Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday- Common Core PowerPix

I first started working on switching the official WBT PowerPix with CA state standards to Common Core standards in 2011. I want to be clear NONE of these PowerPix were created by me, they are all a part of the grade level PowerPix that are on the WBT ebook area. The original PowerPix reference the California State Standards and all of California and many other states are now following the Common Core standards. I used a digital scrapbooking program, My Memories Suite, to modify the  PowerPix to reference the Common Core Standards. The originals had the PowerPix and teacher notes in one file. In the files I made there is one file of the Pix for ELA and one for Math for each grade level to be printed in color and/or shown on your LCD projector. There is a separate file of teacher notes, one ELA and one Math for each grade level, that can be printed in black and white. I have my PowerPix in sheet protectors with the matching teacher notes slid in the same sheet protector so that I can hold the PowerPix up and read the teacher notes :)

Here is a little explanation of what is on each PowerPix. I have simply changed the California State Standards to the Common Core Standards and formated the Teacher Notes to be one page for each PowerPix.
You can learn more about using PowerPix from Coach B's webcast below and from 

 Below are links to the Common Core PowerPix I currently have finished. I hope to add the rest of math in the coming weeks. If you are at a school that does not use Common Core or teach upper grades that I have not finished PowerPix for be sure to check out this post for the JPEGs of the PowerPix. PowerPix are one of my favorite WBT tools and I hope that these updated PowerPix and Teacher notes are useful.

ELA PowerPix with Common Core Standards 

 Just click the picture to download the PowerPix and then grab the Teacher Notes from the Goggle Doc.


Math PowerPix with Common Core Standards 

 Just click the picture to download the PowerPix and then grab the Teacher Notes from the Goggle Doc.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WBT Wednesday- Getting ready & First Days

So we have been watching the webcasts, reading the book, reading blog posts and now it is time to get files downloaded, the printer going and planning book open. Time to get ready for the best school year ever!

So what do we NEED to get started with WBT? Here are my must haves to start the year with WBT

1. Need to have some basic knowledge of Whole Brain teaching

Now more than likely you already have this but just in case you are totally new to Whole Brain Teaching I want to be clear that if you haven't visited and downloaded the Ebooks like WBT Quickstart Guide or read the book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids you need to do that FIRST.  You don't need to read EVERY ebook or the WHOLE book to get started but the tools like the Scoreboard will only work if you know the basics of how to use them.

2. Pick Rule Posters to download and print

I shared about the 5 rules and the posters I use here . You can find posters to match many themes on TeachersPayTeachers and if they are the WBT rules they should be free. Many of these posters and posters from blogs are pinned in the WBT Basics Pinterest board.

Follow Whole Brain Teachers's board WBT Basics on Pinterest.

3. Pick a place for the Scoreboard and make traveling Scoreboard

The scoreboard can be just a sad face and a happy face made with marker and the travel scoreboard just a 3 x 5 card. I love this set Mrs.Smith shared on her blog a couple years ago
If you want to get fancier there are scoreboards with borders and different icons for Teacher vs Students, Boys vs Girls and such. There is even an app for iPhones and iPads but it is not showing correctly in iTunes today so I will wait to share :(

4. Download and print First Day cue cards from Deanna Schuler and Sub cheat sheet from Deb Weigel 

I mentioned both of these last week and they are great to use as is or help you plan how to introduce everything the first days of school

5. Download WBT Intro to print or project in class

In my class I use the laptop hooked up to the lcd projecter ALL the time so I use Intro to WBT lessons I was able to create with the fabulous WBT Construction Kit found in the Free Downloads section of

There is an Early Education version for PreK-Kinder and a Primary version for 1st-2nd. If you teach 3rd grade or higher I recommend using the original WBT Intro found at under Free Ebooks in the Common Core section.

The Early Education Edition is a zipped file with PowerPoint and PDF versions of an 84 page presentation based on work from The presentation will introduce your students to the Five classroom rules and five of Whole Brain Teaching's basic learning techniques:
Class-Yes, Hands and Eyes, Mirror Words, Teach-Okay, and the Scoreboard.

One PowerPoint and PDF contains teacher note on slides to help newbies and experienced Whole Brain Teachers alike teach these lessons. There is also a PowerPoint and PDF that contains no notes on student slides and limited teacher slides for those that prefer.

The Primary Version is a zipped file with PowerPoint and PDF versions of an 103 page presentation. The presentation will introduce your students to the Five classroom rules and five of Whole Brain Teaching's basic learning techniques: Class-Yes, Hands and Eyes, Mirror Words, Teach-Okay, and the Scoreboard AND a lesson on What is a Sentence?

