Monday, September 28, 2015

Attention Getters Tips and Tricks

Hi everyone!

Thank you SO much to those of you who completed my WBT survey.  It will totally help me to focus my blog on your questions, concerns, and new things to try! 

ATTENTION GETTERS!  These are critical to keeping your students on track!  You can waste a ton of time getting your kids attention and KEEPING it!

Many of you have already started using class, yes in your classrooms!  Here are some tips to make Class, Yes the most successful attention getter EVER!

1.  Teach it!  Practice it!  EVERYDAY!  Yes we are on day 16 and yes we are still having to practice what I mean when I say class yes.   If you accept mediocre responses to class yes, that is what you will get!  In my room if I say class yes and student don't respond I say it one more time.  After that, they will get a frown on the scoreboard.  We then PRACTICE what class yes LOOKS AND SOUNDS like!  This is true in ALL grades!  I promise you it will work!

2.  Use the Scoreboard!  If you are using scoreboard in your class, use it for great responses to class yes, as well as lack luster!  The scoreboard is KEY to fine tuning behavior in your classroom.  In my room I am PICKY!  I want everyone looking RIGHT at me and NOT TOUCHING ANYTHING!  Let's be honest are they even listening to you if they are not doing that??  If you are not using scoreboard, I urge you to start!  

3.  Variety!!  Of course the kids will not think it is HILARIOUS every time you say class yes BUT if you JAZZ it up a few times a day, they will be reponding like superstars!  Here is a list of variations.  Print it and put it on your desk!  You will begin to think of your own in no time!

Class Yes Variations

4.  CLASS BOOM!  Use this for the REALLY BIG POINTS!

I use this all the time!  If you say class yes and you need to keep their attention for a period of time, say hands and eyes.  If you are in the middle of talking and don't really want them to say anything like yes, use hands and eyes!  In my room, when we are having one of "those" days, I have my students put their hands on top of their heads instead of folded.  I find that some students really struggle to STOP what they are doing for more than a second.  Putting their hands on their heads helps me spot those "sweet little rascals!

Whatever you do, DON"T GIVE UP!  I promise you that your kids, can and will be able to respond quickly and appropriately if you take the time up front to teach them exactly what you are looking for when you say, CLASS YES!

Looking for more???  Here are some videos from Coach B!
Class Yes Basics

Master Class Attention Getters

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Scoreboard Q and A

I know that many of you have started to use scoreboard and a few have emailed with some great questions.  I wanted to give you a bit more detail now that you are into it.  Keep in mind, this is your room!  I am giving advice based on what I have experienced, read, and had shared with me by those with more experience.   

Q:  I feel negative if I give frownies, how do I go about this?  
A:  Avoid putting too much negativity on it, and consider it the "honing" of skills.  I recommend putting up a frown when you see that behavior that is what you would expect of "younger" students" THEN right away stop what you are doing and practice it the RIGHT way.  Then you can give a smile for improved behavior.  Rememer the +/- 3 rule!  There should never be a HUGE discrpency between smiles and frowns.  

Q:When do they get the reward and what should it be?
A: First of all your answer right now should be BRAGGING RIGHTS!  That is it! Not a party, not a video, not extra story time, etc.  Its a LONG year.  I don't even tell my kids that there are more levels until they need it!  If I make it until November without any rewards GREAT if its earlier well then we know what kind of class it is.  

Second, once you start the level the 2nd level is a TINY reward like 1 min break, a gonoodle movement break, 1 problem off homework.  Not a BIG reward.  Don't tie something you intend to do anyway to the scoreboard.  IE Friday movie, recess etc.  If you are not willing to cancel it because they didn't win then don't do it.  

Q: How often should I be using tally marks?
A:  Coach B says ALL THE TIME!  It took me awhile to get the hang of it and honestly some days I forget all about it, but try for 30 per day.  That is 5 per hour which really is not very many.  Once you get used to using it that many times go for more.

Use the scoreboard to practice the rules!  You should still be practicing the rules everyday!  This is not a first week plan it is all year!

If you want more info on scoreboard be sure to read Chapter 11 of Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids.  There are copies in every building.  This will be a book study option soon.  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Almost there... 1 more day!!

I hope your first three days are going well!  My crew is making progress 1 rule at a time.  

By now most of you have taught the rules and class yes.  Some have added Mirror Words and Teach OK.  

