Friday, August 3, 2012

Certification Webcast: Super Improvers Wall 503 & Practice Cards 523

Click to viewI am so excited about these two webcasts because they are both new learning for me! I haven't seen any information yet about the Super Improvers Wall and Practice Cards, so I can't wait to share all of this with you!

Let's begin with the Super Improvers Wall. This wall rewards students individually for any classroom activity. This is not a place for students to compete against each other, but against themselves. You want to create a growth mindset with students. "The only fair race is the one you run against yourself." Coach B.

Set Up
To make this wall, you simply put every student's name on the wall, leaving blank space after their name. Include a key with a color code beside the wall. You will need 10 colors. (Students will be earning stars. As they earn 10 stars, they will get to change the color of their name.)

How does it work?
When you see huge improvement in an area by a student, put a star by that student's name. Have the rest of the class do a quick cheer for that student. (It can be a reward for anything. For example, finding the right page quickly when it usually takes a long time.) Once students have gotten the hang of earning stars, post goals for the students on the board. Goals can change as often as you would like.

As stated above, students get a star for improving. Once they have earned 10 stars, their name is put in the next color on the color key and they begin collecting stars again. Critical thinking update: Can you say place value practice for first graders!? Groups of ten and students move up a color on the color key. This gets them thinking in groups of ten and counting how many more until they have another group of ten. LOVE IT!

After students have advanced several color areas, take pictures of the kids making silly faces. Post their photo on the wall, facing the wall so no one can see the picture. As a bonus, 5 stars are needed in order to turn their picture around. You can obviously change this any way that works for you. Critical thinking update: You can make the photo go face down at 45, so that in 5 more stars it will be turned over at 50. What is so special about 50? Halfway to 100! There's another math benchmark!

Here are a few other ideas to spice it up a little:
1. Give the color levels different names. I have a Dr. Seuss theme this year, so I am probably going to name the levels after Dr. Seuss books or maybe even characters. (Horton, Cat in the Hat, etc.) You want them to have an emotional/visual attachment to the colors.
2. Give students some leadership privileges when they reach certain levels.
3. Add photograph opportunities more often throughout the chart.

Click to viewPractice Cards are another new component of WBT I am very excited to learn more about.This is an extension of the scoreboard. The scoreboard is for the whole class, practice cards are for individual behavior. 

Set Up
Set up a pocket chart. Each child gets a pocket with a number. Sounds pretty familiar to the old flip-card system so far, doesn't it? Here is where we switch it up. Have a stack of white, purple, and green practice cards ready. To make the cards, print the words "Rule 1" on several of each color, "Rule 2," etc. 

How does it work?
Use white cards only to start out. If students are struggling with a rule, place a white "Rule 1" card (or whatever rule is needed) in their pocket chart. The pocket is going to work as your memory device. There are card penalties for this section. If a student gets a white card, he or she has to spend 2 minutes at lunch or recess practicing the rule with the gestures. The student must practice the gesture over and over again. If one arm gets tired, move to the other arm.

A note then goes home informing parents about the rule that needs practice. If the note comes back home from a parent signed, remove the card. If it doesn't come back signed, leave the note in one more day. If you know the note will not get signed at home, assign them an on-campus parent (an adult that can have a relationship with that child and help him or her be accountable). No student ever receives more than 2 white cards per day.

After several weeks, introduce the purple cards. Purple cards are given to reward for excellent behavior. A note goes home to inform parents how well their child is doing. Students can obviously not get a white and purple card note home in the same day.The purple card can cancel out a white card on the chart.

After many, many weeks, introduce green cards. These are cards for self-monitoring positive behavior. This is for a student who needs to practice in the situation in the classroom. Every time the student follows the rule, he gets to put a tally mark on the green card.Check the card at the end of the day. Don't reward with candy or food incentives.

I can't wait to find a wall to start implementing these strategies!

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