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Practice Cards[1]

Practice Cards[1]

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Cards , copyright 2009, Jay Vanderfin


Practice Cards
A Powerful Addition to Whole Brain Teaching’s Classroom Management System

Jay Vanderfin Yucaipa, CA WholeBrainTeaching.com


Cards , copyright 2009, Jay Vanderfin


>> Contents
Introduction What are Practice Cards? More Ways To Use Practice Cards Practice Cards and WBT’s Classroom Management System Advance Rules Sheet Practice Cards Summary Practice Cards Samples Notes Home Samples 18 23 27 29 32 4 5 12

For more information about Whole Brain Teaching or our products contact Jay Vanderfin wbtjv@yahoo.com or visit our website at WholeBrainTeaching.com

Jay Vanderfin 4 >> Introduction WHOLE BRAIN TEACHING (WBT) is a grassroots education reform organization founded by three Southern California instructors (Chris Biffle. For more information about our movement and to access hundreds of pages of free downloads.WholeBrainTeaching. Since then. Whole Brain Teaching is one of the fastest growing education reform movements in the United States. we have presented free teaching seminars to over 7. copyright 2009.000 times per day.000 views. WBT videos on YouTube and TeacherTube have received over 700.000 educators representing over 300.com .000 students.Practice Cards . Our websites are visited over 2. visit our website: WWW. Chris Rekstad) in 1999. Jay Vanderfin.

students aren’t told specifically what they need to work on. First. Here is a sample of how the cards are coordinated with student behavior: Green card: student had a great day Gray Card: student receives a warning Purple card: student receives a time out Red card: student is given a note to take home Black card: student is sent to the principal’s office Not all color card systems are the same but they generally follow a similar pattern.Practice Cards . There are two problems with this system. copyright 2009. all the cards but one indicate negative actions. Second. Jay Vanderfin 5 1/ What are Practice Cards? There are many excellent classroom management systems but one of the most popular uses color cards to underscore a students’ positive or negative actions. . Colors are used to identify an ascending set of consequences for inappropriate activity.

. Rule 3: Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.Practice Cards . there is a set of Practice Cards labeled. Rule 5: Keep your dear teacher happy! Each Practice Card (see page 29 for samples) is printed with one of the classroom rules. and so forth. Rule 2: Raise your hand for permission to speak. I created one card for each of Whole Brain Teaching’s five classroom rules. Jay Vanderfin 6 To solve these problems.. Rule 4: Make smart choices. Rule 1: Follow directions quickly. Another set of Practice Cards is labeled Rule 2: Raise your hand for permission to speak . I came up with Practice Cards. Thus. the teacher places a Practice Card for that rule in their pocket on a pocket chart at the front of the room. When students break a classroom rule. These rules are: Rule 1: Follow directions quickly. copyright 2009. .

Juana breaks Rule 2: Raise your hand for permission to speak. Maestra believes Juana needs to practice following Rule 2.” she simply needs additional practice in following a rule. while she picks up a Rule 2 card and places it in Juana’s envelope on the chart. she places a Rule 2 Card in Juana’s slot on the pocket chart. she often speaks without raising her hand. Whenever Mrs. Juana is not scolded by Mrs. The advantage to Mrs. Maestra. Whole Brain Teacher. neither of them like a . she simply looks at the cards she has placed in the pocket chart. Maestra is obvious.. and one of her challenging students. Mrs. Jay Vanderfin 7 Let’s see how Practice Cards work for our imaginary. If Mrs. she never has to wonder at recess who needs to practice following which rule .. Juana. but wonderful. She is not “bad. She doesn’t have to stop teaching to address Juana’s problem. The Practice Card is also an advantage to Juana. Maestra. Maestra simply continues with her lesson. Juana has a common problem.Practice Cards . copyright 2009. Frequently during the day. Maestra has several disruptive students who are breaking a variety of rules. Mrs.

