Friday, August 7, 2015

Oh. Sweet. Mama!!!

Wow wow wow!!! Coach B was in town this morning delivering the PD for ALL PreK-5 teachers in my district.  And can I just say... it was AHHHHH-MAAAAY-ZING!

I'm going to share my favorite parts and Big Take-Aways, but lucky lucky you - the WHOLE lesson was recorded via Periscope.  Click here to watch!

First of all, Coach introduced the coolest new feature to really amp up those gestures and mirrors - Power Cards with Power Plus for extra uummph!  Each child is given a 3X5 index card.  One side is the Normal Power card.  This is what you typically expect from your students.  But the other side is Power Plus.  When students are feeling sleepy and slow after lunch and you want them to remember a big point, have them flip their card over to Power Plus and really get into those gestures and use their big teacher voices.

Who is excited to try Power Cards????  This girl!!!!

Of course, because I am awesome and I love you so very much, you can download your very own Power Cards here!  Just print them on card stock, laminate, and velcro to your desks.  (That's my plan anyway!)

Secondly, Coach introduced a new review technique which I can already see working seamlessly with the lesson sketch.  The Big Questions of the day (or lesson, or unit, or chapter, or whatever unit of measure in your room...) are listed on the board in a PowerPoint presentation.  At the beginning, students read the questions to each other using brainies, similar to a Crazy Professor reading.

Then once you have taught a lesson and answered a question, you flash the slide again, but the question is in blue.  The students simply Review the Blue!  Then, as the chapter, or unit, or whatever progresses, more questions are flipped to blue and students are continually reviewing all the lessons or skills you wanted them to know.  Can I get an OH YEAH? I mean... c'mon.  OH STINKING YEAH!  Kids constantly reviewing EVERY skill they need in a unit.  YEEESSSSSS!!!! THAT is teaching heaven!

Finally, Coach gave us some Mirror Words varieties and Teach-Okay varieties.

In true Coach B style, he used his chair props to navigate through the sequence of the lesson.  Which I personally love!

And of course, had lots of colleagues get up and practice.

To end the presentation, we all had to evacuate due to a fire alarm in the building.  I just figured Coach's gestures were so fast he started smokin' up the place.  Turns out a day care kid on the other side of the building pulled the alarm... but I'm just going to continue to imagine Coach setting off the alarms with sparks of funtricity!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Book Study: 122 Amazing Games! Chapter 2

This chapter is a more in-depth review of "The Big Seven" of WBT.
1. Class-Yes! (Attention Getter)
2. Mirror Words (Engager)
3. Scoreboard (Motivator)
4. 5 +1 Rules (Unifier)
5. Teach-Okay (Activator)
6. Switch! (Involver)
7. Hands and Eyes (Focuser)

If you are new to WBT, or just still feel overwhelmed, these are the seven steps to master before you proceed to any other components!  You can read my original blog post about The Big Seven here. And, you can see how all these components integrate into a single lesson here.

The Big Take-Away for me from this chapter is that the "classroom management plan" we use in Whole Brain Teaching cannot be separated from the instruction we teach.  Coach says it best on page 9, "...thinking well is behaving well."  When we keep our students focused, motivated, involved, engaged, and active, there is NO ROOM for misbehaviors.  We have their WHOLE BRAINS developing reading or writing or math skills, and that, my friends, is a WONDERFUL place to be!

Another Big Take-Away for me was the description of the types of gestures used during Mirror Words.
     * Casual gestures - make lessons visual; match the story/instruction; can vary from teacher to teacher.
     * Memory gestures - linked to core concepts; should be the same for every WBT teacher in a school; (can find these in conjunction with Power Pix).

There have been some ahhhh-mazing updates and additions to the Scoreboard. Check out my original post here!

Five Rules; Plus on brand new, oh so shiny, new in the box... DIAMOND RULE!  The Diamond Rule is "Keep your eyes on the target."
     >Reading a book?  Page is the target.
     >Listening to teacher?   Teacher is the target.
     >A classmate is speaking?  Classmate is the target.

When it comes to teaching the 5 rules, Coach B has included some extra special 2-step lesson plans for teaching all 5 rules AND the diamond rule.  Rolling 10-finger WOOO, Coach!

Using the Switch! helps our most talkative kids to listen, and our most quiet kids to talk.  It forces each of those "learning styles" to embrace the opposite - thus, involving the WHOLE brain!

Use Hands and Eyes only SOMETIMES to make a very important point or call students to "laser" attention.

Next week we will be talking about the 10 most popular WBT games, and I will *hopefully* have some lesson plans to share with you that involve some-most of the games.

That's all for tonight, and remember that by adding these little sparks of funtricity into your classroom instruction, management will work itself in and you will be visiting Teacher Heaven on a permanent teach-cation.  Oh, sweet mama!!!!