Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chapters 1 & 2: Intro and Origin

Coach B says... "You've just been made principal of a charter school and you're about to address your staff for the first time. Select three points from chapters 1 and 2 that you are going to talk about describing key aspects of Whole Brain Teaching. Include one story about your teaching experience."

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  1. Once, during a professional development seminar, I was asked by a local poet to write a couplet about the love/hate relationship in teaching. I was only given a short amount of time to write but this is what I came up with:
    The lights dim and an even calm fills the room.
    The classroom is my stage and I am the center.

    Caffeine charged hours of recently researched words
    thunder from my lips like Lincoln giving the Gettysburg address.

    As if I and I alone can influence them
    make them better; make them wonder.

    Settled snoozing surrounds the room
    a sedative after an eventful weekend.

    Drooping dark eyelids and a hushed whisper
    A tender cheek smashed against a cool hard desk.

    As I read my scribbled poem many of my fellow educators snickered or smiled a guilty grin. I think this is what we call a “Universal Experience”. We all can definitely relate to this experience, we spend hours with all the passion and fire we can muster and then ….nothing. While the intent of the poem was humorous, the truth of the matter is deflating and unsettling; while I am the “center of the stage” in my poem, I want the students to be center of the stage. I want the students to WANT to make themselves better. I want a classroom that is alive with students who are afraid to blink because they would miss something fantastic! I think that you do too (another universal experience). That is why I want to introduce you to Whole Brain Teaching.

    Whole Brain Teaching was developed by real teachers with varied classroom experiences from kindergarten to college across different socioeconomic backgrounds and utilized across content areas (even sports)to engage students. There are thousands of teachers implementing Whole Brain Teaching techniques all over the country-real teachers, like us. Whole Brain Teaching is relevant to the universal experiences we encounter as teachers because it was created by someone who has spent several hours IN THE CLASSROOM.

    Chris Biffle, the author of Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids had over twenty-five years of teaching experience when he began to make a connection between lecturing and the effects on the brain. He knew that after ten minutes of a lecture that he was losing his students because the lecture itself didn’t involve the whole brain. Biffle started implementing new techniques that involved every student by having them seeing, saying, hearing, and moving. He shared these techniques with two former students that had become teachers and found that with a little tweaking WBT techniques could help teachers with a variety of challenges.

    I don’t know about you; but for me consistency is a challenge and I don’t enjoy constantly barking orders. WBT changed this for me. Classroom management has become a “game” and students, even when corrected, are motivated to stay on task because it’s fun. I am more consistent because it’s fun AND I get better results.

    During my first year of teaching I asked myself if I was really capable of managing 28 students. I had no idea how to manage a classroom in order to engage each and every child and it was causing me to rethink my profession. Before my second year I discovered Whole Brain Teaching and only used three new techniques. It was a night and day difference. It works! See for yourself (insert link to Class-Yes).

    Jennifer Wiggins

    1. Jennifer,
      Well done! Your staff will appreciate your candidness and desire to help them through the WBT program! Here are 25 points and a 5 poin Bonus!

  2. Chapter 1 and 2

    As the principal of a school I would want my teachers to do everything in their power to help all students learn. I want all students, including those challenging students to participate in their learning and truly be learning skills that they will need. I hear many teachers discuss how they could helped students learn if it weren't for those disruptive students. Whole Brain Teaching is the answer to this problem. It helps teachers and students by “producing classrooms that are full of orderly fun.”
    As stated in Chapter 1, “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior”. Students are young, full of energy and have short attention spans. Students need movement and to talk with each other. Teachers can accomplish this through Whole Brain Teaching. In Chapter 2 the first great law of Whole Brain Teaching is introduced, “the more we talk the more students we lose.” The need to talk and to move is accompanied by a short attention span, especially in the younger grades. Teachers can talk for what seems to be forever and the students will never remember it. In Whole Brain Teaching teachers talk for a short time, students repeat what was taught through speaking with each other using gestures or repeating what said with gestures. This gets their bodies moving! On the last part of Chapter 2 it states, “Students are completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving.” If students are so engaged, those challenging students will become not-so challenging students.
    I first experimented with Whole Brain Teaching 2 years ago in my very challenging pre-K classroom. I thought nothing would work to manage those students. Every teacher gave me ideas and none of them worked. I came across a video on Youtube and I was hooked. So I took the Class-Yes part and the Scoreboard. It was like a miracle!! Something so simple, yet something I never thought of before. I watched more videos and quickly put those into motion. I taught about shapes using gestures and teach-okay. The students were active and engaged. My class became near perfect in behavior and everyone noticed. It was amazing to see it work with those few parts of Whole Brain Teaching, imagine what it is like full throttle!

    1. Katrina,
      Nice presentation to your staff about the power of WBT. In future posts, be careful of editing errors. ("I hear many teachers discuss how they could helped students learn..." and "...students repeat what was taught through speaking with each other using gestures or repeating what said with gestures.") Here are 10 points.

  3. Welcome back! Before we begin, I have a little story to tell you. It wasn't long ago that I was in the classroom, up front with my biggest grin, ready to teach. I gave it my all. I walked the room, gave tickets for good behavior, and rewarded positive behaviors throughout my lesson.
    But it never failed that what stared back at me were blank faces, if the students were looking at me at all. Many had heads resting on hands or hands playing in their desks. Or there's the boisterous student that just had to yell something out, totally unrelated to the lesson, while we I was teaching. Sound familiar?
    We all know that we give our best everyday, but sometimes even that isn't enough. It takes something revolutionary to get ourselves, and our kids, out of that rut.
    This year I would like to help you all implement Whole Brain Teaching into your classrooms. I was lucky enough to attend a free conference given by Chris Biffle, one of the creators of this incredible teaching system. A fellow (retired) teacher himself, Mr. Biffle, aka Coach "B," is familiar with those blank stares. That's why he and his colleagues have developed and utilized these methods we are going to implement.
    We have all had challenging students. Coach B did a whole lot of research and one of the facts that he found was that the challenging behaviors come from the fact that our traditional school system does not allow students to use their whole brain! In his book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, Coach B tells us that "If a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior." Makes sense, doesn't it?
    This year we will be talking less and students will participate more! We will be giving students the fun they crave, but we will be teaching them how to control that fun when necessary. Our goal will be to use more gestures. We are all familiar with Total Physical Response. WBT uses physical movements along with repetition to give students the ability to have fun and teach their peers! We will even learn how to get ALL our students participating. Yes, even the hesitant one that thinks he's too cool.
    Whole Brain Teaching is going to revolutionize how we teach so that we, and the kids, can enjoy going to school again. So, let's get started!

    1. I apologize for any mistakes. I just got an ipad and I'm learning how to use it. I copied and pasted my response into this window, but couldn't figure out how to indent the first two paragraphs after I did that! They were indented in the document. Any tech tips for an ipad would be really appreciated!

    2. Shannon,
      Nice presentation to your new staff! WBT will change the look of your school! One small editing error got you near the beginning. ("Or there's the boisterous student that just had to yell something out, totally unrelated to the lesson, while we I was teaching.") Here are 20 points. Paragraph spacing does not always transfer consistently. Ipad owners, give Shannon some good advice!

  4. Welcome back teachers! I hope you all had a restful summer and feel renewed as we begin another school year! Along those lines, I'd like to introduce something I've been working on this summer. It is a teaching method called Whole Brain Teaching. There are many positive aspects of WBT, but in following one of the fundamental pieces of WBT, I will not lecture to you about it and risk losing your attention, rather I will only share some key aspects with all of you.
    Whole Brain Teaching is based on the idea that as teachers, we "...Can't teach classes that won't listen.", or don't listen. WBT focuses on student involvement. We've all had the experience of lecturing to or "discussing" a topic with a group of students who are "sleeping with their eyes open" as I like to call it. We imagine that they are paying attention, but they are simply awake, not engaged. Whole Brain Teaching is student-centered, allowing for maximum participation and minimal challenging behaviors.
    In the past, we've all tried teaching techniques and participated in professional development classes that were aimed at improving our teaching. However, WBT has taught me that with an inferior technique, even the most hard-working, well-intentioned teacher will not be successful. While using Whole Brain Teaching will absolutely improve your teaching, more importantly, it will improve your students' learning. This is NOT a fancy, colorful, tech-heavy, gadgety teaching strategy, it is a proven teaching method. WBT is based not on teachers, but students!
    WBT works because its developers realized, "...it was brain friendly" and, "...involved many brain activities simultaneously.". If our students are consistently engaged in learning, they will not have time to engage in negative behaviors. Engaged students equal successful teachers!
    Finally, before we depart for our classrooms, I'd like to share a personal story with you about my WBT moment.
    As a young teacher, I constantly felt pressured to "entertain" my students with all the tools I had been given and strategies I had been taught. I often joked with colleagues that, "I am a teacher in a classroom, not a performer with Cirque du Soleil!". However, when faced with middle school students who can be difficult to keep focused and can often display challenging behaviors, this is exactly what I did - I performed! I filled up class periods with interactive warm-ups on the SmartBoard, followed by a small-group activity or review, followed by a large group activity or review. When I would give a test, many of my students would perform below average! I was discouraged. My excuse was that it was THEM, not ME. I did everything I could - they didn't! However, this was not true. I didn't inlcude them! I put on a show. I wasn't lecturing, but I was performing and they weren't a part of it, so they weren't engaged.
    So, this year, think not about what your performance will look like, but how you will include your students in their education!

