I Am Certified!!

It is official.  I have received word that Coach B has certified me in WBT!  I am a Level 5 Whole Brain Teaching Certified Instructor. I feel I have grown so much from this process and could not be more excited about my WBT journey with next year’s students!!! Wahoo!!!!

Our EOY Clebration was a huge hit!! Shippy’s Summer-Send off was so much fun! I had the most wonderful group of first graders, and I am going to miss them all so much.  They have inspired me to be the best teacher I can be, and for that I am truly grateful!  We had a week full of fun “Summer” themed learning activities.  We also had a Red-Carpet Awards Ceremony.  The students’ faces just lit up when they got their rewards!

To download these printable click on the links:



Here are the EOY gifts.  Shippy ‘s Summer Send off Pails- Goodbye Poem, notebook, sidewalk chalk, summer journal, Sidewalk Chalk Activities, Summer BINGO, Dolch Word-List, Activity Guide. (They decorated their own folders as well)

EOY pics

Shippy’s Summer Send

Reading Activities-side walk chalk






Fabulous Firsties Awards                          Surfin‘ into Summer Week


firstie awardscollage2


Teaching Word-Choice Using WBT!!

Our first grade team has noticed collectively that our fist graders are struggling with the writing trait: word-choice.  This week we did an awesome lesson on word-choice.  I found it on Teachers Pay Teachers and  then added some parts to it.  I also rewrote the lesson using the WBT 5-step lesson plan.



1. Our question was: What is a rock word?  What is a pebble word?  (students have to repeat this question to their partner over and over)

2. Answer with Gestures: We used gestures and voice fluctuation to show that a pebble word is a weak word that sounds boring.  In our strong voices with gestures we said… a rock word was strong, powerful, and interesting.  I made a T-Chart.  One one side were the pebble words.  The students came up with “rock” words that have the same meaning as “pebble” words, only sound better.

For example:

Happy: elated, cheerful, joyful, glad

3.  The students then came up with their own examples of rock words to share with their partner.  In WBT, we call these”Example Poppers”.  The students pull the examples from their head.

4.  We then did our Yes- No way game and our QT ( Cutie) Test.  I gave students words and they have to shout Oh Yes! or No way! if it was a rock word or not.  Then we did our QT test- Thumbs up /thumbs down.

5. Next is the Critical thinking aspect: The students all received word ladders to come up with 5 rock words.  They then cut and glued them on a large jar die-cut( It is their rock word collection) they shared their collection with a partner.

They will also be writing a piece of descriptive writing using as many rocket words as possible.  I decided to add a component.  The students will be trading their writing with their WBT partner, and their partner will be using a highlighter to highlight all the rock words. 

My students really have retained this lesson.  They have been writing and asking me thing like: ” Is this just a pebble word?”  “I was going to use the word funny but instead I am going to use hilarious!”

10 Finger Woo to my awesome first graders! “WOO!!”

For more information on the 5-Step Lesson Plan and to view a free webcast by Chris Biffle, go to http://www.wholebrainteaching.com

Word Choice To receive the printables to go with this lesson go to teacherspayteachers to purchase.  This is from Robin Harrington.


I am on the lest step of the process in becoming Whole Brain Teaching BOARD CERTIFIED!!  As I mentioned in a previous post I have been learning and implementing WBT’s 5-Step Lesson Plan.  I made a sample video and turned it into the Director of Certification and earned my medallion!!


She forwarded my video to Chris Biffle (the bigwig of WHOLE BRAIN TEACHING and co-founder) He said he was really impressed and invited me to come to the conference this summer so they could meet me.  Sure wish I could get to Louisiana somehow, but as most of you who know me I am terrified of driving.  Especially driving to places I don’t know! And road trips, yikes!  They both gave me suggestions to incorporate for my Exemplary video and I just finished my 2nd video!!  Fingers Crossed!!

Here is a link to my video on teaching Proper Nouns using Whole Brain Teaching and the WBT 5-Step Lesson Plan.




Movin’ Write Along!




I am getting closer!!  I now have 763 CP !!  I am an official Level 4 Whole Brain Teaching Advanced Intermediate.  I was even mentioned on Whole Brain Teaching’s official Facebook page! Wahoo!  I am working on my Exemplary video, so I can reach Level 5 and be a WBT certified instructor!  I have to admit it has been a lot of hard work but I do feel that I am growing professionally!!  This week I have learned how to write and implement WBT’s 5 Step Lesson Plan.  I will be using this format on my video. 

Stephanie from 3rd Grade Thoughts does a good job explaining it. 

Click Here


Go to youtube or wholebrainteaching.com to view webcasts of Coach B teaching about the lesson plan format.


Biffle, Chris. (2011) Whole Brain Teaching: Lesson Design & Delivery. pg. 18

Surfin” Into Summer Celebration!

Well today in Missouri, it does not feel much like Summer! Snow on the ground in May! Yikes! But we are still  gearing up for the End of the Year. I have decided to do Shippy’s Suumer Send Off- Surfin’ into Summer.  My students will have a different theme each day the last week of school. 

We will be celebrating the following days.   images

Monday: May 20th

You are so bright! Wear sunglasses day!

