Sunday, September 16, 2012


Whew!  That was intense!

I'd hardly settled into summer vaycay mode when it was time to get back to school!

A hectic but  joyous summer was filled with grandchildren taking up residence and engaged in summer camp-mode.  This meant grandma (yours truly) and grandpa became part of the systematic chauffeur-cook-play-and chauffeur some more team.

Hubby and I managed to get in our somewhat-annual sojourn to Williamsburg, VA and, summer cold aside, spent an enjoyable time catching up on all the archeological developments in the interactive learning centers of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown.  I can't tell you why...especially given the early history of the country and its many inequalities but... I always have a sense of the possible when I visit these places.  The sense that the promise the founding fathers held out for a free and independent people, is still within our grasp.  If you have not visited these very special places you should do so.

Suffice it to say, as you note this, my first posting since way back in early July, there was hardly a moment to breath let alone reflect on the glories of WBT.  Some really good summer fun and professional development, however, was had logging into the WBT Webinars throughout the summer.

Our school system starts back earlier than most of the country and even our state.  So the second week of August found me returning to school and preparing to teach a new grade - Second! WBT was in full effect before the first student stepped through my door.


One of the first things I noticed upon my return to the schoolhouse was the increased number of teachers using WBT! It's kind of funny, really.... just last year if I'd said "Class! Class!" in the midst of a group of varied grade level students, I would have expected only a few to respond "Yes! Yes!".  This year it's a whole new ball game!  You can hear any number of WBT phrases echoing down our halls and on every floor, and most kids, whether they know me or not, know what to do when I say "Hands and Eyes!".  The WBT 5 Rules are in effect in a greater number of our classrooms and many teachers are employing other WBT techniques such as "Teach-OK!"  I'm very proud of my fellow grade 2 team members who have adopted Super Improvers Walls and put their own stamp on it. Links to WBT have been added to several our schoolhouse Edmodo groups.  Find out about these WBT signature techniques and basics at

WBTizzle in the Hizzle

Having taught 3rd grade for more than six years and wanting to see what I could contribute to the preparation of learners ready to meet the challenges of the grade 3 testing gateway, I requested the move to 2nd.  On this side of the grade 2 to grade 3 coin I can attest to the truth of the statement that it's a big leap from 2nd to 3rd.  There's quite the knowledge and skills gap to be overcome making what happens in all the grades leading up to 3rd incredibly important.  WBT is an essential tool in my instructional tool belt with which to work at this rather daunting challenge.

One of our first Super Speed 100 session.
Who knew learning those oh so important sight words
could be so much fun?
WBT Super Speed Math starts this week!
While our school has made the decision to fully launch Common Core in our Primary grades and use a phased approach in our Intermediate grades, we primary teachers must still instruct using our system's 'old' instructional guidelines and objectives WHILE we begin to implement Common Core.... a rather intriguing challenge wouldn't you say?

I see WBT as a means of really navigating these uncharted waters and right from the start of this school year have placed its ever-expanding models and techniques front and center in my Brainy Bunch 2.0 classroom.  There's just good, solid stuff in WBT with which to develop the foundational habits of mind and essential learning skills my second graders need to highlight and demonstrate their strengths while they push through, transcend and transform their learning deficits.


Mere words cannot express how impressed and excited I am about the new WBT Writing Game.  Again, WBT raises the bar on the creation of quality instructional material that responds to the real world needs of learners and teachers!  Coupled with "Red Marker/Green Marker" (I call it Red Dot, Green Dot with my learners), "Air Writing", and the "Genius Ladder",  I fully expect my 2nd graders to be expert writers well before the end of the school year.  (Way to put that 40+ years of teaching experience to good use, Coach B!) If the terms used above are sounding odd and unfamiliar you need  to head on over to and check out the archive of free webinars and downloadable ebooks and guides.....a veritable treasure trove of material all of which weaves the GTF - the Golden Thread of Fun - through learning.  Be careful though - you could get pleasurably "lost" for hours!

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