  5. Katherine,
    Excellent presentation to your new staff! Here are 25 points and a 5 point Bonus! Save and date this post in a word processing file. Later, we will post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

  6. Good morning! I am very excited about this new school year and how we are going to engage ALL students so that they are energized about learning!

    Many people have said that the best way to learn is to teach. Yet, we often do not put this into practice in our classrooms. We do the teaching and our students do the learning. Sometimes we have a gifted student or an early finisher and then we task this child with the job of “teaching” their peers. But we have never used our students who struggle the most. Isn’t this the child that we really want to understand the content and apply the skills? That is the challenge. How do you take the student who is the most academically challenged in your class and expect them to not only learn those skills and content, but to teach them to others? I would like to share with you a method called “Whole Brain Teaching” that will enable you to turn ALL your students into teachers.

    Whole Brain teaching will also take care of your challenging behavior students. We have all had those students who push our buttons and disrupt the class. Every year, I have been blessed with at least one of these if not more. Every once in awhile I get blessed with a super challenging student and I try every behavior management technique under the sun. I have taken the student to IST, Child Study, and done BIP meetings on them. I have done sticker charts, notebook logs, pom pom jars, and reward boxes. The one thing that is consistently encouraged is to keep the student engaged and basically too busy to cause trouble. Then I think, how am I supposed to constantly call on this student or give this student jobs to do when I have 17 other students in the classroom AND I am supposed to be teaching? Whole Brain Teaching takes care of this problem by using your students’ whole brain and keeping ALL students involved and actively participating the whole time. No longer do I have to constantly focus on that one child and somehow teach the whole class and attend to their needs. Now ALL students are participating and involved and there is no “down” time for any student to get into trouble. When I implemented it into my classroom the students started encouraging each other to stay on task.

    The best part about this method is that it was designed by real classroom teachers. Chris Biffle started testing it out in his college classroom and then he approached two elementary school teachers to see if it would work for them. They ended up tweaking it and changing it, but they both noticed major improvements in their students. Since then, this method has been used by teachers across the country and the world at all grade levels and in all subjects. They are using it because it works and students are excited about learning! So tell a teacher next to you how excited you are to learn about Whole Brain Teaching.

    Sarah Nicklas

    1. Sarah,
      Good attempt at your first response on our book club! Make sure you fully address the prompt in future responses. An important part of the question for these chapters was to select 3 points you would like to highlight with your staff. Here are 10 certification points. Save and date this post in a word processing file. Later, we will post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

  7. Welcome Fellow Educators,

    Last year, after many years of listening to myself speak I grew tired of the noise and misbehavior in the classroom. I was drilling my students on sight words, math facts, and the parts of plants but nothing was sticking; I was beginning to think that maybe I was just too old and too tired for the classroom. But even worse than all the previous statements, my students, it seems, were not excited or involved in learning. Then I thought, “There has got to be a better way to teach”.
    Thankfully, about this time I found Whole Brain Teaching online. I began to watch and learn.

    While watching the videos, I saw teachers no longer facilitating the learning but rather their students. These students were involved in not only teaching but also making games and enjoying the learning process. Now I began to understand this was the THING for which I had been searching.

    Chris Biffle, the author of Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids stated “the longer we talk, the more students we lose“. That was what I was doing to my class. I was drilling away but they were not retaining much because they had “zoned out” right after I started.
    I had to stop drilling and let the students take the reins.

    I am excited that I found Whole Brain Teaching, as asserted by Chris, “disruptive kids break rules, distract classmates, bond with other rebels, retreat into walled silence, are nourished by resisting their instructor’s best intentions…. because their brains demand activity which the classroom does not provide”. By engaging a students’ whole brain they do not have time to think of misbehaving.

    I lowered my voice and involved jesters. I soon found my students loved the jesters and the different intonations in speech. I explained to the students, and they taught each other the rules of the classroom and the gestures that go with them. As Chris stated, if angry adults could control students’ behavior, then kids from troubled families would be exceedingly polite.

    I hope to go deeper this year with Whole Brain and I am looking forward to the new school year. So I guess I am not too old to teach after all!

    Elaine Hardaway

    1. Elaine,
      Good response on the intro chapters! You are certainly among strong teachers here at WBT. All of us at some point were looking for something better because we knew traditional teaching wasn't working. In the 2nd to last paragraph, you talked about "jesters". Did you mean "gestures"? Here are 20 certification points.Save and date this post in a word processing file. Later, we will post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

    2. Kate,
      Silly me, that will teach me to stay up late reading. Of course I meant gestures. I was laughing about using wrong word and failed to save the corrected word document before cutting and pasting. But I can tell you I have had plenty of jesters in my classroom.

  8. _ "Welcome, everyone! I am glad to see all your smiling faces so bright and early! Since today is Conference Day, we’ll start our professional development agenda with a brief lesson. All staff members, including non-teaching staff, are encouraged to participate!"

    _ "When I say, 'Staff?' you say, 'Yes!' Staff?"
    _ "Yes!"
    _ "The same way I say, 'Staff,' that’s how you say, 'Yes.' So if I say 'Staff-staff,' you say, 'Yes-yes.' Staff-staff?"
    _ "Yes-yes!"
    _ "Oh staff?"
    _ "Oh yes!"
    _ "Staffity-staff?"
    _ "Yesity-yes!"

    _ "The definition of madness is doing something over and over again while expecting different results. Now tell your neighbor what the definition of madness is. Teach!

    _ "Staff-staff-staff?"
    _ "Yes-yes-yes!"
    _ "Our school has had its fair share of challenging kids. As educators, we sometimes feel overwhelmed having to rein in our troublemakers, while attempting to teach effective lessons. We know that chastising or blaming our kids over and over again when they misbehave or fail doesn’t work. That's madness! 10 years ago to this day, I was hired as a new teacher. My lesson demo is what made all the difference in the tight selection process because administrators got to witness the power of the Whole Brain Teaching model in action. In 30 minutes, a class of ESL kindergartners I had never met before mastered a challenging antonym lesson involving critical thinking, and they did so while having great kinesthetic fun in the process. Today is the start of a new era for our school, as it will be our first Whole Brain Teaching year. Tell your neighbor why this year will be very different for us. Teach!"

    _ "Staff-a-doodle-do?"
    _ "Yes-a-doodle-do!"
    _ "WBT will motivate teachers and students to reach their goals because it makes learning accessible and exciting to very diverse learners, by simultaneously involving multiple areas of the brain. Additionally, because WBT advocates chunking mini-lessons into micro-lectures and having students repeatedly teach each other while using gestures, it will help increase our students' engagement and learning retention levels. Finally, as a charter school specifically designed to meet the needs of ELLs, our new WBT model will also help bridge the achievement gap, so that our ELLs may have access to the same educational and career opportunities as their non-ESL peers. Now tell your neighbor at least 2 reasons WBT will help turn our school around, this year. Teach!"

    _ "Classsss?"
    _ "Yesssss!"
    _ "Congratulations on completing the first part of your first Whole Brain Teaching professional development session!!! Now, let’s see how much you’ve learned so far. We’ll be checking for understanding by utilizing two fun oral assessments called 'Yes-No Way' and 'QT.' Tell your neighbor how we’ll be gauging what we’ve learned so far. Teach!"

