Thursday, October 23, 2014

Red/Green Writing

In WBT, writing is super important!! I know it seems like every thing we do is out load, oral repetition. BUT at some point students have to get all that knowledge on paper and compose intelligible coherent thoughts. One way to encourage this, while differentiating for your students is Red/Green writing. It's so simple it's almost silly: as you are waking around the classroom monitoring and conferring, you carry a red marker and a green market with you. (Side bar - I found single markers for sale at Office Depot during back to school! Bonus: their scented!!!)

So, anyway, you're walking around and conferring and walking and conferring. But where are the anecdotal records? Where is the visual feedback for the students? Insert markers here. Green means go. Red means stop. Use the green marker to dot anything the student does well based on his or her personal goals. (More on goals in a bit.) Use the red marker to dot a few (repeat with me: no more than two of three!!) things the students should avoid doing in the future. Like I said, so simple it's almost silly. But it's EFFECTIVE!! 

In conjunction with red/green writing, we have been practicing genius ladder sentences. Here are the results for our pumpkin writing today. My kids did all rotations and independent or partner work for the whole reading and writing block while I met with every child. Every. Single. Child. My kids were given the instructions: "Write a genius sentence about fall." (We haven't gotten to the detail adder sentences yet.)

I was IMPRESSED with my kiddos!! I hope you are too. Can you incorporate Red/Green Writing into your day?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Finally a Win!

Today is Friday and I couldn't be happier! 

I'm actually on a short weekend family trip and not at school today, but, I have some really good news to share! 

I took my schedule and Coach's idea of using a tally sheet to track the use of WBT elements. I've created a quick snapshot of my day that includes a basic overview of what I'm going to teach and check boxes for the elements I'm currently improving. This way I am accountable to myself and my students. 

I'm currently working from my phone but I'll post pictures and freebies as soon as I'm back at my computer. This efficiency has really helped keep me on task and noticing my WBT behaviors.

What strategies do you use to help yourself keep track and stay focused?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Scoreboard 2.0

If you have been following my blog at all, then you will remember that I have trouble all year remembering the Scoreboard, and it's by far one of the best aspects of WBT.  I don't know why I have so much trouble remembering it.  Maybe all those droning years of "I'm waiting for you to be quiet..." created a really really REALLY bad habit that I am STILL trying to break.  Coach B, of course, found a way to make the scoreboard even more FUN, more ENGAGING, and more AWESOME!!  He says that this upgrade will truly bring the scoreboard to life as a live video game!  Oh sweet, mama!  This, my friends, is going to be good!!

Review of Scoreboard (Chapters 11 and 14):

If you want more info you can check out my older blog posts here and here.  The Book Club Blog has some excellent ideas and strategies for chapter 11 and chapter 14.  And you can always access the original web info from the WBT site here.

  1. The reward for "winning" the scoreboard is the joy of academic learning.  Say it with me... No more treasure box! NO MORE TREASURE BOX! No stickers.  No sugar.  No trinkets.  No crap!
  2. Positively reinforce desirable behaviors with smiley.  Negative reinforce unwanted behaviors with a frowny.
  3. No frownies for individual misbehaviors.
  4. Keep it close!  Difference of +/- 3.  

Coach B's Big New Idea:


There are 15 predesigned levels and a variety of wild cards that will keep the scoreboard going for the whole year, and never require you to buy any crap!

A "win" on the scoreboard is anytime the class has more smileys than frownies.

10 "wins" means students progress to the next level.

Level 1 - Basecamp.  Generic scoreboard with variations like we are already using.  Mighty Oh yeah!  Mighty groans!  Keep the kids on their toes.  In Halloween, do "Trick" when the kids get a frowny and say "Treat" when they get a smiley (thank you Krystal Long!).  Or, "trick-or-treat" when they get a smiley and "boo" when they get a frowny (thank you Southern Teacher!).  Modify to fit seasons/skills/classroom themes/etc.

Level 2 - Rulesville.  Add a "Bonus" section to the scoreboard and write a rule in it, such as rule 2.  You will continue to award points as usual, AND add smilies or frownies based on the bonus rules.  Better at rule 2! Oh yeah! Awww, too slow.  Mighty groan!  You can still incorporate ping-pongs, and psych-outs to keep it interesting.

