1- Leadership Training and the Self Managing Class move those Alphas up to Leaders ASAP! Training students to become student leaders is a series of purposeful tasks. It takes a teacher who understands the importance of a class developing leadership traits as it relates to future academic achievements. Having student leaders would certainly help my students feel more ownership in the class.2- Scoreboard Levels are just like video games! The beauty of the Scoreboard is that it has levels. A teacher doesn’t have to re-create the wheel multiple times during the year to keep the students motivated. The Scoreboard has levels (e.g., practice cards, the Guff Counter, the Independents) when your class needs a new level of engagement. The Scoreboard will change the climate of my classroom completely and will allow me to progress to the next developed strategy as needed.3- Cooperative Learning and Direct Instruction means that kids (and teachers) can have their cake and eat it too! Strategies from two great brain based learning are combined to build memory retention, engage the students in learning and provide positive reinforcement for a safe learning environment. As a resource teacher, I use direct instruction as the primary means of instruction. It has been more difficult for me to incorporate cooperative learning for my students who require so much assistance. I found ways to do this at the end of last year and know that the use of teaching a partner on a regular basis will strengthen cooperative learning opportunities, too.4- Palasigue’s Study of Student Negative Behaviors demonstrates that WBT wiped out 50% of classroom unwanted behaviors! Antecedent behavior changes in the environment are always more preferable than having to extinguish an inappropriate behavior. Ten Finger Woo for a teaching strategy that involves the students so completely that there is very little time for students to even engage in negative behaviors (e.g., laying head down on desk, wandering around classroom). I have needed this forever.When I employ leadership training to move my students from one level to the next, use the Scoreboard levels to keep motivation at peek operation and utilize the WBT tactics including The Big 7 strategies, my classroom is going to replicate the conditions that Palasigue described in his research. Unwanted negative student behaviors were decreased by half just by teaching with WBT. This is so amazing that one just has to wonder why everyone doesn’t use WBT.
Kathy,Very good post! I am only able to award you 10 points due to editing errors: "Strategies from two great brain based learning are combined to build memory retention,..." "...use the Scoreboard levels to keep motivation at peek operation..."
I can not even begin to tell you how many times I read and reread this post. I used spell check multiple times but if there's a word such as peak and peek, spell check doesn't catch it and obviously neither did my brain. LOLI know the first error was that I took out the word "styles" accidentally when fixing something else. Then my brain just read it as learning styles. "It's okay". I've made it through almost all of the chapters now with only three typos (so far) so even though my eyes are beginning to cross from reading and re-reading---I'll push on! Oh, yeah!
You're still cool, Kathy! Your Certification Journey is going strong!
Thanks, Nancy. I'm certainly living and breathing nothing but WBT! LOL
In Chapter 26, the idea of students being classroom leaders could be quite helpful, especially with those students who generally act out to get attention. Being a class leader would help to make this student feel important, and hopefully cut back on the misbehavior. Most students who act out just want attention, and by being classroom leaders they would be getting positive attention instead of negative. Turning over a prepared lesson to a group of students is probably something I would try until the second half of the year. I can see where giving students more classroom responsibility can be helpful to me because it should eliminate a lot of the misbehavior, thus leaving more time for teaching and learning. All of Chapter 27 should help my teaching, from the Big Seven to the Scoreboard Levels. One of the weakest areas in a teacher’s college education is classroom management. Most new teachers go into the classroom with no or little idea of how to manage the students. Even veteran teachers have problems with it. The Big Seven and the Scoreboard Levels are a management system that is easy to implement and fun for the students. In addition, it teaches the students responsibility. By having a well managed classroom, the teacher can focus more on teaching the students, and they can focus on learning while having fun!The research presented in Chapter 27 was very interesting and mentioned some names that I have studied before (Vygotsky, Marzano). Vygotsky states that social interaction is important to learning and development. In addition, students need to have concepts repeated again and again in order to retain it. Classroom management is also important to allow students to learn. Whole Brain Teaching does all of this. Students interact as they teach and review with partners, while at the same time they are repeating information. WBT is a wonderful classroom management system that allows students to learn while having fun. All of this should make me a better teacher.The additional research from Chapter 29 shows me that teachers who have used Whole Brain Teaching in their classrooms have seen success. It’s reported that their test scores, reading levels, etc. have increased, and this is enough for me to want to at least try WBT in my classroom. With the numbers presented in Chapter 29, I feel that WBT must have some significance. After all, how could all those teachers be wrong?
