Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Listen & Repeat before Teach--Okay

      Last night at after school tutoring, Ms. Hardy and I ran through a WBT power point (based on the WBT Construction Kit) to practice the 5 classroom rules and some basic concepts like the scoreboard, teach-okay, hands and eyes, and listen and repeat. 
      My day classroom of 10 students know the teach-okay concept and do it well. The after school tutoring group also knows about the teach-okay concept and they are also very good at using it, however at 4 o'clock they have been in school for 7 hours already and now they are in a different classroom with different students and they are naturally more distracted with these combinations. We found, through practice last night, that when we are preparing students with the directions and the concept to do the teach-okay plan with that using a listen and repeat practice to reiterate the directions first and the concept to teach second helped the students to be more successful during the teach-okay practice with their peers.

Teacher says . . .                                                    Students say . . .

Oh, class.                                                                 Oh, yes.

We are going to learn about main idea
and supporting details.
Listen and repeat.                                                     Listen and repeat.

We are going to learn about main idea                       Students repeat "We are going to learn
and supporting details.                                              about main idea and supporting details"

Now turn to your partner and tell him                        Clap. Clap. Okay. Students tell
what we are going to learn today.                              each other we are learning about main
Clap. Clap. Teach.                                                    idea and supporting details. 

Oh, class.                                                                 Oh, yes.

A main idea is the most important concept
in a text or paragraph. 
Listen and repeat.                                                     Listen and repeat. 

A main idea is the most important concept                 Students repeat "a main idea is the most
in a text or paragraph.                                               important concept in a text or paragraph"

Class, now you are going to turn to your                   Clap. Clap. Okay. Students turn to partner
partner and tell him what a main idea is.                     to tell what a main idea is. 
Clap. Clap. Teach.

    Lesson continues to talk about supporting details, how to find the main idea and supporting details, and how to use the supporting details to confirm the main idea choice.

Until next time. . . Be happy, keep learning, and it's all good.  ~Mrs. Jacobs

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sight Math?

Language teachers use sight words, how about math teachers use sight math?

        Learning, practicing, and developing automaticity for "sight words" in reading is and has been considered an essential part of learning to read for generations. Games, centers, sight word readers, word walls, flash cards and other activities are designed to help students become fluent in these commonly used words so that the working memory is then available to learn new information and comprehend the text. Variety and repetition are key. Whole Brain Teaching has created a game called Super Speed 100 and 1000 for the most commonly used sight words where students practice and practice and try to beat their own personal success scores. WBT has also created an electronic version that can be used on Smartboards for whole group practice. We read the words slow, sometimes slow then fast, sometimes we read the words in monster style voices, pirate voices, opera voices, baby style and so on, we play girl versus boy, 4th grade versus 5th grade, and we even read the voices in roller coaster or the wave style. After reading together for practice the students pair up and read to each other attempting to beat their previous scores. They are competing against themselves not others in the classroom. As long as their personal time and accuracy improves we celebrate a success for that student. 
       So my students love practicing the Super Speed 100 and the Super Speed 1000 on the Smartboard using all of our different styles of reading and their fluency scores show that the practice i improving every student's personal success! So what about math?
      Thankfully, WBT also has an answer for that. Super Speed Math is a WBT activity for students to learn and practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions in a peer teaching and game style set up that also allows each student to improve his or her own personal scores. 
       Flash cards and games that go along with flash card type practice have long been used to help students develop automaticity in basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts, but let's admit--simple flash cards become very boring very quick. Not to mention, they are so 20th century. I did a little real-life problem solving: repetition + visual/audible/kinesthetic learning modes + instant feedback + 21st century technology + fun (AKA WBT) = kids learning basic math facts quickly and successfully. 
       I have taken the concept of Super Speed Math from WBT and created Smart Board slides that run through each of the facts in a visual format similar to those created and available through the WBT website for sight words. So far I have created the Super Speed Addition Facts for level 1 (similar to the level 1 quiz from Super Speed Math) and the random addition facts (similar to the level 2 quiz) in the Smart Notebook format and I am working to create the slides for basic subtraction facts, then multiplication, division, and fractions. My classroom students are acting as the "guinea pigs" and practicing the Smart Board slides daily before we practice the quiz. I will keep you posted on the overall success of using the slides in class.

     The screen shots below are from the addition (level 1 and level 2) slides. As soon as I find a way to copy these slides to a Microsoft Power Point version I will upload them in the Marvelous Must-Haves page on our website.

Super Speed Math Facts Addition in Sequential Order (Level 1) 

Super Speed Math Facts Addition in Random Order (Level 2)