    Sophie Gourdon

  9. Sophie,
    Your staff will appreciate your enthusiasm! Here are 25 certification points. Save and date this post in a word processing file. Later, we will post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

  10. Welcome back faculty and staff! I hope that you all had a wonderful summer. I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Brandi Young, I have been teaching for approximately two years now. I am a hard, dedicated worker who strives for excellence, and I have found an efficient way to create a positive learning environment with the "Whole Brain Teaching" strategies. During my first year of teaching I was enrolled in the S.T.A.R.T program, a program for new and developing teachers entering the Escambia County School District, and it was during this time that I met a very special lady; My consulting teacher, who was there to answer any question I might have as well as assist me through guidance and sometimes reassurance. We spent many hours together over the course of the year, and during one of our sessions she suggested I look into and attend a special training program. At first I was hesitant, as we all know your first year teaching can be hectic and borderline overwhelming, but in the end, her persistence convinced me. I was taught a plethora of teaching strategies that not only simplified teaching, but also assisted in controlling the classroom. It was absolutely amazing. The day after my Whole Brain Teaching training I walked into the classroom with a whole new attitude; Confident, invigorated, and eager to apply that which I had learned. In just one hour I saw my class transform.
    This transformation wasn’t magical, it occurred because I was better equipped to handle my students. We began having “orderly fun”, that is, while I was teaching my students were not sitting dully at their desks, nor were they staring off into space, they were participating and engaged. Every task I gave, every action the student wished to carry out, all were accompanied by kinetic hand signals that I had taught them. Though simple, I noticed that if I repetitively incorporated these motions, especially with a smile on my face, the students began to enjoy answering. Even in some of my grumpy students, I started noticing that if I engaged them while they were misbehaving, the simple gestures they had learned and carried out would break their mood. Not always, but increasingly often. Remember, it isn’t magic. Whole Brain Teaching does just that, it teaches the whole brain. Instead of focusing on individual areas, and drilling repetition into the increasingly bored and distracted student’s minds, it forces the student to think and respond with multiple portions of the brain. During my training I learned that the typical teaching styles only targeted two portions of the brain, and by increasing the number of targeted portions, it increases responsiveness as well as decreases lethargy and boredom. A classic win-win! Furthermore, and perhaps the most influential section of my training as well as the most eye-opening was a new concept; the longer we talk, the more students we lose. At first I was upset by this concept, as if it were berating me for educating in the form and fashion that I had been advised, it even caused me to question, how could one teach more by speaking less? The evidence presented to me was sound, however, and by getting my students to move, speak, or other fun routines, their attention to the lesson at hand increased. Whole Brain Teaching had taught me that if we challenge all areas of the mind, that if we keep learning fun and active, students will behave, they will learn, and most importantly they will love it. Ultimately, my job as an instructor has become not only easier, but something I look forward to every morning now, and I hope your experience with what I have shared today will do the same for you.
    Brandi Young

    1. Brandi,
      All of your students owe your consulting teacher a ten finger woo! Be careful with your use of commas and semicolons. Here are 20 Certification Points for you!

  11. Welcome back, teachers! I hope you've all had a wonderful summer and are ready to get started with a great year of teaching! One of the major themes throughout education is student engagement and I would like to talk about how we're going to approach this topic this year.
    I know in my experience that when I have taught a class that was engaged, they retain more information. Is that enough though? I've taught lessons that were exciting and interesting for most students and they seemed to really be focused. However, there were always a few students who weren't as interested as the rest of the class. Simply calling on them to participate doesn't always do the trick, and furthermore, even if they participate they aren't able to relay or retain the learned information.
    We are going to implement a method of “Whole Brain Teaching” that not only works for the best behaved students, but also those that are more challenging. My first point is that with WBT, a student's entire brain is involved in learning, leaving no mental area left over for challenging behavior. Most student's need to be involved and heard, whether it is by disruptive behavior or not. This allows them the opportunity to do both.
    A second important point of WBT is that it is a method that doesn't allow for student's becoming bored to the point of zoning out. We have all taught at least one lesson where you could see them tuning out one by one. This method allows for students to listen, but then also imitate and teach to peers. This requires them to listen, but also to process information so that they can reteach it to peers which further engrains it in their own memory.
    Finally, it is a process that should be used daily. There are no short cuts and if taught in a dedicated fashion, it can lead to promising results. Students who learned this method were completely engaged in class. They were emotionally involved in lessons because they require the student to see, speak, hear, and physically move during lessons. This again will not only keep the student engaged, but also limit the time and need for disruptive behavior!

    Cheyanne Forbes

    1. Cheyanne,
      Nice job! You touched on several reasons why WBT is such an effective strategy. Here are 25 Certification Points for you!

  12. “As many of you know, I am a veteran teacher having taught kindergarten for 28 years. My college curriculum taught me to spout the doctrines of such big names as Piaget, Rousseau, and B. F. Skinner, among others. However, when I entered my first classroom at 22, I was faced with the daunting task of teaching those 20 little ones not theory, but useful knowledge that would help them grow and develop into well-educated, well-rounded human beings. I was terrified (picture a deer in headlights). I muddled through, taught the required curriculum, managed behavior (inappropriately, I might add), LOVED my students and yes, they learned. I also learned. Sadly, I learned mostly what NOT to do.
    It is no secret that schools, requirements, expectations, students, and parents have changed drastically over the past three decades. Studies have shown that teachers of all aged children have been physically attacked in schools. Children seem to be more violent, disruptive, and angry as well as being less focused and eager to please. Teachers have to overcome huge hurdles. But, you’re in luck because I am going to share with you a teaching method that involves all areas of a child’s brain and has been proven to work with students from kindergarten to college.
    This method is called Whole Brain Teaching because it involves just that. Chris Biffle, a veteran teacher himself, along with two of his former students, developed this program when he realized, that traditional teaching methods just weren’t effective. Biffle states, ‘The longer we talk, the more students we lose.’ This is the main premise of Whole Brain Teaching. When children are participating in lessons that involve seeing, hearing, saying and physically moving, they are totally engaged, leaving no room for concocting rebellious, inappropriate behaviors. Children love to laugh and play. Actually, we ALL love to laugh and play. Whole Brain Teaching produces classrooms that are lively, happy and full of organized fun. Plus, the program gives you real-life tools to use with real-life students, not just facts and research.
    After learning about and practicing this revolutionary method you can create a classroom that is cheerful and effective. Using Biffle’s specific instructions will be exciting and fun, not just for the children but for you as well. You won’t have struggle to figure out HOW to maintain order and reach the unreachable like I did all those many years ago.”
    Julia Simons

    1. Good Morning Teachers! Welcome back. I hope your summer was restful, and you are ready to begin a new school year.
      I want to share with you about a learning system I participated in this summer. I attended a presentation on Whole Brain Teaching (WBT). WBT is based on involving your students emotionally by providing lessons that require them to see, say, hear, and move in an energetic learning process.
      Whole Brain Teaching trains teachers to captivate students, and move toward a facilitator role. Students take small bits of information given by the teacher and teach their peers using the see, say, hear, and move method while the teacher facilitates learning.
      The Whole Brain Teaching secret is that there is no mental area left over for challenging behavior when a student’s whole brain is involved in learning. WBT provides teachers with detailed instructions for teaching challenging children.
      As a former Special Education teacher of Kindergarten through Fifth grade students with varying exceptionalities, I found whole group instruction disastrous. A typical whole group lesson would, at best, involve two or three students. Multiple interruptions due to lack of focus, lack of engagement, and lack of learning led to frustration and negative behaviors. I began WBT with the recommended starting points of the system and I was amazed at how quickly my students responded. The gestures, fast pace, and repetition replaced mundane drill with happily engaged students. I challenge you to tap into WBT resources to improve your teaching skills!

