It has been several years since my class and school have been involved with Whole Brain Teaching. I love so many of the aspects, but I have found over the years it can sometimes grow stale if I don't work to spruce it up from time to time.
For example, I started this year as I always have and used the "Class Class" chant to get my kids' attention. The first year I implemented this, it worked like a charm. However, after three years, it has lost its excitement for both me and (unfortunately) my students. This happens, so I had to work to come up with something else.
There are so many fantastic twists on the "Class Class" chant, but I decided to include some gestures to help out some of my squirrley students. Kids keeping their hands to themselves is definitely more of a challenge this year, so I wanted something that would encourage them to get their hands in check along with their attention and their voice levels.
I came up with "Ready, Set, Learn!" and couldn't be happier with the result!!
This helpful poster hangs in the front of our class now and reminds the kids what's expected. The colors indicate their engagement with me. When we first start, they aren't (red), then they move towards it (yellow), and by the end, they are fully engaged, ready for me to start speaking/teaching (green).
I simply state, "Ready, Set, Learn!" pretty quickly. They reply by clapping twice while saying "Ready" and "Set." Then, as they say "Learn" they fold their hands and plop them down in their laps or on the table. It makes noise and I am a-ok with that final "thomp." I want it to be fun and I'll take a split-second of noise for the uninterrupted silence that follows!
Of course, I still do the Smiley/Frown face and I am super-strict about whether they get a smiley face. Especially because they have years of this under their belts, they know the expectation and it's also really obvious after the "thomp" whether anyone is still talking. I know that if I want this to work, I have to stick to my guns and mark a frown if we aren't all on board. Fortunately, kids get focused pretty quick and it has been a really fun change to our day!
Even better? My students have started suggesting different variations based on where or what we are doing. For example, when we line up, it's now "Ready, Set, Walk" where they clap twice and then hold up a zero with one hand. To learn more about how we walk in line using Magic 3, click HERE.
If you'd like this poster for your own classroom, click HERE to grab it for free. I hope you enjoy this twist and that it can help re-engage your kids if you've hit that midyear slump, too!
Have a great weekend!