Saturday, November 30, 2013

Got #nerdlution? Just Do It!

#nerdlution - 50 days of doing things you want to do instead of just wishing you were doing them

WHEN:  December 2nd to January 20th

HOW:    (1) Pick something you've been wanting to do                                   (2) Plan to do them!
              (3) Tweet out your results, #nerdlution

WHY:    The urgent gets in the way of the important

Some nerdlutions include: writing, reading, walking, running, walking the dog...what's yours?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Figuring Out Figurative Language: Alliteration

Students having trouble figuring out figurative language?

Try an alliteration song. Music will make brains light up as the memories are stored all over the brain. The repetition needed to master the words will make even stronger memories.

Glory, Glory, How Peculiar (Battle Hymn of the Republic)
(The chorus of this camp song has been adapted by me to reinforce the idea of alliteration.)

When one blue bug bled blue-black blood,
The other blue bug bled black.
When one blue bug bled blue-black blood,
The other blue bug bled black.
When one blue bug bled blue-black blood,
The other blue bug bled black.
When one blue bug bled blue-black blood,
The other blue bug bled black.

This is alliteration.
This is alliteration.
This is alliteration.
It's simply using a single sound several times in a phrase.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Amazing Interactive Brain Map

Open Colleges Presents Your Brain Map: 84 Strategies for Accelerated Learning
An interactive infographic by Open Colleges

Study up for Coach B's Monday night brain facts segment.

Click on the picture above to activate the Brain Map.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Letters to Zork: A WBT Classroom is a Writing Classroom

I made a huge mistake last year: We did not write every day. When I went to the National Conference last June in Pineville, LA, Coach B suggested having students write to Zork -- so now, we do!

This year, my classroom writes to Zork, an alien from another planet who knows nothing about Science. My students write Zork to explain concepts as they learn them. 

At first, I modeled a note so they would understand my expectation. Now, I give them sentence stems to complete. For example:

Dear Zork,

Today, I learned about thermal energy. Thermal energy is ... that is made by...

I learned that thermal energy always travels in one direction. It always moves...

One example of thermal energy traveling in one direction is...

Your friend,

We don't write to Zork every day. Sometimes we write a reflection; sometimes we write concepts on a foldable. Yet, after a few days, I always hear a student ask, "Can we write to Zork today?"

A student asking to write? sigh...Teacher Heaven. Thanks WBT.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Light Energy: Teaching Translucent, Transparent, Opaque

This week we continue our exploration of energy by studying light. Our vocabulary includes Translucent, Transparent, and Opaque. These words are completely new to many of my 5th grade Scientists.  To help remember them, we use these mind links:

Translucent: Many of my scientists know that the Spanish word for light is "luz", so we remember that a trans"luz"ent object lets the light in.

Tranparent:  We remember that parents want to see EVERYTHING. They ALWAYS want to know what is going on. A transPARENT object lets everything be seen!

Opaque: We visualize that if we have a huge cake, one as tall and as wide as our classroom, we would not be able to see anything on the other side of the cake. THE CAKE IS OPAQUE. It doesn't let us see anything through it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thursday Be Talk Like a Pirate Day - Do I Be Hearin' a Mighty Yo-Ho-Ho?!

Avast, me Hearties,

Tomorrow be Talk Like a Pirate Day, so hoist yer colors onto ye mighty Scoreboard.

All yer Mates will growl and be cheered as they give themselves Mighty Yo-Ho-Ho's and Mighty Arrrg's.

Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho...the Pirate Life's for me!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Video of Physical Science Gestures

Instead of trying to explain in words my gestures for CLASSIFY, MATTER, ENERGY, MASS, and VOLUME, here is a link to a video I made demonstrating the gestures and the song I use to teach the definition of Matter:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Edmodocon 2013 - Connecting and Collaborating

Wow -- I watched several hours of Edmodocon 2013 yesterday. I was inspired by the teachers who spoke. I was intrigued by the way they used Edmodo. I need time to go through my notes and to watch the presentations I missed. I understand they will be available on the internet within the next few days.

Here are two of the ideas I am pursuing:

Check out the sites and see how you can join in. I hope you will be inspired to connect and collaborate with others this school year.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tell Your Story Or Someone Else Will Tell It For You...And You Probably Won't Like It

My school is paying the price for not having told our story. We knew we weren't telling our story well, but we never took enough time away from "getting those scores up" to deal with how we were being perceived. Putting our students first was the right thing to do; Failing to tell our story was not.