    2. Julia,
      Good attempt at your speech to your staff! Make sure you fully address the prompt in future responses. An important part of the question for these chapters was to select 3 points you would like to highlight with your staff. Here are 10 certification points. Save and date this post in a word processing file. Later, we will post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

    3. Bethany,
      Your thoughts for your staff are right on track. For future posts for the Book Club, please make sure you are addressing the prompt fully. In this case, we were looking for 3 points specifically from the first 2 chapters. Here are 10 certification points. Save and date this post in a word processing file. Later, we will post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

  13. Picture this: You spend all weekend working on some amazing plans that you are just sure are going to hook your kids and get them really moving this week. You arrive bright and early Monday ready to change the world. Then reality sets in, John is late because his mom wouldn’t get up so he missed the lesson. Then Sally begins an argument with Tonya who won’t let her sit by her to work. The room begins a downward spiral of frustration.
    I’d like to talk to you all today about a new way of teaching that could change how you and your students view the work they do in the classroom, Whole Brain Teaching. We teach in a school that has students with a myriad of emotional and other behavioral needs, but this program addresses all students. One point that has stuck with me in my research of Whole Brain is that if the whole brain is involved in the learning then there is no more room for the behaviors we are so used to seeing on a daily basis.
    How many times have we given our mini-lesson and sent them off to work and over half of the students had no idea what they are doing? How many times has your mini-lesson turned into a maxi-lesson? We have to take stock of if our students are truly engaged in the lesson or just taking up space on the rug. It is a fact that is addressed in Whole Brain teaching that the longer we talk the more students we lose. Children can only pay attention for so long before their minds begin to wander; this program is so engaging they won’t have time to zone out for even a second!
    Now I know some of you are thinking okay how is this going to work in a K-5 building? But, I am telling you this program has been successful from Kindergarten all the way to college classes. This approach allows our building as a whole to be on the same page from the littlest children to our upper grade role models.
    I am so excited for us to begin exploring Whole Brain Teaching. I am sure you will find it is what’s been missing in your instruction. It may even give you a new perspective and pep in your step when you come to school and see the exciting action in our rooms!

    1. Eckzoo,
      Great intro speech to your staff! Here are 25 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. Later, we will post directions for turning it in to redeem your points. Also, please use your real name at the end of you posts. :)

  14. This year we will be implementing Whole Brain Teaching in all of our classrooms for a variety of reasons. First, good teachers often end up leaving the professional because they get tired of fighting with students over negative behavior. This happens because teachers want order so they can teach meaningful lessons while students want fun. Whole Brain Teaching offers orderly fun! The second reason I believe Whole Brain Teaching will be beneficial for our school is, that it keeps your students engaged in your lessons. During a Whole Brain Teaching lesson, your students will be speaking, listening, moving, and most importantly completely engaged in the lesson. This will also help you with student behavior because a completely engaged student will not have time for challenging behavior. Finally, Whole Brain Teaching will help us keep our instructional units short. This is important because the longer we talk, the more students we lose. If we can keep our instructional units short then we will lose fewer students and have less challenging behavior.
    I first used Whole Brain Teaching while I was teaching 6th math and science, 7th grade science and 8th grade science. I was overwhelmed with 4 preps and my 6th grade students exhibited exceptionally challenging behavior. Once I began Whole Brain Teaching, especially with the 6th grade students their behavior improved immediately. It took time for me to integrate and familiarize myself with the Whole Brain Teaching strategies, but even just using the 5 rules and the scoreboard greatly improved students’ behavior in my class. I really feel Whole Brain Teaching will help you as well as engage our students in meaningful lessons.

    1. Erin,
      Good job on your speech to your staff. There is one small error at the beginning of your essay. (...good teachers often end up leaving the professional because...) Here are 20 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. Later, we will post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

  15. Welcome back teachers! I hope you had a wonderful, relaxing summer and am as ready as I am to start this school year!
    I want to begin with a true story that most of you can relate to. When I was in the classroom, I would come back to school, after being off for the summer, pumped and energized. I would perform for the children daily to try to get them engaged in what I was teaching. I would go home exhausted! The day in day out go old pretty quick, and I would quit trying to put on a show because it really didn’t make a difference in the students’ learning. What I was doing was not working!
    I have discovered a new teaching method and it’s called Whole Brain Teaching! Its’ main focus is student involvement. It requires the students to be actively engaged, doing many brain activities simultaneously, which minimizes negative behaviors.
    WBT is like a game. It is full of “orderly fun” and the students are required to see, say, hear, and physically move throughout the academic day. However, like with any game, there are “penalties”. Students work hard for small rewards and want to learn.
    The last WBT key aspect I want to share with you is this: The longer we talk, the more students we lose! Teachers, we’ve got to pull back and let the students be active learners in their education. So on that note, I wish you all a wonderful year!

    1. Carrie,
      Nice intro of WBT to your staff. Be careful editing future posts. ("The day in day out go old pretty..." "Its’ main focus...") Here are 10 points for you.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Welcome back everyone! I hope you're well-rested after the all-expenses-paid vacation I provided you to the South of France! I would now like to take the time to address that ominous issue of how to reach more of our students.

    I was fortunate to learn about the Whole Brain Teaching method over the summer and am happy to share with you a way to overcome one of your biggest problems... when students aren't listening.

    When I first started teaching, I worked at a rough school. Echoing through the hallways were the sounds of escalating arguments and pleas between teachers and their students to, "Pay attention!" These instances became so frequent that I dreaded walking by the rooms of some of my colleagues. No one realized that their students simply weren't engaged.

    Then Whole Brain Teaching enlightened me: If students' whole brains are active, they won't be able to waste any brainpower on misbehaving. Although the teachers I mentioned seemed to believe that yelling was effective, the reality of the situation is that if yelling worked then our kids from the most broken homes would be our star pupils.

    Whole brain teaching gives us an outlet to avoid that struggle. Using techniques that stimulate the whole brain can curb our desire to yell and allow us to reserve hoarse voices for bronchitis and not the result of teaching fifth period math!

    Now let's go activate some brains!

    1. Jozey,
      Very nice presentation to your staff! I'd like to get in on that vacation plan! Here are 25 points for you.

  18. Good morning, teachers! I attended a Whole Brain Teaching workshop over the summer. I am really excited about implementing these techniques at our school! The Whole Brain Teaching system was designed to help teachers be successful in any environment with students of any age. It is based on certain key points.

    A fundamental aspect of the Whole Brain Teaching system is the involvement of many areas of the brain. Traditional techniques, such as lecturing, require students to use a small portion of their mental capacity. During lecturing, for example, students begin to lose interest because listening does not utilize much brain activity. I personally have seen the results of lectures in my first grade classroom. The longer I talked, the more students began to find things to do, such as, playing with school supplies. Their brains were requiring activity that my lecture was not providing. The Whole Brain Teaching techniques, however, make students use many parts of their brains simultaneously and the challenging behaviors cease.

    Another main feature of the Whole Brain Teaching system is it makes learning enjoyable. It produces a fun, systematic classroom environment. Students want to participate because it is entertaining.

    A third important point to remember is daily practice of the Whole Brain Teaching techniques. These techniques work if they are practiced daily. As with any other new habit or routine, practice will lead to success. Inconsistent use will be ineffective.

    1. Julia Berry | Chapters 1 & 2

      Good morning, I would like to share a story about my previous teaching experienced. I taught gifted students for 28 years, and at the end of each day I felt like a drained battery. Gifted students have the ability to loose their focus in a heartbeat!
      As years passed, I kept a notepad at my bedside and I would jot down ideas to get my students excited about learning. Most of my ideas were good, but seemed far too time-consuming to actually implement and were mostly just short-term fixes.
      I recently attended a Whole Brain Teaching workshop and discovered some great strategies for keeping students focused with long-term results! I would like to briefly share three key points with you this morning.
      WBT is all about engaging your students in learning. If you engage your students they will not have time for negative behavior. I learned a technique called chunking information. No more long lectures…the longer we talk, the more your students begin to “zone-out”.
      The second key point involves using five simple classroom rules. These rules gain you more teaching time and less behavioral problems. The third key point is called “Teach-Okay.” Your students play an active roll in teaching one of their peers a concept that the teacher just introduced to them. This is one of the most powerful tools for long-term memory.
      My old notebook has become what I call my “Idea Trap” for implementing WBT. You can transform your students from passive to dynamic, engaged learners.
      Think of WBT as a sponge! When you engage with your students they become absorbed in what you are teaching (You’re not talking to them, but with them). This open dialogue/communication is the key. Visit the website…you will get hooked on WBT!

