Sunday, August 26, 2012

Level FOUR!

I was so excited to see the following post on facebook and WBT forums this evening! WOWZERS! Congratulations to all my fellow Level Four Wibbeteers!

Let the Sizzles begin!! The First Level 4 WBT Certified List is in! Please give them your best Ten Finger Wooos!

1. Julie Gustin 1,443 CP
2. Becca Morris 1,348 CP
3. Deanna Schuler 1,318 CP
4. Lindsey Roush 1,160 CP
5. Melissa Smith 1,113 CP
6. Caroline Alexius 909 CP
7. Brandon Kerby 733 CP

If you'd like to see your name on this list, check out the WBT Certification requirements located on this site! Contact me (Nancy Stoltenberg) with any questions!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Super Improver Wall... slowly revealed!

Most of you know I am very passionate about the Super Improver Wall. I used it the last three weeks of school (last year) and noticed a change in my students I didn't previously recognize needed to happen!

I wanted to REALLY make my new students WANT the SIW. I decided that I would slowly reveal the SIW. Here is how I did it.

First Day of School
The First Day of school I had all the names on board. It wasn't even labeled. Many students asked what the names were for... I told them they weren't ready to find out yet. I got several pouty lips, a couple of scowls, and a few more curious looks.

Friday: Day 3 of school
On the third day of school (the first Friday), I put the initials, SIW, above the names. Many students noticed and started trying to guess what that meant. They asked me... I pretended to think about it then said, "No, you are still not ready!" Oh the frustration! Some of the guesses: Silly Invention Wall, Student Interest Wall, Students in World (because there is a map above it).

Monday of First full week of school
The whole title showed up! I heard a couple of students say... "Well that doesn't tell me anything!"  "What does that mean?" ... the one that got my attention most...."Improver... well I guess that doesn't mean me"

On Tuesday, one of my students that had been doing a lot of attention seeking behaviors (class clown type stuff) was doing a really good job (I almost think he was being sarcastic). If I said class class, he said yes yes and immediately put hands in listening position. The look on his face was comical and overly dramatic. I decided... I would POUNCE on that. So I bragged on him and headed to the wall with an excited look on my face ... reached for my stickers and then very dramatically... (what can I say he inspired me)  slumped my shoulders. "Class, Class (in a very sad voice)" "Yes Yes" "I was so excited for a minute I thought I was going to do something with the Super Improver Wall... but then I realized it isn't time. Maybe you can handle it"
(A few complaints and whines) "We can handle it!"   "I know that A________" is ready... he almost got a star... OH ... I said too much.... we better get busy on Writing before I spill the beans before you are ready" The rest of the day they all eyed the wall with curiosity. A_______, well he was putty in my hands for the rest the day... Yep you guessed it... Teacher Heaven was taking over! 

Wednesday - Officially one week of school under our belts!
Day Six: Notice the levels are on the board but face against the board. My students were curious... talked about the colors... but otherwise didn't care. Except A_______, he wanted to know if he would have been another color if the class had been ready. "Oh... good question.... you will find out on Friday" A______ was on his best behavior... the rest of my class... well... they were not! Wednesday was a rough day... and I should have realized they were telling me that they were ready for the Super Improver Wall.

Thursday... End of the day.
At the end of the day Thursday, I made a big deal out of saying I had completely forgotten about the Super Improver Wall... "Guess what ... you all are finally ready. I can turn these papers over...Oh I can't wait to tell you (all this happening minutes before afternoon announcements) Oh this great... I am so excited... You are going to love this (purposely stalling because I want the announcements to interupt so that I won't have time). The announcements come on and I let my shoulders drop, and lip stick out. I dismiss the kids the walkers and bike riders and say... okay I guess we have to wait until tomorrow. A_____ comes up and says... "So are we all rookie's?" "Oh... good prediction... wow... tell me why you think that"

OKAY.... WARNING... You may need to either sit down ...or grab a tissue.... don't say I didn't warn you.

