It's been fast and furious at my school this first six weeks. I can't remember ever having as many tasks and reports due with deadlines in this first six-week period than I have this year. I'm not certain if that is a result of NCLB, budget cuts, a more demanding (new) principal, or maybe a combination of the three...but spare time for blogging has been non-existent. Sorry that I haven't posted in a while...but I do have some great things to report!!!
First off...my students are doing awesome! I've given three major math tests and I have a 90% passing rate on these tests. My commended performance is running about 50% on these tests. We are really making great connections with gestures and the Whole Brain approach! My kids actually look forward to assignments because they are confident that they are going to score well, and they love doing Positive Trash Talk right before starting the test!!! My whole classroom environment is so drastically different than what it was 2 years ago...I often find myself sitting back and listening to the students working and I just shake my head and laugh at how much I've changed!!! I've recently received several resources from Kagan publishing (compliments of my PTO!!!) and they tie in so nicely with WBT. The cooperative learning worksheets and structures allow the students to merge their WBT gestures and gambits into their teaching of one another using a structure that supports a brain based approach.
My conduct marks were also evidence of a major change happening in my classroom. I gave nearly every kid an E on their first report card...because they earned it! With WBT, I'm not scolding...I'm reminding kids and classes of the rules and expectations. Our school requires that we have documentation and report to parents when we have incidents that will negatively impact a student's conduct score. I've had very few needs to send those reports because the Scoreboard works! The only time it doesn't work, is when I don't use it properly. I have failed to properly use the scoreboard a lot more often than my students have failed to meet the expectations. I have a couple of kids who are not completely plugged in to the program and I've introduced practice cards this week. Tomorrow will be day one with them in effect. I'm confident that practicing rules for 2 minutes instead of playing at recess will be an incentive that should help my overall program.
I've met with nearly every parent of the students that I teach. We've discussed my teaching style and I've not received one complaint. Most of them tell me that their kid talks about my class at home all the time. I think that's a good thing! My principal has sent a couple of new teachers at my campus into my room to observe and she has expressed an interest in getting a WBT trainer to come to our district. I think that we are on the cusp of greatness!!!
It's been a great start thus far and I'm certain that it will continue to be awesome! I really am invigorated by this approach and I'm amazed at how it is changing me as well. Stay tuned for more WBT awesomeness!!!