    2. Amanda,
      Good attempt at a speech to your staff. Here are 25 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. Later, we will post directions for turning it in to redeem your points. Remember that really outstanding posts can earn bonus points. :)

    3. Julia,
      Good attempt at an intro to your staff. You are definitely hitting some key points of WBT but this prompt was to focus on Chapters 1 & 2. The rules and teach-okay are discussed in future chapters. Here are 10 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. Later, we will post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

    4. Thank you for the advise. I used WBT last year and I guess got to excited about sharing with my imaginary faculty!

  19. I am looking forward to an engaging school year and I have something to share with you that will help each of you feel the same way!
    This summer I had the pleasure of visiting the reading camp for our district. The majority of the classes I encountered looked like your typical summer school class with the teacher talking and a few students paying attention. The other students were either playing with items in their desk or with each other and a few students were sleeping. Then I walked into a class filled with sounds of cheerful, animated students chattering with each other and the teacher was walking around the room watching and listening. Are these kids having fun in SUMMER SCHOOL? The teacher said two words (“class, class ”) and in five seconds it was quiet and all students were watching the teacher attentively. This scenario happened throughout the day. The teacher would teach for a short period of time and the students would happily teach each other.
    This is Whole Brain Teaching. It involves many brain activities at the same time but doesn’t allow for challenging behaviors to occur. WBT was developed over many years by Chris Biffle and is based on the premise that the longer the teacher talks, the more students will tune out. WBT eliminates student disengagement and bad behavior by emotionally connecting the student to the lesson through sight, hearing, movement and speaking. Watch the videos on the WBT website and read some of the discussions on the forum. Teachers, if you participate in WBT you will be amazed at the results.

    Anne Corrigan

    1. Anne,
      Welcome to the Book Club! Give that summer school teacher a big 10 finger woo! It would have been great if you had elaborated a bit more about the three key points of Chapters 1 and 2 that you were emphasizing. Here are 10 Certification Points for you! Save and date this post into a Word file!

  20. ⦿Chapters 1 & 2 Intro and Origin
    I am so excited to have you all back with me at Keen Preparatory Academy. The halls are so quiet during the summer months without your energy and the buzz of students learning. I am also charged up about introducing Whole Brain Teaching to all of you. Tens of thousands of teachers are already using it every day in their classroom, and it was found to be an effective classroom management system for students in kindergarten through college. We know the longer teachers talk the more students we lose. With Whole Brain Teaching, students are using multiple areas of the brain when they are teaching, listening, seeing, and using their gestures. This leaves no brain function left to process disruptions.
    Hearing about this made me think of the challenges that I encountered with several of my classes. Students were coming to school without their basic needs being met. The harder I worked to keep them engaged, the more discouraged I became. This left me thinking that there has got to be a way to engage the most challenging students, and there is! I started using WBT and my challenging students, where now taking on a new role as peer teachers and game participators. They loved that they could make me laugh and teach their peers. The best feeling was seeing them take control and share their enthusiasm about learning.
    Amy Blamires

    1. Amy,
      I can feel your passion and excitement as I read your post! Great job! It would have been great to elaborate a bit more on the three key points from Chapters 1 and 2 that you were emphasizing. Here are 10 Certification Points for you! Save and date this post into a Word file!

  21. Welcome back, faculty and staff! I hope you’ve had an enjoyable summer and that you are ready for a wonderful new school year.

    At the end of school last year, we determined that our focus as a staff would be student engagement this year. I am very excited to tell you that over the summer I have learned more about a teaching model that I began to explore during my last year as a classroom teacher. It is called Whole Brain Teaching.

    My last year in the classroom, I had several students who had difficulty focusing. I tried many different strategies with them, but nothing seemed to work. A friend told me about Whole Brain Teaching. WBT engages the entire brain in the learning process. As I began to implement some of the strategies, I noticed that all of my children, including the ones of concern, were listening and paying attention. I also realized that they were too involved to misbehave.

    This summer, I attended a workshop to discover more about this exciting teaching method. As the students are required to “teach each other”, I realized they had to sufficiently process the information in order to teach their partner.

    Finally, and perhaps most exciting, is that fact that this teaching system is fun. Therefore, the students are emotionally engaged with lessons that require them to see, speak, hear and move.

    I look forward to teaching you more this year about WBT. I am confident that this system, which has successfully been implemented from Kindergarten through college, will help us engage and empower our students.

    1. Kelty,
      Welcome to the Book Club! Great job! Here are 25 Certification Points for you! Save and date this post into a Word file!

  22. This is an exciting time of year. You have all been working very hard preparing your classrooms for easy functionality. I know you are hoping to have a group of great listeners. Surely your students will arrive ready to listen and follow every direction you give. However, what are the chances that it will actually happen the way you have planned? Help is on the way!

    When I was a university student, I felt like a star. I was quite successful in my program and knew that I was born to teach. Luckily, I got my dream job teaching kindergarten at a wonderful school. Then the struggle began! I spent the entire first year trying to find strategies to intrinsically motivate my students to want to learn. I actually became sad because all of the good research I had done did not seem to be paying off in the classroom experience. I talked too much and got poor results. Over the years I developed many wonderful strategies and have felt successful in the classroom, but children and the way they learn has changed.

    Whole Brain Teaching is a system that engages the entire brain. I am giving you this Whole Brain Teaching book by Chris Biffle so that you can practice techniques that will keep students learning with no mental area left over for challenging behavior. Students will learn to listen and follow directions in a way that they find fun because they are actively doing the direction they are saying. Chris Biffle spent many years creating a scientifically based, core program that works with all ages of learners. If you practice them daily, the system will work. WBT is fun and will help you to guide your students through an exciting school year. Read, learn, teach, enjoy! Oh yeah!

    1. Joy,
      You are so right when you talk about the disconnect between college programs and real classrooms! It would have been great for you to elaborate more on the three key points from the chapter that you brought up. Here are 20 Certification Points for you! Save and date this post into a word processing file!

  23. Teachers, welcome back to a wonderful new year! I am excited to implement a new style of teaching in our school, Whole Brain Teaching. I believe many of us share the same struggles when it comes to teaching challenging students. We all want our students to learn and be fully engaged in the best environment possible.

    Having been a Speech-Language Pathologist, I worked with students with an array of learning difficulties, attention deficits, and language and processing issues. I was constantly revamping my teaching strategies in order to reach my students and their specific needs. As the curriculum became harder, my students became more frustrated. As a result, many of these students lost focus and started misbehaving in class. Their overall participation and engagement in the classroom decreased and lack of discipline increased. I became just as frustrated and discouraged as I wanted my students to be attentive, involved, and excited about learning. This is why I started using Whole Brain Teaching with my students and had amazing results.

    Whole Brain Teaching is an instructional approach that helps stimulate both sides of the brain and emphasizes active learning. The premise of this approach is to keep the entire brain fully engaged so that students have no room to misbehave or lose focus. With this multisensory approach, teachers lecture less and allow the students to participate in peer teaching, using all of their senses simultaneously. Whole Brain Teaching also encourages students to work together towards a positive goal so that their participation and learning are rewarding, and therefore motivating.

    1. --Michelle Fernandez (sorry, not sure why it didn't publish my full name)

    2. Michelle,
      Great job! Keeping our students actively engaged and connected to their learning is a key goal of WBT. Here are 25 Certification Points for you! Save and date this post into a word processing file.