“Rule 2: Raise your hand for permission to speak. Maestra has the option of increasing the amount of time spent practicing a rule to three minutes. Mrs. raise the other! While Juana is practicing Rule 2. Maestra has yard duty. If one arm gets tired. Later in the year. she merely receives additional time to focus on a problem she is having with a specific behavior. Maestra simply doubles the amount of recess minutes that Juana misses. four minutes. then Mrs. then Juana sits on a bench outdoors and practices following the rule she broke. for two minutes she raises her hand over and over.Practice Cards . and so forth. Jay Vanderfin 8 scolding session. .” Try this yourself for two minutes to see what a powerful effect it has! Two minutes of hand raising and whispering feels like forever. And so. Mrs. If Juana refuses to practice the rule. while she whispers. copyright 2009. Maestra does not quarrel with her. what does Juana do at each recess and lunch? She sits at a desk with a kitchen timer in front of her. Mrs. Maestra is free to engage in whatever work she wishes. If Mrs.

in September she gives her students two minutes of practice. Maestra believes. Thus. than one long one. understanding that late in the spring. until the note comes back from home signed. Maestra’s principle that even on Juana’s worst day. Juana is highly motivated to bring Mrs. Mrs. along with contemporary brain researchers. Thus. Jay Vanderfin 9 Mrs. Maestra evidence that her parents have read the note. it is Mrs. or even triple the rehearsal period. Maestra knows it is a long year. When Juana receives a Practice Card. she made need to double. then eight or 10 minutes will be no better. this also means she will receive a note that goes home to her parents (see page 32). but its frequency that changes behavior. copyright 2009. If four minutes of hand raising and whispering doesn’t motivate Juana. .Practice Cards . that it is not the size of the penalty. This note informs parents about the rule that the student needs to work on. the Practice Card stays in the student’s pocket chart. she never receives more than two Practice Cards. and encourages them to have the child practice at home(!) In most cases. It is more effective for students to have five short practice sessions.

copyright 2009. Jack’s parents are space cases. whenever the teacher decides they should spend time at recess and lunch practicing a rule they have broken. there is no chance in the world that Jack can get his folks to do anything to support his education. She takes her troubled student aside after he fails to bring a note back from his parents two days in a row and says. students receive Practice Cards. Jack is a different story. I know you want to do your best. And so with Juana. never more than two. Juana’s parents are very involved in their child’s education.Practice Cards . Mrs. “Jack. they can be depended to do anything the school asks of them. Mrs. If you’ll guarantee me that you’ll work hard today on following the rule you’re having problems with. I’ll pull your Practice Card out of your slot on the pocket chart. Mrs. Maestra knows. including promptly signing notes. until she receives the signed note from the girl’s parents. Maestra is quite strict about keeping the Practice Card in Juana’s card pocket. Maestra cuts Jack a special deal. However.” To sum up. The practice . Maestra is a realist. Jay Vanderfin 10 Luckily for Juana and other challenging kids. Mrs. She knows some parents will follow through and some parents won’t. realistically.

The cards are not viewed as punishment. only as an opportunity for additional rehearsal. Jay Vanderfin 11 involves two minutes. initially. Students whose parents are unreliable are given a special deal by the instructor. The Practice Card stays in the student’s card pocket until a signed note is brought home from the parent. . they are not scolded but the time lost at recess is doubled. of repeatedly whispering the rule and making a gesture that reinforces the rule.Practice Cards . If students refuse to practice. their Practice Card can be removed even if a note is not returned from home. copyright 2009.

she received one. I made three sets of Practice Cards. I realized that they could be used in two additional ways. copyright 2009. . White cards I used as described above. to signal that a student needed time to rehearse a rule. Here’s how the whole system worked for Mrs. Jay Vanderfin 12 2/ More Ways To Use Practice Cards After I had been using Practice Cards for several months. two white cards. remember. Green cards were placed on a student’s desk and guided in-class rule practice. as rewards for good behavior and as prompts for in-class practice of individual rules. Purple cards (I call them Wisdom cards) became rewards for good behavior. Maestra. or at most. When Juana was having problems with a rule. has one of the five classroom rules.Practice Cards . After this had been going on for several weeks (or even longer) Mrs. She stayed in two to four minutes at recess to practice the rule she had broken. each card. Maestra reinvigorated her system by introducing purple cards.

