Friday, July 27, 2012

Enthusiastic ... First Hour with WBT!

Below is the forum post for Webcast Program 532

“Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm.”-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enthusiasm…when both students and teachers are enthusiastic about education more learning takes place. This is my belief. Whole Brain Teaching fits this belief perfectly! 

I am always so excited about the first day of school… until I have been rambling to my students for over an hour about expectations.  The necessity of students learning the expectations is obvious to most of us… but are they really LEARNING the expectations when we lecture to them?

WBT – The First Hour provided the perfect solution to my first day of school problem. The first hour of MY personal school day has been running like a video in my head since Tuesday night. Each time it plays there are small variations! These variations are making the ONE weakness that I saw in the broadcast non-existent. The weakness was this: I don’t have a full hour with my students before I have to send them to music. Now I realize this isn’t a weakness with the ideas from the broadcast… but with my schedule. I can’t change that schedule, but I can adapt what I learned to make it work!

Setting up the classroom for the first day can be challenging. Thanks Coach B, for laying out a blueprint for not only our classroom setup, but also what to write on the board, AND what to say and WHERE to say it. I am really excited about making a flipchart (from index cards) for the first day. These cards will serve as cue cards. Most likely I won’t really have to look at them that day … but will use them as a way to learn my “lines”.

Deciding where my students should sit in the classroom should not take up HOURS of my classroom prep time. I don’t know my students yet… they are coming to my building for the first time as third graders. These kids haven’t even walked the halls as Sterling students yet! I see the power of assigning seats later in the first day. However, I have to decide if that works for me because of Meet the Teacher night. The night before school our students and their parents come to the classroom. Most of the students’ MAIN objective is to see where they will sit. How will they feel if I assign them a locker that night… but not a seat?  Definitely gives me food for thought. Students will probably take this news better than parents. Last year I had a parent upset because I didn’t have the students’ names on their cubbies yet!

Setting up the whiteboard for the first day is an awesome idea. Many of you probably think… is this a new idea for her? In a way … it is. I always put my name and date on the board and last year I had the scoreboard. Posting the days’ events on the board, hasn’t been a strong area for me. Previously, I have used the excuse that I like to roll with the students. If their interest is peaked by something I run with that. I don’t want to “not” get to something that was written on the board.

Here I go … confession time. I believe this excuse was covering the fact that I was that bleary eyed teacher in the mirror that Coach referred to in the video. In the video, Coach exclaimed, “The failure to master simple classroom procedures is one of the greatest failings of American Education!” That really hit me hard. Too much time is wasted in my classroom on getting out materials, waiting for everyone to be “ready.” NO MORE! At the end of last school year, I learned the power of the Three Peat! Lining up no longer took 2 minutes… it took less than 10 seconds! My class became pros at getting out their books! Now it is time for this to extend across all procedures.

What did I learn about Coach B’s discussion on the first hour of school? I need to pump up the enthusiasm so that my students can achieve more this school year. We are going to achieve everything we set our minds to… and so much more! So… with much enthusiasm and NO MORE measly excuses… I am looking forward to starting this new school year! WIB ON!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog. I can't wait to see the signs your brother makes for the WBT rules. Well, I've got my rule cards, practice cards, and scoreboard ready for the new year. Can't wait to give it a try!