Level 3 - Double Bonus.  Include a rule and a call back, such as Help me!  Levels 1 and 2 still apply, but you are adding to it with the double bonus.

Level 4 - No traitors! Girls vs. Boys (which the kids ALWAYS love!)  If a group has a weak response it is a score for the other team.  To earn a class win, there must be more smileys than frownies for BOTH groups.  Otherwise, it is just a girl win, or just a boy win.  You can still include bonuses at this level to keep kids working hard and engaging in the management of the classroom.

Level 5 - Victory Line.  Take level 4 and add to it that now the winning team gets to line up first.  The kids will eat it up!  I mean... eat.  it.  up.   They love this stuff!!!

Level 6 - Blue Dubs.  Occasionally use a blue marker to mark the scoreboard.  Blue lines count for double.  Levels 1-5 still apply at this level.

Level 7 - Leaders rule.  Students choose leaders for the week - students that they would like to emulate.  Teacher can sometimes pull them aside and work on leadership training, or leadership skills, to help them help the rest of the class. Leaders can change daily/weekly/monthly... your choice.

Level 8 - Time out.  The leaders from Level 7 can now call up to 1 time out per class to work with their group on how to earn more smiley points.  They are still girls vs. boys.

Levels 9 - 15 - Brainy City!  Start by adding two brainies in the bonus area.  Each week add 2 more.  You pick 1/2 and the kids pick 1/2.

Wow!  Are you as excited as I am???  I've made a background for Level 1.  I'm attaching below so you can download the freebie.  Check out Coach B's broadcast.  It's video 584.  I highly recommend it, as he goes into more details, and gives more examples.  This revamp of the scoreboard is truly going to reinvigorate my management strategies.  I am hoping that keeping this more structured, I will utilize the scoreboard more often as I should, and harness its power!  Click the picture below to download the PDF and enjoy! 

Leave a comment below... what's your favorite scoreboard level?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

47 Days of..... Paper :/ #thistooshallpass

I cannot believe it has been 47 days since my last post... AHHH!!!  So much to tell you, so little time...  Alas, this has been my nightly battle:

How DO you manage all the paper as a teacher????????  I dream of a paperless world... except my eyes go all squinky looking at a screen and I like highlighters and colored pens.  They have become quite an obsession of mine since college.


Where are my kiddos with WBT stuff, I heard you ask.  Well... ponder no more!  This post has the answers for you.


Do you want to know???

Do you need to know????

Can you handle it???

Ok, enough teasing and lollygagging....




drum roll.....

in exactly the same spot they were 47 days ago.... wah wah wah.....  Well, not exactly, but their progress has been less than stellar.  I haven't been posting for the same reason my kids aren't making the progress I wish they would: I am barely surviving.  

I know what you are thinking... "But wait, Super Woman doesn't have bad days??"  (I know you all refer to me as Super Woman.)  I'm not really Super Woman, and I really do have bad days.  This year has been full of a slew of them.  But, tomorrow is a new day and after hearing Coach B's reinvented Scoreboard ideas tonight, I am FIRED up to begin with Level 1: Basecamp tomorrow AND get my kids rolling in the Super Improve League competition.

I don't know about y'all, but this year started with a rocky beginning.  I am SUPER glad to be moving along, BUT I also feel like so much time is already lost.  I plan to "make it" through this week and a long weekend tending to family things, and then do a little better next week and go to Houston for a training for my school, and hopefully even better the next as I roll into my sweet angel girl's first birthday (cue the nail biting!).  After that, it's smooth sailing on the waves of fully implemented WBT!

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents, because we are turning up the heat in third grade!!!
(And yes, I'm aware that all those "idioms" and whatnot do not necessarily go together... Hehe!)

Follow my kids on the Facebook competition.  We are Kelley's Dynamo Super Kids!

The following Hashtag fun are to amuse you and describe my last 47 days... feel free to comment your own!  :)

#papermountain   #teacherlife   #ineedapersonalassistant   #dontgetpaidtopushpaper   #papercutsarearealproblem   #toobusytoactuallyteach   #turnanewleaf   #dontsweatthesmallstuff   #dontevensweatthebigstuff   #backtobasics   #teachingismypassion   #doitforthechildren   #teachthewholebrain   #worksheetsdontgrowdendrites   #morepaperdoesnotequalmoreteaching   #gottausethatbrain   #readyforWBThardcore