Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Class Yes and Hands and Eyes- WBT

Two years ago in December break I started exploring the Whole Brain Teaching website. I was so excited to try some of the techniques! I also wanted to see how much my kiddos would remember after being on winter break. The first thing I wanted to try was Class Yes.
 photo 6d5c65c7-5c2b-4c03-9fbc-13d006e43075_zpsihwob254.jpg

If you have watched some of the WBT videos you see there are some different styles. I'm a naturally sort of loud speaker, but I've worked really hard to speak more softly in class. Why? I have a teacher friend who has a very soft voice and her entire class of preschoolers always talks softly too! I love it! 4 year olds having control over the volume of their voice without even knowing it. So when I started "Class Yes" I didn't say it super duper loud. Don't get me wrong- sometimes we were in the middle of a really engaging activity and our class noise level was pretty high so I would have to be louder with my class yes. But most of the time I was pretty soft and sometimes I even whispered. 

How did it work? 
I say "Class Class!"
They say "Yes Yes!"
And your kids say it in the very same way you did. So if I whispered "Class Class" I would hear a "Yes Yes!" back in a whisper.

I jazzed it up all the time too with a "Yee-haw Class!" {Yee-haw Yes!}, "Woot woot Class!" {Woot Woot Yes!} The kiddos even came up with a few. 

This is an incredible tool! It works in a fire drill that happens in the middle of recess. For real. The MIDDLE OF RECESS and I shouted "Class class!" The other first grade teacher weren't doing Class Yes or any WBT at this point (at least I don't remember them doing it yet). But just my kids shouting back was enough to get the attention of the whole playground.
 photo 0b705e34-536e-40d0-b337-ca6f9b34b8f0_zpsvatjvtrl.jpg

Oh I love this one! This looks phenomenal when administration sees it too. I used this when my kids were deep in discussion or thought and I needed to show them an important next step in our work.
Teacher "Hands hands hands and eyes" and then I clasp my hands together.
Kiddos repeat and put their eyes on you and hands together.

Sometimes, especially if we were doing an interactive notebook activity, I would have a few students still engrossed what they were doing. We had to try it again. But you know what, that's OK! Once I had their attention I knew I really had their eyes on me and we were able to move on to the next step. My students quickly learned that me asking for hands and eyes meant they should give me their attention or they would miss out on something important.

I mentioned above that I started WBT before winter break. After winter break my students didn't miss a beat! They remembered everything and honestly I think the familiarity of the routine was a relief to them.

I strongly encourage you to try a little of WBT in your class to see what you think. You'll be amazed!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

September Currently

I agree with Farley- summer FLEW by! I haven't had nearly enough time chillaxin' in the sunshine working on my flip flop tan!

 photo 566c0bfe-68d9-4312-aac4-a0155dc4c5c0_zps6goet594.jpg

LISTENING (and watching- because I can multitask like a BOSS): Aaaaaah! Football season is back. I'm so happy! I love football. I love Sports Center. I love football weekends. And I love the Seahawks. I love that the players have such good character and are so positive- what we want in athletes that our kids look up to. (Now if the commentators would SHUT THE HELL UP- these guys are awful. We just want to watch the game people....quit yammering)

LOVING: Periscope videos...Isn't everyone? I'll be honest, this move has SUCKED. People up here haven't been friendly or welcoming and it's been incredibly difficult to meet other mommies. There's apparently a thing called the "Seattle Freeze" where people just freeze you out because you aren't from Seattle. I've experienced it. It's real. And it's mean/ridiculous. I've been so lonely but watching Periscope videos has helped a lot. It keeps me pumped up and I get to hear adults talking! LOL I love that teachers are so good about sharing their ideas!

THINKING: Can I actually work out tomorrow? It's been a VEEEEEEEEERY long time since I've worked out. But I ordered the new Cize dance workout video and I'm like totally pumped to get my groove on. I even watched Footloose (the new version which is totally not even as cool as the original) the other day (because it was on tv) and that got me even more pumped up!!

WANTING: New workout clothes- they would totally make me want to get up at 5 and work out looking all cute as I dance it out!

