Welcome to Chapter 3 of an amazing book! Before I get started.... opinions please! :)
I made myself a new logo! This is one of several I created! Let me know what you think!
Alright so I am back from the National Whole Brain Teaching Conference and sort of on WBT overload (if that is possible)? My co-worker who came with me used that term and I just think it fits! However, you can never have too much of a good thing, right?
So, hopefully you are following our WBT FACEBOOK CHAT that Melissa from First Grade Frame of Mind and I are doing! We have amazing Whole Brain Teachers in our group to share their expertise including:
Nancy Stoltenberg - Director of WBT Certification
Farrah Shipley - Director of WBT South Region
Julie Gustin (aka. Southern Teacher) - Coordinator: WBT Forum
Also, I believe we have at least 3 other WBT Interns (besides myself) and many other experienced WBT Teachers to learn from and share ideas with! I am so excited to finally be able to collaborate with other WBT Teachers! And even more excited that WBT is growing and we will be able to reach & change more students' lives!
Okay ... on with Chapter 3!
What a content filled chapter! WBT's TOP 10 GAMES?! These are THE BEST games that could possibly be played in any classroom EVER...
"Why are they the best?"
Simple. THEY WORK.
Here are my thoughts, ideas, additions from the conference, and questions on Coach's TOP 10 WBT GAMES.....
1. SUPER IMPROVERS:
If you are not familiar with the basics of the Super Improver Team (SIT), see my blog post HERE or you can see a webcast from Coach B himself by clicking HERE!
The new games and ways to keep your SIT interesting that Coach talks about in this book are so much fun! REMEMBER not to pull out all these amazing ideas at once! IT'S A LONG YEAR! Keep them in your back pocket for when you really need them!
Secret Improver: Farrah and Nancy talked about this at the conference too... I love this idea! Choose 3 students (2 higher students with 1 low student OR 2 low students with 1 high... choose students who normally would not be grouped together. Imagine the confidence builder for the lower student(s)!) Call your secret improvers in when no one else is around and meet with them about their goals. Let them know they are your secret improvers and give them easy to reach goals to work on to earn stars!
Ninja Spy: Make a Ninja Spy box and choose several students to be super secret ninja spies! They need to secretly observe positive behavior (or academic improvement). When they see something positive, they can secretly slip a note into the Ninja Box. Read these out to the class sometimes to recognize positivity! What a great way to promote positive attitudes and team work in your classroom!
Rovers: Choose students to be rovers. Their job is to wander the classroom and HELP others as needed. I love this because I tend to always have the same students help their classmates. This will give everyone a chance!
Mysterion: Add this fake person named Mysterion to your SIT! Give Mysterion stars occasionally and build student suspense as to who in the world Mysterion is! When they can't take it anymore and just NEED to know, let them know it is you working on improving yourself! I love this!
What kinds of things do you use to spice up your SIT?! Last year I did the fun picture with a friend and glued it on the back of their card at level 4. When they passed level 4, I turned it over and they got to have their picture up for a couple days! They did not move up to level 5 until I gave them their picture. Sometimes, certain students tend to move up too fast so I have to remind myself to set their goals really evaluate my expectations of them! "You get what you expect" so let's expect A LOT! :)
2. The Brainy Game
I cannot wait to take my students to the next level with brainies this year! After watching Farrah Shipley's 4 minute brainy competition video, I was disappointed that I did not higher my expectations for my students! They knew all the major brainies but to have 1st graders correctly quoting someone with the correct punctuation is just amazing! Most adults cannot even do that! I introduce most of the purple, blue, and yellow brainies right away! I usually save the Triple Whammy, If/Then, In Conclusion, and Indent for when we are ready to start paragraphs.
Nancy Stoltenberg made an awesome version of this that students can keep in their desk. Of course, I had to make it match my jungle theme so you can get that version for FREE in my TpT store by clicking HERE.
I am definitely going to play the brainy game this year and hopefully enter the brainy competition! (Certification video MAYBE?!)
3. The Scoreboard
Again, if you are not familiar with the scoreboard basics, check out my blog post HERE. This year at the conference (and in this book), Coach introduced SCOREBOARD LEVELS! Another genius idea! I love this and I cannot wait to use it! I am just going to touch on the first couple levels because this is what people seemed to be getting confused about at the conference....
LEVEL 1: Smiley Side and Frowny Side. Smiley side is 2 grade levels above your grade. Frowny side is 2 levels below (or just baby school!).
For example: I teach 1st grade so on the smiley side, I write 3rd grade! On the frowny side, I write baby school (because what kid wants to be in baby school, right?). I am using this in my summer school class and I just LOVE IT! Without calling kids out or reminding them a million times a day how to act, I just say, "Oh no, this is what they do in baby school! Mighty Groan!" Then they fix it and I can say, "Oh wow, look at these 3rd grade students! Mighty Oh Yeah!"