This summer, I realized I could take control of the my classroom's story. Thanks to Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEducation), Chad Lehman (@imcguy), and Steve Dembo (@teach42), I learned all about the power of social media and how to use it. So, I am going to use text picture messages once or twice a week to show parents what goes on in my class. I am also considering a 1-Second-Everyday-type of visual record  to show at Spring Open House.(

I act out my story every school day with dedication and lots of hard work. I want my story told -- and I am going to be the one to tell it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Next Time Someone Asks Me...I Will Be Prepared Because I Read This Article

This summer I have really worked on developing a Professional Learning Network (PLN). I am fortunate to be part of Whole Brain Teaching, passionate educators who want to change instruction in the classroom, and Discovery Education,  passionate educators who want to integrate technology into classrooms. These outstanding colleagues teach me, encourage me, and challenge me.

 I love my job. I love being a teacher...yet, when I hear about testing, test scores, and how they seem to be the driving force in education today, it makes me sad.

So next time I have to comment on the topic, I will remember the words I read today in this wonderful article by Christopher Lehman

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Discovery Educators Network Summer Institute -- DENSI 2013

Last week, I spent 6 days at the Discovery Educators Network Summer Institute at the University of Vermont. I heard talks, attended workshops and seminars, and networked with 150 educators from the U.S. and Canada. DENSI 2013 not only educated me, it changed me. Here's how:

Before attending DENSI 2013, I saw my classroom as devoid of any technology. Sure, I had a netbook, a document camera, and a projector, but that wasn’t REAL technology. Without an interactive whiteboard and iPads, I could only dream of infusing technology into my teaching. So in pursuit of that vision, I applied to DENSI. Maybe I did not have the techno-gadgets, but surely I could learn about them and find out what I needed to move my classroom into the 21st Century.

As the DENSI 2013 Edmodo group came to life, I found out DENSI 2013 was going to be chock full of educators who were NOT like me. They had gadgets galore, and they knew how to use them. In fact, they even knew how to write grants to get the stuff! So my vision changed: I would go to DENSI, find out what gadgets I needed, and write the grants to get them!

Then I attended DENSI 2013, and I had a DEN-piphany. DENSI was like putting on a pair of glasses that corrected my techno-shortsightedness. I learned about amazing websites and apps I could use in my room right now. I attended Conni Mulligan’s workshop on Digital Storytelling and learned enough techniques to keep my English Language Learners busy practicing scripts all year long. I learned that it is not about what I do NOT have; it is all about using what I do have to the fullest.

Attending DENSI 2013 did something I did not envision: It changed me. Before DENSI 2013, I was a techno-teacher-wannabe. Now, I am a techno-teacher-gonnabe. Thanks DENSI 2013.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Become a Discovery Education Network Star Educator -- DEN Star

Are you using Discovery Education streaming videos in your classroom?  Are you using other Discovery Education products?  If the answer to either of these questions is "yes", then you have a great opportunity: YOU can become a DEN Star!

What is a DEN Star? Glad you asked. DEN Stars are educators who share their Discovery experiences with other educators in informal conversations, grade-level meetings, or staff presentations at least twice a year. For the teeny amount of effort that is required, Discovery Education opens up a world of collaboration and creativity to you. 

As a DEN Star, you become part of a group of educators who are not trying to re-invent the wheel; they are trying to make it better and more relevant in our digital world. Through DEN events like hangouts and webinars, we collaborate and learn from one another. Through live events, we get hands-on training on how to seamlessly integrate technology into our classroom. 

Discovery Education is an organization filled with talented and thoughtful educators who want YOU to be successful. So go have a few minutes now that you're on summer break...log-on to your Discovery Education account. Scroll down the Welcome page until you see 
Get Involved with the Discovery Educator Network (DEN)  and click. Just a simple click...and a great opportunity opens up to you. I hope you will seriously consider the benefits of becoming a DEN Star. The training you will receive and the people you will meet are simply DENmazing!

Earn Your Whole Brain Teaching Certification: Join the WBT Book Club

Make your summer count -- earn your WBT Certification. WBT has made it easy to earn lots of certification points this summer via the WBT Book Club ( 

All you have to do is read Chris Biffle's new book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids and write 250-word essays. Post the essays to the blog and, voila, you earn points. Up to 25 points per essay.