"I think we are all rookies BECAUSE (clap) our names are in white and the word rookie is on white. Rookie is a new sports players and we are new third graders. So we are rookies BECAUSE  (clap) we are new!" \

"Amazing Critical Thinking A_____________! Let's tell the class that tomorrow!"

The kids come in a look at the board right away! "There isn't anything new!" "Nothing has changed!" "What is next?" "Will you tell us now?"

"Sorry kiddos... we have to go to Art right away this morning. I will tell you right after Art!"

I pick the kids up from Art and get ready to hear the already routine sounds of "Are we going to take a restroom break?" "Can we get our snacks?" "Can I fill my water bottle?" ... it didn't happen. First of all the Art teacher uses WBT too and had to give my notes for two of my students who had trouble with rule 1. Those notes would get stapled in their planners. NEXT, we started heading for the room and ALL of them are smiling... no one is asking about bathroom or snack. We get to the classroom door and the hands started going up (Ugh... here it comes... the questions as usual... even though it is OUR SCHEDULED bathroom time and we have been grabbing our snacks afterwards everyday!)

I was wrong... I called on a student, "Are you going to tell us about the name wall now?" SMILES and hopeful looks. Some calls out, "It's called the Super Improver Wall" I smile but say, "Rule 2" They respond raise your hand for permission to speak". I take them in the room... they head for their seats. They sit down ... hands in listening position. I soak it in! I say, "CARPET". "Carpet, Carpet, Carpet". They sit more quickly than I have seen... I forgot to count... and they forget to remind me!

I begin telling them about the Wall. I talk about the levels. Many ask about what the words mean. I help them make the sports connections. My boys nod their heads eagerly and laugh when I struggle to think of examples of athletes at the various levels.

I talk about the stars that they can receive. I tell them examples of how to earn them. We talk about academic improvements and behavior improvements. We do teach okay and they teach each other the difference.

"Any Questions?" More than half of the class raise their hand. THREE TIMES (at least) I heard the same question. "Can you take a star away?" "No once you earn it... the star stays there" I answer this questions three times. Finally, they ask again. So I say, "HANDS and EYES!"

"Once you earn a star NO ONE can take it away! Not Mrs. Schuler (me), not Ms. Picky (my other WBT personality), not Mrs. R_______ (my para), not Ms. R______ (our principal), not Dr. P______ (our superintendent), NOBODY!"

We go take our restroom break and get our snacks. TIME FOR READ TO SELF TIME! We had reached 10 minutes of Silent, Focused Reading. They all get started right away. I look at the students who yesterday after 2 minutes closed her book and crossed her arms. I see her look up once, then again. She is pouty because she got a note in art. So she is staring at her book. She has really been defiant this week and I have been frustrated. Then I a light bulb went on! YESTERDAY she put her book away. Today she is looking at it... not reading... but isn't that an improvement? (small yes I know... but I need her to buy in). I go over and say "I am so excited! I know who the first improvement star is going to. (She looks at the girl across from her who is reading quietly) Do you know who it is?" "No" in a little murmur voice. "It's you" she looks at me in disbelief. "But... I got a note in Art" "That was in Art, and I know next time you are going to follow directions quickly. I am giving you a star because yesterday you gave up during read to self time. Today you have been looking at your book the whole time" HUGE SMILE "So I improved?"  "Yes you did. I will give you the star at the end of Read to self time."

I made a HUGE deal out of the star... and she loved it.

Okay by the end of the day... there were six stars on the board. My day was better... Super Improver Wall is going to change some lives again this year!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I can't help but be amazed! I used WBT all last school year and loved it! I am using it this school year and I must say ... I am so blessed! My kids love it! I can be silly and the kids are still learning! Today was the fifth day of school. We had a regular reading, math, and social studies lesson! PLUS we did red/green marker writing (which the kids LOVE by the way!).

I am not getting mad when I have to repeat something or if they are breaking rules. I just simply follow WBT! Teaching is Repetition... Repetition is Teaching. I don't call out individual behavior I just call out the rule being broken and my kids call it out!

