Friday, July 29, 2011

Universal Homework Model

I have spent the last few days analyzing the UHM and designing a poster to keep in the front of the classroom.  I have been discussing this topic on the forum.  There are so many wonderful ideas for posters!!  I like the idea of using a soccer ball to manipulate towards my students goal.  In order to comply with district homework policy, I need to have a 5 star homework policy.  If I end up with 32 students and 4 days of homework that will be 640 at 100%, and students get 5 whole minutes of Mind soccer on Friday. My other percentages are 80% at 4 minutes, 60% at 3 minutes and 40% at 2 minutes.  I think that I will have a better turn out with homework, with this model in play.   

5 star: Math, Reading, letter( rough-draft, Final draft) spelling or vocabulary
4 star: Math, Reading, letter, spelling
3 star: Math, Reading, letter
2 star: Math, Reading
1 star: Math

I will make sure that I have their daily goal, clearly visible on the board, at the beginning of each day:)
I really like how simple this format is.  In the past I have spent lots of time trying to come up with suitable homework, just to have 3/4 of the students turn it in or, you get it turned in three days late!
Five more days and the fun begins!!
Heather Hansen
WBT Intern

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Compiling all the information for WBT:)

Things are really starting to come together now!  First, I reread the model classroom e-book. Then, I reread the writing game.  I have two more weeks until I start teaching. I'm planning on  re-adjusting my Language Art block to ensure I have enough time to play the writing game in the same hour.  I'm certain that my students are going to feel like they are in student heaven!    If you think about it, every bit of instruction is either working towards a game or is a game.  Not to mention,  the wonderful wealth of knowledge students are getting all at the same time!  I'm still contemplating how to organize the personal record stars.  As you probably already know, a students desk is often scary!  I think a simple folder will do.  The folder will be solely for  WBT records.  
          Another, thing that I am starting to re-organize is Third grade Science and Social Studies units. I'm  plugging them in WBT style.  Every year I begin with Science and then I alternate the subjects because there isn't enough hours in the day. We will begin with energy.  I plan on tying in the fact that you have  to have a lot of energy to successfully emulate WBT:)  

Giddy Up WBT!!
Heather Hansen
WBT Intern



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Remembering Teaching in the Beginning

Being that I am beginning this WBT Intern journey:)  I thought it would be interesting to reflect on the beginning and the evolution of my teaching.  I always say it starts with the shoes!  My very first day, teaching fourth grade, was almost comical.  Up I come walking with a line of parents, with their children, eager to see the face that goes with the name.  I mean.... I was so clueless!! I chose to wear tan stilettos with a lavender skirt and jacket.  As I was walking up, I remember the confused looks, as to why I would be wearing stilettos.  Maybe... I thought I would be sitting grading papers after instruction?  Sadly enough, it was a long year!  I had a class that even the best of teachers would run from!  I cried everyday and contemplated quitting twice!  After that year, I rolled up my sleeves, changed my shoes:) and got to work.  I realized , that year, that the children ruled the class and they would only cooperate with a tangible reward.  My husband commented that it costs us more for me to be a teacher.  Five years past and I searched for several teaching conferences that would help management, cut back on grading, increase test scores, and anything else I could attend.  Now, ten years later,  I did find my groove and I have always spoke with my hands:), so WBT was a perfect fit for me.  In all of the years I have been teaching, this past year, I have heard students verbalize things like, "Mrs. Hansen, school goes fast this year!"  Or "I learn so much and it's not even hard!"  Everyday, I was so excited to get to work.  I started realizing that I have a dream job and I am doing exactly what I should be doing.....Teaching!  We start school on the 8th of August and usually, this time of year, I am dreading going back to school and feeling under the weather because of all the lesson planning I am usually doing.  Well, honestly, I can't wait to get started implementing WBT with my new class:)  I think that WBT provides clarity!  Clarity for the student and the teacher.  The simplified and quick explanations, coupled with the Teach..OK has truly created a Teacher Heaven!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reading the agreement bridge

I have been reading the agreement bridge and have found it to be fascinating.  This past year I had a very difficult student who was undiagnosed high functioning autism.  Boy..... I was so relieved to implement that form of communication with him.  He would virtually shut down and disrupt with fits of rage before me knowing how to calmly deal with him.  Overall the beauty of the whole thing is that ultimately he wanted to be heard and with me giving him that 5 or 10 minutes at recess or after school, he was able to pull through the day without distracting his other peers.  I will miss him terrible as we formed a wonderful bond.  However, I will be informing his next years teacher about the agreement bridge and strongly encourage that she use that approach, with respect to sanity!

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