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October 26, 2015

# How to Create Ninja Masters in Your Class

No matter the age of students that we teach, when we look at the scope of what we have to cover during the course of a school year, it can be daunting to see how far our students have to grow in that time. To help our students reach the big milestones of learning we have to turn them into learning ninjas! Follow these four easy steps, and use the included data sheet to help your young ninjas master your grade level content.

## Step One

Know the stages of becoming a ninja. The belt order is:
White
Yellow
Green
Blue
Red
Black

## Step Two

Determine the larger, long-term objective that you are working on. Break that objective into smaller, benchmark objectives. Match your benchmark objectives with the colors of ninja mastery.

### Example One:

Long-Term Objective
Students will count to 100 by ones and by tens. (Common Core Math Standard K.CC.A.1)

Benchmark Objectives
Count to 10 by ones.
Count to 20 by ones.
Count to 50 by ones.
Count to 100 by ones.
Count to 50 by tens.
Count to 100 by tens.

Stage of Ninja Training
Count to 10 by ones: white belt
Count to 20 by ones: yellow belt
Count to 50 by ones: green belt
Count to 100 by ones: blue belt
Count to 50 by tens: red belt
Count to 100 by tens: black belt

Success
The student mastered the long-term objective and therefore is a ninja master of counting to 100 by ones and tens.

### Example Two

Long-Term Objective
Students will print all uppercase and lowercase letters. (Common Core ELA Standard L.K.1.A)

Benchmark Objectives
Print 3 uppercase and lowercase letters
Print 8 uppercase and lowercase letters
Print 13 uppercase and lowercase letters
Print 18 uppercase and lowercase letters
Print 23 uppercase and lowercase letters
Print 26 uppercase and lowercase letters

Stage of Ninja Training
Print 3 uppercase and lowercase letters: white belt
Print 8 uppercase and lowercase letters: yellow belt
Print 13 uppercase and lowercase letters: green belt
Print 18 uppercase and lowercase letters: blue belt
Print 23 uppercase and lowercase letters: red belt
Print 26 uppercase and lowercase letters: black belt

Success
The student mastered the long-term objective and therefore is a ninja master of printing ALL (not just many) uppercase and lowercase letters.

## Step Three

In his book, Visual Learning for Teachers, John Hattie discusses what a statistically sound instructional strategy it is to allow kids to set and monitor personal goals. Using this data sheet allows your students to see their long-term goals and their benchmark objectives. They color the belt the appropriate color when they earn that level of mastery. If you are using data notebooks in your classroom, this will fit perfectly in with the tracking of the data. If you aren’t using data notebooks, this would be a simple introduction into what a big impact tracking data can make to your students.

## Step Four

Keep the ninja fury going with these five great titles. Reading each of the listed books sporadically throughout the year is a great way to remind your class that they are working towards those black belts!

Ninja, Ninja, Never Stop!
by Todd Tuell and illustrated by Tad Carpenter
A fun romp that will have your class ducking, chopping, kicking, and blocking Grandma’s kiss as you read about this ninja’s escapades. Will this rhyming ninja let his younger brother become a ninja partner or will he stay a lone ninja?

Ninja!
by Arree Chung
The title character screams, “I AM A NINJA!” and takes us on a fun journey of surprises and challenges as he searches for a sacred item. There is a twist that ends with our brave ninja being dishonored. Will he be able to make things right?

Nighttime Ninja
by Barbara DaCosta and art by Ed Young
This ninja embarks on a secret, midnight mission. Using sparse words and construction paper style illustrations, this ninja solves problems like a pro until he gets caught in the middle of his mission. Will our ninja survive his capture?

My Nanna is a Ninja
by Damon Young and illustrated by Peter Carnavas
Some nannas read books, some nannas ski, and other nannas teach, but this nanna is a ninja. A great rhyming book that talks about how nannas can be different but shows that they all love their grandkids in their own special ways.

Ninja Red Riding Hood
by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Dan Santat
A fantastic twist on the classic "Little Red Riding Hood" story combines awesome rhymes and Caldecott winner Santat’s amazing illustrations to tell the story of how Red meets the Wolf in an old-fashioned ninja contest. Will Red be able to save her Gran or will Gran step in to help save Red? Make sure you pre-read this book because it’s a guaranteed laugh-out-loud experience the first time you read it.

Enjoy your journey into becoming a ninja teacher.

