Thursday, September 6, 2012

Changes Here, Changes There, Changes Everywhere!

Welcome back to the brand new school year 2012-2013! This new school year brings with it for our school district CHANGES everywhere, from the top down. Last year, unexpectedly our Superintendent passed away and all of our principals left the district or moved into a new position. We have new teachers in several classrooms and a "sea" of new faces everywhere! Change is good, but change is hard for some! One thing that will remain constant this year will be the impact that Whole Brain Teaching makes on my students and their learning opportunities throughout the year! I am so excited to be back in school and back to WBT!

A Drop of Joy to the end of last school year, my principal decided that he was leaving administration, heading back into the coaching arena, and back to the classroom! He came to my classroom one day and asked, " Do you think my middle schoolers would do well with WBT?" I smiled and replied, "Absolutely, how could you think otherwise?" We have kept in contact throughout the beginning of the school year and the WBT wildfire is catching in his building already after two weeks in school. During the first week, a teacher was walking past his classroom and heard him using the five rules and class/yes. She entered his room and asked if she could observe what was going on!!!! After seeing the student engagement in the lesson, she was excited and ready to learn more! So begins a new chapter of the WBT wildfire in yet another school district! How lucky are these students that they have teachers who are ready to learn all they can learn about WBT!!!!

It is hard to believe that next week, it is mid-term at my district! We are still practicing procedures and routines, including the five rules! Our grammar lessons have been taught using the five step lesson format and my kiddos just LOVE writing to the aliens on Planet Zork! I hope this finds your year off to a booming start full of WBT each and every day!

For more information on WBT, please visit


Friday, June 22, 2012

Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah!

I am so excited and thank you so much for highlighting and giving my blog the Liebster Blog Award... Nancy Stoltenberg at
So, the purpose of this award is to highlight new bloggers with less than 200 followers.

Here are the rules:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Thank the giver and link back to them.
3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

  1. Chris Rekstad at is one of the WBT founders and offers great insight into all aspects of WBT for the newbie to the veteran
  2. Roxi Shayne at offers a lot of new ideas, videos, and guidance through showcasing her older students utilizing WBT in many different settings
  3. Farrah Shipley at Farrah will provide you with the motivation to change the world of teaching through WBT
  4. Miss L at great resource, as she was just chosen to be the official WBT BLOG BUG
  5. Staci Glass at is so full of enthusiasm and ideas on how to get all educators on board with the WBT journey in your district
As a Whole Brain Teacher there are many, many more WBT blogs that are out there and available for anyone to view and follow. These blogs are an invaluable resource each and every day! For other resources please visit

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Just talking about WBT makes the excitement level bubble up!

I am currently teaching a classroom management graduate course and none of my students have heard of Whole Brain Teaching! I love, love, love it when I get to share and model the most effective and engaging classroom management system for all students EVER!!!!

I have found just talking about Whole Brain Teaching makes the excitement level bubble up and it is really hard for others not to feel that excitement, too! This course, Managing Classroom Environments, lends itself perfectly to utilizing WBT for instruction and also as a model for a class assignment. Student groups have to research and create a presentation on a classroom/school-wide management system that includes a description, features, methods for implementation, benefits, and examples of how to deal with different behavior situations.

Each week, I model and instruct using a few more WBT techniques and share a few more tidbits about WBT. This is like throwing a rock in the water....the ripple effect has begun...... Many students came to class tonight and shared that they had spent the last week watching WBT videos on YouTube and visiting the forum. Two students said that they have already talked with their principals and were given permission to try out WBT in the fall! Once the movement begins, it never ends!

On another note, our state MAP test scores will be available in the next few months and I cannot wait to see the significance that WBT had on student learning and achievement! Last July, I earned my PhD and this summer it is my goal to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. I am currently in the process of action research: Effectively Managing Classroom Behaviors: The Whole Brain Teaching Approach. I will keep you updated on my progress and quest to be published this summer!

If you want more information on Whole Brain Teaching, please visit Make sure that you do not miss WBT-TV segments, that you can view at any time or in real time on Tuesdays each week. Also, as you begin your WBT journey, jump on the WBT Certification path as well as, check out all the wonderful WBT teachers' blog sites! The resources and support are endless! FREE conferences are available across the U.S. this summer, check out one or two or many:)

Laura Caisse

Friday, May 18, 2012

Summer I come!!!!

Another group of fifth graders have been promoted to middle school and summer break here I come! It is always sad to see my students go each year, but I am also excited for the new experiences that are awaiting them in middle school! To end our year with a bang, today (the last day of school), my students filmed their 2nd WBT YouTube video submission! They did a fantastic job and really showed growth from our first submission. You can view our video at

As you head out on your summer break, make sure that you add WBT to your weekly schedule! Make sure you check out the website, the forum, the WBT TV video segments each week or in the archives, and WBT teachers/interns blogs. You will be amazed at all the new WBT tidbits you will learn!

Have a safe and happy summer break!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

One week and counting.....

Again, I am amazed at how fast time flies by and before you know it, the end of the year is here!! As the last week of school is upon us, we are scrambling to get everything done and completed! Every year, there seems to be more activities that are added to the last few weeks of school! We have already completed our Reading Carnival,  field trip, Cinco De Mayo celebration, Fly-in, Science Fair, AR goal-getter bowling party, middle school visit, MAP movie and park rewards, BMX assembly, talent show, and our yearly track meet!! Whew....and we still have writing our memoirs, Promotion Ceremony, Awards assembly, and filming our final WBT video!!!!

