Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WBT Wednesday! Lose the Clip Chart Part 1

So I've decided to make Wednesdays "Whole Brain Wednesday!" If there is interest, I'd LOVE to make it a linky party where other Whole Brainers can link up on Wednesday with a WBT post (they wouldn't have to be as long as this one!)... PLEASE PLEASE leave some feedback in the comments if that is something you would be interested in participating in :)

Today I bring you Part 1 of "Lose the Clip Chart!"

So today I'm going to talk about WBT's 5 rules & practice cards to go along with these rules. The practice cards are the first reason I threw out my clip chart on the last day of school this year! Yes, that's right I THREW AWAY MY CLIP CHART!!!!!

If you aren't familiar with WBT's 5 rules, please check out my rules post here. If you like the rule cards above, check them out at my TPT store (they're free!), go grab them.

Okay, so hopefully you either know about the rules already or have checked out my rule post from a while back and are ready to learn about rules cards...

I LOVE these rules, they cover all of the 20-million & one rules the kiddos brainstorm at the beginning of the year if you have them generate your classroom rules. I even used them as a sort where we came up with "rules" and talked about which of our 5 classroom rules their rule ideas fit under. There is ALWAYS a way to make desirable & undesirable behaviors fit into the WBT rules!

So that brings us to practice cards...

You can read about practice cards on the WBT website and even download practice cards if you have or create a free account with them.

I've adjusted the practice cards to fit my classroom-life and after going to the AMAZING WBT National Conference, I feel totally okay with the "adjustments" I've made to make WBT work best in my class!

The point of practice cards is to give students a logical consequence when they break a rule. So often kiddos go home tell their mom or dad their clip moved down or their card color changed and when mom or dad ask why they say "I don't know!" Let's be honest, I'm sure you've received an email or phone call more than once asking what happened for a kiddo's clip to move down... NEVER AGAIN!

Come November or December, once kiddos know (and should be following) the classroom rules, introduce practice cards. I plan on using a calendar size pocket chart with my students' numbers in the pockets.

If students are breaking a rule, I will put the corresponding rule card into their pocket chart pocket. No more telling kiddos to "move your clip down" or "change your card." As Coach B would say "Don't stop the train!" in otherwords, don't stop teaching to tell ONE student to move a clip because that stops the teaching and learning. Instead, keep teaching, and move a rule card into that child's number spot in a way that doesn't cause a distraction like you know clip changes SO very often do!

I made my rule cards correspond with the color of the rule cards I have in my room (& that you can grab for free using the link earlier in this post). This is different than how WBT describes the rule cards, it's okay if you like their way better, I'm just sharing my way ;)

If a kiddo gets a rule card put in their number slot, they practice the rule & gesture for 2 minutes at recess, during lunch or whatever works for your classroom/school. A note also goes home, explaining what rule was broken, and asking families to help their child practice the rule, sign and send the note back. Here's an example of a letter that could go home...

The practice card doesn't get taken out of the kiddo's number spot until the letter is returned.
I know what some of you might be thinking... I have kiddos who don't have support at home, and the letter will never come back! Don't fear... these kiddos can have a supportive adult in your building practice with them and sign. I'm sure there is a paraprofessional, specials teacher, administrator, etc. who would be willing to be a support for these kiddos.

But wait... there's more!
What about those kiddos who ALWAYS follow the rules? Or the kiddos who have such a hard time following the rules but have an extra special day? For these kiddos I have the "Star Card" (my version of the purple card if you read WBT's information about practice cards).

These cards don't have to be introduced when you introduce the practice cards, you can wait... even leave them in an empty slot and wait for kiddos to ask... you know how curious they can be ;)

These cards can be used to "cancel out" a practice card. Let's say one of your kiddos who gets practice cards sent home quite often gets a Rule 2 practice card for shouting out. He stays in and practices the rule & gesture for 2 minutes at the beginning of recess. In the afternoon, this kiddo does SUCH a great job remembering to raise his hand... you give him a star card! How happy will he be when that means NO LETTER goes home! Hooray! So, a star card over a practice card=no note home.

And those kiddos who ALWAYS make a good choice? Maybe one day one of those kiddos is being extra helpful to a struggling friend, following Rule 4 to the maximum! Maybe they get a star card... and since it didn't "cancel out" a practice card... a "You Rock!" letter goes home with that kiddo!!! So a star card with no practice card = You Rock Letter. Here's an example of a "You Rock!" Letter...

I haven't made any "final touches" on the practice card items I've made to use in my room next year, but feel free to click the picture links below to download them for your classroom... but, be on the lookout for updates to these as they are not even on TPT yet.

Practice Cards (Includes student number cards, practice cards & star cards)
Practice Card & I Rock Letters (includes 3 versions of practice card letter & an "I Rock" letter)

I hope you enjoyed my post & I hope you will be back next Wednesday for another "episode" of Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday. Next week I'll talk about the Super Improver Wall! Yet another reason to ditch that clip chart!

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  1. Hi! I love the I Rock! letter but it wasn't attached with the other letters. Is there any way I can get it? Thank you so much!

    1. Thank you! Also is there any way you can make the boxes with the numbers go up to 31? I have a lot of kids!

  2. Love the letters home!!! Thanks!

  3. How can I get the "Practice Rule" sheet that needs to be signed by parents? I don't see a link to that...thanks! :)


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