I plan to sit and walk through what I have done the first days of school... but I am SO enjoying the moments... that I haven't been able to sit down and write it out yet! Look for more little updates this week, with a BIG run down this weekend!

Wib on my friends!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Classroom pictures... a work in progress!

Many of you have asked for pictures of my classroom! Things are not finished yet... but I know you are anxious!

Current Topics Power Pix wall
I am going to put Power Pix on this wall full size that we are working on. I may have to move to a bigger board for this. The Pix up there right now were just so I could place my letters and numbers. As you can (or maybe can't)see the green letters don't show up very well. You also see my Scoreboard in this picture. I have decided to have mobile scoreboard this year. I have placed command strip hooks around my room where I teach so that the board can always be close!

ELA / Math Power Pix Wall
This is where the power pix will go once the kids have grasped the concepts. This is on the side of my classroom. The posters above are the classroom management posters found on in the ebooks. I cut them out to place them on PAWS themed paper for my classroom. One of my tasks for Friday (my next classroom workday) is to move them UP so that I can put a title above the Power Pix wall.

Super Improver Wall - with "Rookie" cards 

SIW - see the mobile scoreboard?
I will put "SIW" on the tag above the white cards on the second day. 

I plan to slowly reveal my SIW over the course of the first week and a half. They will hopefully spot out the gradual changes and start asking questions so that I can build suspense.

What is that... this is the first big reveal of the Genius Ladder I made.
I have to move my mobile scoreboard over because I forgot to leave space to label the levels of the Genius Ladder!

NOT WBT... but I had to share!
Another teacher in my building was getting rid of this shelf! I was so excited. This has most of my biography books. (There is a basket with larger books behind the shelf). In the cabinet below, I am going to store my seasonal books. Easy to get to... but out of the way!

First Hour Cue Cards!

I finished the DAY ONE cue cards! They are available on TPT in PDF and word format. 

These cue cards are a continuation of the WBT - First Hour Cue Cards. The main focus in these cards is the review of information from the first hour and introducing the "Teach - Okay"

Due to procedures and content being covered being so different, this set of cards is not as long. Further card sets will be added that cover additional first day lessons (Power Pix, Oral Writing, Red/Green Marker Writing).

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lost in the classroom!

I am so sorry friends! I have not forgotten about you! I have been working hard in my classroom (and I had to go across the state to pick up to teachers helpers, my brother and my niece).

I have done a lot in my classroom. I have my Power Pix board created. I decided to do two Power Pix Walls. One wall with FULL size Power Pix for the topics we are LEARNING. The second Power Pix Wall will be for the concepts I feel the student have a good grasp on!

I also have my board ready for my Super Improvers Wall... however I have decided to SLOWLY Reveal the board the students. So on the first day the board will only have the students names on white cardstock.

The Day 1 Cue cards are coming along and should be posted before tomorrow's LIVE Whole Brain Teaching webcast on Week 1 Goals. This second set of cards basically helps you review the first hour skills and teach your students how to use Teach-Okay. The rest of the first day is so varied (depending on grade level and school requirements) that I didn't feel that I could make cue cards for everyone.

I will post pictures tomorrow! I hope all those who have started school are enjoying Teaching Heaven!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

FIRST DAY ... in classroom ... time to organize


I was able to get into my classroom today! I really didn't to much as far as WBT is concerned. However, I thought you would like to "meet" my classroom! (Plus I kind of want to show off my hard work!) I did not have to put up bulletin boards... because they are the same from last year.

View from the door.
In the picture above, you will see three bulletin boards. I am actually taking down the map and the material to the left of the map. That area will be my Power Pix Wall.

Carpet / Library Area

I LOVE BOOKS... the books in this picture are not the only books in my classroom! I use Beth Newingham's book organization system. The yellow bulletin board is going to be my Super Improver Wall.

More books
I haven't decided what this bulletin board will hold. My Super Improver Wall was here last year... but I want it in the front of the room!

Tomorrow I am hosting a WBT Study Group in my classroom. I will let you know how it goes. PLUS, I hope to have my Power Pix Wall Created.