Friday, August 23, 2013

Class Yes and Fire Alarms-a Whole School Idea

This year, all the teachers in our school (both of us) are trying to implement whole brain methods in our classroom. Of course, one of the first things we implemented was Class/Yes. The lower grades, K-3, love doing it, while my older students were a little more reluctant. Still, we have practiced, and practiced and...well, you get the picture. I didn't know how wonderful having an all-school participation element was going to work until yesterday.

The alarm went off with the help of my aide. Our school has only two classrooms and, though we are getting one, we do not have an automatic alarm. As it buzzed, the kids lined up, crossed the alley and formed two lines, one for each class. Each teacher went down her row, verifying that all of the students were present. They were. 

Since this was the first fire alarm of the year, I always talk to the kids about what was great about their exit and to let them know if they needed to change something. It is also a good time to tell them why we do what we do and what we need from them. 

The kids were excited and talking among themselves while the teachers exchanged the information we needed to write down; then I was ready to talk. I needed everyone's attention and the thought came to me, "Class!." In unison, every child in the room responded, "Yes!" With a smile on my face, I completed my little talk. What a wonderful way to attention without having to talk over the voices of two classrooms.

The great thing about this is, as I thought of how well having the kids ready to respond was, I realized that, in a time of danger or during an experience where time was of the essence, "Class/Yes!" could save the day. Have you used "Class/Yes!" outside of your classroom?

Monday, August 12, 2013

First Day Rule Fun

On a previous post, I had stated that I didn't know what I was going to do for my rules posters this year. Mulling it over, I decided to make unique signs for my class. First, I downloaded signs from Whole Brain Teaching's web site.

I didn't hang the posters in my room. Instead, I hung up a border on my wall. This is what it looked like:

I decided that the first five students who came through the door would be my models. They grinned and wrinkled their noses, but they did it. I know they are going to be adorable. I am going to put them on GIMP and add the words for the rules. 

Here are a couple of my results (I left the mouths so you could see that they really did enjoy it.):

Rule number 2: Raise your hands before speaking.

Rule 4: Make smart decisions.

Rule 5: Make your dear teacher happy.

My plan is to take new pictures and make new posters every month. The kids really did enjoy posing. When the rest of the kids see these posters, they are going to love it...and they will want to be a "star," too!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Whole Brain School

After watching 50 hours worth of Whole Brain Education videos, all the teachers at my school (both of us) are going to be using Whole Brain techniques to teach this we will have a Whole Brain School. Because it is easy to start and harder to stick with in a multi-grade school....2 teachers in a K-8 school with at least 31 kids....we will work together to keep it going.  So tomorrow, it is Class/Yes Okay/Teach!

What are you doing to make your room a Whole Education room this year?