Sunday, September 15, 2013

Grandparents Day!

Thank you to all the grandparents that were able to make it to our celebration last week!  Here is the video we made in honor of our grandparents.  Please share it with those who were not able to make it!  Enjoy!  

Here are some pictures from our special lunch!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Whole Brain Teaching!

We have had so much fun learning some of the different Whole Brain Teaching techniques the past few weeks!  We are really getting the hang of it and wanted to share what we have learned so far with you. :)  

The first clip was of our five whole brain classroom rules.  
1. Follow directions quickly.
2. Raise your hand for permission to speak.  
3. Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.  
4. Make smart choices. 
5. Keep your dear teachers happy!  :)  
Each rule has a gesture to go with it.  This aids with memory and also allows me to just use a gesture reminder instead of a vocal reminder during the middle of a lesson.  

The second clip shows how we do Class-Yes.  This is a whole brain attention getter.  However I say "Class", they have to respond in the same way with "Yes".  So if I say "Classy Class", they say "Yessy  Yes".  

The third clip shows "Hands and Eyes".  We use this when I have something important to share.  

The third clip shows "Teach-Okay".  This has been my favorite Whole Brain strategy that we have learned so far!  Researchers say that a child can only focus for as long as they are old.  So, the average kindergartener can only focus for about 5-6 minutes before needing a "brain break".  "Teach-Okay" is a way of giving them that brain break.  When I say "Teach", they say "Okay" and they turn to their neighbor and teach each other what I just taught in our lesson.  We use it with every lesson and it is so neat to hear them teach each other.  They have so much expression!  Adorable!  

The last clip shows "The Scoreboard".  Basically, we have a scoreboard up on the board with a smiley face and a sad face.  The kids earn points on each side throughout the day.  We work towards different rewards like extra recess, video during snack, etc.  When we earn a smiley point, I may say "Give me a ten finger WOO HOO!"  When we earn a sad point, I may say "Give me a BOO HOO!"  The kids love using the scoreboard.  In a few weeks we introduce different kinds of scoreboards to change it up a bit.  :)  

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the different ways we are using Whole Brain Teaching in our classroom!  Please let me know if you have any questions.  :)   

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Kevin Henkes Author Study!

A few weeks into the year, we did a Kevin Henkes author study.  I am a big fan of Kevin Henkes and I love reading his books to the kids!  He is an author/illustrator and his books are perfect for the beginning of the school year.  As we read his books, we recorded things we noticed about him.  Check out our chart below.  I love seeing the kids make these connections as we are reading the different books!

After we read "Wemberly Worried", we made our own Wemberly and wrote about a time we were worried.  

I look forward to doing many more author studies this year!!