Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The newness is let's tweek it!

You know when it's time to change things up because the kids aren't responding like they used to in the beginning. That happened this week, like it usually does. This group of 4th and 5th graders are great, but they are also normal kids three and a half weeks away from Christmas break! It was time to "tweek" the scoreboard to get that same feeling we had back in September. With one small adjustment, it was all brand new.

We needed some extra practice with Rule 1 so that became our focus for this week. I wrote it under the Scoreboard so that they knew that this was the focus...and then...I revealed the big finish! I divided the Scoreboard in two parts, so that now there was a boys section and a girls section. The score is kept the same way, I'm just watching now for two groups. I would say "Class" and they would say "Yes" but there was some fidgeting going on by a few boys in the back, sad face mark followed by a groan. But the girls did it right, so they got the happy face and a cheer! That was all it took for them to see how this worked. It was on!

Of course the game was close all day and I still had some small rule breakers, but it was better. You see, it doesn't take a lot to refocus kids. Just the slightest tweek will do. Stay tuned for more tweeks to the scoreboard game as the year progresses! If you can't wait, you can check out the archived video library on the front page of and watch the Scoreboard video for more ideas.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ahh...a new beginning!

The beginning is always so great! Sharpened pencils, new notebooks, crisp folders, and the smell of Crayola's. I love the first weeks of school because kids are so vibrant, and willing to do anything.

The past two weeks have been so awesome with the rules and procedures of WBT. Is it really possible to enjoy school this much? I do recall a time when I didn't know what to do in the classroom. The things that the University taught me had stopped working the third week into the year. What was I going to do now? I trudged on through the muck like everyone else. But alas, WBT began and I new teaching was what I was destined to do!

The beginning of the year has a new meaning for me now...a rockin' time of learning!

Stay tuned for more anecdotes of this teacher who can't get enough WBT in the morning!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Conferences...Amazing time with Amazing Teachers!

The summer has been a time of relaxing with my family, and not doing any thinking about school. If you know me...summer, is summer. A time to sit around the pool, play cards with friends and do nothing.

The last few summers though, I've been with the WBT All-Stars traveling around our great nation spreading the WBT message in conferences from Louisiana to Missouri to northern California. Everywhere we go, we are seeing one thing...passionate teachers.

The last few weeks has been just like the other summers. A high energy time of teachers bouncing off the walls to please Coach B! What a time it has been. These teachers are pumped up to get in their classrooms, roll up their sleeves, and get the job done!

Power to the Teachers!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Post Testing Thoughts

Well, the testing season is over and what a time it was; we all made it! During the last post, I mentioned "Dressing for Success". I felt great about this idea, but it didn't fly well with the kids. I led by example and wore a tie each day, but that is where it stopped. Maybe next year!

As I reflect on this season of testing, the only thing I can think of is...WOW...what a great time it was for the kids! They feel super successful and I couldn't be happier. Prove It! was the answer to all of the issues, along with the other test taking strategies we used. Once we were done, I took a poll about the Prove It! game to see how many kids had fixed an answer because of this checking process. Fifteen kids said that they fixed an answer after thinking through the Prove It! process. 'Nough Said!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Test Taking they work?

It's been a long 4 months of prepping for the state tests...and we were ready! All of the diligent work on the kids part paid off because they sat for 2 hours and 35 minutes taking the test!! I had taken down the clocks so they couldn't tell if they were missing anything outside...I know, that was really low of me, but I wanted maximum focus. Wow did I get it! They used the strategies that we had talked about and they earned Super Improvers Stars accordingly.

Day two tomorrow and we'll go for the same result! Did I mention that I wanted them all to dress like they were going to church or a wedding? I thought that maybe the idea of dressing for success would go into their head and translate out into, "I can do anything because I look good!" We'll see how that works out...stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Super Improvers Wall...A United Class

We've seen posts about the Super Improvers Wall...but nothing could have prepared me for what I have seen in the past two months. My students are all pumped up because they are moving up the wall with the goal of becoming a Living Legend. I now have 12 students who are Living Legends...and they are so proud...and frankly, so am I!

If you're new to this concept, you must be asking what am I giving these kids to be so motivated to improve? All I am giving them is a star on a piece of paper! Yes, that's what I said...a star on a piece of paper which transfers to moving up the wall after 10 stars. These kids are working so hard to improve in all areas of school; academics, personal behavior, better writing, whatever they need.

All I can say is if your not using this, what are you waiting for?

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Dreaded Benchmarks...Not Anymore!

You the know the feeling. The one where you know the kids are totally prepared for the benchmark test, and then they bomb, go back to the old ways, or forget everything you taught them!! Why is that?

Well, not this time my friends! Since the inception of Oral Writing and the Genius Ladder, I have been waiting for this day. We have been doing these two activities for the past 5 months and now I am starting to see some consistent fruits of my labor.

The task...response to literature, not the easiest of the tests. The kids stayed focused and organized in their writing and most all of them beefed up the paragraphs with many extenders. This is really where it's writing above their abilities! What a great reading session it was to sit down and read so many great responses!