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Thursday, May 31, 2012

WBT & Homeschooling

Most of my followers are teachers or are in school to become teachers. However, I have several friends who are following, reading my stories, and sending me private emails just as they have done for the last decade.

Who are they? Homeschoolers. Many of you don't know this about me but I homeschooled my children for many years. Why? Because it was the best and only option I had for my oldest son.

Go back with me in time for a moment.

My oldest was about 2 1/2 years old. I walked into our living room and there he sat reading a book I had just purchased. It was a story we had not yet read together, that he had not yet heard before. He asked me to come sit with him so he could read to me.

Okay... I thought. I can't wait to see what story he makes up to go with the pictures. Instead, he read the book. I was flabbergasted. I didn't know whether to cry or smile. It wasn't perfect but it was close.

(Imagine this child actually reading. 
Sorry none of his photos are digital.)


What he couldn't figure out, he made up. I knew right then that I had no choice. Either I taught him the right way or he would teach himself the wrong way. At the age of 2, there was no option. No one would teach him how to write a paragraph or multiple at that age.

It was up to me.
And so I became a homeschool mom. 

Teaching him was never easy. What I planned was often too easy or not enough. Others complained I pushed him to hard but those closest to me saw how I struggled. How I fought to teach him the right way while he fought to teach himself. It was a never-ending battle. A struggle that was often damaging to our relationship.

There were times when we simply had to stop learning and take a breather to ensure we could still have a good relationship. This continued until he was old enough for second grade and I found a school willing to met him and his special challenges.

He was brilliant. 
He had no social skills. 
Welcome to the world of the Asperger's.

I have always had to supplement his education. It is more of a part of who I am, who we are than homeschooling any more. My children truly love to learn and I believe it is because it is part of our values and culture at home.

Before I try anything in my classroom, I try it at home. WBT is no different. I received several emails asking can this work in a homeschooling situation.

YES! 
Oh my yes it can! 

When I think of all the tears, all the struggles, all the midnight ponderings to friends around the world. When I think of all the countless hours I thought I was the problem or this was too much... all I needed was someone who understood how his brain works and to share this secret with me.

I mentioned before how I turned class-yes to boys-mama. I use hands and eyes at home and switch. So many simple little things so much cooperation. I am also using the scoreboard. Parents vs. Kids. 

Does it work?
He is dressed. He brushed his teeth and hair (a huge achievement!!). He did his chores and his bed is made. Now if I could find the secret to teenage attitudes... I would have reached mama heaven!

Check out this video of WBT at home:

My son would have eaten this up if I had known about it a decade ago. So listen up all my homeschool friends... IT WORKS! I can't wait to here your success stories.

In fact my youngest was working with me just this morning on some new WBT techniques and while writing this post came into ask if there was any more fun stuff for him to learn. He also wants to take me for show and tell so he can have fun in school while learning. LOL!

SOOOO.....

it works in the classroom
it works at home
it works with autistic children
it works with gifted children
it works with normal children
it works with children with learning disabilities
it works with children with ADHD
it works with reluctant learners

How do I know?
Because I am a mom to all of these children
Because I am a teach students like these

AND
I have seen amazing results!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WBT Scoreboard

I think the scoreboard is one of my favorite ideas that I have discovered at WBT to date. Why?

Well, I use emoticons already for student reflections. I love how much information a simply smiley face can portray. Students are familiar with their meanings. There is nothing to explain. Even my ESS & ELL students understand these concepts. You know the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" WELL so is a smiley!

I have a scoreboard project that I am hoping to complete by the end of the week but for now I am going to keep it a secret! I know... I am such a tease!

Here is a video on the basics of this:


Watch live streaming video from wholebrainteaching1 at livestream.com

If you like this video, there is a whole series on the website to teach you how to use WBT and they are all FREE! They are kinda long so put the kids to sleep, grab a snack and a drink, and get ready to learn!

This is one of the simplest methods to use!! I take this with me each day into my class as a sub. It is a mobile classroom management system. It is genius!

This system is an engaging game! I love games in the classroom. It is fun! It maximizes instructional time!  My favorite part, it is versatile. You can make levels and turn it into a video game-like system.

The key is to keep the score within 3 points AND to use the mighty groan and mighty oh yea when scoring. For me, I like to mix this up to. Sometimes its a 10 finger woo, a round of applause, or patting your neighbor on the back instead of an "oh yea." Whatever it is its a 1 second party or pity party for the students success or failure.

There is also a version of this for students all the way through college!!

Little kids (PK-4th Grade) 

Big kids (5th Grade-College)

It is step 1 in the classroom management plan. I can't wait to see what comes next. I have been creating the clip chart for my room but I am thinking of discarding this idea for WBT.

Stay tuned!

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