Whole Brain Teaching Week 1

Happy Friday! How was your day/week?

My week went SO much better than my last few because of Whole Brain Teaching (WBT)! Last week I talked about how I was beginning to implement whole brain teaching strategies here and I am SO glad I did!

What have I implemented so far?

Class-Yes as an attention getter.

My thoughts: Love it. It is easy, fast, effective. What more could you ask for?

Teaching in about 30 second increments using hand gestures constantly.

My thoughts: Difficult to get used to. My students have such a short attention span, this strategy is so beneficial to them. I feel I still get my point across but talk for such a smaller portions of time. Hard to get used to but it does help my students. I'm getting better at coming up the hand gestures.. not always easy!

Have students 'Mirror' me after every major point in my teaching. Basically after every 30 second increment of teaching. 

My thoughts: Students who were never able to remember what I said or what we are even learning about are now able to. This is big people! It really helps them process what I said. Some of them get annoyed by mirroring me so often (the ones with cool caps on) but when I don't do it they aren't understanding my teaching then we go back and they mirror and they get it!

Also this does take time. It makes my lessons longer. When I get better at teaching this way and my kids start getting faster it shouldn't take as long though.

My students who don't pay attention and just stare into space still stare into space. It is hard for them to keep up but hoping this will improve. Do you think they will? You know those babies who just have the most difficult time paying attention and just looking at you when you talk? I seem to have a few of them.

Teach-Ok, students teach their fellow student what they just learned also using hand gestures.

My thoughts: My students are used to turning and talking to their partners, they were already numbered 1's and 2's but we call them peanut butters and jelly's.  We have been doing this all year so their pretty good about it.

I try not to tell them who goes first because I want them to talk at the same time and both use the hand gestures. We are still working on doing this successfully. We do a lot of modeling on how to do this correct and incorrect.

Also they have such a hard time coming back to me QUICKLY. Next year will focus on teaching this at the beginning of the year because mine are little tortoises!

The :) and :( board in which more points on the :) meant extra recess time and more points on the :( side meant less recess time.

My thoughts: For when my students earn less recess time I literally make them stand by the play ground and they aren't allowed to play.. just stand there watching their recess time diminish. They got more sad face points yesterday.. I don't think they want to do that again. Anyone have a better idea for what more :( could earn? Homework isn't an option.

10 Finger Whoooo

My thoughts: This is one thing the kids LOVE! It makes them so much more engaged even in simple question and answer sessions since they are constantly whooing people who get correct answers. Will be adding more fun cheers next week. I'm so excited for the cheers just as the kids are.

Overall I'm loving WBT.

My class and I did a really complicated foldable on long vowel sounds I don't think we would have EVER got through without WBT. It makes teaching not so fun sight words fun now that I add gestures to everything. Also students are remembering what their directions to workstations are after they teach their partners what they are to do there.

I think thats enough examples. I have many more if you want to hear them :)

I've noticed that this week my lessons have taken a lot longer with WBT since my kiddo's aren't following directions quickly. They are going turtle speed sometimes. Also when the they aren't doing something correct we go back and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse so that takes up a lot of time. It is much, much better than me raising my voice through or nagging them.

In for the mornings they have 0 enthusiasm. I feel like I'm teaching zombies sometimes. I have them mirror me and do silly things to try to wake up. I guess they aren't used to responding all the time and moving fast? I don't know.

I can't wait to implement the rules next school year and a variety of other elements that isn't practical to implement when I only have 6 weeks of school left. For now I will just be sticking with these WBT tactics.

I can't really express how whole brain teaching is just what I was looking for. I can't wait to teach my new kiddos next year and I will for sure have to post videos of my classroom!

How was your week? Despite having a great week I am so glad it's Friday! :)

Any big plans this weekend? My boyfriend will be running a 10 mile race so I'm looking forward to cheering him on.

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