Saturday, April 20, 2013

Week 8-Action Research, Assessments, and Learning Gains

Originally posted-March 3, 2013

Last week, I found a video Coach B. uploaded recently to his YouTube channel. This middle school science teacher gave me some fabulous ideas for new techniques or how to brush up on old WBT favorites. Watch the video to learn about cool facts, vocabulary candy, and magic potion. It was a neat video to view!


My students have just started learning about WWII, a topic they find fascinating. I have been using Mirrors/Mirrors and Words, reviewing daily with Mirroring, and even having individual students leading the reviews. I also used story telling (an idea from brain research) to make learning more fun. Teaching essential knowledge to students through storytelling combined with Mirrors and Words has made learning fun and has added an element of movement to learning this week. Through my use of observations, students are more alert, interested, and overall more interested about the topic. Preplanning and practicing my gestures to teach the kids has made a big difference, too. Teachers should never let the kids see them creating the lesson as they teach it. This takes up too much time, and, in middle school, lets the student see that you are unprepared. As noted in my previous blog post, three of my four classes are doing really well with the WBT strategies. WBT has allowed me to channel the positive energy of peer pressure. Students want to earn Scoreboard points, and they do not like it when someone or a group in the class breaks the rules. This has made a big impact on focus and on individual students that really needed something extra. On the other hand, a fourth class is requiring more. It's time to introduce levels with them, and I'm excited to see how level two of the Scoreboard will work next week. Many students need individual practice following several rules, and I think level two will do the trick. The Super Improvers Wall, I hope, will also encourage improvement in weak areas, like rule breaking. As far as assessing WBT and student growth, I used the WBT Behavior Assessment again this week. I am pleased with the gains made from this rating. Three of my four classes showed improvement from last month to this month. One class remained the same. It is important to know many of these students are leaders, and gains are not as noticeable. My results were are follows: Class One-January 21-3.5, March 1-3.8; .3 gain Class Two-January 21-3.5, March 1-3.5; .0 gain Class Three-January 21-2.6, March 1-2.9; .3 gain Class Four-January 21, March 1-3.2; .2 gain Total Average: January 21-3.15, March 1-3.35; .20 gain I am very pleased with these learning gains as I continue to work to assess the impact WBT has on my sixth grade students.When behavior improves, focus improves, and learning can be achieved more easily. If you have not used the WBT Behavior Assessment, it is an awesome teacher tool and one that has been proven useful to me as I think about each individual learner, one at a time. My students recently took a Great Depression Assessment Test, and overall test results were really good. Students performed better on this test than on previous tests, especially those taken during semester one. Could it be that WBTs CoreFour, Five Classroom Rules, and other strategies are the cause??? I think so! Can I get a Ten Finger Woo Hoo!!! Can I get a Mighty, Oh Yeah!!!


  1. Kara W. commented-
    OH YEAH!!! Melinda, it looks and sounds like you and your students are doing a magnificant job using WBT!! I love it when a plan comes together!! I am curious about the scoreboard levels. Where can I find out more about this? It might be the next step my students and I need. Glad to hear such positive things are coming from your use of WBT! Keep up the good work.

  2. Melissa B. commented-
    OH YEAH! I wrote on you last blog, I just also wanted to say thanks for posting that video! I had time to watch about 5 minutes but will finish it tomorrow when I have more time. I LOVE seeing how WBT works with older kids, it's so neat!

  3. Sarah W. commented-
    I am sure your students are remembering more because of wbt. It is awesome! It Really does keep our dear teacher happy! I love how the students are using peer pressure in your class to hold each other accountable. I am sure that is oh so important in middle school especially! Keep up the good work.

  4. Whitney W. commented-
    It looks like you are doing an AWESOME job implementing WBT and more importantly that your students are enjoying it!