29 April 2011

Playing with PowerPics and blog design

I changed my blog template while taking a break from my big Spring Break project. What do you think?

Here is a sneak peak of my project, editing the PowerPics to include the new Common Core Standards

28 April 2011

Lesson Plan/ Brain Toy Cheat Sheet

Even though I am on Spring Break I am working on school stuff :) Thought I would share a lesson plan template/ cheat sheet I made tonight based on forum posts from RiseKinder, lnutini and ChrisRekstad.


27 April 2011

Brain Toys

Why attend the Saturday broadcasts at http://www.livestream.com/wholebrainteaching1 ? Well not only are they free and you get to chat with wonderful WBT'ers from all over the world but they are the only place to find out about the newest WBT gift- Brain Toys!

If you missed the broadcasts no problem! You can view them below or straight from the link above :) It is not the same without the chat but you can still learn about the brain toys and  how to get the pdf Biff uses for a small donation. These are well worth the time so grab your drink of choice and enjoy!

Watch live streaming video from wholebrainteaching1 at livestream.com

Gestures Video Library

A favorite part of WBT for me is the use of gestures and Mirror.
Since my BA is in Deaf Education I end up using a LOT of American Sign Language for gestures. I let the students know if a gesture is an ASL sign and they love learning a new language to help them learn with their Whole Brain. Here is a great site with video of American Sign Language signs. Just go to the Main Dictionary and try an ASL sign for your next gesture :)

24 April 2011

Connect with others

Want to connect with more WBT'ers? You can always comment on this blog and Make this Teacher Very Happy :) You can visit the other WBT blogs on the side bar. Attend a WBT conference or Saturday broadcast. And to really join in be sure to visit the Whole Brain Teacher Forum

23 April 2011


I started using WBT (then Power Teaching) as a Technology teacher. Since I had 25 classes once a week for only 45 minutes I mainly used  Class-YesHands and Eyes, and the Classroom Rules. Three years ago class size reduction was cut and the district switched to mainly PE and Music preps, dropping my Technology position. I was transfered to a new school teaching 1st grade. It was a big change but I was able to use most WBT now that I had the same students more then once a week.
  This year I introduced Class-Yes, Hands and Eyes, the Classroom Rules and the Scoreboard the first day of school in my first grade class. The Scoreboard is wonderful because it starts very simple but can grow and change as you need it to.
Scoreboard Variations

Classroom Rules

I LOVE the 5 classroom rules from Whole Brain Teaching!

  1. Follow Directions Quickly
  2. Raise Your Hand BEFORE Talking
  3. Raise Your Hand BEFORE Getting Out of Your Seat
  4. Make Smart Choices
  5. Keep Your Dear Teacher Happy

 I use the posters from the free download area and we go over the rules each morning. The best part of the rules is I can just hold up 2 fingers when a student is calling out and everyone says" Raise Your Hand BEFORE Talking"! The student will then raise their hand and I can call on them.

Check out the AMAZING WBT Intern Deb Weigel going over the rules

Here is the first in a set of videos from Chris Biffle 

Class Yes

The first WBT tool EVERYONE can use is Class Yes
This was my first WBT tool that I used while teaching Technology to 1st-5th graders. I taught this to all my classes and it worked great and was a lot of fun. The key is to change the way you say Class.

After a while with Class Yes you will want to introduce Hands and Eyes . The big ahah for me was DON'T over use Hands and Eyes! Use Class Yes whenever you want everyone to pause and listen and use Hands and Eyes when you want everyone to STOP and really pay attention. This was/ is a hard balancing act for me and is different with each class.  Click the links to find out more about Class/yes and Hands and Eyes.

Whole Brain Teaching

Welcome to my Whole Brain Teaching blog! What is Whole Brain Teaching you ask? Whole Brain Teaching is a teaching movement that will get your students engaged and you enjoying teaching even the most challenging kids. They have everything from classroom management tools to learning games students will beg to play. Oh and EVERYTHING is FREE!   Find out more here http://wholebrainteaching.com
Even if you only have a few weeks of school left start with First Steps and end the school year re energized.

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