Monthly Archives: April 2013

And the Winner is……..

     The Scoreboard is one of the key components on the road to Teacher Heaven.  When I was introduced to Whole Brain Teaching by my dear friend and colleague, she told me about a few key components….one being the Scoreboard.  She briefly explained to me the concepts of the Scoreboard and off I went on my journey. 
     We went several days of scoring points, one day I won, one day the kids won, another day we tied.  (I had to give them a little taste of all three possibilities.)  The third day happened to be a Friday, so I said to the students, “Oh, I forgot to tell you, this is just level 1 of the game.”  Wow, did that spark their interest into knowing about Level 2.  Of course, I had to let them think and wonder on that one over the weekend and of course, I made them beg a little.  On Monday morning, the students walked in wanting to know more about Level 2.  I continued to build the suspense by telling them, “Just like a video game; once they mastered Level 1 they could see Level 2.”  
     One day I had a substitute an upon returning my students were quick to tell me that she did not play fair and she did not know the rules of the game.  Oh, boy, did that make them appreciate me more as their teacher.  The Scoreboard is a must see and do stop on the trip to Teacher Heaven.
     Now a word of caution.   I was so excited about all I had heard and seen that I could not wait to get Whole Brain Learning started in my classroom.  After watching Video 517, I wish I had watched it prior to introducing it in the classroom.   I started Whole Brain Teaching at the beginning of the 4th 9 weeks of school.  I am the type that I want to try as much as I can as quickly as I can.  I know that next year I will introduce things at a much slower pace, but I want to dabble in as many areas as I can so I can have a taste for it.  The video was very helpful in giving ideas for variety to “the game.”   I especially like and quite often use the ping pong effect.  Some ideas I look forward to trying are the double day and scoring points for specific rules. 
     There is not much left to the school year, but I look forward to continue my journey to Teacher Heaven. As always will continue to teach my students the way I would want my own kids taught.

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On Vacation to Teacher Heaven

Today began my vacation….my vacation to teacher heaven.  A week into Whole Brain teaching and I figured I was ready for a vacation that actually turn into a stay-cation —-a stay-cation to teacher heaven and I didn’t have to pack, hit an ATM, or even make reservations.  My students have so bought into the Whole Brain way of thinking, that they are reminding me when I do something “wrong.”  Trying to make something a habit takes 28 times or 20 days, so like any new thing it just takes practice and persistence.  That is what I am doing, practicing and persisting.

Today I continued with the Genius Ladder for writing and got some of the funniest paragraph about a frowning queen.  It is amazing how diverse the reasons were that caused her to frown.  Wow, as much as I love teaching writing, editing and revising basically a class set of the same paper can get, can I say it, BORING.  Well, my students’ writing are far from boring now.  I can’t wait to sit down and read their papers.  Knowing that they have written their papers with voices prior to writing them with a pencils, makes the editing and revising process so much easier.  When ideas are put down on paper in complete thoughts, editing can be more focused on mechanics and not so much on deciphering a bunch of words that are attempting to be a story.  It is music to my ears to see a half page of writing and hearing the kids beg for more time to write.  They can keep on singing that sweet song all day everyday.

Today also brought my class on a field trip to Whole Brain College and the introduction of Coach B.  Making inferences is an area that my students have consistently struggled with on benchmark tests.  I was excited to introduce Coach B and have him help me teach inferences.  They whole idea of Whole Brain College was also super exciting to the students as well.  We did not have time to get very far into the presentation today, so I asked the students if they wanted to continue to go to Whole Brain College tomorrow.  A collective “YES” echoed throughout the room.  I finally found the opportunity I had been waiting for….I got the kids to beg.  It was obvious by the pleading that they want to continue to go to Brain College tomorrow. 

I cannot wait to get back to school tomorrow and continue as always and teach my students the way I would want my own kids taught.

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Ohhhhhh, Class……Ohhhhhhh, Yes

This was a recent post I made on Facebook to share my experience with the “Class-Yes” attention getter.  If you go to www.wholebrainteaching.com and view webcast 514, you can learn more about this class routine.  Also, there are now Facebook pages geared to your grade level.  Check this out:

Kinders: http://www.facebook.com/WbtKinderCertification
1st Gr: http://www.facebook.com/pages/WBT-1st-Grade-Certification/439833272764895
2nd Gr: http://goo.gl/zlB1C
3rd Gr: http://goo.gl/rTjim
4th Gr: http://goo.gl/6hvGA
5th Gr: http://goo.gl/oqJlf
Middle School: http://goo.gl/LTgyU
High School: http://goo.gl/aTVMR

This was my post to the 4th grade page:

It is never to late to start something new…We started our last nine weeks of school this past Monday and boy spring fever has set in.  Before we left for the week, I was introduced to Whole Brain by a 1st grade colleague.  I watched a few videos (before Spring Break)  and the Class-Yes video was one of those few.  I knew this was what my students needed.  Two days before spring break, I started dropping a few hints of Whole Brain Teaching to the students.   Building anticipation was the key for my class to “buy-in.”  I would say things like “I think you may be ready for me to be a whole brain teacher and you may be ready to be a whole brain learner.”  Of course, their response was, “oh yea, what is that?”  The Class-Yes  was the 1st routine I introduced..2 days BEFORE spring break.  At recess, at lunch, and even at dismissal, my students were giving me suggestions on how to say “class.”  My administration walked into speak to my class so I dropped a “class mam” and his eyes widened when a collective “yes mam” was politely bellowed from my room.  I knew at that moment that this was the BEST educational decision I had made in a long time.  All spring break, I sent out emails to my parents to drop hints about whole brain teaching to their children.  This was 2-fold.  One to bring excitement to the students and secondly, to inform the parents of whole brain teaching.  I hope that my own personal children’s teacher watch webcast 514, because as always, I will teach my students the way I would want my own children taught.

PS…I spent spring break watching more webcast.  It just built my excitement to return from spring break. Yea, I guess you figured it out….I am a little geeky, but I just finished my best week of teaching that I have had in a VERY long time.  So if that makes me a geek, I will own it proudly.

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Whole Brain = Whole Lot of Fun

Wow!!! Introducing Whole Brain Learning to my 4th graders turned out to be fun for both them and for me.  I enjoyed watching them get excited to turn and teach a concept to their partners.  I enjoyed them asking me if we could go through the rules again.  I enjoyed watching as a student correct a behavior when a rule was chanted in class.  I enjoyed seeing the excitement in their eyes when they beat their time in Super Speed Math.  I enjoyed hearing and seeing all the dramatic reading that occurred with just a little practice.  So basically, this made me ENJOY my day.  This is what teaching is all about.  This gives me the energy to keep going. 

As always, I will continue to enjoy teaching my kids as I would want my own children taught.

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Building Anticipation

Two days before Spring Break, I needed help so I decided to introduce the Scoreboard. We were playing for 15 minutes extra recess on Thursday, since we did not have school on Friday. It didn’t take long for the students to pick up on the “game.” I have two buddies in my class that always have each others back and before I knew it one started calling out the other one on his behavior. It was like music to my ears. Wednesday ended and I was slightly ahead. Thursday morning rolled around and the students came in, sat down, and began their morning work without question except if they were going to get a point or yippee. Maybe I was a little backwards because I had not introduced the “new rules” yet, but I had to tell them that it didn’t me happy if they asked for points, so awww a point for me. Of course, it didn’t take long for them to earn a point in return. About half-way through the day, I walked over to the scoreboard and wrote Level 1. Boy did this get their attention. Of course they immediately asked what level 2 was. Being the “mean” teacher that I am, I had to let them know that they were not ready for that and they would just have to wait. I also threw out the terms power teaching and power learning to the students and told them I thought they may be ready for it, but it would have to wait to have to wait until after spring break. Throughout the day, they kept asking me what it was and what we would be doing, but of course, my response was every time “You will have to wait and see.”

It was exciting to feel the excitement of the students as they left. To even hear “I can’t wait to get back to school” made it all worthwhile. Periodically, throughout this week, I have sent e-mails to the parents briefly informing them of what was upcoming, but also to have them mention key words like class-yes, scoreboard, and power teaching to their child. A few parents responded with the type of comments that I was hoping for.

This makes me excited to get back to school and as always, teach every child as I would want my own child taught.

PS The student earn that extra recess by just one point. Boy, did they LOVE IT!!!!

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Welcome to My Blog

My name is Paige Kluck and this is my first post to document my journey into Whole Brain Teaching. Whole Brain Teaching was introduced to me by my dear friend who teaches 1st grade. I teach 4th grade and I am excited to take this journey with her over the next 9 weeks. I guess you can call this a trial and error period. I am so excited to implement all the things Coach B (Chris Biffle) has taught me. No, I do not know him, but I have watched so many of his videos that I feel like I know him and I would love to meet him. I have been teaching for 25 years and it has been a long time since something has excited me like Whole Brain Teaching has. It is strange because as I watched the videos I have watched, I thought “This is so simple. This is what teaching is about.” I also think that I do a lot of these things already, but never had a name for it. So as I journey through the next few weeks, I will journal or blog, as I was told to call it, my adventure. I have to admit, before spring break, I did drop a few hints to my students about Power Teaching and Power Learning and my students seemed to want to know more, but I told them they had to wait until we got back from break. I hope you will read something that will make you want to know more about Whole Brain Teaching as I share my experiences. You can go to http://www.wholebrainteaching.com for more information and TONS of FREE items.

Until next time, I will continue to teach every child as I would want my own child taught.

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