Cheryl,Great job! Your comments on classroom management training are right on! Here are 25 points and a 5 point Bonus!
Chapter 26I loved the idea of helping children develop leadership skills! I plan to allow student leaders to give verbal cues to my class this year. That will definitely build their self-confidence! Perhaps once they achieve a certain level on the Super Improvers Team they can be eligible for this special role. I purchased the WBT buttons at the Louisiana conference this summer and look forward to incorporating them into student leadership roles! I think a self managing class sounds like Teacher Heaven to me!Chapter 27What resonated with me as I reviewed the Big Seven was that I need to have all of my students gesturing when they are both teaching and listening to their partners. In reflecting on that part of this chapter, I realized that I had many students who were passively listening as their partners taught. This upcoming school year, I will make sure I reinforce the idea that all students are actively involved in gesturing all the time!Chapter 28Increasing student engagement in my classroom through incorporating more WBT strategies is so important! I learned research shows that metagcognitive learning with application happens when students complete activity-based learning. Through using WBT techniques, all students are participating in discussing questions with their peers, solving problems, and sharing ideas frequently. I need to give my students more opportunities to experience this meaningful type of learning! No more passive learners! I plan to increase my students' involvement by more frequently using "Teach-Ok" and the different varieties of "Mirror" in my instruction. Chapter 29The powerful success teachers have had using Whole Brain Teaching techniques speaks volumes to this instructional approach! I now more fully understand how much my ELL students can learn and grow through being given frequent opportunities to purposefully engage in talking, teaching, actively listening, and gesturing. The WBT methods, techniques, Brain Toys, and overall approach does all of that! I hope to more seamlessly incorporate the Big Seven into my instruction to more fully reap the benefits of WBT!-Shelley Nizynski Reese
Shelley,Excellent post! Active student engagement all day long is crucial to achieving higher learning skills! Here are 25 points and a 5 point Bonus!
Chapter 26-There were many leadership-training ideas described in this chapter for helping students become leaders. I particularly liked the concept of counting off students by 1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s. Whether students are reviewing a rule or leading a Teach/Okay session, this strategy allows specific students an opportunity to be the leader. I also loved the "small group" advanced technique of meeting with different students and introducing material to them and creating gestures. This small group session is a perfect way to spend quality time with students while creating leadership roles. Both of these techniques allow students a leadership role while creating more time for the teacher to observe, monitor, and assist individuals or small groups of students. When students are better leaders, I am a better teacher, so these strategies will definitely help me improve. Chapter 27-Wow! It was difficult to pick just one idea from this chapter that will improve my teaching, and it is important to note, I plan on incorporating all strategies from this chapter. If I had to pick one it would have to be the Scoreboard. I have tried the Scoreboard several different ways, and I have to say, it is so very important to use it like it is described within the book. The +/-3 rule and the student Mighty Oh, Yeah and Mighty Groan responses work. There's something about the whole setup of the Scoreboard that is appealing to students, especially middle school kids. They love competing and having an opportunity to beat the teacher, and this is a reward that motivates kids for months. Other rewards, like extra recess or talk time, can be added later in the year. The board is a great way to unite the class as a team. It offers a fabulous way to reward positive individual/group behavior and a great way to correct off-task behavior. This is the best technique I have ever found to motivate my students and by far one of my favorites for improving my own teaching.Chapter 28-This chapter was filled with what I call "little gems." I loved the Positive Behavior Reinforcement section best. I have found my sixth grade middle school students love the Scoreboard (as described above) and one simple phrase, "It's cool!" When a student makes a mistake during class, the others reply, "It's cool!" This little gem works wonders for creating a positive environment where my students were not afraid to be wrong. Last year, when I made mistakes, my students even told me, "It's cool!" I can't wait to introduce this phrase early in the school year, as I know it will help improve my teaching.Chapter 29-This chapter proved to be the most difficult to discover a way to improve my teaching. After thinking about the question and the message delivered by this chapter, I think I need to pay more attention to my own classroom data. The schools mentioned in this chapter showed measurable growth across multiple subject areas and in the area of behavior. By tracking and periodically monitoring my own classroom data, I will be more aware of both individual strengths and weaknesses and how much growth and progress my students make. Monitoring individual student behavior, assessing students through a pre/post test, and comparing student end-of-year test scores from 5th grade to 6th grade will most certainly help my teaching. Melinda Sprinkle
Another great post, Melinda! Here are 25 points and a 5 point Bonus!