First grade Memory Books

Summer Bucket List

Make Beach Pudding

Tuesday: May 21st

Hats off to a Great School Year- Wear your favorite

 Summer hat or visor.

Beach Ball Spelling

End of the Year Scavenger Hunt

Wednesday: May 22nd

You are a T-riffic Class- Wear Summer T-Shirts or  tank tops.

Writing for next year’s first graders

Finish Scavenger Hunt

Buddy Reading- You may bring your favorite summer, beach, ocean, or vacation themed book to read with a friend.

Thursday:  May 23rd

Let’s “Flip” for Summer- Wear sandals or flip-flops

Summertime Find-A Friend

Author’s Chair -Story Writing Sharing

Flip Flop Cookies

Friday:  May 24th

Surfing into Summer: Wear Beach Wear- Boys can wear

swim trunks with t-shirts. Girls can wear one piece suits with shorts or tank tops, hula skirts.  Straw hats, sunglasses also would be great!

Awards Ceremony on the red Carpet

Summer Fun Packet

Locker and Desk Clean Out

Tuesday:  May 28th-Last day!!

Tie-Dye Fun! Wear your class Tie-Dye shirt

Field Day

Popsicle Party

Student gifts

 Here a a few snack treats I found online we will be making to go with the beach theme.

beach-scene-pudding-cups   flip flop

Click here for more printables to go with this theme.

summer send off week 1summer send off week

The Best Thing About First   I display these in my room on Meet the Teacher Night so students will know what to expect from a kid’s point of view.

The Bucket List is from http://afullclassroom.blogspot.com

I cutesied mine up by running it on colored cardstock, alternating colors between shovels and pails.  The kids will be attaching their pail with a hole punch and ribbon.

summer bucket list-1

Learning with Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web Unit     cw

As an introduction to creative story writing we have spent the last few months reading Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.  We identified story elements, compared and contrasted the characters using Whole Brain strategies, and discussed the main idea of each chapter.  When we completed the book, we spent time working on our character analysis chart.  We used the chart to help us write about which character we are most like and why.  We also constructed the character we are most like out of paper. The students were very excited about celebrating this great book and all of their hard work!! We even had a Charlotte’s Web Celebration! We watched the animated version of the movie and compared it to the book. We enjoyed popcorn and drinks.  I have been teaching this Unit for 8 years, and it is one of the most wonderful learning experiences. 

IMG_9885  We had a wonderful time at our celebration!

Here is an example of the Character Analysis project, where the students compare themselves to a character and tell how they are like that character.

IMG_9890 IMG_9891

To download the writing sheet click here.

writing page

Click here to see an example of our class’ Character Analysis Chart. I typed it up after we created a big anchor chart as a class.

Character analysis chart

When we do power writing we use an ice cream con graphic organizer.  The cherry is the main idea, the scoops are the details, and the cone is the conclusion sentence.  I score my students writing using the following rubric I created.

Charlotte's Web rubric

Charlotte’s Web rubric

This year I also bought a unit from TPT to add with what I have created myself.  It had Venn diagrams, math games, writing pieces, graphs, and many other thematic activities that we did with our Unit.   It is from Angela Rubin.

Here is an example of a piece of that Unit my students did.  They wrote about their favorite part of the story and illustrated it.

IMG_9887 IMG_9888

Brain Power

With all of the assessments we give, I decided my students needed an extra confidence booster and some motivation before we take these tests.  We now use “Brain Power”.   “Brain Power” is little pieces of candy with a motivational saying; I give to my students before a test. I don’t give it to them on every test, just when I feel like they need an extra pick me up.  I go around and give students their “Brain Power” and whisper words of encouragement to them.  It really raises their spirits, and helps them to remember that I believe them and they can succeed.  An example of “Brain Power” is a mint with the saying “You were “Mint” to succeed!” 

Here is an example of the Brain Power I use in my classroom.  I store it in cute containers with labels that have the cute saying on them. 

brain power IMG_9862 IMG_9865 IMG_9863


I am so happy to announce that I have heard back from the Director of WBT Certification, and I am now a level 3 Whole Brain Teaching Intermediate. I have earned 529 Certification Points!! I am officially a WBT Level 3 Intermediate. Can I get a 10 finger woo?   WOO!!! Once I take the test I will be an Advanced Intermediate. After that, only one more level until I am a Board Certified WBT Instructor. 

Here are my Medallions!!

Medallions Earned



I am trying to prepare for our End of the Year Celebration And Summer Send off.  As I have explained in previous posts, that in Whole Brain Teaching you reward students for their efforts and the class praises each other.  In honor of this, I found a Pinterest idea I love.  I will be rolling out the red carpet (red bulletin board paper) and calling students up to receive their rewards.  They will get to strut their stuff on the red carpet while we are giving them a “10-Finger Woo” of course.  On TPT, I found certificates that I love that go great with dollar store prizes.  The rewards are called Dollar Store Superlatives from Michelle Oakes from http://www.fabulousinfirst.blogspot.com 

Here is an example of the dollar rewards she gave to her class, which I also will be using a variation of.


These are available to buy on http://www.teacherspayteaches.com