Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas break has arrived.....

Well, the countdown is over and Charistmas break has arrived! It is a very needed break for the students, as well as, the teachers! This week was a blur, as there were many special activities, a drama presentation, and assemblies. Add to the mix, my class and their WBT debut video. If you are interested, please visit:

I am proud of my students and I believe they showcased the 5 step lesson format in an appropriate manner. The critical thinking piece comes in as the students keep a moon journal and create a moon phase brochure. I love the 5 step lesson format and if you want more information please visit

Lastly, I am super excited for our professional development when we return from Christmas break! A WBT implementor will be presenting to my whole building! I know this Spring will bring lots of Mighty Oh Yeahs, as the teachers begin to use WBT in their classrooms!

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Thursday, December 15, 2011


It is December 15th , we have 3 more days until Christmas break....and the excitement is building! Many, many special activities on the way and the countdown has started! Tomorrow, my class will be taping their first YouTube video submission demonstrating their use of WBT for a Science lesson! The school year is now half over and we have been practicing and using WBT structures since day 1! My principal is still amazed as he visits our classroom and is able to see the student engagement in every lesson!

Next, we have had a lot of college students visiting in our buildings, as it is the end of the semester and they need to finish their observation hours. What a great way to share WBT strategies with the future generation of teachers! They not only are seeing WBT in action, but they also are going back to their professors and classmates to share about WBT.

Lastly, as we begin Christmas break, it is a time of reflection , looking ahead to the New Year, and the second semester of the school year. My school is very involved with data-driven instruction and setting SMART goals, so our students will be as prepared as they can be to perform successfully on the big standardized tests in the Spring. I know when we analyze our data at the beginning of next year from that test, our goals are going to be met, growth will be noted, and WBT strategies helped our students get there! My building is also on the countdown to the New Year, as our first of the year professional development will be a Whole Brain Teaching Workshop! Give me a Mighty OH YEAH!!!! Plus, the live WBT TV sessions begin as well! You can find WBT TV and many, many other resources at

Enjoy the holidays with family and friends! Take time to sit back, relax, and re-engerize for the New Year!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Really...tomorrow is December???

I can't believe that tomorrow is December and in a few more weeks it will be the end of 2nd quarter!! Where does the school year go? So little time to get everything accomplished in one school year! I am so thankful for WBT and the strategies that help me to be an effective teacher for my students! There are many extra activities going on at this time of the year and WBT keeps everyone grounded and engaged in each lesson!

To keep the students engaged and involved in the process, I have added a few things to our daily routine. To keep my students motivated by the scoreboard, I have a daily board rotation schedule which allows each of my students on a specific day of the week to design the scoreboard. Students get to choose the color, the design, what they are playing for, and the saying for the day! Such a small, routine procedure that is motivating my students and getting their buy-in to give their all each day in the classroom! To sum it up, it's the small things that make the difference! For a treasure trove of small ideas that make a BIG difference, please visit

WBT Rocks!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hollywood....Here we come!!

Here we are again and Friday is mid-term of second quarter! This time of the year just flies by and it is the New Year before we know it! This time of the year is hectic, crazy, and busy with lots to accomplish, even though it seems like there is something special on the calendar at least 2-3 times a week! As the days go by, December will be here and that is the deadline for the first WBT YouTube submission from my class!

From the beginning of the school year, students use the digital cameras and videos for several projects and presentations. They are now feeling like pros when it comes to using the technology, as well as being part of the presentations! I am hoping that this new found appreciation and confidence will show up the day we make our class video. I am excited, as well as my students are excited about participating in a project that will help other students learn new concepts or review concepts that they were previously taught!

To learn about WBT visit

Hollywood....Here We Come!!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Super Improvers Wall

Last weekend, I went to my classroom to work and I put up the words SUPER IMPROVERS WALL on the back wall. First thing on Monday morning as the students began to arrive, it did not take long for a student to ask....What is the SUPER IMPROVERS WALL??? I casually replied, "I'll tell you more later!"

One week has gone by, student excitement is high, and I am ready to add the student nametags and color code to the wall on Monday. I am sure that the new additions to the wall will be noticed as soon as the students arrive in the classroom. After watching WBT TV 503 SUPER IMPROVERS WALL at , I am ready to explain the process to my students.

This week, I am also going to introduce the practice cards to my students. First quarter has ended and we are now in second quarter. I have a couple of students who are going to benefit greatly from the use of the combination of strategies.