What do they get for winning? They get to win! Just like a video game!
After 10 wins, they get to move up to level 2... (just like a video game)!
Okay, so do this the same as level 1 with the grade levels but add boys vs girls. There is a picture on how to set this up on page 43 of the book!
So boys vs girls all day BUT, both teams have to have more smileys than frownies at the end of the day to win! Girls don't win, boys don't win.... they both have to have more smileys and then the whole class wins! GENIUS!
Same as level 2 except boys or girls will win! Winner lines up first. 10 wins still equal a level up!
I have to adjust this a little bit because line leader is a job in my classroom. 30 seconds of extra recess or computer time works GREAT!
Same as level 3 but add another color marker to use and those points count for double! So when boys (or girls) are doing a really exceptional job, bring out your colored marker and give them a smiley (or frowny if they are really off task)! Oh what fun it is!
Coach goes through 6 more levels in this book! The fun never stops and the game NEVER gets old! The best part? YOU CAN THROW AWAY YOUR TREASURE CHEST!
4. Leaders Rule
This new game is so intriguing! I read Chapter 11 and immediately tried to think about how to adapt this into my 1st grade classroom! I think this game will work really will in a classroom with a couple little beloved rascals (ie. my summer school class). I am going to try this out and come back to let you know the results! What do you think of this game?!
5. Practice Cards
Practice cards save you the time of calling out one child all day long or giving the whole class frownies because of one student! You know what student we are talking about! We have all had them. Practice Cards are the perfect solution! Make a chart (similar to your SIT) with student numbers. If a student is breaking a particular rule over and over, simply drop a card with the rule number on it in their pocket.
NEW: Coach suggests instead of making the student practice at recess for 2 minutes, give them a choice of practicing for 30, 60, or 90 seconds. Coach says that surprisingly, students will chose 60 over 30! I did not need to use practice cards last year (and you should hold off on these as long as you can!) but if I do, I will definitely be trying the choice practice times! Did you use practice cards? What did you like best?
6. Long Talk, Short Talk, Plan Together
This game should be modeled whole class and used when you have some beloved rascals who need a little extra guidance ...
Let the student make a choice:
Long Talk - Teacher talks and talks and talks and talks and talks (you get the point!).
Short Talk - Teacher talks & makes all decisions but keeps it short.
Plan Together - Teacher and student talk together and develop a plan to make their "classroom experience more rewarding".
Let students know you prefer planning together!
I think this game goes along well with the bullseye game. Has anyone used the bullseye game? Farrah talked about how she used it with a student last year and it just makes so much sense! With the especially challenging kiddos, I think this would be a miracle solution!
7. Wrong Way-Right Way Practice
ONE OF MY FAVORITES! I went to a Responsive Classroom conference last year (mandatory) and they had us watch a video on teaching the students about good choices. I was actually surprised that they used this video because there was a particular student who was dead set on showing the class how to do it the wrong way! She was not allowed to do this but she was so focused on it that whatever the teacher was saying, she was not hearing! WHY NOT just let them do it wrong first?!
This is so fun for the students and they are having so much fun that they WILL cooperate when you tell them to show you the right way! I used Baby School and 3rd Grade instead of right and wrong but you can do it however it works for you!
Have you had success with this method?
8. Mind Soccer
Okay, I admit it. I have not played this one yet! Why have I not played this yet? From everyone at WBT, this is the BEST game & also serves as an academic reward!
I am NOT a sports person but I am a fan of playing games to learn! Another easy, FREE way to keep your kids learning and motivated!
You simply draw a line on your chalkboard or white board with hash marks it. This is your field! Divide your class up into 2 teams. Ask a review question and the first team to answer correctly moves down the field toward their goal! The eraser serves as the team and you move it closer to the goal of the team that gets it right!
Coach describes this game in much better detail and you can see a video of the game actually being played HERE!
9 & 10. Classroom Management & Challenging Kid Averages (CMA & CKA)
Both of these chapters describe simple ways to track your students and yourself. We are data driven these days right? So why not collect the data that is going to help you the most!
Unfortunately, I am horrible with data! It is one of my goals that I have been working toward! Since I always feel like I know my kids & I know myself, I have a hard time writing everything down. However, it is VERY important to be able to back up what I say about my students and it is important to know exactly what I need to work on!
Games 9 and 10 will be 2 of my WBT goals this year! Have you tracked your progress or your students progress? How has this helped you?
I would love to hear what you think of this chapter! Linkup with us and share your thoughts on Chapter 3! Comment here to share your ideas and join the discussion on Facebook!