NEEDING: Baby to sleep all night long please. She's had a tummy bug and last night was ROUGH. Baby and I were up most of the night rocking and bouncing and swaying from side-to-side. I'm hoping tonight she and I can both get some rest.

3 GOALS: 1) I need to figure out a better schedule for getting blog posts done! I really am trying but being a mama comes first- and it's the best job ever. (2) I also need to be more productive when I do have time scheduled out. Focus, Jennifer, no FB....or Etsy shopping! (3) I am trying to get National Board certification done. But last year I had Amber and then my husband got a job and he moved and we moved and time flew by. I have to get stuff done y'all!

I love reading Currently posts each month! I hope everyone is off to a great start this school year. Remember to take time for yourself! XO

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Photo a Day for your classroom

Welcome back to school, teacher friends! The summer sure flew by! Not nearly enough time was spent wearing flip flops in the sunshine and wondering what day of the week it was! 

At the start of the school year those first couple of weeks are packed full of routine practice. We plan out the whole day and some activities take WAAAAY longer than we planned because we had to redirect a few friends and come back to the carpet for a chat. Other activities we find go so smoothly that we are rushing to our pile of back to school books looking for what we would like to read next. Sometimes we just need something for our kids to do that takes 5-10 minutes. 
I have your solution! 
I created a Photo a Day pack for you classroom. Have you participated in one of those on Instagram? They are so fun and easy and it's a great way to connect with new people. 

How can you use this in your classroom?

*students can create a photo album- something to show off at Open House and get your students talking about their classroom and school.
*graphing what students choose to draw- ex: Who drew shoes with laces? Who drew shoes without laces?
*as a writing tool- even your most reluctant writers will be able to create a sentence about their photo.
*Collaboration! Create a class or group poster. If your students sit in groups they may enjoy making a group poster or even big group photo album. 

*Many students are unsure of themselves at the start of the year, but everyone can draw a little something. Drawing helps to improve those fine motor skills. Your ELL sweeties will get extra vocabulary practice as well. My group of students last year loved to talk about what they were writing or drawing and we talked a lot about how we can use what we say in our writing. 

I left several of the prompts very broad, for example, "In PE." This could wind up being a rule, a game, a friend, a teacher, a basketball, etc. Some of your kids might surprise you with what they choose!

You can grab this pack on TPT right now!! Have an amazing week at school!! XO

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND & other books

It's back to school time and although this is my post from last year I thought I would re-post. That first week back to school is SO IMPORTANT! We want to make a good impression and part of setting the stage is using picture books to convey important messages. So if you're a new teacher get ready to shop!

My name is Jennifer and I have a picture book addiction. 

Seriously, put me in Barnes and Noble and it's like I'm in Target. I have no self-control! I know I'm not alone!

I have 5 books that I read every year and I can't imagine beginning my year without them.

1. Do Unto Otters- Absolutely the cutest book about the golden rule of do unto others. Great for manners and treating others with kindness. Every year I draw the main character and we record all the words we can think of on how to "do unto otters." There's also a VERY adorable DVD that you can find on Amazon (it includes 3 other stories By Laurie Keller). It's an animated version of the story and it's always a big hit. The kids are usually giggling at the little rabbit's do-dee-do song.

2. Wemberly Worried- So many students can relate to being nervous on the first day of school. 

3. You Will Be My Friend- HILARIOUS! Peter Brown is too funny. Lucy, the cute bear on the cover, has the hardest time making a friend. She even yells "YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND!" which of course does not help her in making any new friends. The kids laugh at her ridiculous behavior and it leads to great discussion about how to make a friend.

4. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse- Another fabulous Kevin Henkes book. When Lilly draws a nasty picture of her teacher at the end of a bad day her teacher tells her "Today was difficult, tomorrow will be better." I say that same phrase to students all year long. Students easily relate to Lilly's excitement to show and tell about her purple plastic purse, movie star sunglasses, and jingly quarters. 

5. Library Lion- the illustrations in this book are so gorgeous. If you aren't familiar with this book it's so sweet. The librarian is very adamant that everyone follow the rules- most importantly STAY QUIET. But what if there's an emergency? Is there ever a time when it's okay to break the rules?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...