Welcome to Whole Brain Teaching Wednesdays!
I am excited to share with you what we have been doing in First Grade! But I have to say, every time I think I am on track with Whole Brain Teaching, I watch another webcast, or re-read a chapter in the book, and I feel like I know nothing! Everything about WBT is so genius and there is SO much to it! I am super excited to keep learning about all the things Coach B has to offer!
So, this past Monday, I watched Coach B's webcast on the Super Improver Team. He introduced a wonderful new amazing technique using STRATEGY CARDS! This year I have felt much more organized and am on a mission to keep my Firsties responsible for their own learning! Coach B introduced Strategy Cards to have students choose things to work on to earn stars on the Super Improver Board.
See the webcast HERE! (It is video #586)
So once the students decide on the skills they want to work on, you write them on the Strategy Card.
Then, at a designated time that you choose, have the students take out their cards and rate themselves. For my firsties, this is also a great way to continue practicing tally marks!
Have the students consider the skill they chose, and rate themselves if they have stayed the same or if they are getting better!
I made these strategy cards after I watched the Webcast because I could not find them on the WBT website. They may be there somewhere but I wanted to implement this right away so I just made some up!
I put these in my TpT Store too so you can get your copy for FREE if you click here.
We have talked about skills to work on and students have discussed them with their peers. We are going to write in our skills today and start working toward more stars on the Super Improver Board! I am even going to do a Strategy Card for myself!
Another thing we have been working hard on is all of our Power Pix! Our school is really pushing for our students to be able to know what they are learning and WHY.... Power Pix work better than any 'I CAN' statement I have ever used!
Students are teaching each other the concept and the meaning everyday.
We are really working hard on the 5W+H skill and I came up with a fun way to practice this! I have a writing prompt board on Pinterest where I have been finding CRAZY WACKY WILD pictures! I gave all the kids regular old boring notebooks and we call them WONDER BOOKS! I will show them a crazy picture and we will ask and answer 5W+H questions about the picture to help brainstorm and CRAZY WACKY WILD story about the picture!
The students LOVE this so far and it will be my 1st real attempt to have them physically write. Up until now we have just been doing oral writing. I wanted to start letting them get used to pencil and paper & transferring oral writing onto paper without the need for accuracy.
I made my own Power Pix to go with my jungle theme and to correlate with CCSS. I will be sharing on TpT as soon as I finish them!
We started nouns this week too! With the Whole Brain 5 Step Lesson Plan, it is NOT a lie when they say you can teach the concept in 20 minutes and spend the rest of your time applying it. After the first day of nouns, my students knew what a noun was and could classify & sort people, places, and things.
This has really helped incorporate the "For Example" brainy too! Students will say, "A noun is a person, for example, a dentist is a noun because he is a person." Then we will repeat this for places and things.
I highly suggest using SuperSpeed Grammar when you are ready to teach Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, etc!
You can get it for FREE at www.wholebrainteaching.com!
Since we are a PRIORITY School, we have to set goals and have visits and monitoring from DPI. Our goal for this year is differentiation. I am SO excited about this because I really think this (and WBT) is the key to every student's success!
We also have a MATH COACH from West Ed who has been in training staff on CCSS. I have been using CCSS since I started teaching but I still feel like I need to be more organized with it. One thing I am working on is creating differentiated MATH JOURNAL sheets for each 1st Grade Math Standard.
So far the journals have been going great! I use them as an intro to math to get students thinking and give them that personal work time that I often forget to give them!
Here is a sample of what we are doing....
This problem is for a struggling student. It gives more instruction on what to do and has the problem laid out for them so they can complete most of it on their own and still feel independent.
This problem is for an ON-LEVEL student. It still lays out the problem but is a little less organized so the student has to sort it out themselves. This student surprised me and completed the problem much faster than I thought she would so I had her also do her own bug problem at the bottom!
This problem is for an ADVANCED learner. For these problems there are no pictures and the problem is not set up for the student. There is also an open ended question at the end for them to write about and later discuss with a partner.
(Her sentence says, "It is addition because it is putting together".)
Here is what one page looks like...
I will make my CCSS Math Journal pages available on TpT as soon as I finish them!
And that's a wrap for WBT Wednesdays with me! I hope you continue to follow my journey and PLEASE let me know if you are doing WBT too so I can follow you!!