Monday, April 23, 2012

22 days and counting...

I can hardly believe I have 22 days left of school! Panic, Panic, Panic. (Are my kids socially and academically ready for Second Grade? Do they remember what I have taught them? Why are they going crazy? Is my classroom ready?) So much to do, so little time.

Ok, I need to put that behind me and focus on this week. It is TCAP Testing (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program). Only 3rd-5th graders take the test, but it is stressful for the whole school. Our schedules are changed a little and no pullout or inclusion classes take place. So to say the least, my kiddos were a LITTLE crazy today!

On a lighter note, I have been trying a new technique called Whole Brain Teaching. Check it out below if you have never heard of it. I watched the videos and did a little reading, but never really understood it until I had the chance to watch a Kindergarten teacher apply it to her reading and math block. I am HOOKED! My students have responded very well and I see and hear more learning going on. Woo, Hoo!!!
Some of the key ideas that I have implemented are:

1. Repetition of information (chunking)- I say what I want them to know. Then they wisper the information in their hand (say it in their hand) and release (say again out loud). I then have them turn and talk with their neighbor about what they just learned. Then I bring them back with the attention grabber and ask for hands to repeat what they learned talking with their partener.

2. Attention Grabbers- Class/ Yes! Classity- Class/ Yessity- Yes!

3. Score Board- if they students are ready (eyes on me, voices off, bodies still) after you say your attention grabber they can earn a tally mark on the Smiley face (they say "Oh, Yeah!) or on the Frowny face (they say "Oh, No!) If they have more smilies than frownies before recess they get 5 extra minutes.

I love hearing students talk with each other about learning. If your teaching with Whole Brain, I would love to hear how you have incorporated it into your classroom. Any changes you have made or any questions you may have.

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