Thursday, July 14, 2011

Air Punctuation

I ordered a new resource for free with my Scholastic points called Draw then Wright.  Each page shows a very simple (3-step) drawing and then encourages writing based on one of three ability levels.  (Below you see the mid-level page)  This allows students to use their own creativity to hook them into writing.

I used this page with the new first grader that I tutor.  After allowing a few minutes to draw, I guided her through the 5 W's listed to develop ideas.  We took these ideas to create a short story.  

She orally created one sentence at a time and we practiced the sentence with air punctuation.  We focused on capital letters (gesture: pulling one hand up with a "whoosh") and periods (making a clicking noise while flicking the pointer finger).  The noise and gesture help to cement these skills so that students remember to use them!

I noticed that she also needed practice leaving spaces between the words as she wrote them on her paper.  We added a new  gesture into the air punctuation by pressing one finger on the table to illustrate a space between each word, and pressing two fingers  on the table between sentences.

With my 2nd graders next school year I may introduce this early on as a whole group.  After a quick draw, they could orally create sentences with their partner before moving on to putting them on paper.  They can check their writing by using their gestures again as they re-read their work.  After the students become familiar with the process, I can see this becoming a great center activity.

WBT Intern, 2011-12


  1. I'm glad I found your blog! I'm interested in trying some WBT techniques this year. :)

  2. Dear Allison,
    I'm following you into this year and hoping to learn more about whole brain teaching. Think it works in GA, too? :)

  3. Thank you ladies! WBT has really transformed my teaching and it is so much fun!

    Jayne, I honestly think it'd work anywhere :) Check out the youtube videos and you can see teachers using it from Kinder to College!


  4. Shaw y'all...I think it'll work for this sweet little ol teacher down here in hawt Georgia! Sure as there are peaches on the trees. LOL
    I watched a bushel load of videos. Thank you for introducing me to this! Going to bed with "Class, class, classity class" in my head.

  5. Aren't they awesome?! Last summer I watched them over and over to get a feel for things. It starts to become second nature!

    I always have to stop myself because I want to say "Classity class" to every group of kids I come across...even if they're not in my class and familiar with it.

    When my husband tells me something positive I can't help but respond with, "Oh yeah!" He has even learned enough that he's started giving me ten finger woos!


  6. Saw you commented on my blog and I had to come over and say hi! I am very interested in WBT as well. I watched some youtube videos on it last summer, but never took it any further. Are there any books you recommend that discuss it?

  7. Hi Ms. Male!

    The cool thing is that all of the resources are free. You can download all of the ebooks here. All you have to do is create a free account on, and they encourage you to share the info by passing it on to friends. The book you will want to start with is called WHOLE BRAIN TEACHING FOR CHALLENGING KIDS.

    I started out the same way by watching the videos. It took me a while to learn more and work up the courage to use it. This past year I really tried to implement many of the techniques, and it was wonderful! I really had a positive response from students, parents and administrators!l Let me know if you have questions!