As the school year comes to a close, it is a good time for the students to take a walk through their Data Notebooks and reflect on their year! What were their goals for 4th quarter? Did they meet their goal? If so, WAY TO GO! If not, why not? What could they have done differently to meet the goal? Did WB strategies help them throughout the year? Individually and as a class? What structures were the most beneficial? This is a great activity, as I have had past students come back to me and tell me they wish middle school teachers would use WBT, as it really helped them learn, especially in areas of school they struggled with!!!

I am excited for summer break and to have the opportunity to relax and reflect as well! I am looking forward to attending WBT conference in MO with my grade level, too!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Where does the time go? A few weeks ago, it seemed like we had plenty of time to MAP prep and review those concepts that students are still struggling with and need a little extra time practicing. Well.....time flies and the time is here! A few more days and my students will begin the test! We have worked hard all year long, our WBT strategies are in place, and now it is my students time to shine!

After three weeks of testing, there will be one month left of the current school year! Summer fever has already hit the students, as our winter was so mild! But no fear, WBT is here to help keep those students focused and learning all the way to the end of the school year! The Super Improvers Wall will be in full swing, as well as, having student leaders for our daily procedures and routines! PROVE IT! has proved to be a great MAP prep review strategy that is used on a daily basis. Lastly, my class will be polishing up their WBT video!

For more information on any of the WBT pieces, please visit

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Testing, Testing, Testing.....

Well, we are getting to that time of year, when the BIG MAP test is right around the corner. Our classes are finishing up their rotations and fifth grade is getting ready for the MAP prep rounds! Benchmark tests have been given and data has been processed. The teachers are now ready to tackle those problem areas and fill in the gaps using best practices for test-taking.

Best Practice #1: PROVE IT--This WBT strategy is a very quick,easy, and effective way to take a regular multiple choice question and take your students' thinking to a higher level by justifying not only the right answer, but also why the other choices are wrong.

If  you have not tried PROVE IT in your classroom, give it a whirl. Start small with a few questions for a morning assigment. Then before you know it, you will be using PROVE IT on your entire test! For more information, please visit

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

You never know.....

You never know when the opportunity is going to arise to share about Whole Brain Teaching and how it will change you, as a teacher, your classroom environment, and your student engagement!

Last week, I attended the Powerful Learning Conference, along with 1,400 other professional educators from around the state of Missouri. The focus of this years conference was From Vision to Results. These days, who isn't thinking about assessments, data, and results? The keynote speaker the first day posed a question asking us to think about how does the learning cycle change from the beginning of the year to the end? Most people shared that at the beginning of the school year, teachers and students are refreshed from the summer break, have spent time planning, and are ready to head back into the classroom for a wonderful year of learning! Time on task is high and then before you know it, it is Christmas break. As everyone comes back from break and winter sets in, the motivation seems to become less and less and stress becomes higher and higher, as the high stakes tests are right around the corner.

As I was sharing with the person sitting beside me, I said that I had to disagree because I use Whole Brain Teaching in my classroom and I believe that this structure keeps learning and student engagement high at all times throughout the school year. So, the person next to me asks,"Have you heard of Chris Biffle?" I had to smile and say, "Oh yes! I am a WBT Intern for this school year, so I do know Chris Biffle!" I learned about WBT at the PLC conference 2 years ago and the presenter of that class was sitting in front of us and heard us talking. Professional development conferences and opportunities allow us to share great examples like Whole Brain Teaching and how it can work in your classroom to increase student achievement and engagement! Presenters at these conferences always wonder if what they shared really had an impact and this story shows that PD can change teacher behaviors and improve student learning! The presenter was excited to hear that his session did make an impact on a teacher and student learning!

Lastly, at the last keynote speaker session, I sat next to a group of teachers from a district not too far from my district. We were talking about the PLC structures and how her district had yet to implement these structures, so that's why they were here to learn more about PLC. As the conversation moved on, she asked about how do you keep your students motivated at this time of the year? She shared that her students struggled and one of the areas was basic facts........Smiling, I said, "I have the program for you...have you heard of Whole Brain Teaching?" She had not...well....write this website and look at SuperSpeed for basic facts.....of course, she said, "how much does it cost?" and gladly I replied, "It's all FREE!!!" So, as you can never be ready and the WBT fire will begin to spark in another teachers' eyes...and watch out as it is nurtured and grows!

By the way Coach Biffle.....John Lewis from RPDC in MO says to tell you hello!

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The New Year!

The New Year has arrived and Missourians are wondering "where is winter?" Our temperatures have been very mild and we have only received a dusting of snow twice, which has resulted in only ONE snow day! I say YEAH, but my teammates don't agree so much!

School is back in session and we are headed towards the middle of third quarter already! Man, time sure does fly when you're having such a great time! Our first of the year professional development was AWESOME! Andrea came and presented to the elementary school faculty all the ins and outs of Whole Brain Teaching! It took awhile for the faculty to warm-up to WBT and all it has to offer, but by the end of the day, Andrea had won over our building! The next day in our building, you could hear WBT in full swing in Pre-K-5th grade classrooms! Many teachers who were skeptical are now trying it out! The main point that drove it home with many teachers: it is your classroom and implement WBT strategies to meet the needs of your students! There are teachers who are planning to attend the next WBT workshop in Missouri. I am so excited for the teachers, their students, and WBT taking them to the next higher level of learning!

If you want more information about Whole Brain Teaching, please visit

Laura Caisse
WBT Intern, 2011-2012