Don't let this opportunity  -- and your summer -- slip away. Get on the WBT train to Teacher Heaven!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Whole Brain Teaching National Conference 2013

“Time goes by so fast in here.” -- comment from my students  

Just returned from the Whole Brain Teaching National Conference – it was everything I had hoped it would be. I got hours and hours of direct instruction on how to teach the Whole Brain way. For three days, we met from 8:30 to 3:30. The amazing thing is, as a conference student, I was never bored, never wondered when the next break was, never wished the speaker would just stop and let me go home. Why was that? Why is Whole Brain Teaching so interesting to the student? It is because Whole Brain Teaching requires total engagement from every student. Each learner must gesture and teach their neighbor. Students are SO brain-engaged that our minds don’t have time to wander. Didn't make it to the conference? Visit to the WBT website: Everything is FREE! There are e-books, hours upon hours of videos, and a forum where you can get your questions answered.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Still Testing...

Texas 5th Grade Math and Reading were tested the first week of April. Then we had two weeks of intensive review for the 5th Grade Science Test which was taken on April 25th. Now, we are in the middle of two weeks of intensive tutoring for the 5th Grade Math and Reading re-testing.

So many students are sooo close...and we are all sooo tired. Between tutoring writing, math, reading, science, and coaching UIL Music Memory, I've spent the majority of my Saturdays at school functions. Yet, I love my job, and I can't wait to get my hands on the STAAR tests that will be released this summer so I can start planning for next year!  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Things to Tell Your Students Before High-Stakes Testing:

  • You are special because of who you are, not what you do.
  • A grade is a number on a piece of paper, not who you are.
  • No one else in all of history has been just like you; No one else in the future will ever be just like you.
  • You are special. Because you are special, you can hold your head high and do your best.
  • I am proud to be your teacher.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Over the Moon -- Teaching Phases of the Moon

I just loved the idea that Science Teaching Junkie (link through my Blog List) shared on teaching the Moon Phases. I am off to Hobby Lobby and Dollar Tree to look for supplies. Yes, I am taking my HL coupon with me!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Celebrate Spring!

Spring memories...driving through the Hill Country to see the wildflowers.  Oh, those were good times.

This spring will give us chances to create new good memories...take time to make them! 

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

WBT Certification Program

What Are the Strengths and Weaknesses of the WBT Certification Program?

Per Aspera Ad Astera- Despite Hardships, to the Stars

The WBT Certification process is a well-rounded program that will lead me through WBT basic techniques, resources, and beyond. A strength of the program is its design. The point format allows me to customize my pathway. As an online program, I can work whenever I am able. As a virtually free program, I am not excluded due to cost. This flexibility allows me to work at my own pace and choose the topics I need most.

Even though the program is free and convenient to access, it is not easy. I am challenged to do a hard thing: Change. Instead of falling into my usual teaching patterns, I must change by learning and practicing new techniques. I have to leave my comfort zone and become better. Fortunately, there are thousands of pages of online resources available at the click of a mouse. In addition, there is a Forum through which questions can be asked and answered.

In spite of all the time and effort required, the program is achievable because of another of the program’s great strengths: the WBT leadership team. I will be supported all along the way by a leadership team that is passionate, visionary, and selfless. One of the most valuable and inspiring parts of WBT is watching videos of WBT Gurus teaching their classes. It transfers the vision of what outstanding teaching – and learning – looks like; however, the Gurus do more than just post videos. They are willing to invest their time in the development of other teachers whom they have never even met! The process is truly amazing.

The only drawback I encountered in this plan has subsequently been addressed. With so many options, it was difficult for me to decide on a certification plan. I just started watching past webcasts in the video library. A subsequent post in the Forum by Chris Biffle outlined a 7-week plan to obtain certification which gave me guidance through the plethora of choices. Later, mentors were offered to help certification seekers. I have not asked for a mentor as of yet because of a prior commitment, but as soon as I give a presentation at an educational conference at the end of the month, I will be free to pursue my goal of becoming a certified District Presenter. I now have the guidance I need to make it through the certification process.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Class-Yes? Uh, not exactly...

Program #514: Teaching Challenging Students 101, Class-Yes

The Class-Yes? Uh, not exactly.

You can’t teach until your students are listening.—C. Biffle

For 16 years, I was a home school teacher, and then the inevitable happened: I ran out of students. Now, I am in my third year of teaching 5th grade Science in a Title 1 school. When I transitioned to teaching in a public school, I knew I had to develop my classroom management skills. Nothing I have seen or tried worked as well as the Class-Yes for getting students’ attention.

