Sunday, August 14, 2011

Let's get this party started!!!

Wow! This school year is off and running, and I'm reminded to locate that "easy button" and let it be fun!!!  Moving to first grade from third grade after having taught second grade for eight years before that has required a real "brain transplant."  In fact, I'm still in surgery - can I get an "it's cool?"  I'm loving my Wonderful Ones and they're loving Whole Brain Teaching:  score board, rules, teach/okay, switch, it's cool - some of my students are experts coming from Kinder, so I can see some of my first leaders already!

Our  three-day week last week was all about procedures, teaching WBT elements, and getting to know one another.  This week we're into our baseline testing in Reading and Math and then next week we're off and running, once our test results give us grouping information.  We have lots of great technology to learn and incorporate into our lessons, so that combined with Whole Brain is going to make this a "blast-off year!"

Oh, yes, and I've got it in my phone to "go home!" at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow so I'll be ready for the LIVE WBT WEBINAR on designing our model classrooms!  Can't wait for that!  How about you??

Okay, everyone, I know you're either ramping up to get started on your year, or like me, you're already "in there with the kids," so here's to a great year for us all and to teaching like our hair's on fire with Whole Brain Teaching, yes?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Brain Research

I recently bought a great book to read - just light reading really, (NOT) entitled Teaching the Brain to Read by Judy Willis, M.D.   It's a great book, highly informative, and as I get into the second chapter, I'm reading aloud since the technical vocabulary about "fMRI" and the "three proposed brain systems and pathways of reading" is challenging MY brain to focus and gain meaning from what I'm reading!  What I find by Chapter 2 is that everything Dr. Willis is writing about - the research-based strategies that she's using in her own classroom (yes, she's also a teacher) - are, though not WBT, part and parcel what Whole Brain Teaching is all about!  It's the research that explains the brain functions that are so wonderfully addressed and taught through Whole Brain Teaching!  I feel like I'm going behind the curtain to see what makes the WBT show a raging success!

So, today I'm in my new classroom, which looks like a bomb went off in the middle of it, and I realize that I've got to go in there on Monday and take a "before" shot so that in a few weeks when whiteboards get moved, furniture gets placed, and stuff's not piled everywhere, I can begin turning it into my best version of our "model classroom," with the power pics wall ready to grow, our rules up and ready to learn and/or practice, and some 5-step lesson plans in place for that first half-week of school.  At one and the same time, there's an urgency to delve into every detail, leaving no bit of potential learning untouched, yet also this realization that August 10th will be here before I've blinked twice, and I need to get on it!!!  Like someone mentioned the other day, I'm even starting to wake up waaayy early for summer vacation, thinking about all I want to accomplish, organize, learn, study, and prepare for my new class.  And Whole Brain Teaching is right smack in the center of it all!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Let's Try This Again!!

Well, let's see if I'm back!  If so, then this time I need to figure out how to get the url of this blog to appear on the WBT website!  What an adventure!  I'm so inspired by all the blog posts I've read and am following, and can't wait to begin the grand adventure for real come August!  I'm blessed to work with Deb Weigel, and also to have these weeks to research the website, read all your wisdom and gain ideas from your experiences!  Let's get bloggin!