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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Whole Brain Teaching - Stop Back Talk!

I wanted to share an inspirational post on how to stop backtalk. This is a recommendation from Whole Brain Teaching. If you don't know about this website, it is free and has really changed my teaching! I now spend more of my day teaching and having fun and less time disciplining.

Every week, one of my students signs up to be the student who is in charge of rules. This student rehearses the rules with students in the morning. It is quite the honor to have the rules job! Then, I follow these procedures.

Later I'll talk about how students earn their jobs. That is tied in with the universal homework program in my classroom!

"HOW TO STOP BACKTALK. Please forward this note to your of colleagues, post it on your Facebook page ... let's make America a BackTalk Free Zone.

Coach B says, "To stop student backtalk, teach your kids WBT's five classroom rules. (See WholeBrainTeaching.com, webcast 515 for details.) Rehearse the rules five times a day for two weeks until whenever you say a rule number, the kids instantly respond with the rule and the gesture.

Then, begin the rule cues. If a student speaks without raising her hand, you say "Two!" and the class responds VERY QUICKY "Raise your hand for permission to speak!" If they are very fast, give them a Smiley on the Scoreboard ... if they aren't quick enough, practice a bit until the speed of their response is like lightening.

After a week or so of that, introduce the Rule 5 cue. Explain the most common examples of backtalk you've heard in class. At the first opportunity of genuine backtalk say "Five!" ... the class immediately responds, "Keep your dear teacher happy!" Thus, instead of disrupting your class with backtalk, your student has created an opportunity to unite them behind your leadership!" Who will help teachers everywhere by posting this note on their Facebook page and emailing it to colleagues?"




Online classes I offer for teachers through HOL.edu:


RENEWING OURSELVES & OUR TEACHING 
FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL: From Stress to Success
ORGANIZING FROM THE INSIDE OUT 
SAVE TIME: Time Management for Your Teaching & Your Life   
EDITING MADE EASY: Strategies For All Writers 



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Planning your prep time

Of course you plan your lessons! I normally have mine planned out a week in advanced. But, do you plan your prep times?

I never used to plan out my prep time. So often, the 20 minutes would go by, and I would have very little accomplished. I now have a weekly template for my prep time.

Here is an example:

On Fridays, school starts at 8:30. My PE time also starts at 8:30! I meet everyone outside (we do the Pledge of Allegiance outside as a school on Fridays), and am ready with my clip board. I walk the students to PE after morning announcements and take attendance as they enter. By the time we have had morning announcements from the principal and I've taken attendance, it is really 8:35 or 8:40.

Now I have from 8:35 (on a good day) till 8:55 to pick up my students! Here is my plan for those twenty minutes:

  1. Enter attendance online
  2. Use a template (from last week's letter) and write a parent letter
  3. Email the parent letter to all families
  4. One or two individual emails to families (I don't have enough time in 20 minutes to make any phone calls!)
  5. Pick up my students 20 minutes later!

Do I always get all of that done in 20 minutes? Of  course not! I am human. On the other hand, I know that I shouldn't spend 30 minutes deliberating over what I am going to write to my parents, because I just don't have the time. Also, during the course of the week, I try to jot down in one place any ideas I have for the parent letter.

Try planning just one of your prep times! How does it work for you?


Online classes I offer for teachers through HOL.edu:


RENEWING OURSELVES & OUR TEACHING 
FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL: From Stress to Success
ORGANIZING FROM THE INSIDE OUT 
SAVE TIME: Time Management for Your Teaching & Your Life   
EDITING MADE EASY: Strategies For All Writers