I teach in a South Texas, rural school where most of the students are Hispanic. As you may know, respect is built into every Spanish verb ending, so within the our community, respect is not an option. Our students are expected to answer “Yes, ma’am” and “No, sir.” A “yes” or “no” is not acceptable. I could not use the Class-Yes in the WBT style. 

I first tried “Class-Yes, ma’am”, but variations were awkward for the students to follow. For example, “Classity-Class” was answered by “Yessity-Yes, ma’am”. The phrases did not have the same number of syllables, and the students struggled to compose the right response.  On the spot, I said, “Class Now” and they easily responded, “Yes, ma’am”. “Classity-Class Now” got the response “Yessity-Yes, Ma’am”. Once we had the same number of syllables, it clicked and we were on our way.

As other teachers saw the “Class Now” in action, they were impressed. I can walk into a crowded gym, say, “My triad, ‘Class Now’” and 60 students answer “Yes, ma’am” and pop to attention. A veteran teacher has begun using it. He is amazed at its simplicity and effectiveness. Actually, the “Class Now” is so effective, it drives me nuts that it is not used school-wide.

Of course, I use the “Class Now” to call the students back from “Teach-Okays”. They laugh and enjoy the variations. I learned new variations during this webcast. I look forward to trying them out when I return to class next week. The students need that Golden Thread of Fun because we are so close to our high-stakes testing season. That’s another great point about “Class Now”: It makes students smile.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Where in the World is Flat Ranger?

Here is my hallway bulletin board tracking our Flat Ranger travels. We have received so many information packets from so many parks that I can't put them all up at one time.  
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Saying Goodbye to Old Man Winter

Frosty was my snowman door decoration for January and February. He was made from about 150 styrofoam cups shaped into three snowballs.

My Christmas door decoration was an elaborate Gingerbread House. I basically took down the candy decorations from the door and side panels and added snow and a snowman to cover the glue marks. My kids loved it. It hasn't snowed here in about 8 years so having a 3D snowman was a big deal. do I turn my pink roof and side panels into a beach cabana???
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Monday, March 11, 2013

Flat Ranger Update

Our class Flat Rangers are continuing their journeys to 60 National Parks. My students were so excited to receive their mail from exotic destinations like Hawaii Volcanoes NP and Alaska's Denali NP.

The information on the adaptations of animals and plants in Death Valley NP is perfect for the life science unit we are studying. Great Smokey Mountains NP posters came in just as we studied transpiration and condensation. Hot Springs NP and Yellowstone NP have geothermal features we had studied. It is all so wonderful!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Super Speed 1000 - Part II

Super Speed 1000: Part II - Super Speed Science (S3)
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – C.C. Colton
Super Speed 1000 worked so well in my bilingual Science classroom that I realized the value of creating a list of Science vocabulary words to help my English Language Learners (ELLs). I named the list Super Speed Science (S3). While all of my students increased their Science vocabulary fluency levels, my ELLs showed a marked improvement in just a few weeks. I would like to share with you how I developed and used Super Speed Science to inspire you to personalize Super Speed 1000 to match your content area. 

My first listing of words was a simple compilation grouped by topic. There were 6-8 vocabulary words per line. Here is a line from my original S3:
Electrical, insulator, conductor, circuit, battery, switch
As you can see, it was simply a list of vocabulary words. S3 has the same rules as Super Speed 1000 and uses the same Star Reward sheet. Based on my experience with Super Speed 1000, I knew my students were going to enjoy playing S3 and they were going to improve their reading abilities. I thought I was good to go.

When I introduced S3 to my students, it was greeted with enthusiasm; however within a couple of days of observing S3 in use, I realized my students would benefit more if the word order was designed to reinforce Science concepts. So I redesigned the words. Now, instead of a being straight vocabulary compilation, Science facts are reviewed as the words are read.  Here is an example of the change:
Insulator, stops, energy: plastic, rubber, wood, cloth
Conductor, lets, energy, pass: metal, copper, iron, silver

My experience with S3 has been very positive. At first my ELLs read the words without confidence. Then, after two weeks of daily use, I heard them read the words with mastery. It was a marked improvement. In addition, I am able to add words and change the list as needed. For example, on a recent test, most of my students missed a question because they did not know the meaning of the word “brass”. Now, they have penciled-in “brass” to the list of metals on their “Conductor” row of S3.