Chapter 26: I really like the concept of turning our learners into leaders. This helps them channel their energy, and focus on encouraging their classmates, while weaving the golden thread of fun into the lesson. I tried this a few times last year, but I wasn’t consistent enough. I think the method of selecting the students at the beginning of class to lead the rules, Class-Yes, Teach-Okay, Mirror, Hands and Eyes, and Switch, would make it more successful than randomly choosing students throughout the lesson. I am definitely going to try numbering my class into 1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s to be leaders in their small groups as the chapter suggested. My ultimate goal would be to have my students reach the point that they could lead instruction on an entire concept. After watching a video on YouTube of a first grader leading her class in a lesson about the brain and WBT, I was encouraged to work toward this goal with my fifth graders. Chapter 27: I know that using the levels on the Scoreboard will make my classroom management more cohesive this year. I started the scoreboard last year, but didn’t move to the other levels. Now that I have a better understanding of the various levels, I know that I have a proven method to rely upon as the year progresses. It is comforting to think that I have this set of tools in my back pocket! The fact that they build upon each other will make the system easier for the students to follow, and easier for me to implement.Chapter 28: This was a very interesting article that covered all of the major points of Whole Brain Teaching. I appreciate that WBT was tied to prominent theorists, giving even more support to the program. This is useful information to have when introducing the program to other teachers or administrators. It is also important to note that the program stresses the combination of Direct Instruction and Cooperative Learning. An important aspect of WBT is that the students are given very structured, clear goals, and more importantly, immediate academic feedback. The point that I found most helpful was “…students take the concepts and paraphrase, give examples, and create new ideas with the concepts given by the teacher”. (180) This reiterates the fact that WBT is does not just involve the students “parroting” the teacher, but is actually a whole education process that includes critical thinking on the part of the students. Chapter 29: There is no doubt that I would answer the question presented to instructors: “Compared to other teaching systems that you are familiar with, Whole Brain Teaching is…”, with an all-out MUCH BETTER! The numbers are there, what more proof do we need?
Michelle,Great thoughts on these chapters! Here are 25 certification points plus 5 BONUS POINTS!
Chapter 26- Having Classroom Leaders benefits both the teacher and the students. Classroom Leaders taking over oral cues adds a new level of engagement. The Classroom Leader is definitely engaged, but so are the students who may have tired of hearing the teacher’s voice giving oral cues day in and day out. In addition, too often oral speaking skills are not addressed in the busy classroom environments. We have extensive curriculum to cover and often neglect giving students opportunities to grow as speakers. Classroom Leaders will get the opportunity to practice this important skill. Finally, a self-managing class is what many of our administrators look for when observing us as educators. Highest scores are given when the students have taken ownership of their learning. Class Leaders demonstrates that this is happening in your classroom. Chapter 27- I felt like highlighting this entire chapter. It was a clear and concise review of WBT, which I appreciated. It also encouraged us to visit WholeBrainTeaching.com to continue to communicate with other WBT teachers and to explore the massive amounts of resources available there. I will use the website throughout the upcoming school year to help inspire and guide me as I move through some new components of WBT. The videos, blogs, and downloads will be of great value. Chapter 28-Chapter 28 is a fabulous resource. I especially liked Kosar’s definition of Direct Instruction and WBT alignment to his definition. As educators it is understood that our instruction should have clear goals (goals that are communicated to the students, goals that can be communicated by the students) and that there should be immediate feedback of student’s achievement of goals. Our building must have “I Can” statements posted daily in each classroom so that students are aware of goals. Students and teachers both rate the student’s level of mastering these goals. WBT encourages all of this. This chapter will be useful to me if I am asked by parents, administrators, or other co-workers to support what I am doing in my classroom. Chapter 29- Again, this is valuable information that can be used to support what we are doing and why we are doing it. It shows that WBT classrooms have experienced success. We are a data driven profession, and the data provided in Chapter 29 suggest that WBT techniques are powerful.