Have a great week!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Student leaders teach parents WBT strategies at Family Night!

Parent/teacher conferences are over and the year is moving right along. Last week, 5th grade students and their parents participated in Family Night activities at our school. The night began with dinner and conversations. After the dinner concluded, it was time for the learning to begin for the students, as well as, the parents!

First, the students came to the front of the library and were instructed that they were going to teach their parents the WBT strategies that are used in the classroom each day at school. The teachers facilitated, while the student leaders modeled for their parents the five rules. After the rules were practiced, we moved on to the attention getter "class-yes!" The students and their parents practiced this strategy throughout the evening. As the lessons were being taught, the students and their parents used "teach-okay!" to review the information from the lessons. The collaboration and participation from the families netted many "mighty oh yeahs!" by the end of the evening!

The Family Night was a hit and the students will continue teaching more of the WBT strategies to their parents at the next Family Night activity. Parent comments included: this isn't the way we were taught in school, this is fun and engaging, my student doesn't ever complain about coming to school this year, and now I know why my student comes home and says, "My teacher is funny and our classroom and learning is fun!" Students modeling/leading/teaching their parents is a great way to extend their learning and involve their parents!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Golden Thread of Fun

This is a great reminder: always weave the golden thread of fun through each day and students will be engaged, active learners who are having fun:) Since school started, on the scoreboard, my students were playing for talking time. In the beginning, this was exciting to them, but now we are at the end of first quarter and they are ready for something new. That something new will be MIND SOCCER! Now that I am ready to add mind soccer to the mix, I am spending my weekend refreshing myself on the ins and outs of the game, so this REF is ready to go! I have watched the WBT TV 507 broadcast, as well as, watched the YouTube video by Chris Rekstad. I now feel even more prepared than ever to begin next week! Last week, my students began asking about mind soccer and I followed Chris Rekstad's advice. The first day they asked, "What is mind soccer?" I replied, "I will tell you at the end of the day!" Well, the end of the day came, the bell rang, and my kids were like "What about mind soccer?" I simply stated, "Oh, it looks like we ran out of time for today, but we will learn more tomorrow!" (heeheehee)....At the end of the second day, I put our mind soccer field on the SMARTboard, but once again at the end of the day, we were so busy with teacher read aloud and packing up, that time flew, the bell rang, and we once again left without a full explanation. Finally, at the end of the fourth day, the kids were introduced to the game of mind soccer, but still we have not played!

After viewing the WBT TV 507 segment, I now have all the tools that I need. Here are some highlights: mind soccer is flexible and the ref needs to have about 50-60 questions ready to go. Select a captain, flip a coin, and the winners' team begins. When the answers are fast, loud, accurate, and the whole team is answering, move the ball. The teams will cheer/groan and if there is a wrong answer yell STEAL! If teams complain, blow the whistle and shout PENALTY! Use a timer and for the first time playing set it for one to two minutes! The one rule for the game is KEEP THE REF HAPPY!

Teachers should have the scoreboard for short term rewards and mind soccer for long term rewards. Once the class earns 10 stars, they will play Mind Soccer Fridays! As the year progresses variations to add: freeball (both teams answer...ref says..I'm thinking of a weather tool (or any topic)...the team to answer first wins), shoot-out (5 member kickers and team captain blocker), and the one that makes me laugh when Coach B modeled MONKEY DEFENSE (when one team answers, the other team makes monkey noises to distract)! For more information, please visit

Remember it's a loonnnggg year, so save the good stuff ,and LEARNING should be FUN!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Friday, October 7, 2011

Next best thing.....

I can't believe that it is already the second week in October! This time of year just flies by and I can't believe that in a week first quarter will be ending! Parent-Teacher conferences are right around the corner as well! There is a lot of interest in WBT in my building this year and we were suppose to haveWBT professional development at the beginning of the year, but due to unforeseen circumstances with the presenter, our pd had to be postponed until January. Due to the change, some of the teachers in my building don't want to hop on the WBT train until the pd in January. My entire grade level is on board and now that WBT is hosting WBT TV every Tuesday evening, I believe this will be the key to getting more teachers on board now instead of waiting for January to roll around! What a great opportunity to get together with fellow teachers to collaborate and master WBT strategies!

