Saturday, October 29, 2011

Brain Toys

     This week, after watching the two podcasts on Brain Toys, I was excited to add a few new ones to my repertoire.  I planned on trying out air whiteboard, air punctuation,  and action figures this week.  I already use the example popper frequently. 
     The air whiteboard was easy to incorporate.  A few kids didn't understand why we just didn't get out our real whiteboards.  We use the real ones a lot in the course of a day, especially for "Prove It!".  Some students would pull out their real whiteboards every time I said "air whiteboard" until the fourth or fifth time.  Now we've go it, and it is a quick and engaging tool, especially to review power pics or multiplication.
     I had to practice air punctuation at home for a few days before I whipped it out in class.  The kids like it, and I love how it slows down the "high" kids and makes them really think about what they are saying/writing.  It is also helping solve some of the chronic run-ons that occur with some of my students.  At first I used it with the genius ladder, but as I was teaching this week, I kept finding more and more places to use air punctuation.  My goal is for it to be "just how we speak"  in class- a completely natural part of the process.
     It was more difficult for me to add action figures.  I have been using WBT techniques for a few years now, so the basic delivery/lesson plan is my usual teaching script.  For some reason, I couldn't remember to add in action figures in the heat of the moment. I will try again next week during my language arts block as we discuss our story.  As teachers, I think we often fall back into what is comfortable.  I love the WBT is constantly adding new things and tweaking ideas to make them better.  It makes me a better teacher to try new things, and I know it is making my students better learners!

Have a great week!

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