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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope you're all spending lots of time with your families and enjoying the holiday!

I just wanted to take a minute and announce the awesome Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale that will be happening on Teachers Pay Teachers.

On Monday and Tuesday, use Promo Code CMT12 to get 28% off your purchase.

I've been busy visiting family but managed to get 2 Christmas items up.  I'm super excited about this 

And I made this cute Ho, Ho, Ho! CVC game for my struggling readers to practice reading those short vowel words.

Whole Brain Teaching & the Marine Corps

Since we have today off due to Veterans Day (thanks to all veterans and their families for their sacrifices), I figured now would be a good time to update everyone on how Whole Brain Teaching has been going in my classroom.  You might wonder how that ties into the Marine Corps, but you'll see in a minute!

First let me say that I LOVE Whole Brain Teaching.  Oh I wish I could take a video of my class and show you guys the stuff we're learning.  It's just hard to describe it using words only and no video.  So here's some things that I've really liked so far:

1.  Teaching vocabulary - WBT is fabulous for teaching vocabulary.  The kids really remember the definitions if you add the gestures and I love the "for example" part at the end!  I may not be able to take a video of my classroom, but I do have 3 kids at home that I can bribe into being my test subjects!  Here's a video showing a condensed version of teaching vocabulary words.

When I teach vocab words, I usually say the definition first (without them doing the gestures or saying anything) 2-3 times.  Then I do "mirror" and usually remind my students that mirrors don't talk 2-3 times.  Then I do "mirror words" 2-3 times.  We also talk about the "for example" part first and decide what example would be something we will all remember.  When I taught mammals to my class, we used bats as our for example.  But when I asked my kids, they decided that giraffe was the best example.   

I also just attended this reading differentiation workshop last week.  They talked about not only giving examples but discussing non-examples.  That's something I'm going to add into my teaching.  After we discuss the words and learn the gestures, I'm going to give an example/non-example and they can show me with a thumbs up or down (right in front of their chest, not waving their hands around) whether they think it's an example or a non-example.

2.  Class-Yes - This is a great attention getter.  Basically, you say class and they respond with yes in the same intention you used.  The key is to mix it up.  Sometimes say "class, class" or use a funny voice.  My favorite is to say "classity, class" and they respond with "yessity, yes".  It's amazing how fast it gets everyone's attention.

3.  Bodies and Chairs - My most favorite part of WBT is the procedures.  I absolutely LOVE that my whole class responds with their voices and bodies when I give them a simple phrase or even just one word.  It's seriously AMAZING.  I feel like a magician.  I say "bodies and chairs" and they respond with "bodies and chairs" three times while they stand up, push their chair in, and stand behind their desk.  Amazing!  We usually go to the carpet so I say "carpet" and they walk to the carpet while saying "carpet" 3 times.  This can also be used when I want them to go to their seats or line up.  Even my slower students who aren't always up to speed get it because everyone else is saying it so many times.  

Now here comes the Marine Corps connection.  As I was telling my husband and other Marines about Whole Brain Teaching, they ALL said the same thing.  That's the same thing Drill Instructors do to command whole platoons.  It got me thinking, and they're right.  My Drill Instructors (I was a Marine for almost 10 years) commanded the whole platoon through using WBT (albeit not a very nice version).

We've been trying to think of all the things we could remember our Drill Instructors would say and the platoon would respond in unison while doing a movement.

They would say:

Ears - and the platoon would say "open"
Eyeballs - And the platoon would say "click" while turning to look at the Drill Instructors
Platoon halt (when marching) - And the platoon would say "step freeze" 

I've tried to find a good video of boot camp to show you guys, but I think it might scare away a lot of followers!  LOL.  So I'll just let you imagine it!

So basically my point is, I love the Whole Brain Teaching.  I'm excited to do more and more.  I think it helps keep the students more engaged.  And I feel like I'm doing less talking than I was before.  All pluses for me!

I have also been busy making some new stuff for my students.

If you're looking for some Thanksgiving Math Centers, I made these differentiated centers that are Common Core Aligned.

And a sweet follower asked me to make a game focusing on Short E and Long E (ee) patterns.  So I made this Long E Sweets game.

And speaking of the Marine Corps in this post, I HAVE to give a shout out to one of my oldest Marine Corps friends.  He's married to this super creative lady who makes the coolest stuff for her cute shop, The Summery Umbrella.

She has these really great signs that would be PERFECT in my house.  I've been eyeing this one.

There's a lot of her signs that would make some really nice wedding gifts.  Like this sign.

She also has a cute blog that you can follow {here} and a Facebook page {here} so you don't miss out on anything.

November Currently

Well, like usual, I'm late to the party!  So better late than never I guess, I'm linking up to Oh' Boy 4th Grade's November Currently.

Listening: Does anyone else watch Sons of Anarchy?  I don't but my husband does.  I don't get it.  Why do the people always look so dirty on the show??? :/

Loving: Right now, I'm taking a 2-day workshop on about how to differentiate instruction with struggling readers who have persistent difficulties.  Today was the first day.  Nothing too ground-breaking so far but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow.  I'd really love some ideas about teaching decoding and sight words that will stick with my students!  The best part is......LUNCH with adults and not with students and at a restaurant.  Oh so nice!

Thinking: Overwhelmed......way overwhelmed!!!  We move in 36 days.  :( But I'm trying to be positive because we're going to beautiful Hawaii.  Still excited but leaving here is very hard.

Wanting: The laundry and house cleaning battle is definitely a loss for me right now!  I just can't keep  

Needing:  I so need a good book to get lost in that requires little brain power.  Does anyone have recommendations?

Music: I love the song For the First Time by The Script.  I know it' been out for awhile, but I still love it.

So I promise I'll be back soon to update on the Whole Brain Teaching, my training, new stuff I've made, and all the other stuff.