wbt series post #3:practice makes perfect…errrr.

ever heard “practice makes perfect”? It’s a farce. Lie. “PERFECT practice makes perfect” is truly the case. That would be like sending home a page of subtraction problems and the student doing them all incorrectly. Now they have practiced the wrong way and most likely ingrained the wrong method too! Our former {sniffle} AP shared with us that it takes practicing a procedure 20 times the correct way before you learn it. TWENTY TIMES folks! I always share this research with my students so they know the reason we practice lining up, procedures, and walking through the halls!
All this leads me to the practice cards, or level 2, of Whole Brain Teaching. What are they? Practice cards are simply cards with each of the 5 rules on them. If a student breaks a rule, they need to practice it. They slip a card wherever you keep track of these things {probably a chart or sitting on their desk} and when the time comes, they practice for 2 minutes per card. Literally, our kids sit on the sidewalk at recess and do the gestures for 2 minutes. We sit and gossip to “raise your hand for permission to speak” almost daily!!
Here’s the lowdown straight from wbt.com: “The Scoreboard addresses behavior issues in your class as a whole. Practice Cards target individual student behavior.  In brief, label each pocket of a card pocket chart with a student’s name or number.  When a student breaks one of the five classroom rules, place a white card with that rule number in his/her card pocket.  Students rehearse for two minutes the gesture for the rule they’ve broken at recess.  At the end of the day, a note goes home asking parents to help students with additional rule practice.  With the exception of students from unreliable families, the white card stays in the card pocket until the note comes back from home.
White cards are used when students break a classroom rule.
Purple cards are used to reward students for following a rule.
Green cards are used to help students practice a rule in class.” end quote!
There are 2 things I did change to meet the needs of my class. I only use practice cards for rule breaking, no purple because that is what the clip chart is for. and 2. I no longer send a note home. I sign student planners each afternoon and students color in their color from the clip chart onto a calendar. This addresses the issue enough for me.
here are my practice cards. FREE download!
here is the chart I used. It’s actually a calculator chart-but it’s already numbered! All my kids have a “number” so it was perfect.

If a student broke a rule, they put a practice card of whatever they needed to practice behind their number. I’ll be honest, I never recorded this anywhere. I glanced at the chart before lining up for recess. I relied on students to remember if they had to practice or not. Trust me, the other students remember!
here is a picture from a great blog of how I WILL BE setting up my practice cards this year since we will be going back to the clip chart. I love this idea. I think she has each student’s name on here in abc order and they slip the practice card behind their name-see how Jhayden has to practice raising his little hand? However, I am going to put one copy of the practice card vertically and have them put their number beside what they need to practice. I don’t want the practice card chart to be too cute looking with their sweet little faces on it! {I really should have waited to set up my room first before doing this series!} This will all be right beside my clip chart that I hand on my white board.


Why back to the Clip Chart?

When I began implementing wbt, I did not like the clip chart. I felt I did not keep up with it to fidelity. I did it for awhile then abandoned them for traditional green, yellow, red card flipping. I feel the physical act of the student getting up to flip their card is pretty powerful not only for that student, but for the rest of the class, too. Towards the end of April the warriors got restless. I added a purple index card to my behavior chart. If a student was going above expectations, they flipped to purple. It worked great! They wanted to know that if they got to purple, were they “safe” from yellow. No. What about going back to green, am I in trouble. No. I was thinking, geez this is the clip chart! Where is my darned clip chart in this closet!
So I am completely circumventing the index cards and going with the clip chart from the beginning this year! I am excited to get the cumbersome pocket chart rack out of the way, too! I shared my clip chart download yesterday as a freebie.
I hope this was not too much info overload. I am still feeling a little under the weather and may or may not be doped up on Nyquil…but there is so much I want to share! Up next, class/yes and teach/ok! I will also be doing other procedures, homework, and faq posts.


  1. Love the little monster cards! See! Now you have something to link up:)))))) Go do it;))

    4th Grade Frolics

  2. P.S. I'm looking in to doing the WBT thing...I may/will be picking your brain if that's ok..lol:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I have implemented some of the management techniques before, but never changed over to it completely. I am researching WBT some more and hope to be able to use it next year :) Thanks for the monster cards. They are too cute.

    My (Not So) Elementary Life

  4. I have been following WBT ideas on blogs & I'm really excited to try it next year with my students. Thanks so much for the card freebie!
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  5. I love WBT and have been using it for a bit over a year!!! :)
    I don't use the practice cards because I work at a PBIS school where we use clip charts!!
    ❤ Sandra
    Sweet Times in First

  6. I love the clip chart because it allows me a way acknowledge those kids are almost always doing right. I don't get stuck focusing on the kids making poor choices. I also like it because no one is stuck...they can change their choices and not let it ruin their whole day, if the mess up in the morning. My chart is portable...I attached it to a yardstick. Check it out, Chickadee Jubilee

    Chickadee Jubilee


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