Maestra put a green Practice Card on Juana’s desk. The card was labeled with the rule Juana needed to focus on. Maestra sent a congratulatory note home to Juana’s parents (see page 32 for samples).. Maestra noted that Juana was doing a good job of following a rule. To address this issue. Mrs. A purple card canceled the effect of a white card. had practiced it over and over. Juana was always highly motivated to get back on track and earn a purple card when she knew she had practice time ahead. It was not enough that Juana knew the rule.Practice Cards . Mrs.. raise your hand for permission to speak.. she put a purple card in Juana’s pocket chart. Jay Vanderfin 13 When Mrs. but the troubled girl needed additional guidance. copyright 2009. Maestra saw that Juana’s number of white cards decreased and her purple cards increased .. If Juana managed to end the day with one or more purple cards (and no white cards) then Mrs. Juana needed help in class . . she needed practice actually following the rule when surrounded by the normal lively atmosphere of a classroom full of students. in her case it was almost always Rule 2. As the year unfolded. and was taking positive and negative notes home.

Practice Cards . Jay Vanderfin 14 Mrs. I’ll look at how many stars you have accumulated on the green card...” Thus. showing that you have been following the rule. green cards guide student practice in class. Maestra’s. So. At the end of the day. I love to give you purple cards because I want you and your parents to know when you are excelling in classroom behavior. to see how many times during the day she can follow Rule 2. here is a green Rule 2 card. If I think you have been doing a good job . copyright 2009. then you’ll have a good chance of earning a purple card. Her goal is identical to Mrs. and I really want consistency .. Maestra explained the green cards to Juana as follows. Each time during class you actually raise your hand for permission to speak. I want you to make a star on the green card. Juana now has a chance to apply what she has learned about controlling her impulse to speak. “You’re doing a great job with the Rule 2 and I really appreciate the effort you have put into practicing. The green cards are a simple way of guiding and nourishing her positive behavior. raising your hand for permission to speak and not breaking this very important rule.. .

Jay Vanderfin 15 It turns out that Juana eventually went overboard with raising her hand for permission to speak. She took Juana aside and said. If you always have your hand up and focus too much attention on yourself. I may think you are breaking Rule 4: Make smart choices. that she shot her hand up at every opportunity. “You are doing fantastic following Rule 2. Nor did she guarantee that a heavily starred green card would earn Juana a purple card. Mrs.Practice Cards . When using the green card. Maestra. I might feel you were breaking Rule 5: Keep your dear teacher happy. copyright 2009. Maestra did not say how many stars Juana needed to make. In fact. was prepared for this. Maestra deeply . ever the wise Whole Brain Teacher. You are always raising your hand for permission to speak. She so enjoyed making stars on the green card that could earn her a purple card. Mrs. But I need you to let other students follow this rule as well. Mrs. then that isn’t fair to others. Or even worse. We certainly don’t want to start getting Practice Cards for those rules! You’ve lost enough recess time already with Rule 2.” Several additional points should be noted.

“If you turn make 10 stars on the green card. The system doesn’t use us. Maestra gave the Green Card to a dependable student.” Mrs. Mrs. Finally. Paulie nibbled on his card. Janey could resist tearing the corners off. she saw the Practice Card system as . Maestra had a student who couldn’t be relied upon to make stars on the Green Card. then I’ll give you a purple card. she wanted the flexibility of being able to give. someone who could do excellent work and make a star whenever the troubled student followed the rule on the card. Maestra valued the freedom of making decisions based upon her best intuition as a teacher. Techniques that worked in September. purple cards whenever she judged it was the best for her students. or withhold. copyright 2009.” Mrs. In cases like these. In addition. Jay Vanderfin 16 believed in one of Whole Brain Teaching’s favorite sayings. She did not want to be confined by an arbitrary rule like. Mrs. Thus. often had little effect in January. Maestra knew that one of the most difficult aspects of classroom management was to keep the system from becoming stale. Maestra did not want to be involved in this kind of bookkeeping for 35 kids.Practice Cards . Occasionally. Mrs. “We use the system.

Jay Vanderfin 17 having three phases. White Cards plus Purple Cards plus Green Cards. copyright 2009.Practice Cards . Mrs. In the next chapter. you’ll learn how Practice Cards fit into the year long WBT classroom management system. White Cards plus Purple Cards. By stretching out each phase as long as possible. Maestra kept her students engaged for many months. White Cards. .