I can’t wait to see you next time.

No matter the age of students that we teach, when we look at the scope of what we have to cover during the course of a school year, it can be daunting to see how far our students have to grow in that time. To help our students reach the big milestones of learning we have to turn them into learning ninjas! Follow these four easy steps, and use the included data sheet to help your young ninjas master your grade level content.

## Step One

Know the stages of becoming a ninja. The belt order is:
White
Yellow
Green
Blue
Red
Black

## Step Two

Determine the larger, long-term objective that you are working on. Break that objective into smaller, benchmark objectives. Match your benchmark objectives with the colors of ninja mastery.

### Example One:

Long-Term Objective
Students will count to 100 by ones and by tens. (Common Core Math Standard K.CC.A.1)

Benchmark Objectives
Count to 10 by ones.
Count to 20 by ones.
Count to 50 by ones.
Count to 100 by ones.
Count to 50 by tens.
Count to 100 by tens.

Stage of Ninja Training
Count to 10 by ones: white belt
Count to 20 by ones: yellow belt
Count to 50 by ones: green belt
Count to 100 by ones: blue belt
Count to 50 by tens: red belt
Count to 100 by tens: black belt

Success
The student mastered the long-term objective and therefore is a ninja master of counting to 100 by ones and tens.

### Example Two

Long-Term Objective
Students will print all uppercase and lowercase letters. (Common Core ELA Standard L.K.1.A)

Benchmark Objectives
Print 3 uppercase and lowercase letters
Print 8 uppercase and lowercase letters
Print 13 uppercase and lowercase letters
Print 18 uppercase and lowercase letters
Print 23 uppercase and lowercase letters
Print 26 uppercase and lowercase letters

Stage of Ninja Training
Print 3 uppercase and lowercase letters: white belt
Print 8 uppercase and lowercase letters: yellow belt
Print 13 uppercase and lowercase letters: green belt
Print 18 uppercase and lowercase letters: blue belt
Print 23 uppercase and lowercase letters: red belt
Print 26 uppercase and lowercase letters: black belt

Success
The student mastered the long-term objective and therefore is a ninja master of printing ALL (not just many) uppercase and lowercase letters.

## Step Three

In his book, Visual Learning for Teachers, John Hattie discusses what a statistically sound instructional strategy it is to allow kids to set and monitor personal goals. Using this data sheet allows your students to see their long-term goals and their benchmark objectives. They color the belt the appropriate color when they earn that level of mastery. If you are using data notebooks in your classroom, this will fit perfectly in with the tracking of the data. If you aren’t using data notebooks, this would be a simple introduction into what a big impact tracking data can make to your students.

## Step Four

Keep the ninja fury going with these five great titles. Reading each of the listed books sporadically throughout the year is a great way to remind your class that they are working towards those black belts!

Ninja, Ninja, Never Stop!
by Todd Tuell and illustrated by Tad Carpenter
A fun romp that will have your class ducking, chopping, kicking, and blocking Grandma’s kiss as you read about this ninja’s escapades. Will this rhyming ninja let his younger brother become a ninja partner or will he stay a lone ninja?

Ninja!
by Arree Chung
The title character screams, “I AM A NINJA!” and takes us on a fun journey of surprises and challenges as he searches for a sacred item. There is a twist that ends with our brave ninja being dishonored. Will he be able to make things right?

Nighttime Ninja
by Barbara DaCosta and art by Ed Young
This ninja embarks on a secret, midnight mission. Using sparse words and construction paper style illustrations, this ninja solves problems like a pro until he gets caught in the middle of his mission. Will our ninja survive his capture?

My Nanna is a Ninja
by Damon Young and illustrated by Peter Carnavas
Some nannas read books, some nannas ski, and other nannas teach, but this nanna is a ninja. A great rhyming book that talks about how nannas can be different but shows that they all love their grandkids in their own special ways.

Ninja Red Riding Hood
by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Dan Santat
A fantastic twist on the classic "Little Red Riding Hood" story combines awesome rhymes and Caldecott winner Santat’s amazing illustrations to tell the story of how Red meets the Wolf in an old-fashioned ninja contest. Will Red be able to save her Gran or will Gran step in to help save Red? Make sure you pre-read this book because it’s a guaranteed laugh-out-loud experience the first time you read it.

Enjoy your journey into becoming a ninja teacher.

I can’t wait to see you next time.

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