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