  24. I would like to welcome you all back to a brand new school year full of amazing possibilities, for you and your students! I have recently come across a wonderful opportunity for us to engage our students in an entirely different way.
    The program I want to introduce to you is Whole Brain Teaching. I would like to focus on three main areas of this style of teaching that have made quite an impression on me.
    The first aspect I would like to share with you is one we know all too well. Yelling at a child in an attempt to correct negative behavior does not produce desired results. This "scolding" is not an effective means of classroom management and only creates a more challenging situation, for both the teacher and the child. So, armed with this information, what is another option we can explore? Whole Brain Teaching gives us that option! A child that is given the opportunity to be an active participant in the classroom environment will thrive in this situation. They WANT to be a part of a positive and engaging learning environment! A welcome "side-effect" of Whole Brain Teaching is that the child has no time to misbehave if his or her "whole brain" is constantly being directed in positive and challenging ways. It's a win-win for both the teacher and the child!
    Another aspect of Whole Brain Teaching I feel is very important in preventing negative behavior, is keeping our directions short and sweet! The longer we tend to talk and drag out the lessons and information, the more students we lose to their own negative devices! This is not conducive to learning, whether in a Kindergarten classroom, or during a faculty meeting after a long summer break. So I would like for you to turn towards the person sitting beside you and discuss briefly what you have learned thus far about Whole Brain Teaching!
    Now that I have your attention, I would like to discuss the final aspect of Whole Brain Teaching that really hit home with me, and that is student engagement. As you were discussing with your neighbors, I could hear many emotional comments about the energy it takes, day in and day out, to do what you do. I am here to tell you, that this program will help your students become more engaged, thereby increasing the potential for learning. This will inevitably create a happier learning environment for both you and your students. If you will allow yourself to "let go of the reins" and let your students fly, they may just surprise you with the knowledge they have retained! I was there not too long ago, and would like to share an experience that I had in the classroom. I was teaching Kindergarten, and as most of you can imagine, keeping a five year old's attention focused on the material at hand is not the easiest job in the world. For many years, I used a similar method of allowing my students "time" to discuss the material being presented. However, at times, I lacked the ability to give up total control, due to time constraints, etc. I believe the key to the success of Whole Brain Teaching is creating and allowing that time for learning to be infused into your classroom environment. My (5 year old) students taught me an important lesson. They were adamant I give them the time they needed to share the knowledge they had acquired in the lesson. Who was I to stifle that excitement and thirst for knowledge? So, unknowingly, I was using a similar form of Whole Brain Teaching well before it was popular to do so. I realized that my students were learning and engaged, because I stopped talking long enough to hear what they had to say! My point in sharing this story with you is this, if you will allow your students to share what they have learned, it will create student engagement like you have never seen!
    So, please turn one last time to your neighbor and discuss some of the aspects of Whole Brain Teaching that made an impression on you today! Good luck with letting go of the reins...Now teach!!!

    Tami Madison

    1. Tami,
      Well done presentation to your staff! One of the powers of WBT is its ability to reach all grade levels across the curriculum! Here are 25 points!

  25. FYI...I am so excited this finally published!!! I have spent many "man hours" attempting to get it into your virtual hands! I am not certain why my indented paragraphs did not transfer over to the blog site. I will use spacing between paragraphs next time.

  26. Good Morning and welcome back to a new school year! I am so excited to get this school year started. I have spent the last fifteen years teaching in low socio-economic schools, with struggling students. I know the challenges you face as classroom teachers. I am understand that you want more engagement from your students, with less disruptive students. I was recently introduced to program by Chris Biffle called Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. I used this program in my last three years of teaching with amazing results in my students. Whole Brain Teaching recognizes if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behaviors (Biffle, 2013, pg. 2). The brain has no on switch, and is constantly learning either positive or negative behaviors (Biffle, 2013, pg. 2). So this year we are going to focus on the positive behaviors and positive learning from our students, and recognize and reward those aspects in our students. Biffle did brain research and found students are completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving (Biffle, 2013, pg.8). Let me give you an example, when I say Hello ABC Charter School, you are going to respond, Hello Mrs. Shoupe. This models a Whole Brain strategy called Class-Yes!, where you say class to your class and they respond yes. Now there is a second part you most mimic the tone of voice, and way I say class or ABC Charter School. I look forward to an engaged positive wonderful school year.

    1. Tonya,
      Nice presentation to your staff. Student engagement is a big key to student learning! Be careful editing future posts: "...second part you most mimic the tone of voice, and way I say class or ABC Charter School." Here are 20 points for you!

  27. Good Morning! Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life! I am eager for our school to begin the year headed in the right direction. One way I intend on ensuring this is the case is by providing every teacher training on a teaching system called Whole Brain Teaching. I’ve had the personal privilege of attending trainings and implementing this in my own 3rd grade classroom. By the end of the 1st week I was astonished at the differences I could already see in my classroom management and discipline compared to the years prior. My students seemed happier than ever, the amount of instruction I was capable of completing by the second week was unspeakable, and I left work every day happy and excited to return in the morning. The students who were the lowest academically and the most difficult behaviorally were 100% of the time on task, challenged in their work, but most importantly ENJOYING LEARNING! Whole brain teaching is a way to create an environment that engages even the most challenging students 100% of the time. “Challenging kids are rebels. Punishing them only makes them more rebellious. If the student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” Little to NO lecturing is involved in a Whole Brain classroom “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” “We found that students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving.” You will find that “Whole Brain Teaching is more like a large lively game” that involves orderly fun! Let’s make this year memorable!

    Stephanie Shepard

    1. Stephanie,
      It is astonishing to see the differences in the students when their whole brains are engaged isn't it! Here are 25 certification points! Save them in a word file to submit later.

  28. Welcome back! I hope you all had a great summer. I’m happy to see all of your smiling faces. This summer I had a pleasure of attending a WBT training session. The session opened my eyes to how much our children can benefit from that strategies of WBT. WBT is the key to engagement. A couple years ago, I had a student (5th grade) who couldn’t read or write. He wanted to participate but he felt like he couldn’t do what the other kids were doing. He became immune to not being part of the class because he knew he was different. “What do you do?” and “How do you make him feel included?” It’s time for us to upgrade our toolbox. We need to try something else. I strongly believe that WBT is the answer to our questions. Here are some key points of WBT.
    You’re desperate: Teaching is a profession that you are willing to try anything to keep your students engaged. WBT is a key to engagement. It allows the students to have fun and learn at the same time.
    Pass the baton: WBT allows the students to become the teacher and the learner. By passing the responsibility to the students, it will allow them to teach one another.
    Step out of your comfort zone: Don’t tie yourself to one style of teaching. The world is changing. We are competing with gaming consoles, smartphones, iPads, tablets, and etc.

    1. Chenetll,
      I appreciated your example of your 5th grade students. I agree, WBT is the answer! You had few minor writing errors, “…children can benefit from that strategies of WBT”, and an awkward sentence in paragraph 2 (Teaching is a profession…). Here are 10 certification points. Save these in a Word document to submit later.

  29. Hello and welcome back to a new school year! I am so excited to get this school year started. My last three years teaching were spent in a low-socioeconomic school. I am familiar with the struggles that all classroom teachers can face at times. I want to first share some information about a program I implemented last year called “Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids” by Chris Biffle. This program blew my mind! I was skeptical at first, considering the behavior of my students, but it was amazing! By the second week of school, I was sold! I realized after reading about Whole Brain Teaching that I consistently broke the “First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching.” This law states that the longer we talk, the more students we lose (Biffle, 2013, pg. 6). I then continued paying closer attention to Biffle’s research and it states that students are more likely to be completely engaged in class when they are emotionally involved in lessons that require seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving (Biffle, 2013, pg. 8). I know what you’re thinking, what about that extra challenging student that no matter how hard you try, won’t participate? Research shows that in many cases, while whole brain teaching, the challenging students couldn’t be challenging because their entire brains were too busy learning (Biffle, 2013, pg. 8). I’m looking forward to sharing more of this with you and seeing you all begin to implement it in your own classrooms!

    Kasey Wicker

    1. Kasey,
      Nice presentation to your staff! Here are 25 certification points! Save this in a Word document to submit later.

  30. Welcome back teachers to what I know will be a fantastic school year. I don’t say fantastic year because that is what I hope we will have, I say it because that is what I know we will have. Not long ago I stood in front of a classroom full of children every day just like each of you. During that time I dealt with some of the same frustrations that I am sure some of you do. I will never forget that overly enthusiastic child that I seemed to get at least one of every year. You know; the one who can’t raise his hand to speak because he is too excited to give the answer, or always forgets to ask for permission before getting out of his seat because he forgot that he was supposed to? I also had those students who sat quietly by and I was sure they were soaking up everything I was teaching like a little sponge. After all they never interrupted me, disrupted the class, or stepped a toe out of line. I was shocked each time I graded one of their tests and realized they hadn’t truly been listening or understanding anything I had been teaching all week. I was sure there were no real answers to these common issues that can be found in classrooms all around America. Ladies and gentlemen, I was wrong. Whole Brain Teaching is an instructional approach which compels teachers to use techniques in their classrooms that call for 100% participation and engagement from their students. “Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) produces classrooms that are full of orderly fun.” Students are willing to abide by classroom rules like never before because participating in the rules is fun and has been turned in to a type of game. Challenging students can be found in every classroom but WBT requires students to use their whole brain during learning which helps to eliminate challenging behavior because, “there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” Whole Brain Training has every student seeing, saying, hearing, and moving to keep them engaged and actively participating in their learning. Throughout this year you will be learning how to implement WBT in your classroom and I know it will make all the difference.