I hope my experience with S3 has inspired you to take the materials we are given in Whole Brain Teaching and personalize them to fit your class.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

On Teacher Observations...and the Aftermath

This morning I had my first evaluation as a Whole Brain Teacher. I teach three 90-minute classes of 5th grade science Generally, our principal will observe for about 30-40 minutes. Today, she observed me for 1 hour and 35 minutes...

My bilingual Science students did a great job in following the lesson and doing their part to learn the Water Cycle. They Class-Yes'd, Gestured, Teach-Okay'd, Mirrored, Mirror-and-Word'd with enthusiasm. Everything was going so well, until we got to Yes-No Way. At that point, it became very apparent that they did not understand condensation. So I jumped right back in and retaught, redemonstrated, regestured, re-everythinged...but, we still have work to do to master that pesky concept of "condensation".

I've learned that sometimes what my students simply need is time. Time to "live with" the information. Time for it to soak in and become part of them.

This evening I needed time, too. Time to decompress. Time to reinvigorate my teaching soul. So I wandered over to and watched tonight's webcast on Inference. Wow! I love the teaching template. I want to bring in my home room next week and practice on them!

I am:

  • ready to go again. 
  • back in the saddle again. 
  • excited about teaching again. 
Thanks Whole Brain Teaching.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Confessions of a Janeite

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a teacher in possession of 60-plus students is in want of a Jane Austen novel...or, perhaps, a Jane Austen movie marathon.

Yes, I am a Janeite. I have read Austen novels, seen Austen movies, and own Austen videos.

I tender the following as proof of my dedication to all things Austen:

  • I recently read All Roads Lead to Austen. What fun! The author traveled throughout Latin America while leading Austen book clubs!
  • I am currently enjoying the book Pemberley's Promise.
  • I am anxiously awaiting the release of the movie "Austenland" based on the book by the same name. I have listened to the audiobook version twice on road trips and am hoping the movie is faithful to the book.
  • My favorite Janeite book series is Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, a three-book series that tells the story of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy's point of view.
  • I have a license plate holder that says, "My Other Car is a Barouche".

Though I greatly enjoy roaming through Austen's world, I have found my greatest joy in being married to a Darcy!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Genius Ladder

Today I helped teach a Saturday morning Writing Camp for bilingual students. These students need just a little more to reach Advanced High in the state TELPAS rating system so they can be exited from the bilingual program.

Part of my instruction included using the Genius Ladder. I have used the Genius Ladder in my Science classes over the past two weeks to help build writing skill; however, today, I was able to use it in a concentrated way. My students now have a vision of their ability to write advanced sentences. Here are some examples of their work:

Blah sentence: The lion ran.  
Genius sentence: The hungry lion chased the frightened zebra in Africa because she wanted to bring food to her cubs.

Blah sentence: The fireman slept.
Genius sentence: The heroic fireman dozed quietly in his house because he wanted to wake up in the morning with lots of energy.

After we practiced with the Genius Ladder, the students worked on a draft of an essay about Christmas Traditions. Everyone was pleased with their work, and we are looking forward to next week when we will revise the essays using techniques from the Genius Ladder.

It was a very good morning's work. Thanks Whole Brain Teaching!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Guff Counter -- Oh, Sweet Mama, this is good!

Over Christmas Break, I spent time at reviewing material. Lo and behold, I uncovered the gem known as the Guff Counter. Wow, the students tell the class entertainer to "stop" instead of me! Oh, Sweet Mama, this is going to be good.

So last week I went back to class and rebooted my Scoreboard. This week, I added the Guff Counter. When I explained how it worked to the class, they all turned and looked at the student who had been the source of their entertainment. He was never disrespectful in tone or words; he was disrespectful by adding his narration to my instruction. To make matters even more interesting, the class really likes him and looks up to him.  In fact, they like him so much I wasn't sure if they would come through for me -- but, oh, sweet mama, they came through.

The first time our class entertainer added his narration to my instruction, I said, "That sounds like Guff to me." And -- presto, whammo -- the class turned in unison, held up their hand, and said, "Stop". He was mildly chagrined, and I went on with my lesson. 

A few minutes later, the Entertainer lapsed into his old habits and added his comments again.  Another, "That sounds like Guff to me", and the class sprang into action, "Stop".

And that was that. 

