Super Improver Wall is a concept within the Whole Brain Teaching system that is pure positive reinforcement. Students are rewarded with nothing more than stars for showing significant improvement in academics, behavior or both. What qualifies as “significant improvement” is relative to each student and the task, which you as the teacher can judge on an individual basis.
The Purpose of a Super Improver Wall
In Chapter 15 of his book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, Chris Biffle describes the purpose of the Super Improver Wall as encouraging students to go beyond their best effort. “In every classroom across the land, we should be giving our classes the same, invigorating message, “Go out there and break your personal records!”” By rewarding students for showing steady improvement, you create a system where every student has an equal chance at success.
From Theory to Practice
In my preparation for going 100% Whole Brain Teaching, I had set up my own wall in a corner of the classroom. However, it wasn’t until I was faced with the very real prospect of having some challenging students of my own next year that the idea behind the Super Improver Wall went from a theoretical concept to a practical strategy! I knew I would need something that was positive, easy to implement and maintain, and would be motivating to my students.
An Inspiring Video
Fortunately, in the world of Whole Brain Teaching, there are many wonderful teachers who serve as pioneers and mentors. That’s what Deanna Schuler’s video did for me. In just 15 minutes she inspired me to fine-tune my Super Improver Wall and gave me the faith to believe that it could work in my classroom. Check out her video below and see if you don’t find yourself encouraged to set up your own Super Improver Wall!
Super Improver Wall Re-Design
I got right to work designing my own materials for the Super Improver Wall after watching Deanna’s video, especially knowing that I would have a few of my own “special friends” come August. I invested about $30 in colored copy paper from Staples and used a template in Microsoft Word to create 3″ x 5″ cards for both the levels and name cards. As for stars, I will simply use an ink pen and draw in their stars as they are earned. Once a student gets 10 stars, their name card comes down and will serve “double duty” as their certificate for advancing to the next level.
From Excellence to Growth
For more information, I would encourage you to read Chapter 15 in Chris Biffle’s book, or do a search at YouTube for other teachers’ videos. I also found several photos of sample walls by doing a Google Images search. There are many variations to use as inspiration for your own wall. Even if you don’t have a room full of “special friends,” what student wouldn’t be motivated by seeing their progress documented all year long? Let’s change our focus from academic excellence to continuous student improvement using the Super Improver Wall.