil Sharpner Problem: 32:37 (He teases about this starting at 31:35... but I am helping you out and getting you to the answer a little quicker!... Don't tell Coach:)

Lesson Plan Templates: 35:08

Location of pre-made Lessons: 37:00

Purpose of the Three Peat: 39:10

OH >>>>> You can't miss this... NEW HANDS AND EYES... I shouldn't tell you where this is... I shouldn't even tell you about it... but it is too good to keep to myself!

NEW HANDS AND EYES... are you ready?

Tell the kids when they repeat the words HANDS AND EYES... they need to lean forward so that you can tell they are REALLY listening! AMAZING... I can hear the giggles now... Gotta love that Golden Thread of Fun!

Ready for a New Oral Writing Idea... Coach was really excited about this... but I want you to hear it from him... check it out at 49:25 in the video... you will LOVE IT!

Mousy voices... NO MORE! 52:38... just simply say "Louder Please" The kid will automatically increase the volume of their voice!

Example Popper... 53:52

Can you believe all this great information happened in 57 minutes and 29 seconds... I was amazed too! Don't just take my word for it... watch the video...