Now that I am in summer mode, I loaded up my kindle with some must read teacher books. First on my list is Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle. I chose this book first because it’s only $7.99 as a kindle download, and also because I dabbled in WBT this year and wanted to learn more. There is a summer book club going on over at http://wbtbookclub.blogspot.com/.
I love that all of the materials for WBT are free over at their website, www.wholebrainteaching.com. Materials that other teachers create are also free over at Teachers Pay Teachers. You might remember that I created a set of the rules to reflect my multicultural classroom back in this blog post in November.
On to the Book Study!
Chapter 1 of the book was all about who created WBT and who uses WBT. Not only is this good management for your entire classroom, but it is a great way to diffuse those power struggles with your challenging kids. I used to work at a pretty rough school and sometimes I would come home so angry. Angry for not receiving enough support from admin, angry for not being able to do everything that was mandated each day, angry that I couldn’t reach each and every one of my 33 students. I was exhausted and fed up. Instead of leaving the teaching profession, my family and I moved to Hawaii (well, some other reasons factored in, as well). At my new school, I could start over and try new things to become a better teacher. One of these new things was Whole Brain Teaching. I loved that it is focused on fun. I loved that it was quick paced and got every student involved. After going a year of dabbling in the techniques and trying it out as I also learned a new grade level, new standards, new curriculum, and a new school system, I am ready to go full out next year. I am so excited to learn more about WBT and to see it translate into good teaching and learning in the classroom!
In chapter 2, Biffle tells us the First Great law of Whole Brian Teaching: “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” I am GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) certified and the GLAD model of sheltered instruction says that students need 2 minutes of processing for every 10 minutes of instruction. They call this a 10/2. After 10 minutes, have students turn and talk about what they just learned to a neighbor. WBT uses this same approach, it just creates a much more structured routine for doing this, a routine that every student can follow and know the expectation to.
Another technique of WBT that crosses over with GLAD is the use of TPR (Total Physical Response). TPR is the idea that by assigning movement to learning new vocabulary or language students will remember the term better. Since WBT assigns movement with the different rules and routines, I knew that my students would be engaged and learning much more than if I were to just tell them my expectations and leave it at that.
Have you ever felt like me? Angry and beaten down? If so, WBT might be the boost your classroom needs! Join me as I read the book and follow the book study!
To continue following along with the book study, I have created a WBT-only blog at Whole Brain Teaching With Style, and all other WBT posts will be over there! 🙂