As long as you have 1-3 you will be in great shape to start the year using Whole Brain Teaching but I hope you will find 4 and 5 as helpful as I do. Coach B will be starting up the webcasts soon and will be talking about starting the first day with WBT but until then you can checkout the WBT First Steps playlist on the webcast youtube channel for past webcasts.

Next time will be all about prepping the classroom for what I am calling advance WBT must haves. I do not introduce them the first day but they become the foundation of most lessons and my student discipline so I like to plan where they will be. What are these jewels of Whole Brain Teaching? Make your guess in the comments and check back soon to see :)
Until next time, TTFN Wibbiters

Monday, July 14, 2014

What's Under Your Cape? Service

It's time to get the capes out! The Character Capes!
Before we dive into Chapter 1 of our book study I have to share this SUPER awesome cape that was shared on the What's Under Your Cape? Facebook page. Every superhero needs a cape and I have sooooo many ideas brewing about how to tie in this theme of superheroes into my classroom this year! You can PM Barbara on the Facebook page for information about grabbing one of these hand sewn capes. We are going to have so much fun sharing about Barbara's book, What's Under Your Cape? SUPERHEROES of the Character Kind! Let's get started!

Our first character cape is Service. I am beyond excited to be co-hosting Chapter 1 of  our book study with Lynda of  Curls and a Smile !

As Barbara says in the first line of Chapter 1, superheroes are all about service. They are here to save the day, to defeat the villain, to serve. Children have no problem understanding the job of a superhero and it is such a smart way to introduce the concept of service to our students, even our youngest ones. But how can they serve? Well I love how Barbara shows that it can be as simple as serving as line leader or as complex as running your own service learning project.

Serve in the classroom

We can start our superheroes with serving by having them do classroom jobs.  I love the way Mrs. Lirette of Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives has set up classroom jobs and she has a freebie to make it so easy to set up serving in the classroom :)

Serve at school

Students can also serve in a bigger capacity doing something that helps not just the class but the school. At my current school we have a few older students that help with traffic before school,  students that help serve breakfast and a 3rd grade class that is the Green Team and collects paper to recycle from the classes each week.When I was the technology specialist I had a team of 4th and 5th graders that were the Tech Squad and helped install programs and updates on the classroom computers. I love Barbara's ideas of a Bathroom Brigade to check bathroom cleanliness and report problems and Paparazzi in charge of student cameras to take pictures for the website and yearbook.
I'm thinking we could make badges for these special jobs at school, maybe using editable labels like the free ones I have on my Facebook page here.

Serve in the community

I was an active 4-H'er from the age of 8 through high school and even in college and my mother has continued to be active in 4-H still to this day. Though we did have rabbits a few years, as a city girl I mainly was involved in clothing, computers, leadership and citizenship. My favorite memories of 4-H are around the service learning projects we did. New to service learning? Barbara points us this this wonderful resource, the National Service Learning Clearinghouse. Check them out here. The second half of the 4-H pledge defines to me the goal of service learning, "My Hands to larger service and my Health to better living for my club, my community and my world." At our core I firmly believe we as humans were made to serve, we all want to make things better, to help one another. When we serve another we often get more than we give and it is truly a win win. Beyond the personal, which is the biggest win, service learning projects are an awesome way to get a truck load of learning into the minds of our students. A can food drive can have literary connections to books like Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, math connections to counting and measurements, science connections to plant life cycles and chemistry, and social studies connections about hunger in America and world wide.  Every service learning idea has countless possible connections to grade level standards and students become deeply engaged in this learning, another win-win :) Barbara shares many successful service learning projects in the book and Lynda has great ideas and links in her post on Chapter 1.

This year I plan to use plarn to weave service learning into my classroom and hopefully school and beyond. I want to keep things open ended and student guided but can see place mates, coasters or even rugs for retirement homes or hospital patients, lunch bags for students in need, mats for animal shelters, maybe even flip flops for those in need of shoes.

I think the video below is a great starting place and I am trying this out with my own kids, my daughter who is 10 and my twin boys that just turned 6.

There are great ideas for plarn and weaving at these sites and I am gathering ideas on my What's Under Your Cape? Pinterest board.

Plan Fan Page on Facebook

Follow Transitional Kinder with Mrs.O's board What's Under Your Cape? Service on Pinterest.
I can see so many connections to math and thinking that making plarn might even be cool family homework project. Here is my favorite video so far on how to make plarn.

