4/ 2/ 11
Week 1: Implemented class/yes and the scoreboard. For this week they won the scoreboard. I made sure of it. At the end of each day we count the tally marks - whichever has the most then gets a star. At the end of the week, whichever has more stars, the happy or sad face, wins. This week they "won" a movie. I actually was going to show it to them anyway, as it was about plants, but when time came for me to count the stars and they won I told them that was their prize. It worked. =)
Week 2 Have implemented: Class/Yes, scoreboard, rules 1 – 5, hands & eyes
Seems like it is all working. Sometimes/often I have to say “class” a few times before getting their full attention. Haven’t done “mirror” yet, but I am working on teaching with my hands more and having them copy me. Just haven’t added in the word “mirror”. Same with Teach/Okay. I have set them up with assigned seats on the carpets and partners. They can turn to their partner, talk and turn back when I say class.
Difficulties: Most kids have bought in; just 2 – 5 kids who don’t follow all of the directions. Also, difficult to remember to review the rules. I like how it is made into a quick chant though, it makes reviewing quick and easy. I have done a lot of modeling about smart and foolish. Timer works OKAY but they haven’t beat a record in a long time. Usually because of one kid. Maybe I can tell the class if they beat a record they’ll get TWO points or if A*** gets to his seat he can earn two points for the class, but they still get one if Alex doesn’t make it and everyone else does.
Week 3 - Began mirror and teach/okay this week. Both are going well. I have added the words "mirror done" and use the sign language for all done. I did this because I continued to have kids mirroring me when it was over. Teach/okay is going well. The talking puppets to themselves when they don't have a partner is a little tricky so I also allow them to join a group. We have only really done it for one day but I already see how powerful it is. We discussed how to be a great listener and a great speaker.
Other things I have done on my own this week that's WBT inspired: Work Quiet - when kids begin independent work I say "Work Quiet" and they say "work quiet" and it keeps the volume level down a lot lower. I also introduced the "A team". Three students whose name begin with A have a tough time following directions quickly so they can't contribute to sad face points but they can double our happy face points.
Week 4: Haven't implemented anything new. Just perfecting rules, class/yes, mirror, teach/okay
I have received compliments from paraprofessionals that work in my room as well as an admin who was observing. They DID lose the scoreboard last week so they got homework over the weekend which they never get. We also went on a fieldtrip this week. The parents were amazed at how the kids all responded when I said class. I have started LOOKING into some of the more academic aspects of WBT. With such a challenging class I really wanted to dive into classroom management but now that we're settling down a bit I have checked into Biffytoons to teach my kids some extra HFW. I probably won't teach them to all of my kids, just my higher level readers - at least at first as a 'test'. OR...I may not even use them at all this year, with only X amount of weeks left (I should be counting down but I'm not!) and then I can really take time over the summer to read over more than just the basics.
Here are the links to all WBT methods mentioned in this post: http://www.wholebrainteaching.com/Whole-Brain-Teching/First-Steps. This links to WBT first steps: Mirror, hands and eyes, class/yes, scoreboard, teach/okay and switch and class rules. When searching the site go to downloads. you must be a member(which is free) to download ebooks but if you go to downloads you can download more info about each step. I have enjoyed SLOWLY implementing different parts of WBT into my day. I look forward to watching my class continue to grow. My only regret is I didn't find WBT sooner!