Saturday, July 28, 2012

More Great Strategies form Day 1 WBT Conference in Jackson, MO

From the “Core Four” we went on to the many components of reading.  WBT is very strong in this area.  We covered Rhyming Reader, Biffytunes, SuperSpeed Rhymes, Super Speed Letters and Phonics, SuperSpeed 100, and SuperSpeed 1000.  All of these are explained in eBooks on  Most of these are available in electronic versions on the website as well.

I especially like the critical thinking part using the “Because Clapper” and the “Problem Solver”. The Because Clapper is just what it sounds like.  When students respond to a question such as “Why did the Rough-Faced Girl think she could not marry the Invisible Being?”  The students would respond, “The Rough-Faced Girl thought that she could not marry the invisible being because, (when they say the word because, they clap their hands) she was not pretty enough.”

When using the “Problem Solver” the students act as if they are unlocking a door.  They state the problem and their solution to that problem.  An example might be the question, “What should Goldilocks have done differently when she came upon the Three Bears home?”  The students would “unlock” the problem as they restated it and gave a possible solution to their partner.

From there we moved on to the Super Improvers Wall.  This is one of my favorite strategies from WBT.  There is a web cast on the website that explains this as well as a lot of discussion on the forum.  I strongly recommend you spending time to learn about this.  It is a very easy way to reward effort on the part of your students.  It can be used to reward positive improvements in behavior, academics, social skills, and the list goes on and on.

I’ll finish up Day 1 conference strategies next time.
Happy summer,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Strategies from the Jackson, MO Conference - Day One June 26, 2012

I thought I would share some of the great strategies presented by Coach B  at our conference with you.  I'll focus on different parts of the conference with each blog.  My goal will be to share a different part of the conference with you each week throughout the summer until I have the conference covered.  (Hopefully I can get it all in before school starts.)  If you have ever been to a WBT conference with Coach B, you know how much is covered in a short amount of time.

Day one of the conference focused on Reading.  We began with the “Core Four” which are, Class-Yes, Teach-Okay, Scoreboard, and Mirror.

The Class-Yes is the attention getter for your class.  You use Class-Yes all day every day, but it never gets old.  You spice it up by saying “Class” in a variety of ways.  Then your student’s respond back by saying “Yes” in the same manner in which you said “Class”.  “Class-Yes is used by everyone in the school where I teach.  We have adapted it to school wide assemblies by saying “Jackson” to which the entire school responds “Indians”.  It works great!!

The Teach-Okay is the activator.  After you have their attention with the Class-Yes, you speak briefly, clap twice, and say “teach”.  The students clap twice, say “okay”, and then begin to teach whatever you have just said.  It keeps everyone on track.  While they are teaching, you do comprehension checks by listening and watching the groups.  During this time you will quickly prompt or praise before calling the class back and continuing.

The Mirror unifies the class.  It has everyone doing the same thing at the same time.  You hold up your hands and say “mirror”.  The students then mirror your gestures.  There are three variations of “Mirror”.  They are:  Mirror, Mirror-Words, and Magic Mirror.  When using “Mirror” the students just mirror your gestures.  With “Mirror-Words” the students mirror your gestures and your words.  “Magic Mirror” is where the students make up their own gestures to go with your words.  All of these variations are powerful.

Coach B uses the Class-Yes along with the Mirror when asking questions.  If a student has a question, he/she says “Class” to which the class responds “Yes”.  He/she then says “Mirror” and every ones hands are up.  Now the whole class is listening to the student’s question instead of messing around.  This is a great strategy for keeping everyone focused on the lesson.

The Scoreboard is the motivator for your class.  This consists of a T-chart on your board with a smiley above one side and a frowny above the other.  Points are given as you determine.  When a “smiley” point is given, the class celebrates with a one second party by giving one clap and yelling “Oh, yeah!”  When a “frowny” point is given, the class lifts their shoulders and gives a mighty groan.  They are playing for very simple things, such as one minute more or less of recess.  The trick is to keep the points close, no more than three apart.

You need to make sure you use the core four in your WBT classroom continually.
This is just the beginning of day one.  More to come!
Happy summer,