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 www.wholebrainteaching.com 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 http://www.wholebrainteaching.com/ 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!