Friday, October 12, 2012

The Scoreboard, Webcast #517

"The artist's studio, the researcher's laboratory, the scholar's library are each kept deliberately simple so as to support the complexities of the work in progress."  – Lucy Calkins 

I’ve been using the "deliberately simple" WBT Scoreboard in my classroom since the first day of school – about seven weeks now.  No more marbles in the jar for me. That’s right – no more fake money or treasure boxes.  I now use the Scoreboard, and it’s been a great success in helping me with classroom behavior.  My students love to “hug their ears” as they give a ½ second groan and, even more, they love the 1 second party, the mighty “Oh Yeah!” We even do whisper “Oh Yeahs!” in the hallway in response to the portable scoreboard I wear on my lanyard. Yup, a sticky note on the back of my I.D. badge elicits great hallway behavior from my wiggly, jiggly, talkative fourth graders.  The rewards that they work so hard for are one minute of talk time at the end of the period or a quick game of four corners.
 This picture shows my scoreboard, which is at the front and center of my classroom.  All I need is a dry erase marker, a smile, and a bit of ping ponging to motivate my students. (The "I can" statements are required by my district. I simply turn them into the question I ask in the first step of the five-step WBT lesson plan.)

However, I noticed last week that the Scoreboard was becoming lackluster.  My knowledge of the scoreboard was gleaned here and there as I’ve poked around on the WBT website, but I hadn’t watched the video yet. After all, I told myself, I can teach myself a simple procedure like the scoreboard. Oh ho ho! Little did I know that that was the reason my students have become lackluster about the scoreboard. Today I watched the video, and I learned that my students are dangerously close to becoming habituated to the routine!  

On Monday, the first thing I will do is offer a tiny bit of variety: Pirate Captain v. the Crew.  This will be the just the thing to rekindle student interest.  Perhaps in another week, I’ll introduce a new and different reward, changing things up a bit, but not too quickly.  Next time, I won’t wait too long to introduce a little variety.  There are many suggestions on the video that I will employ.

If you haven’t already viewed the Scoreboard Video, Program #517, it comes highly recommended from this reformed marble-in-the-jar teacher who is now a devoted Scoreboard user.

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