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Friday, May 17, 2013

Kindergarten Rules!

 This post is for my teacher followers and for my current classroom parents who want a sneak peek into the learning we are doing in the classroom...

I have officially become not just introduced, not just aware, not even just fond....obsessed with "Whole Brain Teaching" ok, ok, obsessed is a very strong word, but I am so excited about it and after introducing some of it in the classroom I have become hungry for more!

I spent most of winter break caring for a sick baby with that being said I have also been cuddling and comforting on the couch which lead me to watching video after video on how to integrate Whole Brain teaching into my classroom. I know sounds lame but really its pretty exciting. Since we are in times of economic drought I know that going to educational conferences is not going to happen, however I have found the next best thing...YouTube. I have found several videos and links to integrating Whole Brain Teaching

The premise of Whole Brain Teaching is that the children are active, engaged and having fun learning. here is a description from the website:

Whole Brain Teaching is a research based system that utilizes all areas of the brain, keeps children engaged throughout their lessons, and helps them retain much more information than the standard lecture-discussion model.
Whole Brain Teaching is a highly interactive form of instruction that delivers information to students in short “chunks.” Kids then teach what they have just learned to their partners, using hand-gestures to help remember specific vocabulary. While students teach each other, the teacher walks around the room to discover who understands the lesson and who needs more instruction.
Research shows that children retain more information when they have an opportunity to put it into their own words and use gestures to emphasize key instructional units …plus, it’s amazingly fun!

Ok that may not sound that exciting but it really is!

Whole Brain Teaching is a method that integrates an effective classroom management system with learning approaches that tap the way your brain learns best. This approach is amazingly effective, and fun for both you the teacher, and the students.

Here is a video of my class using their "whole brain" while reciting the classroom rules. You can see how they not only recite the rules but also "act out the motions"

Check out this first grade lesson. I first saw it on Pinterest and utilized some of the management techniques the very next day. I particularly love the "mirror" "blow the answer in your hand-release" and "Teach-OK" and you will see why I am falling in love with this teaching method.

At this point in the year if you came in to watch a lesson it would look pretty similar to this one:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Loving Outdoor Learning

Today was a beautiful day to read! We decided that it was a perfect day to take our books outside with us. This is always one of my favorite spring activities!

Enough with the testing now this is what learning should really look like! 
Engaged and learning the perfect picture of kindergarten! 

Here is a panorama picture of us all enjoying our readers workshop outside! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Zoo Zoo Zoo

We went to the zoo today!! It was a great day, perfect weather and we all had so much fun!

So excited...we are on our way!

We saw the peacocks

Here is the baby gorilla and her mommy
And a once in a life time chance... we saw the new baby polar bear Luna!

We had so much fun climing the Jungle "Jim" Thanks again Mr. B!!
And when we got back, boy were we exhausted! What a great day!