.com) are: Level One: The Scoreboard Game Level Two: Practice Cards Level Three: The Guff Counter Level Four: The Independents Level Five: The Bullseye Game Level Six: The Agreement Bridge As you can learn at our website. like a video game. when too many students are off task. The levels (completely described at WholeBrainTeaching. the class loses a point. Jay Vanderfin 18 3/ Practice Cards And WBT’s Classroom Management System Whole Brain Teaching’s classroom management system is set up in a series of ever more challenging levels. Level One rewards and penalizes the class as a whole. then the class earns a point on the Scoreboard. copyright 2009.Practice Cards . When the majority of students are working hard.

if Juana is on task. The latter is used by the teacher to guide a class as a whole. still later in the year. until a student saw something that I missed. copyright 2009. it was somewhere between clouds 9 and 10.Practice Cards . address the behavior of individual students. Finally. I believed I had found teacher heaven. If the class loses more points than they earn. the former helps individual kids. Jay Vanderfin 19 Points earn time to play learning games at the end of the day or week. Maestra might give her a Green Practice Card. she might earn a Purple Practice Card that she can take home to her parents letting them know about her excellent behavior. I can’t tell you how foolish I felt when a . Later in the year. If Juana is off task or breaking a classroom rule. then extra homework or lost recess minutes can be a consequence. when Juana needs additional in-class practice. she might receive a White Card which gives her time at recess and lunch to practice following the rule she broke. then Mrs. I remember exactly where I was when the Practice Card System came to me. Thus. Practice Cards. Practice Cards are a powerful complement to the Scoreboard Game. which we introduce at Level Two.

How could Practice Cards and the Scoreboard be integrated .. “If the class loses the Scoreboard Game. if the penalty was five extra homework problems. My dear little Brielle. and the class lost more points than they won by the end of the day. only students with Practice Cards in their card pocket chart did the extra homework.. asked me. The Scoreboard assessed penalties to the class as a whole.Practice Cards . but their behavior was also pulling down all their classmates. why should we ALL suffer for a couple of kids breaking the rules?” Her point was wonderfully obvious.. only the students with Practice Cards receive the penalty (even those who forgot to have their note signed by their parents). Even more motivation for following classroom rules! . I found a simple solution. but generally it was only a few kids who were breaking the rule. Jay Vanderfin 20 nine year old discovered a glaring problem. These kids were getting Practice Cards . copyright 2009. in a way that was equitable for everyone? After some head scratching. Thus. If the class loses the Scoreboard Game..

Level One: The Scoreboard Game Level Two: Practice Cards Level Three: The Guff Counter Level Four: The Independents Level Five: The Bullseye Game Level Six: The Agreement Bridge Depending on the teacher’s needs. copyright 2009. at Level Four. At Level Three. a class can stay at a level for a week to several months before moving up. students practice for three minutes. the the system becomes increasingly . At Level Two we introduce Practice Cards and assess a two minute rehearsal time. As you move up levels. Jay Vanderfin 21 A final note. But what happens to Practice Cards at Level Three through Six? We keep using them. and so on.Practice Cards . Look again at the six levels of Whole Brain Teaching’s classroom management system. This underscores the importance of using a short practice time when the Practice Cards are first introduced. they practice for four minutes. but increase the rehearsal time to match the level.

Jay Vanderfin 22 challenging. copyright 2009.Practice Cards . and the Practice Cards become more and more powerful motivators. .

It’s called the Advanced Rule Sheet. copyright 2009.” We always want to have a large number of fall back options when a technique needs supplementing. Paul and Benny.Practice Cards . very specific practice. In the spring of that memorable term. she introduced two of her strongest willed students. we like to have “a big back pocket. to the Advanced Rules Sheet. you’ll be going through a more complex routine. From here forward. . Here is what she said. This will give you additional. One year. Jay Vanderfin 23 4/ Advanced Rules Sheet In Whole Brain Teaching. “I have a new challenge for the two of you and I’m very interested in seeing how you respond. Mrs. Maestra had a particularly challenging class. instead of practicing a rule at recess. in following rules and also in making smart choices.” She handed the two boys the two sided Advanced Rules Sheet.

6.Practice Cards . copyright 2009. Get out your math book. Student____________________________________ . (Begin over at #1 above) Turn this paper over and answer the questions on the back about making smart choices. Put your hand down. when finished. Sit with your hands folded for ten seconds. Put your math book away. 1. Place a check mark beside each one as it is completed. sign and date this paper and turn it in to your teacher. 5. head over to the playground. When finished practicing the procedures FIVE times. If you have time. your job is to do each of the following practice procedures FIVE times. 4. 3. Thus. each number below will have five checks. 7. Open to page 147. 8. 2. Stand up for ten seconds. Jay Vanderfin 24 Advanced Rules Sheet At each recess and lunch. Raise your hand for ten seconds. Sit down. Use the rest of your recess for a bathroom break and getting a drink of water.