Class Yes:  Don't forget to add VARIETY!  The kids will get bored with just class yes.  Spice it up once in awhile.  Even volume differences help a ton.  
Scoreboard:  Be sure you are only giving Smiles for BETTER behavior.  Make them earn it!  I had to remind my kinders that anytime I see behavior that is baby or preschool behavior that is a frown.  Anytime I see something that makes me think Im teaching 1st or 2nd grade that is a SMILE!  

If you have not added Mirror words I would encourage you to try it.  Any time you need them focused on what you are saying.  Great times for mirror words are when you are teaching routines.   Use 1st you .... 2nd you... 3rd you  make up actions to go with it.  

If you started TEACH OK good for you!  We are working on turning and telling in Kindergarten but we will get there!

Have a great day tomorrow and please feel free to email or call if you have any questions!  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Day... Check!

I hope everyone had a great first day!  Since a number of you are still not able to subscribe to the blog, I just decided to send an email to the group!  

I want to encourage any of you that thought today was HARD to hang in there!  My group is a bit "challenging" and we spent the WHOLE day on just listening.   Some groups just need more practice.  Don't give up!  Use the scoreboard A LOT!  Practice right way and wrong way.  I did the wrong way and had the kids show me the right way then let them try to show the wrong way.  It helped.  

Hopefully everyone was able to get class yes and the rules done.  Mirror words were VERY helpful today.

As you head into tomorrow look at what worked and give yourself a ten finger woohoo!  Look at what was tough and take the time to do LOTS of practice.  In reality I hardly DID anything today!  Probably won't tomorrow either... that OK!  Once your class has the hang of it you will have SO much more time for teaching later!

I would love to hear what worked and what didn't!  If you have questions please let me know how I can help!  

Have a great day tomorrow!

PS I heard a rumor from a certain NEW administrator that he heard a LOT of WBT going on in classrooms all over the district today!  SO AWESOME!  

Friday, September 4, 2015

Get Ready, Get Set....

Hi Everyone

Tuesday morning is just around the corner!  I will start my day by teaching Class, Yes wbile my class is in line.  I ask them to practice the class, yes with their eyes on me and hands together (if they are not carrying loads of schools supplies of course!)

Once we have class, yes down, I ask them to hang their backpacks then go find their seats.  I will have an activity at their table to keep them busy while we get everyone to their seat.  Then we practice class yes some more.  I ask them to go back to the work they were doing and we do class yes again.  We keep going until it looks the way it should.

Before we move on I start 3 peats.  Remember 3 peats are when students repeat what they are to do 3x.  I do it for stand up, push in your chair, carpet, seat, crayons away, etc.  We practice, practice practice!

Because I teach Kindergarten, I only teach the BIG rule, "Listen while your teacher is talking!" the first day but if I were teaching  older students I would work through all the rules the first day.  I think adding one rule per hour is a great way to do it, so that you can address some of those "smart choice" issues when you hit rule 4.

Once we have worked on the Big rule day one we add "Hands and Eyes".  I like to use hands and eyes as a "refocus" cue.  Those hands and eyes are easily distracted!

Next up, SCOREBOARD!  I use a VERY SIMPLE smiley/frowny on my easel.  I teach the kids that we are going to use the scoreboard as a GAME to see if we can win everyday!  (WE DON"T WIN EVERYDAY!)  We practice the 'Oh Yeah! and Mighty Groan! and I use the scoreboard to give them feedback on how they are doing.  I want quick responses with energy!  Remember Coach B says you have what you want... only give smiles when they are improving towards what YOU want!

Mirror, Words is next on the agenda!  I start by asking what a mirror is and what they see in a mirror.  Then we do mirror checks (I use these all year!)  My mirror checks are FUN!  Lots of crazy moves to keep them engaged and smiling.  I tell them whenever I say mirror words they repeat that and copy my words and gestures.

Of course you will have resistant students on the first day.  I love to use scoreboard and 10 finger WOOHOOs to celebrate the students who are "all in"!  I am so excited to hear how your first days go!  PLEASE let me know!

I am including YOUTUBE links below to give you some extra WBT insight into your first day!  I have had a few people tell me they could not watch my class video so that is included.  Remember I am a work in progress!  :-)  You can also refer to 122 Amazing Games! Chapter 1.

WBT the first hour!

WBT the first day

3D shapes in Kindergarten 

Stay tuned... I will be blogging my class tour (room still has guys in it!)  and each day the first week!  Jump in and enjoy the engagement and fun!