Whole Brain Teaching: 10+ Finger Woo & It's Cool

I hope your school years have gotten off to a great start! Mine has been busybusybusy and I have been trying out some new things that I definitely need to tell you about :)

Two of them I discovered this summer at the Whole Brain Teaching Conference. They are fun ways to acknowledge a student and also a way to cheer a kiddo up if he/she makes a mistake. They are the Ten Finger Woo and It's Cool.

Ten+ Finger Woo

This is the simplest way to acknowledge a student who has volunteered/shared an answer/done something awesome in my class. I use the Clip Chart for good behavior, but for quick, classroom-wide acknowledgements or to give a shout-out to a pair or small group of kids, the 10+ Finger Woo is perfect.

I will simply say, "Let's give so-and-so a 10 Finger Woo!" and then all of the kids will put their hands out in front of them and wiggle their fingers while shouting a "woo!". It's awesome :) You can't help but smile, whether you are the person giving or receiving, so it's perfect :) :)

Then, when I was watching a super-helpful WBT video, I saw the idea of making the woo! even bigger!

Click to the 2:10 time to see it in action:

I loved it! Now, I can say to my kids, "Let's give so-and-so a 13 Finger Woo!" and my students and I will wave our ten fingers while giving one longer "woo!" and then count with fingers using short "woos" three times.

I love this variation because it forces the kids to listen carefully so they can add the right amount of ones on to the end.... and who doesn't love an activity that helps kids practice careful listening?

Oh, and it's even better when you can have the kids give themselves a 10+ Finger Woo- they point their fingers towards them and it's way cooler than giving yourself a pat on the back :)

It's Cool

Lovelovelove this! Do you ever die a little when a kiddo volunteers to share their answer and it's wrong? Their little shoulders drop and they probably wish they could crawl under the table for a while. Sigh... I hate that :( WBT to the rescue with "It's Cool!"

Anytime someone messes up by giving a wrong answer, simply say to them as a class, "It's cool!" in an it's-okay-because-we-all-make-mistakes-so-no-biggie kind of voice while shrugging your shoulder.

I loved presenting this to the kids because I am ALWAYS mixing things up, losing my place in a read aloud when I get lost on a tangent teachable-moment, misplacing papers to pass out, you name it and so the kids get TONS of practice by saying "It's cool!" to me ;)

We then talk about how we always make mistakes, but that making mistakes is proof you are trying. If you are too afraid to take a risk because you're afraid you might fail, then you'll never try something new and never get to experience the thrill of success. Creating a culture of "It's cool!" when mistakes are made is a great way to build a try-new-things community and a successful year ahead.

Check out this AWESOME poster from Shannon @ technology rocks. seriously.

Read more about these strategies from WBT's website HERE.

I'm sending along a virtual 10 Finger Woo to all of you- it's almost halfway through the week! Woooo!

**UPDATE** If you're looking for some alternatives to the 10-Finger Woo!, check out this post HERE. Enjoy!


  1. I am loving the "it's cool" this year! I haven't tried the "10 finger woo" yet... thanks for reminding me!

    EduKate and Inspire

    1. There's soooooo much to remember from the conference, isn't there?! :)


  2. I love this post. It was just the boost I needed! I've quickly fallen away from WBT even though I was so gung-ho about it at the beginning of school. It just seems to take too long for them to partner teach. But I realize I may have been doing it wrong--taking too large of chunks at a time, instead of little bits at a time. And I hadn't really seen the 10 finger woo yet--I LOVE it! We are big about teaching against bullying at my school, and I absolutely hate it when a student gets an answer wrong and someone snickers. With the 'it's cool' I can turn it around in the opposite direction! Can't wait to get to school tomorrow and implement it! Thank you!!

  3. I use 10 ( and more) finger woos and LOVE THEM. I do long and short, loud and quiet to mix it up as well! Love the it's cool idea! My students will get to practice a lot with ME too! ;-)

  4. Thanks for sharing! I wish I could attend a WBT conference-I've implemented some of the techniques I've learned online, but I'm sure you gained so much knowledge in person. Keep the videos coming!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching