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Interview with 2nd grade teacher

Betty Smith


Guidance Counselor



Resource Guide

linking to

Common Core

State Standards



"What Went Right Today? was the book our school selected to kick off a special Artist in Residence Program.

The students loved the optimistic words and bouncy music.

I continue to use the book during Morning Meeting, as well as other times, to set a positive tone for the day.

The book is both fun and meaningful."

Jeanne Muzi, 2009 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year



  • Research

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    Foundational Research


    As the saying goes, “How you think is everything.”  Research is soundly supporting this adage.  The “Nun Study”, authored by Deborah Danner, David Snowdon and Wallace Friesen, University of Kentucky School of Medicine, reawakened researchers to the life-long impact of positive thoughts developed at an early age.  Subsequent research indicates that a positivity ratio of three positive comments to one (3:1) appropriate criticism is linked to adults’ ability to flourish (Barbara Fredrickson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).  For young children the positive ratio is 8:1, according to the Center for the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL), under the direction of Mary Louise Hemmeter, Vanderbilt University.


    Educational research provides evidence that academic achievement is strongly influenced by conversation.  Hart and Risly (1992) found that low quality exchanges between child and parent negatively impacted the child's academic abilities.  Conversations that both the child and adult find interesting have been linked to academic success as compared with statements that are more directive (Katz & Snow, 2000).  Beneficial results are also seen when parents engage in conversations that help their children observe, compare, reflect, predict, empathize, and reason (Tough, 1982).


    The importance of positivity and grit (valuing struggles) has been the focus of Martin Seligman, Angela Duckworth and others at the University of Pennsylvania. Seligman's PERMA project teaches that the components of positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose, and accomplishments are academic success builders. The PERMA project involves parents as well as teachers and students.  Seligman has also teamed with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Claremont Graduate University, whose research on flow has critical implications for student focus, interest, and work completion in school.


    In addition to psychological studies, research on the human brain has brought an explosion of excitement and promise to our understanding into how we learn best. Brain research is unfolding a picture of how human beings are biologically designed to learn and flourish when provided with the appropriate interactions.   Brain research along with the above mentioned psychological studies provide the background, rationale, and theoretical implications for What Went Right Today?


    What Went Right Today? Research

    During the 2010 – 2011 school year author Joan Buzick, through the Philadelphia Office on Non-Public Programs, presented highlights of the above research in conjunction with introducing, What Went Right Today?, the theme, book, song and supplemental journal.   Parents and teachers in over 100 schools attended the workshop “What Went Right Today?: A Positive Way to Learn” over an eight month period.  The workshops received overwhelming positive reviews, evaluations, hand-written “thank you’s” and phone calls from the parents and teachers.   As a result, the program was asked back for an unprecedented second year. Year two of the program was expanded into “What Went Right Today?: The Way We Learn”.

    Individual schools which have adopted What Went Right Today? as a multi-year theme are reporting positive changes in student behaviors both academically and behaviorally.  Teacher reports indicate that What Went Right Today? is an excellent avenue for getting students into the “flow”.

    In addition to the Philadelphia school program we are cataloging evidence of the effectiveness of What Went Right Today? through teacher and parent reports.  Teachers have reported multi-year use of the book, song and theme and have provided us with artifacts such as an end of the year student summary, class and art work, and anecdotal evidence of student successes and student and parent comments.


    What Went Right Today? Book Design

    How a book is written matters. What Went Right Today? has been endorsed by acclaimed reading experts including Dorothy Strickland, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University and Linda Thompson, Ph.D., assessment consultant and child literacy expert.  The book received  The Benjamin Franklin Award for "Best Children's Audio Book" and the Teacher's Award for the Family from Learning Magazine.


    A great deal of thought was incorporated into the design of What Went Right Today?  Yes, the students love the boo and song and are overwhelmingly excited about answering the questions.  The open ended questions can stretch thinking skills of young readers with questions such as “What will make this a good day?  Moreover, What Went Right Today? is a “pre-chapter” book, divided into three sections. The students work from the beginning of the day to summing up the good events of the day. From the front cover to the back cover there is much  to be discussed.


    We look forward to discovering

    What Went Right Today? in your school.


  • Parent Involvement

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    Authors Joan Buzick and Lindy Judd and Senior Curriculum Advisor, Deb Brady offer two highly regarded programs for parents.


    What Went Right Today?: The Way We Learn is an informative workshop where learning and the brain, positive psychology and everyday life come together.  Parents consistently give this workshop high ratings.  *This acclaimed program was asked back for a second year in Philadelphia reaching parents in over a hundred schools.*


    What Went Right Today?: Parents and Students Together is a dynamic and fun program where students and parents share their stories, building relationships and positive thinking.  Both adult and child are amazed at the stories they hear.  All go home with smiles, stories and refined communication skills.


  • Professional Development

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    We offer highly informative and practical professional sessions.


    Presentation 1:  The Research Behind What Went Right Today?


    This session presents educational and psychological research behind What Went Right Today?  Areas of research will include brain development, positive psychology and parent involvement and their impact on learning and behavior.


    What Went Right Today? has been implemented by teachers, schools and educational programs.  We are continually collecting data regarding the effectiveness of the program.  The results of ongoing research  will be disseminated during this session, enhancing your school's implementation of the program.



    "I totally enjoyed the presentation and especially the information about the brain and how to motivate our children.  WWRT is a wonderful program to use every day."

    ~ Philadelphia School Teacher


    Presentation 2:  Implementing What Went Right Today?


    What Went Right Today? allows for activities to seamlessly flow across grade levels and content areas.  Teachers and school staff will be introduced to and begin coordinating the  What Went Right Today? educational activities and theme.  Using the Resource Guide,  your school will have a strong introduction anda rapid start for implementing this positive educational learning experience.