I was able to teach my lesson and play a review game instead of the buckled-down, bolted-down review style I had to use before to keep everyone on board.

Today, I was in Teacher Heaven. Thank you, Whole Brain Teaching.

Sunday, January 6, 2013 -- Oh, Yeah!

This fall I started using Can you say, "Oh, Sweet Mama, this is good!" 

Gradecam creates bubble-type answer documents, grades assignments optically using your computer camera or a document camera, creates student-friendly bar charts showing correct/missed answers for each question, and then -- Oh, Yeah -- it can post the grades into your electronic grade book.

Now, my Fridays look like this:

  • Give weekly assessment
  • Put answer document in front of camera where it is graded in seconds
  • When all testing time is over, I immediately go over the test questions using the bar graphs generated by Gradecam, reteaching as I go
  • Transfer grades into electronic gradebook
  • Do my happy dance!
And weekends look like this:

  • No grading!

Gradecam has a free version with limited capabilities which is always available. If you want the full version, and I think you do, they have free trial period to try out the $10-a-month full service plan. 

BUT WAIT -- teachers can get 3 months of full service gradecam for FREE by getting other teachers to try gradecam for FREE. 

Yes, that's right. For every teacher who signs up with gradecam and scans an assignment, you get 3 FREE months of full service gradecam AND they get 3 FREE months of full service gradecam.

To get your 3 free month trial of full service gradecam -- and to help me keep my gradecam service free -- please sign up for gradecam using my referral code:

I love Gradecam; I think you will, too.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Flat Ranger: National Park Explorer

Flat Rangers Ready to Go!

Today I got my Flat Rangers into the capable hands of Karen Weaver, Park Ranger at Palo Alto Battlefield NHP. My Science students colored them before Christmas Break, and now, the Flat Rangers are on their way to visit 60 National Parks!

Our Flat Rangers will visit parks with landforms and biomes that match our curriculum. As each Flat Ranger reaches a park, its Passport will be stamped, a packet of information about the park will be sent to my class, and Flat Ranger will be forwarded to the next park on its itinerary.

It's a great program. I can't wait for the students to start receiving their mail!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

WBT Certification Essay: Super Speed 1000

Super Speed 1000: “Every teacher is a reading teacher.”

Do you ever feel like a hamster running on a wheel? You run hard each day just trying to keep up and then, whammo, you have something else added to your over-scheduled day. I understand the feeling. As a 5th grade Science teacher, my to-do list is packed with concepts to teach and experiments to prepare; but wait, there’s more. Since many of my bilingual students are struggling readers, working on reading skills during my Science classes is not an option. Like the hamster on the wheel, I thought I needed to run faster. Then, I learned how to run smarter.

Let me tell you about one of my favorite teaching tools: Super Speed 1000. Like you, I just do not have time to waste. I need a reading intervention that is both EFFECTIVE and EFFICIENT. Super Speed 1000 fulfills those two criteria.
Super Speed 1000 is effective because it drills the 1,000 most frequently used words in the English language. The first 100 words on the list make up 50% of all the words my 5th graders are going to read!  As students play Super Speed 1000, oral fluency is increasing; students are not stumbling over common words; and they love practicing!

Super Speed 1000 is efficient in two ways: time and implementation. First, Super Speed 1000 is time efficient because in just a few minutes students are focused and engaged in an activity that increases their success all across the curriculum. I see and HEAR their improvement. Even celebrating their daily successes is time efficient. It consists of a 2-second Quiet Riot and coloring in a star “by the count of 10”.

Another way Super Speed 1000 is efficient is in its ease of implementation. My students keep Super Speed 1000 sheets in a special section in their Science binders. Each day, a Materials Manager distributes the Science binders for their table. Students can immediately turn to Super Speed 1000 and be ready to go by the time I close the door. After just a few minutes of intense, fun reading practice, we move to another section of our Science binders and get on with the day’s Science activity.

In addition to being effective and efficient, Super Speed 1000 reinforces the standard in my class that students are rewarded for improvement, not just for achievement. In Super Speed 1000, all students are awarded for improvement. They really like giving themselves a two-second Quiet Riot for reaching a new personal best. The simple act of coloring in a star on their page brings smiles to their faces. When a full page of stars is filled, they are awarded with a sticker – even more smiles.

Simply put, Super Speed 1000 helps students improve their reading ability in just a few minutes a day while they are engaged and having FUN! It is just another way that Whole Brain Teachers experience Teacher Heaven.