    1. Kristen,
      Nice presentation to your staff! I agree, it is shocking when you learn that your little quiet students weren't actually paying attention at all! This will be a great solution to meet those needs! Here are 25 certification points. Save these in a word document to submit later.

  31. This is a great day to be an educator, and I am fortunate to be the instructional leader of this school. I once sat where you are sitting. Yes, I was a first grade teacher for over twenty years in a challenging, low socio economic school.
    I want to introduce you to the Whole Brain Teaching system. WBT was not a part of my teaching practice when I was in the classroom. Lessons that involved movement, hearing, seeing and saying were not part of my daily instruction. I wish I had known about this brain friendly approach. WBT would have made that positive difference in my classroom.
    Here are the differences my children and I would have experienced.
    1. My children and I would have experienced “classrooms that are full of orderly fun.” Students want to follow rules that are fun.
    2. My children and I would have experienced the freedom and enjoyment of students teaching students. When students take charge of teaching their peers, it is extremely empowering and engaging.
    3. My students would have experienced a bit of free time as a reward for their hard work. Who doesn’t like free time?
    As Chris Biffle has stated, “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” Chris Biffle’s engagement techniques will make the difference in your classes. Our kindergartners through fifth graders will soar as we implement Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. It’s not too late!

    1. Kay,
      You are so right! It's never too late to get WBT started in your classroom! Nice post to your staff! Here are 25 points for you!

  32. Good morning and welcome to a new beginning. During the past weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak with each of you privately and I believe you are committed to turning our school around.
    Student behavior seems to be the reoccurring theme. We know the behavior of challenging students impacts the learning of all children, disrupts classroom instruction, and frustrates teachers. As your instructional leader, it is my job to provide the tools necessary to improve student engagement, decrease classroom disruption, and boost student performance all while having fun! How can this be possible you ask? Welcome to Chris Biffle’s Whole Brain Teaching a grass roots education reform movement based on leading research that is used around the world.

    I would like to share three key points. First, punishment does motivate students it makes them more rebellious. If punishment worked there would be no behavior problems, nor would our prison system be over run with repeat offenders. When we engage the student’s whole brain in learning there is no mental area left over for challenging behavior. Next, students will be completely engaged in class when they are emotionally involved in lessons that require seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving. Finally, the longer we talk the more students we lose. With the most energetic presentation, research tells us we have about ten minutes before our audience begins to tune us out.

    I have spent more than twenty years as a classroom teacher working with at-risk children in low performing schools. I understand how hard you work and how frustrating and demoralizing teaching can be. Together we will begin this journey and embrace Whole Brain Teaching as the method to decrease disruptive classroom behavior while increasing academic performance.

    1. Dian,
      Nice presentation about WBT to your staff! Here are 25 points for you!

  33. Welcome back to the Westside Gifted Charter School! Your students cannot wait to meet you! I am very excited to share with you a research-based, cutting edge teaching system, I learned about this summer, called Whole Brain Teaching.

    First of all, I know you will agree that, “we can’t teach classes that won’t listen.”
    As a former gifted student, I was completely bored by teachers whose main delivery of instruction was lecture. My 8th grade science teacher was quite possibly the inspiration for that monotone teacher from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. I had no idea what he was talking about, because I was not listening most of the time. This is no different for our students. In fact, \researchers are finding that today’s generation of students are even more easily distracted, due to the influence of cell phones, computers, video games, and other forms of technology.

    The First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching states that, “ the longer we lecture, the more students we lose.” This applies to kindergarten to adults. I admit to “resting my eyes” on a few occasions during in-service and staff meetings. As teachers of gifted students, we acknowledge that gifted education students can be very disruptive when bored. When I began teaching Gifted students, I knew that I did not want to be “that teacher” with the boring lectures. Instead, I wanted to fully engage my students. I implemented a variety of activities as part of interesting thematic units. These were effective for learning, but there were still students with behavior problems. The missing puzzle piece: Whole Brain Teaching! Whole Brain Teaching adds another dimension to classroom dynamics. If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior!

    Finally, research shows that students are completely engaged in a class when they are emotionally involved in lessons that require seeing, saying, hearing, and even physically moving. Students’ entire brains are busy learning with Whole Brain Teaching.
    I ask you to try this, with an open mind, see how it works, and see how it can change the dynamics of your classroom.

    Lori Hahn

    1. Lori,
      Your staff will appreciate and relate to your personal reasons for seeking out WBT methods. Nice job! Here are 25 points for you!

  34. Good morning, I was so proud to be named the principal of Westside Charter School. Like you I am ready to get to work finding success for every student.

    I have spent the last few days absorbing information from Chris Biffle’s book, “Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids.” I have seen the success this program can bring to schools and want to make it a part of our school.

    “If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.”

    I was that child that always wanted to sit next to the window in class; easily distracted and always looking for something else to do other than school work. I have found that basic Whole Brain Teaching activities can make an enormous difference in the behavior of some of those children who are a lot like I was. Students who are constantly shouting out in class will be raising their hands. Students who couldn’t stay in their seats are now more fully engaged and seem to forget about some of those urges to leave their seats. Those students that seemed to tune out to learning are now teaching their partner exciting new concepts.

    “Disruptive kids break rules, distract classmates, bond with other rebels, retreat into walled silence, are nourished by resisting their instructor’s best intentions… because their brains demand activity which the classroom does not provide.”

    Early in my teaching career I was blessed with four boys that fit this mold perfectly. The more I corrected behavior, the more I taught, the more effort I put into my class; the worse their behavior became. My frustration grew until it affected the rest of my class. If only I had been able to introduce Whole Brain Teaching, I might have found success for all the children in my class. After seeing the short-term results in my current class, I truly believe that these young “rebels” could have become effective teachers in my class.

    I was surprised to learn about the origins of Whole Brain Teaching. I had previously assumed that Whole Brain Teaching had its beginnings in the elementary setting, but it actually had its start on a basketball court. Chris Biffle then introduced the concept into the community college classroom and found that it could fully engage college students. Chris took these concepts and working with elementary teachers quickly adapted them for use by younger students. What surprised me the most is that students from preschool to college could be reached with this program.

    This program can help our school find success for every student.

    Steve Sublett

    1. Steve,
      Great staff presentation! Yes, WBT has no age limits or subject barriers! Here are 25 points for you!

  35. Welcome, teachers. Eighty percent of this faculty is new to Last Chance Charter School. I want you to commit because these students need you. Too many teachers leave because they are tired of disruptive students. You may have taught at another school where you may have had a few students disrupted your class. Our school is filled with ninety-five percent students who disrupt your class while the other five percent are sleeping. This stops now. We do not have time to waste. We need these students to learn as if their lives depend on it, because it does. We will accomplish this by implementing Whole Brain Teaching. When students are engaged in using their whole brain for fun and engagement, they do not have mental area left over for challenging behavior. Students will become engaged in lessons that require seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving to reinforce concepts they must know and probably missed the first eight times they heard the material. My most challenging student raised his score last year from 9 percent to a solid 72 percent using Whole Brain Teaching. I expect similar results, and together we will achieve this as a school using Whole Brain Teaching.
    Now, I please welcome my guest speaker, Mr. Chris Biffle.

    Krissa White

    1. Krissa,
      WBT will make a huge difference at your school! Be careful editing future posts: "...where you may have had a few students disrupted your class." and "Now, I please welcome my guest speaker, Mr. Chris Biffle." Here are 10 points for you.

  36. When I first realized I wanted to become a teacher and began my student teaching, I had no idea what was in store for me during that semester, let alone the very first day I was merely observing! Within the first hour of that first day in a kindergarten class, a student was disobeying the teacher. He was asked to sit on the floor with the remaining students. His behavior instinctively became worse when told to do the appropriate behavior by the teacher. The student started to climb on top of a desk and then went onto jumping from desk to desk smiling away. Perhaps you haven’t experienced anything close to this behavior, but how many times have you found yourself teaching your students and wondering what you can do to create a more engaging, enjoyable, but manageable atmosphere in your room? Whole Brain Teaching is where the success lies for an effective classroom. It creates student involvement and uses all parts of the brain to create valuable learning. This year we will be incorporating these ideas at our school. When a classroom doesn’t provide activity that the brain demands, then students are left lost, disruptive and rebellious. Because a student’s whole brain is involved in the learning, whole brain concepts don’t allow any room or “mental area for challenging behavior”. In addition, as teachers, “the longer we talk, the more students we lose.” Our students are tuning out after just ten minutes of teaching! Implementing whole brain teaching this year will give us the tools as teachers to reduce these issues and allow for a more promising year with engagement and less disruptions! I'm looking forward to these wonderful changes in each of your rooms and wishing you a fantastic year!

