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Use a daily agenda to simplify WBT implementation.  On your whiteboard, list classroom activities linked to WBT strategies.  For example, a Day One morning agenda might look like this:  
  1. Roll: Class-Yes
  2. Folders:  Class-Yes
  3. Reading:  Mirror Words
  4. Writing:  Scoreboard
  5. Morning Review:  Class-Yes, Mirror Words,
  Use your agenda to introduce WBT strategies in any order and emphasis that's best for you.  Your kids will remind you of what to do when! One of the largest organizational problems we've encountered is how to employ the classroom motivating Scoreboard and the student motivating Super Improver.  Of course, you want to use both these all day long, but place each on your agenda, to alert your kids when a game will receive special focus.
Use five index cards. On card one, write a collection of Class-Yes Attention Getters. On card two, write Mirror Words and Hands and Eyes. On card three, write a list of lesson bullet points. On card four simply write Clap twice, say, "Teach!" On card five write, Please-Ok. Put the cards in order. Start with card one; pick an Attention Getter. Then, card two, select either Mirror Words or Hands and Eyes. On card three, paraphrase the first bullet point in at least two different ways. Then, on card four, initiate Collaborative Learning. Use card five, Character Education, as a wild card ... inserting manners wherever appropriate. Keep paging through the index cards, delivering one bullet point at a time. You're not delivering a lesson, your cards are.
Once a day, use a stopwatch to time a lesson. Start the watch when you are talking; stop the watch when the kids are talking. Your goal is 50% teacher talk, 50% kid talk. (Worksheets don't count as kid talk!)
The more fun kids have learning, the more they learn. Make 10-15 marks per instructional hour on the Scoreboard; award 2-4 Super Improver stars per day. Link uncertain reward to virtuous behavior on both these powerful, year-long games.
  • Step One: Rehearse the classroom rules five times a day.
  • Step Two: After several weeks, call out the appropriate number when you see a rule broken. Kids, always happy to keep a classmate in line, eagerly respond with the rule and gesture
  • Step Three: Use Wrong Way/Right Way practice. Ask a kid to interrupt you without raising her hand. Good Wrong Way job! Then, ask her to interrupt you again. As she utters the first syllable, hollar, "Rule 2!" Students, making the Rule 2 gesture, exclaim, "Raise your hand for permission to speak!" Oh, that was the Right Way!
Repeat the steps above as necessary.
Backtalk includes any form of rudeness, verbal or otherwise, directed at you. Sighs, grunts, groans, eye rolls ... all Backtalk. Follow a similar routine as suggested above for solving the hand raising problem ... but with Rule 5.
  • Step One: Rehearse the classroom rules five times a day.
  • Step Two: After several weeks, call out the appropriate number when you see a rule broken. Kids, always happy to keep a classmate in line, eagerly respond with the rule and gesture.
  • Step Three: Use Wrong Way/Right Way practice.  Say to Wild Jack, "I"m going to ask you to sit up straight.  Backtalk me.  In an unkind voice say, 'I am sitting up straight!'
  • Step Four: You and Jack run through this a few times.  Oh, excellent Wrong Way behavior.  Then say to your class, "Jack and I are going to follow the same routine.  But when I hear his backtalk, I'll say "Rule 5!"  You all respond quickly and loudly, "Keep your dear teacher happy!"
Repeat several times a day ... especially, before backtalk begins.
The weird thing is that when a random kid backtalks you, after you establish this routine, Wild Jack will be one of the loudest exclaiming, "Keep your dear teacher happy!"  He's Wild Jack because he likes to be the boss ... make him the  honcho of a well mannered class.
Your highest goal is to make kids kinder. Along the way, you also want to nourish the virtues of Leadership, Courage, Invincible Grit, and Creativity. Explore our Character Education strategies and the free ebook which incorporates virtue instruction into reading, writing, math, and critical thinking. Focus daily on using Uncertain Reward to link Character Education to our two most powerful games, Scoreboard and Super Improver. These are amazing games. The more kids play, the kinder they become.