Catherine,Great thoughts on the ideas from these chapters. Here are 25 certification points.
I love the idea of a self-managing class. In fact, I have been trying to obtain this since I first embarked upon my teaching career. It is this overall goal that led me to Whole Brain Teaching in the first place! When many areas of the brain are positively engaged, it leaves little room for negative distractions. As my peers have noted, there are a great deal of techniques mentioned throughout this book, during webcasts, and within these four chapters. I will only be highlighting a few that stand out to me.1. Counting Off: This leadership technique prevents students from experiencing habituation during whole group moments in the classroom. The teacher counts the students off into 1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s. Then (s)he has the flexibility of isolating these groups into leaders. For example, (s)he can say “Ones, I want you to stand up [and] be energetic teachers of your three neighbors”. Numbered groups can also call out the cues. For example, (s)he can say, “Twos, show everyone how we energetically say Yes!”. (170) This technique is quick, flexible, and fun! Students have to fully engage to remember their number and satisfy their tasks. Everyone gets the chance to experience being a class leader using this technique.2. The Big Seven: I realize that this instructional technique is actually made up of seven components but I am going to discuss these parts in a holistic sense. The Big Seven are to be done daily and regularly throughout all subjects. They are differentiated, whole brain engaging, and creative. Students thrive in a classroom environment where they know what to expect and cherish the feeling of being part of a whole. My Kinders will go home every day tired but thrilled. They will look forward to every day of school because it is fun and exciting. If I succeed in implementing The Big Seven as they were designed, I should be that much closer to Teacher Heaven! (Give me a Mighty Oh Yeah!)3. Vygotsky’s SLT: WBT not only engages the whole brain but also the whole child. “WBT exemplifies the philosophy that teachers educate the whole child, not simply teach one subject area at a time.” (188) SLT turns the student into the MKO, which closes the gap of the ZPD. WBT is ideal for closing this gap because it uses the social game of the classroom to safely surround children in a rich learning environment. 4. WBT History: The fact that I have my own personal experience of success using WBT only reinforces my strong belief in the system. It’s encouraging to read about all of the pedagogical research that supports WBT. It’s also exciting to learn about how quickly WBT is spreading. When asked by my administration and peers, I can not only describe the supporting theories but also provide them with friendly numbers. Administration loves hearing numbers! So, when I describe that in 2010, WBT became one of the largest privately financed education websites in the world or that Victor Elementary School District showed a dramatic increase in scores, they will be intrigued.These four chapters were BIG chapters in terms of their content load. I found it difficult to narrow down my thoughts on what four items to discuss for this assignment. In fact, I needed to go back and reread all four to refocus my ideas! I can’t believe that in only 9 days, my new Kinders will be walking through those classroom doors.
Jennifer,You have noted some great points from each chapter. It is encouraging to have the theories and the numbers to back up what we already know is a successful method of teaching! Here are 25 points and a 5 point bonus!
1: Turning over my oral cues to my students will set an exciting atmosphere in my classroom. Once my students make it to Leader on the SIT, I will begin to assign students to lead the class in cues for “Class-Yes”, “Mirror”, “Papers”, “Lines”, “Seats” and “Hands and Eyes”. To make it easier for myself, each student will be assigned to leading one cue and they can determine how they say it! Since challenging students may not make it to Leader as quickly, there may be days when these students get to lead the cues if they are following the classroom rules.2: Practicing the rules, with their gestures, will improve my teaching because it will improve student behavior. After a few months of teacher-led rules practice, I will allow students who are Captains on the SIT to lead the class in the daily rules practice. Again, if challenging students have a great day, the next day I may encourage them to do the same thing by letting them lead the classroom in practicing the rules.3: After I began my voyage through Whole Brain Teaching, other teachers have asked me multiple times to explain the benefits of WBT. I explained that we use small chunks of direct instruction and then cooperative learning through the students teaching what they just heard via direct instruction. Now, I will use the quote from Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, “There are three major benefits for teachers using WBT methods: (1) positive behavior reinforcement, (2) memory retention, and (3) student engagement” (p. 181). I believe that by sharing the WBT methods with fellow teachers, I will improve my teaching because I will be assisting other teachers along the WBT route. Hopefully, I will be able to have another teacher in my school that will begin this wonderful journey.4: I strongly believe the WBT methods are much better than previous teaching systems I have seen. Because of this, it is not surprising at all that WBT enforces a strong knowledge of the curriculum within all levels of students. Even though second graders in Virginia do not take state tests, my students will score higher on their classroom tests because of their opportunity to learn through Whole Brain Teaching techniques. This year, I will compare my student’s test scores (WBT classroom) with my fellow teammates student’s test scores (non-WBT classroom). When my student’s test scores are higher, I hope my fellow teammates will want to jump on board the Whole Brain Teaching express!These are just four of the strategies I think will help improve my teaching style and my effectiveness as a WBT teacher. I will refer back to these chapters often to help ensure I am being the best WBT I can be!
