Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WBT Wednesdays ~ Super Speed Games!

Welcome back to WBT Wednesdays!  I missed my WBT community last week but had a great night observing Veteran's Day with my veteran hubby!

My students also loved learning about Veteran's Day and getting to try on some real Army clothes!

Okay anyways, on to this week's WBT topic... Super Speed Games!

These are one of my favorite WBT games because they work miracles!  I am not kidding you!  My students LOVE to play Super Speed so much that I can even use it as a reward for winning scoreboard! *TEACHER HEAVEN*

In 1st Grade we start out with Super Speed 100 for reading.  I make up the folders for the students that they can keep in their desks and I introduce this whole class.  Everyone starts at Level 1 and I put an online stopwatch on the board.  I let them read for 1 minute.  Then I show them what to do if they mess up (go back to the beginning of the line).  Then we start back at Level 1 and play for another minute!

Then I have them work with a partner.  One person reads while the other person watches and makes sure that student goes back to the beginning of the line if they mess up!

We time again for 1 minute then switch roles.

I do this several times whole class before I let them play on their own.  I make a HUGE deal about their goal... which is to break their own record each time!  

Remember: EVERYTHING IN WHOLE BRAIN TEACHING IS A GAME! (The key to 100% student engagement and your teacher heaven!)

They keep one copy in their desk that they can play during independent work time, morning work time, or as reward time when I choose to.  Then I keep another copy in their student data folders that I play with them every Friday during guided reading!

When students are leveling up quickly and get closer to Level 100, I will let them try the 100 word challenge on the back.  They have to read all 100 words perfectly in 1 minute!  Then, guess what they get?

(To get the FREE ebooks, just create a FREE account, click on FREE EBOOKS, and search for Super Speed!)

It's all about leveling up & learning more!  WIN WIN!

Here is a short short clip on my students practicing Super Speed 100!  You can also learn more about Super Speed reading games HERE!

There are also Super Speed math games that our students LOVE!  This is also something that we send home to play at home.  What parent wouldn't love a quick, fun, one-minute game to play with their child instead of hours of worksheets?!

Farrah Shipley has a great video on Super Speed Math games!

Download your FREE Super Speed games today and watch your students grow leaps and bounds in their reading and math fact fluency!

Thank you for sharing this WBT Wednesday with me!  Don't forget to catch our BLAB SHOW tonight at 6pm CST!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Featured Teacher Tuesday! ....wait, that's me!

It's Featured Teacher Tuesday but this week, I get to be the Featured Teacher!  Since you can already read all about me here, check out these FREEBIES & these other awesome 1st Grade Teacher Bloggers!

Featured Teacher Tuesdays is off next week for the holidays but we will back December 1st so stay tuned!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Blog Hop & Swap Meet

Hey everyone!  I am super excited to part of this Swap Meet Blog Hop & Giveaway!  This is my first time doing one of these and it has been so much fun!  I got to meet new teachers and try new products in my classroom!

Read all about the Subitizing Product I got from Cecilia Magro & then enter to win an amazing prize pack!

You get all the prizes pictured which include the Subitizing Unit AND one of my Morning Meeting sentence building games just in time for December!

Okay so I teach 1st Grade, however, my students this year really need more practice with subitizing.  I have to also admit that this was a relatively new term for me so for those of you on the same page as me...

"Subitizing is the ability to quickly identify the number of items in a small set without counting. Researchers have demonstrated a strong relationship between subitizing skill and math achievement including a recent study with over 500 kindergarten students."

In this pack from Cecilia, there are tons of different ideas and games to play to practice this skill!  Since my firsties are currently working on addition and subtraction to 10, I had them start with the Shake your Counters game!

These go from 4 through 10.  I printed them 2 sided and started with 4's and 5's then we worked our way up.  I let my students work with a partner to shake their counters, make an addition problem, write it down, and then (of course) use Whole Brain Teaching to teach with each other!