Why do you think it was a foolish choice? . Be sure to think about what the BEST possible answer would be. Why do you think it was a smart choice? 3. What is one smart choice you have made recently? 2. copyright 2009.Practice Cards . Jay Vanderfin 25 Date___________________ Smart Choices Practice Answer each of the following questions in a complete sentence. What is one foolish choice you have made recently? 4. 1.

Mrs. She wanted the boys completely inside a structure that. Jay Vanderfin 26 Mrs. Also. unthinking behavior. Maestra thought that the boys needed to spend time each day thinking about the difference between smart and foolish choices. . Often she used their answers as a prompt for additional discussion with her beloved. for at least five minutes.Practice Cards . Paul and Benny needed even more structure than was provided by practicing a single rule at recess. canceled their impulsive. Maestra believed the Advanced Rules Sheet was a good supplement to the Practice Cards. copyright 2009. but strong willed boys. Having a detailed set of instructions to follow was a much stiffer requirement than sitting at a desk and raising their hand over and over.

2. Green Practice Cards are placed on a student’s desk during class. Initially. . the teacher may decide that the student’s work with the Green Practice Cards merits a Purple Practice Card. at the teacher’s option. At the end of the day. Students make a star on the card each time they follow the card’s rule. Jay Vanderfin 27 5/ Practice Cards Summary 1. A note is sent home to parents describing the rule broken. the practice is for two minutes per card at each recess and lunch.Practice Cards .) 3. 4. Later in the year. A note is sent home informing parents about their child’s excellent behavior. 5. copyright 2009. A Purple Practice Card cancels a White Practice Card. If the note isn’t signed and returned. Kids receive a maximum of two White Practice Cards to practice the rule(s) broken in class. kids continue to practice (unless the teacher decides that the parents can’t be relied on to sign the note. Purple Practice Cards are awarded for positive actions. Still later in the year.

7.Practice Cards . For each level the class moves up. Jay Vanderfin 28 6. 8. The Advanced Rules Sheet is used for students who need highly structure practice time. only kids with Practice Cards receive the negative consequence. . Practice Cards are introduced at Level Two of Whole Brain Teaching’s classroom management system. another student may be given this task. copyright 2009. If the class loses at the Scoreboard Game. If the student cannot be relied upon to put stars on the Green Card. an additional minute of practice time is assigned to the Practice Cards. 9.

purple or green card stock. To make a set of white. .Practice Cards . copyright 2009. Jay Vanderfin 29 6/ Practice Card Samples Samples of the Rules Cards. using Whole Brain Teaching’s symbols for the five classroom rules are on the following pages. print each symbol (as you might expect) on white. green and purple Practice Cards.

Practice Cards . copyright 2009. Jay Vanderfin 30 .

copyright 2009. Jay Vanderfin 31 .Practice Cards .

copyright 2009. Print the former on white paper and the latter on purple paper. . Jay Vanderfin 32 7/ Note Home Samples Samples of the Practice Note and the Reward Note that should be sent home to parents are on the following pages.Practice Cards .

Please have your child practice the rule at home for as long as you feel necessary. Jay Vanderfin 33 Note To Parents: Your Child Needs More Practice Help!!!!!!!! I need practice. I need you to help me practice. If you have any questions. Family. We have practiced at school already. Today at school I broke the circled rule(s). please give me a call or email. but PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT! Sign and return this paper tomorrow. I agreed that all of these rules are fair and I am fully capable of following them. copyright 2009. My son/daughter practiced for _____________ minutes at home. I would never do anything to spite my wonderful teacher or break one of the rules on purpose.Practice Cards . therefore. Student_______________ Parent_________________ Date_______ .

Your child was a model of what we look for in our students! If you have any questions. Jay Vanderfin 34 Note To Parents: Your Child Deserves A Special Reward! I ROCK!!!! Today at school I was a model student following the circled rule(s). Please give your child some extra one on one time or a special reward. please give me a call or e-mail. Your student’s actions today in class were better than expected and displayed strong. Teacher____________________________ Date____________ .Practice Cards . My teacher acknowledged me in front of the class for doing such an amazing job and for sharing my wisdom with my classmates! Family. copyright 2009. virtuous character.

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