I have found that with WBT, the more you watch, interact, and review the strategies and procedures, the more successful you will be at teaching your students and the student engagement/learning will soar to new heights! WBT TV provides you an opportunity every week to learn and practice WBT strategies and interact with others around the world. If you cannot make it to the live broadcast, you can always get online and watch the weekly segment in the archives. WBT TV also provides you with weekly PD credit and for a small fee you can download the electronic resource packet! I think that is working smarter, not harder! Give me an OH YEAH!!!

For more information on WBT TV, please visit

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Friday, September 23, 2011

5 step lesson format

MAP prepping for the year has begun and the 5 step lesson format works tremendously well! At the beginning of the year, my students take a Math and Communication ARTS test to get a baseline score. Next, the student data is studied and areas of improvement are highlighted. Our Communication ARTS class is on a 7 day cycle, day 7 is MAP prep, and the the day 7 skill was verb usage. The 5 step lesson format was used to teach the verb lesson. The students were engaged throughout the entire lesson and of course, had fun!

5 step lesson format:

1. Ask students a question about the topic

2. Give students the answer to the question and use a gesture

3. Expand on the answer by giving examples

4. Play Yes-No Way and QT (quick test) to check for comprehension

5. Critical thinking-Genius Ladder, compare/contrast, letter writing

For more information on the 5 step lesson format visit and download the Model Classroom ebook.

Laura Caisse
2011-2012 WBT Intern

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Third Week is underway!

The third week of school is underway and mid-term is just one week away! Already the school year is flying by quickly! WBT is in full swing and the students finally won on the scoreboard. They were playing for "talking time," which in fifth grade is very important even if only for a minute! The students get the scoreboard and I am sure as the year goes on, they will have their ideas about what they want to play for each day.

The Genius Ladder has been introduced and I am continuing to model, model, and model for the students. As each day goes by, the students are getting the hang of the process and will be ready to practice writing Genius Ladders with their teams soon.

I am excited for the new school year and all the wonderful things that WBT will bring to my class and to the other teachers in my building. WBT excitement is everywhere. The one area that my class will be working on is getting my students to speak up and use BIG gestures!!!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Sunday, August 28, 2011

First week....check!!

The first full week of school is over and WBT is in full swing. This week my students were introduced to the five classroom rules which they have mastered very quickly! We practice several times a day, as well as when the students need a reminder to redirect their behaviors.

Next, we learned about Class-yes, hands-eyes, and teach-okay. The students respond immediately to class-yes and hands-eyes. My class this year is a very quiet, laidback class. Teach-okay will be a work in progress, as my students are not comfortable being loud! I will be modeling, modeling, modeling, and modeling some more, so that eventually my students will feel comfortable with this strategy. I am also going to show a few of the YouTube videos, so they can see teach-okay in action.

Lastly this week, my class practiced triple repeat with line-line-line. I explained the procedure and then we practiced. At first, my students were taking 10 plus seconds to line up. After a few practice times, we lined up and the class made it in 5 seconds. So, the record on the board is 5 seconds for the week.

My entire grade level is on board and using WBT in their classrooms. This is going to be an exciting school year with WBT spreading throughout our building to every grade level! Please visit for more information.

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Saturday, August 20, 2011

2011-2012 school year..the journey begins with WBT

Last week began the new school year and the students arrived on Thursday. I have to say that the first day of school is my absolute favorite day! The students arrive with a BIG smile on their face, all their new supplies, dressed in their brand new clothes and shoes, and are ready to explore the new classroom they have been placed in for the year. Some students arrive and believe that this classroom will be like previous classrooms, but that belief changes drastically as they are introduced to Whole Brain Teaching routines.

I have to laugh alittle because on the first day of school, I wanted to walk in to my classroom full of students and immediately say "class, class, class!" and of course hear "yes, yes, yes!" then I remembered they don't know this yet! Our day began with introducing the parts of the brain with my students and how their brain works when using Whole Brain Teaching compared to the traditional classroom. The students found this to be intriguing! Next, we learned the five rules/hands-eyes/mirror/teach-okay with gestures and practiced them several times throughout the day. The scoreboard was introduced, along with mighty OH YEAH and mighty GROAN.