They loved this activity and it is really helping to strengthen their counting & addition skills!

Students took turns shaking the counters and writing the problems!

They were working so hard at coming up with different combinations for 4 & 5!!  And as I said they also had to use our WBT Brainies to teach each other each problem before moving on!

They did such a good job that we moved right to 6's and 7's!  

I really think this is one of the easiest and best ways to practice addition... not to mention, it's fun!

In this next video, my girls are being little over-achievers and teaching each other using WBT strategies Class/Yes, and Mirror Words.  They took turns being the teacher!

So this is just one of 48 pages of games and ideas for practicing subitizing in this pack!  Each game and idea is thoroughly explained & the concept behind subitizing is laid out for you as well!  Cecilia also included Common Core Standards for grades K-2 in here so you can align your lessons!

I cannot wait to use the other games with my students and I will also be sending some of these activities home with students as games to practice (rather than worksheets as homework)!

Thank you for checking out my blog today!  Don't forget to enter the giveaway for some fantastic products below!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Featured Teacher Tuesday ~ Carol, The Chocolate Teacher!

Our next Featured Teacher is Carol Polston over at The Chocolate Teacher!

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Carol is in her 23rd year of teaching.  She has taught mostly first grade with a few years of second and kindergarten sprinkled in here and there.  Her love is definitely first grade.  Her favorite part of teaching first grade is seeing the growth in her students from the beginning to the end of the year.  This growth never ceases to amaze her.  She feels blessed to be able to be a part of her students’ growth!
Carol has been married for 38 years.  She and her husband have three grown children and two adorable grandchildren.  An unusual fact about Carol is that she had the privilege to teach all three of children in first grade.  Her older two children she taught as a homeschool teacher and her youngest child was in her 1st grade classroom in public school.  She feels happy that she got to teach all three of them how to read!  Her youngest daughter is now also a teacher (teaching P.E.- a love she did not get from her mom).  
Carol loves teaching just about every subject (ok, maybe not P.E.).  She especially loves to teach phonics and reading!  Grammar is also a subject she enjoys teaching.  Carol started creating phonics and language units to sell on TpT a little over a year ago.  She enjoys creating units to use in her own classroom and to share with others.  The first grade classrooms in her district use her phonics and language units.  You can click the links below to see a few of these.

She also enjoys providing activities to get her students up and moving as they learn.  To encourage this, she has created Write the Room activities.  These activities are a bunch of fun.  Students move around the room looking at cards that are pinned to the wall and they record their answers on an answer sheet.  These are a highly anticipated activity in her class.  She has created quite a few to go along with her weekly phonics skills.  You can check out her short vowel word family bundle here:
Carol also just completed a beginning mapping unit.  She used it in her classroom and the kids loved it.  The culminating activity in this unit is a map skill lap book.  You can see it here:
Carol has quite a few free products in her store.  Here are two that you can try that will introduce you to her phonics units and Write the Rooms:
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Are you wondering why she named her store with the unusual name- The Chocolate Teacher?  You can read all about why she did that here:   
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You can follow Carol at these sites:

Thanks so much for taking the time to read about Carol.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2015

WBT Wednesdays ~ Power Pix!

Welcome to another edition of WBT Wednesdays!  This week we are talking POWER PIX!

You can watch our BLAB SHOW replay here!

Power Pix are basically pictures with a question, answer, and gestures to introduce and review a key concept or skill.

For example...
This is part of my Jungle Power Pix Pack that I created for my own classroom.  This is the Power Pic for NOUN.

So when I introduce Nouns, I start with a question.
"What is a noun?"
I have the students mirror me and use teach okay so then they ask their neighbors, "What is a noun?".

Then I answer using gestures.
"A noun (pretending to hold a ball) is a person (point to self), place (sweep arms out in front of you), or a thing (stomp foot)."
Students mirror me here as well and teach their neighbors.

The Power Pix stay up as long as we are working on that skill or concept.  In my classroom, we start out each subject by reviewing our power pix.  This is where we get more into what we call TEACHER HEAVEN!