So many ideas are making this post a lot longer than I thought it would be! Ready to share your ideas on Service and read the ideas from some other fabulous bloggers? Be sure to link up on the linky below and remember to enter the giveaways at Curls and a Smile , The Resourceful Room and here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The next stop in now live at The Resourceful Room!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

What's Under Your Cape? Introduction

Yea! Today is finally our start day for our summer book study! As I have said I LOVE book studies and I am sooo excited to share this book by  Barbara Gruener, 
What's Under Your Cape?: SUPERHEROES of the Character Kind

Lynda at Curls and a Smile is starting us off and has a giveaway of the book! Start with her post !

Did you see the fabulous group of bloggers hosting this study and enter the giveaway? 
Here is the schedule of for the SUPERHERO posts. We will be having linkies for each chapter so you can join in and just might have some more giveaways and freebies along the way too! 

It is going to be a FABULOUS study! This book really is a quick read filled with super ideas on how to infuse character education into your classroom. The ideas for me start in the introduction. In the introduction Barbara uses the 4-H pledge to explain the domains of character education and as a former 4-H'er oh how I love this! It makes soooo much sense! The 4 H's are Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. Barbara explains how we need to use all 4 to build superheros of character. I will be sharing more about my 4-H experience during this book study but wanted to share these Facebook covers now that I found while making bookmarks for last year's California State Leaders Forum with my mom. 

Barbara explains that the Head is where character development starts, the cognitive domain. The Heart leads to the affective domain, more than knowing but embracing and loving a virtue. Once we have the head and the heart we need to use our Hands, it's time for action. Finally we move to the ethical domain with Health and put it all together to make daily choices that make things better, not just for ourselves but others too. It is a HUGE task to build character but the awesome thing is that Barbara shows it is also very easy to infuse character development into your classroom daily! 
Ready to hear how? Well just check back here and at Curls and a Smile July 14th as we co host Chapter 1!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Whole Brain Teaching Book Club

One of the best parts of summer vacation for me is the time I have to read books that help me be a better teacher. Even better is if there is a summer book study on a great teacher book so I can see how others are using the ideas from the book. My blogging friends always know the must reads and I get so energized each summer.  If I missed a book study I still love to read all the posts then of course pin and print all the goodies, but I do feel bummed that I missed the chance to participate. I am so excited that my must have professional book, Whole Brain teaching for Challenging Kids, has not just a book study but an ongoing book club. Everyone can not only read all the posts but participate no matter what month it is! Everyone can join the book club and respond to the questions and prompts at their own pace, at any time of year. When you participate you have the opportunity to earn certification points toward becoming a certified WBT educator! You of course do not have to type up your responses to enjoy the book club though. Just reflecting on the prompts and reading through the replies of others will help in so many ways! 

So where do we start? Order your paper copy of the book or borrow the Kindle version for free with Prime membership. The main page for the book club is and you will find prompts for the entire book. Below you will find the prompts  for the beginning chapters and the chapters on the Rules and the Core 4. DO NOT try to read everything at once, no matter how tempting! I am just grouping the chapters for easier bookmarking and pinning :) In the coming weeks I will group and post the prompts for the rest of the book :) Are you going to participate in the book club? I know love to know who is going to give it a try :) Happy reading!

Getting Ready and Why Whole Brain Teaching 

The Core 4 and 5 Rules

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WBT Wednesday-Where to start? The Core 4

Whether you are new to WBT or an experienced WBT'er you will want to start with the Five Rules and the Core Four each year. We talked about the Five Rules last week so now we are ready for the Core 4,which are as the name implies the core of the Big 7If this is your first year using WBT and the ONLY WBT tools you use are the Core Four you will still be AMAZED at how awesome your class is! If you are feeling overwhelmed ONLY implement these 4 tools of Whole Brain Teaching because they are the foundation of every WBT classroom.
So what are these life changing wonder tools?

 The Core Four are Class/Yes, the ScoreboardMirror and Teach/OK. If this is the first you are hearing about this click on each to see the explanation of each from These are each very simple and VERY powerful! You can start using all of the Core Four in the first hour of the first day of school or the first hour of your new day of school if school has already started :)
Coach B's latest webcast this week was on the Core 4 so grab your beverage of choice and get ready for a crash course in the Core 4!

Now you already have the basics for the Core 4 and Coach will be doing a new First Hour/First Days type webcast in the coming weeks but if you are ready for more now check out the WBT First Steps playlist on the webcast youtube channel

Here are some more Core 4 goodies, which all can also be found on the WBT Basics Pinterest board.

First the Delightful Deb Weigel created this fabulous cheat sheet to leave for subs.
Next at the delightful Deanna's TpT store you can download her free WBT Cue cards for the first day. She has made many sets and they are AWESOME!
 Also visit her blog and check out her classroom pictures.

Finally hop over the spectacular Nancy Stoltenberg's blog and check out her post from last year on the First Minute, Hour, Day with WBT


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