Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WBT Chapters 1 and 2

Chapters 1&2: Intro and Origin

Coach B says... "You've just been made principal of a school and you're about to address your staff for the first time. Select three points from chapters 1 and 2 that you are going to talk about describing key aspects of Whole Brain Teaching. Include one story about your teaching experience."

Welcome to a new school year! I'm excited to share with you a way of managing your classroom that will be fun for you and your students called Whole Brain Teaching. When I first started teaching, I found teaching and disciplining exhausting and  could see that my students were not very focused on what I was teaching them. I tried telling and repeating, but it wasn't enough. I searched for many years and tried tons of different classroom management techniques, but none of them worked.  Then last year, I started hearing about Whole Brain Teaching on some of my favorite teaching blogs. I was intrigued by the concept of teaching so that students whole brains were involved. I watched many YouTube videos of students who were rehearsing simple rules and following directions quickly. They were hearing small amounts of information from the teacher and then teaching each other that same information.  On top of all of that, the students were very excited to be learning and teaching. Wow! I thought, this would be wonderful!  At the beginning of the last school year, I used Whole Brain Teaching with my students and they were more attentive and excited about learning. On my evaluation, my students scored higher in the area of being engaged learners.

I'd like to share with you a few key aspects of Whole Brain Teaching. First, the longer you talk, the more students you will lose. If teachers present large amounts of information to their students at once, more and more students will tune out the longer they speak. However, if you, as a teacher present the information in small amounts and have the students teach each other the same information, they will retain the new concepts.

Another key aspect that the founder of Whole Brain Teaching, Coach Biffle found was that the "students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving." It is hard for challenging kids to be challenging because their entire brains are too busy learning. They have no extra brain power to come up with other problematic activities because their minds are full of learning. 

A final key aspect is that much of the training is freely given. There is a small cost for the book, but there is an enormous amount of free eBooks and videos from which to receive training. We will be having further professional development opportunities throughout the year on this topic at staff meetings. I will be purchasing "Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids" books for all staff members so that everyone can continue learning more about how to become great While Brain Teachers. I'm looking forward to working with all of you this year.

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