Laken,It sounds like you are a leader in your school, and hopefully other teachers will follow what you are modeling. They will quickly find that they can have the same success! You have listed some great ways to implement the strategies! Here are 25 points and a 5 point bonus!
Chapter 26 – Involving the students in the managing and running of the classroom will not only help to create a sense of ownership in the classroom, but it will also allow me more opportunities to develop the kind of people I want my students to become. Teaching is so much more than academics. I never considered all of the social and life skills that need to be taught, practiced, and modeled to the students until I had my own room. Giving the students who act out, but have remarkable leadership skills, the privilege of leading certain tasks throughout the day will help diminish behaviors, develop within those students a sense of success now geared in productive activities, and foster a community of respected and respectful people.Chapter 27 – The Teach/Okay concept, when used consistently and effectively this year, will not only transform my teaching, but the achievement of my students. One of the big keys for me is the micro lecturing. It is so difficult for me to shut up sometimes. I love to talk! However, when I am stuck in inservices or trainings and the presenter prattles on, I retain very little. How dare I expect my students to retain anything when I use the same ineffective method. The big key for me is simply the idea of “30-60 seconds.” I am serious when I say that I’ll have to post large signs around the classroom! I would write it on my hand if I didn’t want to model the correct way to use ink in the classroom. (Pens are for paper, not people.) Along with the micro lecturing, allowing students to teach each other using gestures will help cement the key concepts they need to master. While I love to talk, I know this approach will help me hone in on the material they absolutely need and eliminate the riff raff. Chapter 28 – There were so many great pieces in this article that it was hard for me to choose just one concept. The focus of our district, the physical layout of my room, and of course a key to WBT is cooperative learning. In my research and study, my personal philosophy of education is that students learn best and retain the most through inquiry and discovery. I am not saying that direct instruction has no place; I use it every day. However, I think the combination of direct instruction and cooperative learning produces amazing results. Allowing more time for students to solve problems, discuss, and practice will help aid in my goal of micro lecturing and give students the opportunities to remember and master core concepts.Chapter 29 – The focus of our fifth grade team this year is literacy. There is a bad trend at our school. When children get to fifth grade, their reading and language skills deteriorate, and they score lower than they did at the end of fourth grade. I was excited by the results presented in this chapter. In order to improve my teaching and meet the focus of our team this year, I want to use and be mindful of the data gathered on my students to guide my instruction. We are going to be using common assessments, common approaches, and focus primarily on comprehension. I am the only one at my school who uses WBT, and my class scored the highest in reading last year in the fifth grade. Over 85% of my students exceeded their growth expectation from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. When our team meets about literacy, I want to share how I used WBT. The results speak for themselves.(Consequently, my class also scored the highest in math with over 90% meeting their growth goal. Just thought I'd brag on them and on WBT.)Meredith Pearson
Meredith,It is wonderful to see that WBT has helped your students increase their scores so dramatically! Congratulations! You have set some solid goals for yourself this year. Focusing on the mini lecture will be a positive way to provide more opportunities for your students to gain comprehension in their reading. Here are 25 points and a 5 point bonus!