After I introduce nouns the first day, the next day, I ask the students, "Who can teach us about nouns today?".  Usually at least one student can do it after just one day!  So that student stands up, says Class Class and uses Mirror Words and Teach Ok to teach the rest of the class about nouns.

This is a quick review of the core concepts (which I have linked to Common Core) before we start our daily lessons.

Here is a short clip of a student teaching one of the concepts from our Focus Wall in early October...

I will take a video soon of the entire core concepts/Power Pix daily review and post for you!  We do this at the beginning of each subject as a warm up!

My entire Focus Wall looks like this...

So I have a section for Reading, a section for Writing, a section for Math, and a section for Brainies.

Other Whole Brain Teachers have focus walls that look like this...

This is from Nancy Stoltenberg's blog.  She sets hers up in a grid so she can keep them all up all year long.  The stars along the top have a letter and the stars on the sides have a number.  At any given time, she can call out a number/letter combo and have the students review that concept!  She also has limited space so she reduces the size of her power pix to be able to fit them.

Since I do not have the space for this, I put Power Pix that we have already covered in a Binder in the front of my room labeled, "Things We Have Learned".  

We have breakfast in our classroom so I have to have morning work time.  During morning work time, I have the Power Pix, Biffytoons, and Brainy binders that the students can look through.  I am not sure why, but these are the most popular things to do in the mornings!  Often times students will share a binder and I hear them reviewing power pix, figuring out gestures, and talking about sight words!  It is (once again) TEACHER HEAVEN!

Another way we review Power Pix we have already learned is through MAGIC MIRRORS.  We will take out the binder and I'll call on a student to come up to the front of the room.  That student will say, "Magic Mirrors Please!"  The other students repeat.  The teaching student puts their hands behind their back.  Then they ask the question from the Power Pic and read the answer while the other students make the gestures!

A student comes up and says, "Magic Mirrors please!" and puts their hands behind their back.  The other students repeat, "Magic Mirrors please!" but keep their mirrors up.

The teaching student says, "What is a noun?"
The other students use the brainies for a capital letter and a question mark silently while that student is talking.
The teaching student says, "A noun is a person, a place, or a thing!"
The other students make all the gestures for noun, person, place, and thing (and capital letters/punctuation)!

My students LOVE playing this!

For those of you who use Common Core like we do or other standards, you can find pre-made Power Pix aligned to your standards HEREHERE or HERE!

I still post "I CAN" statements (required by our district) but I put them in a pocket chart outside my classroom because to me, these are more for adults than my students.  Most of my students cannot read them & even if they can, the font is too small for posting them to be effective!

Plus, this way administrators or other personnel will know before they even step foot in the room, what they will see us working on!

So, that is the core of WBT Power Pix!  If you have any questions, comments, or ideas, please leave me a comment!  I would LOVE to hear from you!  Thank you for checking out my blog!

Happy *Whole Brain* Teaching!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Featured Teacher Tuesdays ~ Misty from Krazy About Teaching!

Welcome to Featured Teacher Tuesdays!

Our Featured Teacher this week is Misty Savario from Krazyaboutteaching!

Misty Savario is a 1st Grade teacher in South Louisiana (Cajun Country.)  She is a married mother of 2.  Emily who is 15 and Tyler who is 12.  
Misty has been teaching for 8 years and was honored to be chosen as the 2009-2010 Teacher of the year.  She is an ITEC and Lead tech showcase teacher.  She presents at tech conferences on a local and state level.  She was also a tech guest on the Global Edventures blab.  She is one of the hosts of The Teacher Blab Show on and on Teaching Tech on  
Misty loves to teach others about her tech tips on Periscope.  Follow her on her twitter handle:  emtysmom
You can follow her on

Thank you for joining me for this Featured Teacher Tuesday!  Please check out Misty Savario and don’t forget to join us next week for a new Featured Teacher!