Sunday, November 30, 2014

Whole Brain in the Multi-grade Classroom

Okay-for two years I have tried to incorporate Whole Brain education into my classroom, but it was hard because I have a special classroom. It is almost like the Little House on the Prairie classroom in that I teach grades 3-8 at the same time. Over the past two years, I have done some tweaking of the program to fit my needs and it is starting to come together.

First, I start the year out much like the regular Whole Brain classroom. We learn the Five Rules (Get your free posters here or here. Practice, practice, practice...just like Chris Biffle and his followers say.

When it gets to Class! Yes! it gets a little more difficult. My students have to learn that, at different times, I expect different responses. Class! Yes! gets the attention of the entire class and they all respond. 3-4 Class! gets a response from students in grades 3-4. 5-8 Class! gets a response from students in grades 5-8.

I have other little "multi-grade" ideas, little changes, that I will be trying in my classroom. Then, I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Personalizing Whole Brain Rules for Your Class!

What a great time it was-watching all of the kids coming back to school after the long holiday-something that happens every year. This year, the whole tone in the room was different. As the kids walked into the classroom, this is what they saw on the white board:

Now, if you read my blog yesterday, you will know that we started the second semester much as we did the first day of school. First, each child stood in front of the board with a mask. They were each given a rule that they had to demonstrate and then my husband, an excellent photographer, took quick pictures for me and had them ready to go by the time I was finished with my after-school work. Because I am not as good with the GIMP program as he is, it took awhile, but I have two pictures ready to show you.

This started our day with laughter and fun! Some were a little embarrassed, but everybody did it. A bonus for their posing-everybody gets a copy of themselves with a beard! (Thank goodness for photo sales at Walgrens!) Best of all, this activity led into a review of the class rules, just as we had done at the beginning of the year. We had a great day with no discipline problems!

This year, 2015-2016, I am going to up-date this. I found some photo booth props for $3.00 at Wal-Mart. This year, the rules will feature current students. One that I have planned will include big, red lips in front of a student's mouth for "Raise Your Hand Before Speaking." I am still working on what I want to use for my background. Any great ideas, please share!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mid-Year Review

If you have ever let students have a weekend off, you have to know that they tend to forget what is expected of them by Monday. After two weeks off, I have decided that I want to treat the first day back a little like the first day of school. Instead of introducing rules, procedures, expectations, I am only going to review them. 

At the first of the year, I started the first day by taking pictures of the first five students. Each one did a different pose, showing one of the five rules. Because of a quirky day at Barnes and Noble, I am doing it a little different for the second semester. I think they are going to love it.

At Barnes and Noble, during the holiday season, they had a fun Friday. I had my picture taken with a mask from a reality show. I sent a text to all my family and they all found it amusing. The clerk gave me my mask so, I thought, why not take a picture of each of my kids using the mask and demonstrating the rule.

On my white board, as I write this, is a two-yard long. chevron-striped sheet of material. That will be my background. Check back tomorrow for the end results. I think the kids are going to love it!