One of the techniques I thought would improve my teaching is counting my class off into 1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s. This allows for multiple leaders that can change throughout the day. There is no need to draw Popsicle sticks or clothespins from a jar anymore. This is a simple, yet, effective way of getting students involved in leadership roles. From the big seven, the class unifier mirror will help improve my teaching. I do a lot of gesturing and mirror allows students to see what I am doing, then they do the same. I like the idea of using mirror with words, too. Students will remember making gestures for a particular concept and will be able to identify it later for a test. Who knew pretending to mock yourself in a mirror would have lasting teaching implications? The major benefits as a teacher using Whole Brain Teaching methods are positive behavior reinforcement. No more yelling or embarrassing students by calling them out in front of the class. Memory Retention is another benefit. Using teach/OK, mirror/words, gestures, etc. give students multiple opportunities to grasp concepts being taught. And finally, student engagement is very beneficial to learning. Getting students actively engaged in lessons speaks for itself. When students are participating, they are learning. Students will be surrounded with positive behavior and have more confidence in their learning abilities.Data is a key to growing as a teacher. We can see where we are and where we want to be. Looking at this coming year, I cannot wait to see how much better my students score on the state test from last year. I am looking forward to that 100% pass rate. Thank you WBT!!!!
Debora, You have some great insights from these chapters. Here are 25 certification points!
Chapter 26 Leadership Training and the Self Managing ClassThis chapter discusses the importance and benefits for the students to be leaders. Last year, I had 12 jobs that were assigned to students. I created a rotation of job assignments so that the students and job assignments changed weekly. The students loved these jobs and couldn’t wait for Monday morning to see if they were assigned a job. Throughout the year, the students even came up with a few new jobs that we added to our job wall. After watching them glow with pride at having a class job, I can see how increasing the student’s responsibility into a leadership role would build their self-esteem and confidence. I agree with the line in the book that stated there was a positive link between growing leadership skills and improved academic performance. This could make a huge difference for students. I also believe that giving a student that struggles with rule compliance a job whether in leadership or something in which they are in control will help minimize their disruptions. This chapter made me realize how important it will be to build leadership skills in my students even in 1st grade.Chapter 27 Whole Brain Teaching ReviewThis chapter reviewed the main components of WBT. These include The Big 7 and the Scoreboard Levels, All of the components are important for students to excel. I believe the one area I want to work on is the Teach/Okay component. Reflecting on last year, I think I was a Charlie Brown Teacher, “wawawa, wawawa…..” There were times I looked across my room and only saw glazed eyeballs. Now I understand that breaking down my concepts into chunks and allowing the students to “teach” each other will be a very valuable to their learning. I also will take time to do a quick assessment before moving on to the next component to make sure at least 80% of the class is with me. I look forward to seeing the improvements in my teaching using this strategy which will help my students be motivated, understand concepts and retain more information. Chapter 28 Whole Brain Teaching and Learning ResearchJust the title of this chapter alone peaked my interest. It is a running joke in my building that the principals main line is “research shows….” I will be able to show and discuss valid research comparing WBT to some strategies and well-known educational theorists when other staff or administrators approach me. The correlation of WBT with Direct Instruction and Cooperative Learning go hand-in-hand. These are two key elements for a quality education. Direct Instruction includes clear goals, structured time, and immediate academic feedback to students. Using the teach/okay, mirror, mirror/words, and QT are just some examples of how I will use DI with WBT. Cooperative Learning involves five key elements for student learning that involve student interaction. In WBT there are a lot of student interaction opportunities that includes class teams, small groups or pairs, and as individuals. The benefits for teachers using WBT includes positive behavior reinforcement, memory retention, and student engagement. The benefits for students using WBT is motivation, student-centered learning, and application of learning. I have learned a lot reading this book about what not to do and what I should be doing. This chapter brings all the key components together so that I can explain, understand and use WBT, and have positive effects for both my students and myself when using WBT. Chapter 29 – Additional ResearchReading the results from instructors that have actually implemented and been successful with WBT is very promising to me. Test scores are spoken about in every school in the nation and using WBT strategies have proven to increase test scores in some of the most poverty ridden schools. I am excited to start tracking my students test scores as we proceed through the school-year and document their progress. I will even compare them to last year's class, which did not receive WBT instruction for further comparison.
Terri,Great job of detailing these chapters. WBT does create positive effects for students and teachers, alike! Here are 25 points and a 5 point Bonus!
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