For the first time in my teaching career I have not been crossing off the days in anticipation of summer vacation. For once, I feel satisfied with my year. I know that I was successful in many areas and accomplished a lot.
A number of positive factors impacted this school year: finally moving to 2nd grade and having an exceptionally sweet class. But I also feel like WBT has had an enormous impact. I've probably said this before, but I'll say it again- WBT has changed the way I teach!
After attending the Joplin conference in February I realized how challenging it is to be a student in a WBT class. With mirror and teach-ok students always have to be paying attention and thinking and remembering. I feel that incorporating WBT has raised the bar in my class and has required more of the students. It seems that WBT gives the students more ownership in their learning. They actively participate and must work together as a team so that everyone learns.
One of the beauties of WBT is that it is not only relevant in the first weeks of school, but it remains vital all the way to the very end. This is our last week and I still find myself calmly calling out rules to redirect the class. Due to the excitement of end of year events, we paused today to allow the class to practice the rules. It is such a low stress way to manage the class, and it works!
This week we had fun changing up the class-yes. It is a new idea that Chris Biffle challenged the interns to try and Deb Weigel posted about it on her blog a few weeks ago. Rather than calling for "Class" I called "Team!" When the class was working very hard and following all of the rules we moved up to "Winners!" and the ultimate goal was to be called "Champions!" On the first day we spent the entire morning at Team and moved up to Winners after lunch. By the end of the second day we got all the way to Champions. What a way to add new enthusiasm even at the very end! Students often join in on the WBT by adding their own creative ideas. For Winners, the class decided to respond with "Yahoo!" (We had just performed the play, Pushing up the Sky, and they had really gotten into saying "Yahoo!") For Champions, one smart young man encouraged the class to sing out, "We are the champions!" So cute!
WBT keeps our class happy! My classroom will never be the same again. Thank you WBT!