This grade level has many challenging behaviors and our goal is to use WBT to eliminate as many of those behaviors as possible. We are excited for the new year, WBT, and the new learning that will be taking place everyday! For additional information, visit

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Hello! I have one week until the new school year starts and I am re-re-reading the eBooks again! I am also re-reviewing all the notes from the National Conference in Louisiana. I am reviewing new information from my teammates who attended the West Plains, MO conference! Every single time I re-read, I always come away with something new every time! I also feel re-energized and the whole body excitement that I feel using WBT returns! I am super ready for the new year, the new students, and the new learning that will be soaring to new heights in my classroom!

My classroom spaces are being reorganized! I am still in the process of deciding how to display the Power Pix and the Genius Ladder!

Have fun getting your classroom geared up for the new year!! Make sure one of your teacher tools is! The website is an invaluable resource for new and veteran teachers, as well as, administrators and parents.

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Friday, July 29, 2011

Back to School letter arrives...

Yesterday, the mailman brought me the 2011-2012 Back to School letter! Summer is coming to a close and the new school year is almost ready to be in full swing. Where does the time go? I am excited for the new school year and all the new WBT strategies that my students will be using everyday!

As I head to my classroom this weekend, I will be printing off the new Designing your Whole Brain Teaching Model Classroom eBook, so I can get busy creating my model classroom! The biggest problem to solve is where to put my Power Pix, since my classroom does not have huge ,empty wall spaces and only one bulletin board.

As you begin to think about the new school year, visit to download your FREE eBook and begin creating your model classroom!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Conference (West Plains, MO) tidbit: Prove It!

I was unable to attend the Midwest Conference in West Plains, MO, but I did have three of my team members who attended the conference, and were more than willing to fill me in on what they came away from the conference eager to use in their classrooms!

School districts across the USA give mandatory state assessments each year, whether we like it or not! Teachers are always looking for ways to incorporate daily review and master test taking strategies, instead of cramming the last few weeks prior to testing. I am excited to share with you, WBT has just that strategy, which of course will be highly motivating, engaging, and take your students to the next level in their learning! What is it called you ask? It is called.......Prove It!!

Prove It is a review strategy that students will play for 20 minutes each day! They will spend 10 minutes for math and 10 minutes for language arts. Teachers will provide students with sample test questions (multiple choice) and students will need to prove why the correct answer is correct, as well as, why the other answer choices are wrong. This strategy allows the teacher to guide instruction and correct any misconceptions that the students may have about the problems and answers. Students are also sharing answers within their groups, so peer leaders are being utilized as well.

What a great way to have fun learning and reviewing each and every day! For more information on Prove It! download FREE the eBook: Designing Your Whole Brain Teaching Model Classroom at

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Vacation: Sharing WBT..You never know where!!

Educators love to share and it is so easy to share with others about WBT. As you begin to share, the excitement comes bubbling out of you and before you know it, others are excited, too! I just returned from being on vacation and as you head out on vacation, be ready to share WBT, as you never know who you will meet. One morning at the pool, I met a couple from Pennsylvania. As the conversation continued, I learned that the couple were retired educators (retired principal and high school math teacher for five years) and they had three daughters that were in education as well. The door was open, so I asked if they had ever heard of WBT. To my shock, they had not heard of WBT, but were very interested in the information and said they would research and share when they got home! WBT here comes another convert! All the resources are available at

On a side note, tomorrow I will have my final conference call and my PhD journey will be complete!!! Then I will have so much more time to focus on WBT and the upcoming school year! I can't wait!

Share away,

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern 2011-2012

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Research: Power Pix

After attending the national conference in Louisiana and learning more information about the power of the Power Pix, I have decided that I want to incorporate Power Pix into my fifth grade classroom. There is only one problem...WBT has Power Pix for grades K-3. So what am I to do? First, look at the 3rd grade Power Pix and decide which ones correlate with 5th grade curriculum and then call my team members and get to work creating Power Pix for fifth graders! I am very blessed to work with a team of educators who are always willing to do what is best for students and their learning!

What are Power Pix?  According to the information on the website Power Pix, as you will see, employ all four learning modes, and are designed to solve a very practical problem, how to teach the state standards in language arts and math. Power Pix are pictures used to represent and teach State Standards. Each Power Pix should be printed on a sheet of computer paper. The picture represents the State Standard. Teachers hold up the Power Pix in the front of their classroom and teach the concept and related memory gesture. After students have repeated the concept and practiced the gesture, the Power Pix is placed on a classroom wall for frequent review.

