Sunday, September 11, 2011

Whole Brain Teaching

Here we go!  We are about 3 weeks into the new school year, and I have quickly realized (again) that the learning strategies that make work really well with one class will not work at all with another.  Rats!  If only our job were that easy!  This year, I am a really energetic, busy group of kids.  Completely opposite from my quiet group last year!  These little learners LOVE to talk.  All the time.  All day.  Every day.  So, it's time to change how I am teaching!  They aren't going to take in the information like my kids last year, so I don't need to give them information that way.

Introducing:  Whole Brain Teaching.  I have used elements of whole brain teaching in my classroom management since last year, but I have not used the instructional elements to their full potential.  I am most specifically focusing on the strategy of "Teach OK", where I teach the kids a concept, then they teach each other the concept.  It incorporates so many levels of thinking!  Here is an example of one way I have used the Teach OK strategy:

Me:  Class!
Students:  Yes!
Me:  Gestures! (Students lift their hands to imitate my movements like a mirror image)  Today we are going to learn to order numbers, putting them in order from least to greatest, or greatest to least, by stacking them.  (Throughout this statement, I move my hands to show meaning of the words.  Small for least, then spread my arms for greatest, and for stacking I may pretend to make a stack with my hands.)
Students:  (Imitate teachers hand movements.)
Teacher:  XXTeach!
Students:  XX OK!  (Students turn to their pre assigned partners and re-teach the concept to them, by using gestures that they just learned.) 
Teacher:  Classity Class!
Students:  Yessity Yes!
Teacher:  (Begins next lesson)

Since this is a little confusing, take a look that this 1st grade teacher using some of the whole brain teaching concepts:

All things whole brain teaching can be seen/found on Chris Biffle's website.  Registration is free, so check it out!

Whole Brain Teaching

Here are a few pictures of my students using the Teach OK strategy to determine different ways to make the same amount of money:

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