    Deb and Joan are experts in curriculum  and have provided professional development that addressed common core standards and common core assessment instruments.


    Administrators and teachers praise these workshops for providing the evidence on why and how we learn best and for the ease of implementation.

  • Informational Programs

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    Program 1

    ● Teacher / Staff PD - Workshop 1 (1.5 hours)

    ● Teacher / Staff PD - Workshop 2 (1.5 hours)

    ● Student Program (3 hour school visit)

    ● Parent Meeting or Parent and Child (1.5 hours)


    Program 2

    ● Teacher/Staff PD - Workshop 1 or 2 (1.5 hours)

    ● Student Program (3 hour school visit)

    ● Parent Meeting or Parent and child (1.5hours)


    Program 3

    ● Teacher/Staff PD - Workshop 1 or 2 (1.5 hours)

    ● Student Program (3 hour school visit)


    Program 4

    ● Teacher/Staff PD - (1 hour webinar)

    ● Student Program (3 hour school visit)


    Program 5

    ● Teacher/Staff PD (1.5 hour session)



  • Middle School / High School / College

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    What Went Right Today? is an intergenerational theme of optimism and hope for all to share.


    The practices and research behind What Went Right Today? are an eye opening experience into how we can flourish academically and emotionally.  This information is important for college education majors as they work toward their future careers as teachers and for personal self-discovery about learning.


    As teachers from the preschool through the college level, Joan, Lindy and Deb provide this information in interactive  and memorable workshops to college students, high school and middle school students down to preschoolers.


    Middle school and high school students have found the research on positivity and brain development offers powerful insights into their motivation and interest in life and planning for a fufilling career.

  • Presenter Qualifications for  Joan Buzick

    Joan Buzick, author and composer of What Went Right Today?, is an advocate for children, families and educators.  She has worked with many dedicated individuals and celebrates those who give their heart and soul to children.


    The Philadelphia Office of Non-Public Schools selected “What Went Right Today?: A Positive Way to Learn” for the 2010-2011 monthly parent – teacher series.  The response was so overwhelmingly positive that Joan was invited back in 2011-2012 to present “What Went Right Today?: The Way We Learn".


    Since the publication of What Went Right Today?, Joan has presented numerous programs to teachers, parents and children.





    New York University, New York City, NY

    M.A., Applied Psychology


    Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ

    M.A., Educational Administration

    Emphasis in Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision

    Honors: with Distinction


    College of New Jersey

    Administrators Program (Early Childhood)


    Kean University of New Jersey

    B.A., Music Education

    Coursework in Early Childhood Education


    Professional Affiliations

    Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, New Jersey

    Course Instructor, Educational Psychology

    Early Childhood Curriculum and Assessment (Summer 2012)


    CTB/McGraw-Hill, Monterey, CA – Assessment Consultant

    Provide professional development and analysis linked to assessment instruments for students Pre-K through Adult. Current emphasis on Common Core State Standards and Assessment


    Learning and the Brain Conference: “Stress, Memory & Achievement: Poverty and Prejudice”, Moderator by Invitation, Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University, New York, New York (April, 2011)


    Toastmasters International, Community service, coordinator/coach for Youth Leadership Program for middle school and high school students in Jersey City, NJ and in the North Jersey Home Schoolers Association



  • Presenter Qualifications for Deb Brady


    Deb’s career in education spans 32 years and includes 21 years as a classroom teacher and 11 years as an administrator in the capacity of vice principal and principal.


    Classroom experience has provided first-hand knowledge of curriculum implementation as well as insight and introspection on how children learn and the importance of creating a positive classroom environment to enhance academic learning.


    As an administrator she has experience in the creation of theme-based curriculum, managed instruction, student personnel services, and supervision for the effective delivery of instruction with regards to teaching and learning.


    Her career was enhanced through doctoral studies in Educational Leadership.


    Related training includes:

    • Working With Families: Strengths, Supports, and


    • Responding to the Challenge of School Violence

    • Bullying

    • Collegial Consulting

    • Focus on Results: New American Schools

    • Disney Institute for Leadership

    • Data Collection and Analysis

    • Instructional Rounds in Education

    • The Strategic School

    • Merck Institute for Science Education

    • Merck Institute for Mathematics Instruction Lenses

      on Learning K-5 and 6-12

    • Assessment of Teacher Competence

  • Presenter Qualifications for  Julie Germann

    Julie joins WWRT after 31 years as a public school teacher and administrator in Missouri.  She served 25 years as an elementary principal, and 3 years in central office administration in charge of curriculum and instruction.  Julie met Joan through work with CTB/ McGraw Hill, and quickly became a fan of what WWRT offers to students, parents and teachers.


    In addition to her education career, Julie has served as president of the Missouri Elementary Principal's Association, and done significant work with MO PLC, Dr. Ruby Payne's poverty work, and leadership mentoring.  She is currently working on certification for the National Institute of School Leadership, to be a trainer for that project in Missouri.  She continues her education service by being elected to her local board of education in 2011, and serving on the advisory board for Willard Care to Learn, a not-for-profit organization that works to support the "hunger, health and hygiene" needs of students.

Parent Involvement to Classroom Implementation

“Joan's enlightening message regarding

‘What Went Right Today?’

and the positive school program has created major, lasting benefits to the students, teachers and parents.”

Jack Irwin, Past-Director

Philadelphia Office of Non-Public Programs

WWRT: What Went Right Today? and What Went RIght Today?

are  Service Marks of Buz-Land Presentations, Inc.  All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2012-2014 Buz-Land Presentations, Inc.