As the year goes by, I can definitely see fifth graders creating Power Pix to add to the wall. To find more information on Power Pix visit and download the free eBook on Power Pix! Whole Brain Teaching Rocks and I love that students are continually taking their learning to new levels!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Reflection: National Conference Tidbit: 5 Step Lesson Format

Last school year when my principal came on board with WBT, he began to send teachers in to my room to observe my students learning with WBT. The teachers loved what they observed, were ready to go back into their classrooms and try WBT out with their students. One question that seemed to come up a lot was how do you chunk the lessons up? After attending the National WBT conference, I have the answer and lesson format! I am so excited to share the 5 step lesson format with my team and the rest of the elementary teams!

5 step lesson format for all lessons:

1. Question: ask a question
2. Answer: answer the question
3. Expand: provide details and examples
4. Test: play yes/no way(whole group) and QT(quick test: silently, eyes covered, thumbs up/thumbs down)
5. Critical thinking: written response

After steps 1-3, students will use the teach/okay with their partner. This lesson format will allow teachers to easily chunk lessons, incorporate brain toys, and there will be more time on task for student learning!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WBT National Conference in Louisiana

I just returned from Louisiana and the WBT National three day conference! It was an amazing and awesome experience! One of the best tidbits is the conference and all the materials are FREE for everyone! Please visit the website and find out where the next conference is being held and make plans to attend. I promise you will not be disappointed. You will leave brimming with excitement, armed with great information, and running back to every administrator/teacher in your district to get them on board with Whole Brain Teaching!

A personal favorite from the conference: Coach B reminded us that- Student leaders are the most under utilized resource a teacher has in the classroom. One way to use student leaders in your classroom is to introduce the concept of Leadership buttons. The WBT buttons work great for this concept! In the beginning, you can have student leaders in charge of class/yes, teach/okay, and mirror. Another BIG benefit of using student leaders in your classroom is when you have to be out of your classroom.  Your students are trained, will lead the class, and the substitute will be in teacher heaven for the day! I can't wait for the new school year and all the new strategies that will make my students SOAR even higher in their learning!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern 2011-2012

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer: Reflections on the prior school year

I am officially on week two of summer vacation! I am so excited for the upcoming national WBT conference in Louisiana. The conference will be a great place to network with fellow WBT teachers and to learn from the experts. I look forward to learning all about the tools, new and old, that WBT offers, so that I will have a toolbox full of strategies for the upcoming school year.

As I begin to reflect on the prior school year and WBT, I do wonder how to make the class-yes strategy work as strong at the end of the school year, as it is at the beginning of the school year. In April, after our MAP testing was completed, the students began to check out of school. I continued to use different variations of the class- yes strategy, but it seemed to lack something. The students would respond back, but some students would continue to talk. We would repeat the procedure, sometimes a couple of times before the students would be ready to go. On some days, we would have to practice rule one at recess. I am looking forward to researching and learning all I can learn at the conference on how to begin strong with WBT, as well as, finish the school year strong with WBT. I am ready to take my WBT to the next level and make it all it can be for my students.

Laura Caisse
2011-2012 WBT Intern

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In the beginning...

In February 2010, I attended a Professional Learning Communities workshop and was introduced to Whole Brain Teaching Strategies. I immediately fell in love with the concept and strategies. I raced back to my elementary school, utilized the website, printed out all the teaching materials (Class-Yes, the Scoreboard, Teach-Okay, Mirror, Hands and Eyes, Switch, Practice Cards, Guff Counter and Independents, WBT’s reading, math and state standards ebooks), provided the information to my grade level, emailed Chris Biffle with ten teacher names, shared the information with my principal, and any other teacher that would listen to me. I presented the information at a Pre-K-5 staff meeting the next week. A first grade teacher was intrigued and wanted to learn more. We found workshop opportunities on the website and submitted to attend the Whole Brain Teaching Conference presented by Chris Biffle and Chris Rekstad in West Plains, MO that summer. What an awesome informational and fun experience. I now had all the tools that I needed to practice and implement the Whole Brain Teaching Strategies in my fifth grade classroom beginning in August. I have taught for 18 years in the K-12 world and this is one of the most effective, successful, and fun classroom management systems I have implemented in my classroom. My kids love to come to school, love to learn new concepts, are able to retain the new information taught, discipline rates have declined significantly in the entire grade level from prior years, and learning is soaring to new heights while my students have fun!

Now it is summer break! I am excited, ready to research, and learn all I can about how I can make WBT the best it can be in my classroom for next school year!