Have you heard about Whole Brain Teaching? If you haven't, it is the brain child of Chris Biffle. The idea behind Whole Brain Teaching is "based on cutting edge scientific research, Whole Brain Teaching recognizes that students learn the most when they are engaged in lessons that involve seeing, hearing, doing, speaking and feeling." (Taken from the Whole Brain Teaching website: http://www.wholebrainteaching.com/)
Last year I moved into a new school, in a new city. Half way through the school year I realized I had used and exhausted all my "teacher tricks" and I felt that I was still not getting through to my students. At that point, I blogstalked my favorite blogs and tried to figured out how to incorporate strategies to connect with my students. This is how I stumbled across Whole Brain Teaching.
Here is an example of Whole Brain Teaching.
Rachel from The Tattooed Teacher, Amanda from Teaching Maddeness, Stephanie from 3rd grade Thoughts all have wonderful information on their blogs about Whole Brain Teaching. (Plus freebies to help you get started.)
After reading a couple of blogs and watching a tons of videos online, I decided to try some of the strategies in my classroom. I had immediate and positive responses in my classroom. My students loved it! The best part...the behavior was down to a minimum because all of my students were too busy doing the movements to talk to their neighbors! Whoop Whoop! Last year I only introduced the scoreboard, the Class Rules, and Class, Yes?.
This is a great video on introducing the WBT basics to your class. In my class, I probability won't introduce ALL of those concepts in the same day, instead I would spread them over the course of the week or two depending on how fast your students are catching on to these routines. This year I am going to try to incorporate more of the movements within the lessons and the Student Improver Wall. Chris Biffle does a wonderful job explaining the Student Improver Wall in the video below.
I really like this idea because it allows ALL my students to work on the skills that they need to work on while still being successful. The only concern I have is I am going to have a big class of 28 students next year and I don't really have a whole lot of room on my classroom walls. So I made these small name cards so I would have enough room to have all my students in the same spot.
As Chris Biffle said you can have the levels be named anything that will work with whatever theme you have in your classroom. I used the free Super Improver levels from Tara at Little Minds at Work. So the cards that I made for each student align with her levels.
Hopefully this made some sense. I am excited to get started.
As a side note: I am not getting anything from Chris Biffle or the Whole Brain Teaching organization. Nor am I an expert in any of these strategies.