On Monday, the school year began with the presentation of the Keys to The Classroom! Well, actually, it was just a matter of signing a district form and getting my keys back from our awesome secretary! This is my 27th Key Signing! I have to say, no matter what number it is, the same feelings of anticipation and excitement swelled up this year as they did so many years ago!
Turn the key, step in, and voila!
The “blank canvas” of the classroom can be a little daunting at first! Where to begin?! That “take a deep breath” feeling eased up a lot 3 years ago when I made the plunge into Whole Brain Teaching! Yes, I still haunt the local teacher store, dollar store, etc. for great deals on supplies. I joined TPT and TN this year too! The big difference now is that my walls aren’t just meant for eye-catching posters and decorator apples!
The elements of a WBT classroom allow for the creative style of individual teachers, but the five most important elements that go up first are the Super Improvers Wall, the Power Pix grid wall, the Genius Ladder, the 5 Rules, and the Scoreboard.
Super Improvers Wall
The Super Improvers Wall is the “heart” of my room! There are so many great tools in WBT for classroom management, and the Super Improvers Wall is an amazing way to reach ALL students! I remind them that the only person they are competing with is themself, and I will be watching to see how each is growing and improving. There are 10 levels, each labeled with a different dinosaur. The T-rex is the ultimate level, of course! Check out the Video Library #503 at WBT for a more detailed explanation.
Power Pix Grid Wall
The Power Pix grid wall is one of the most interactive tools in my classroom! It is a work in progress as students are taught core standards. This will be used daily to ensure all students are not only introduced to the standards, but are able to internalize them using critical thinking skills. View #529 in the WBT Video Library, and see my previous post regarding Power Pix.
The Genius Ladder
The Genius Ladder is a model for creating oral and written language. Students work from the bottom of the ladder, simpler sentences, to the top of the ladder, a paragraph. Check out The Writing Game, a free Ebook at WBT and #504 in the WBT Video Library
The 5 Rules
The 5 Rules are the “cover all your bases” rules! These rules are practiced orally with gestures EVERY day! Initially, I practice them at least three times a day. A complete set may be purchased at the WBT store. Go to the WBT Video Library #515 for information.
The Scoreboard is the Motivator in WBT! It is used to reinforce positive behavior throughout the day in an energetic and fun environment! My scoreboard is drawn on my whiteboard very simply each day. See the WBT Video Library #517.
With my five WBT elements in place, I move to desk arrangement. I have found that keeping my desks in groups of two facilitates Teach/Okay. Students do not have to decide partners, and they have already been told if they are a One or a Two. This placement also allows me to move between students easily while they teach one another.
Now, on to the posters and decorator apples! Oh yeah! To be continued…