    Liz Cheney

    1. Liz,
      WBT will provide a way to offer an enjoyable and manageable atmosphere in your classroom! You had a couple of minor writing errors, “let alone the very first day (when) I was merely observing!” and “went onto (on to) jumping”. Here are 10 certification points for you. Keep these in a word document to submit later.

  37. It is time for a new, fresh approach to engage the brains of our 21st century learners. This year, our school will be a part of an exciting new training that will do what needs to be done in the classroom to engage the brain of every learner in a brain friendly way. Challenging kids will no longer be challenging because their entire brains will be too busy learning. We will be using a system called Whole Brain Teaching (WBT). Every teacher in this school will work hard to implement this system by practicing the techniques daily. There are no shortcuts to being the best teacher you can be.

    I remember the first time I saw WBT being used in an elementary classroom. All students were actively engaged and completely focused on the teacher, even one of my students with severe ADHD that I had taught the previous year was focused and engaged. The teacher was not teaching in the traditional lecture way. The students were having fun in an orderly way. I was so impressed and decided then that I wanted to learn all about WBT. I wanted to have fun in the classroom too!
    Most teachers feel the stress of keeping students actively engaged by using the old style lecture method classroom. We have to change our teaching techniques. We can’t have anymore zoned out, lost in space students. The longer we lecture, the more students we lose. Your class will be emotionally involved in lessons that require seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving.

    Students need to get hooked on learning the minute they step into the classroom and WBT will do the trick. Please visit the WBT website, WholeBrainTeaching.com, today to learn more about what exciting techniques you will be implementing this school year. Let’s make this year a “mighty oh yeah” year!

    Lori Crigler

    1. Lori,
      I hope you have a "mighty oh yeah' year ! You had a couple small grammatical errors (sentence that starts, "This year our school..." as well as the sentence that starts, "All students were actively engaged...") Here are 10 Certification Points for you! Save and date this post into a word processing file.

  38. I am very happy about being your new principal. I am looking forward to a wonderful year. I am excited about implementing Whole Brain Teaching in our school. This system involves the student’s entire brain in the learning experience. If the students are fully involved they are not going to have time to be a behavior problem. I have taught students in the past that were always up and out of their seats, talking out of turn, and distracted while I was teaching. After I started using Whole Brain, these things stopped happening.
    Teaching Whole Brain takes practice. It will become easier over time and you can adapt it to your classroom. It has been proven, if we lecture to our students for long periods of time they will not take in as much information. We need to work on giving our students information in short increments of time. If this isn’t your teaching style, it may take you some time to incorporate. It can be done. You will be happy that you made the effort when you see the results.
    It is also known that children love to have fun. The Whole Brain method is fun for students. If a child is having fun they will be engaged in what you are teaching. They will enjoy your lessons and be able to answers questions about what you taught them.
    The children enjoy being a part of the teaching process. When they are given a chance to be the teacher. Therefore, in order for them to be able to teach the material they have to know the material. They are given ownership over what they are learning.
    Working together I know that we can make this a successful school year. I am looking forward to this process, and I am here if you need me.

    Lander Murphy

    1. Lander,
      You are right, WBT does allow children to enjoy being a part of the teaching process! Here are 25 certification points. Save them in a word document to submit later.

  39. Welcome back to school faculty and staff! I hope everyone had a wonderful summer. We are going to begin our meeting by addressing some new rules and procedures for the upcoming school year. The first procedures we will cover will be classroom rules and discipline.
    As I was researching teaching techniques for classroom discipline this summer I found a program titled Whole Brain Teaching. Whole Brain Teaching is a technique that is designed to engage students as you teach. Many times in the classroom students become bored with teacher instructions and lectures and tune out the teacher. As students become bored they often become disruptive. Whole Brain Teaching engages students with interactive rules, games, and gestures which are fun to incorporate during instruction. I would like all teachers to become familiar with the Whole Brain Teaching strategies and incorporate them in your classrooms. We will spend this school year learning the strategies together and supporting each other as we go.

    I have been teaching elementary school for five years. Four out of five years have been spent teaching second grade. I teach in a downtown, inner city public school, and I have begun to apply some of the Whole Brain Teaching strategies in my classroom. I am looking forward to an exciting school year and to learning more about Whole Brain teaching.

    1. Irish Brown,
      Welcome to the book club! We are so happy that you have found WBT and are participating in this great resource for earning certification points! Although your post is heartfelt, you didn't answer the prompt fully by describing three key points from Chapter 1 and 2. Keep trying!

  40. I want to take the opportunity of this first meeting to share how you can experience the best teaching year ever! You can be academically prepared for every second of the day but leave each day like you weathered a storm.
    My first year as a public school teacher was a daily category five hurricane! Being prepared academically does not guarantee a successful teaching experience and ultimately student achievement. There is a revolutionary teaching system that is researched based, if used with fidelity will bring successful student achievement without feeling like you have weathered a storm. In the next few minutes, I will give you three points to avoid experiencing a daily storm.
    The first point is to realize that the brain does not have an on or off switch. Your student's brain is always engaged. In the past the engagement usually meant finding ways to make your teaching experience challenging. Now, with Whole Brain Teaching, student's engagement will become a profitable learning experience.
    The second point is learning that involves the student's whole brain in the learning process leaves no fractional part for classroom disturbances. Every student will be mentally and physically involved in their learning process. Whole Brain teachers transform academic information into high energy lessons.
    The third point is quality is better than quantity. Teachers make the mistake of talking their students to death. Whole Brain Training is designed for you to teach a lesson in 30-45 second segments and then walk around the room listening as engaged students (in pairs) reteach each other.

    1. Cathy,
      Nice job! Please remember to sign your posts with your full name. Also, be careful of sentence errors ("researched based, if use," and "learning that involves the student's whole brain in the learning process"). Here are 10 Certification Points. Save this post into a word file for later.

  41. Welcome Back Teachers! I can hardly wait to share the good news! This year I can guarantee that you will go home with more energy and enthusiasm than you have had before. That is a pretty big guarantee, but I am confident in what I am going to share! Whole Brain Teaching....that's the answer. Sound simple? Well, it is! We are going to revolutionize the way we teach and discipline our students. They are going to be engaged in learning! Doesn't that sound exciting? Chris Biffle, author of Whole Brain Teaching, has researched the best ways to engage students and they answer is always engagement! When students are engaged, they do not have time to misbehave! The more we engage our students the better they behave. Doesn't that make sense? This is going to be great as we learn how to teach students using their Whole Brain!

    1. Danah,
      Good job! Please remember to always sign your posts with your full name. Also, be sure to fully describe the requirements in the prompt. Here are 10 Certification Points for this post. Save and date into a word processing file.

  42. Welcome Teachers!
    Today we start a new school year with exuberance as we envision the limitless academic possibilities of every student. This year we are going to embrace our challenging students with "WBT"--Whole Brain Teaching. Here are three facts that we are going to accept as we use WBT techniques to improve our teaching practices:
    1) We cannot teach our students who will not listen. Engaging students and maintaining focus/attention throughout the lesson is paramount to learning.
    2) We cannot teach our students emotional control if we cannot control our own emotions. We often punish because we simply do not know what else to do. Sarcasm and loud negative comments do not solve any issue and may, in fact, make the situation worse.
    3) We cannot teach our students unless we connect what students need/want with what "we" need/want. Pupils need and desire freedom to laugh and play. Educators need and yearn for order and control. WBT positively connects both the needs and desires of both children and teachers resulting in academic success.
    WBT techniques succeed on a myriad of classroom issues. It is a positive, brain-friendly learning system compelling the student to invest emotionally in his/her academic lessons. WBT is based on the idea that "if a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior". Remember: There are no shortcuts to excellence. Daily practice of WBT will ensure success!
    Using Whole Brain Teaching techniques would have made a positive difference with the difficult class I had last year. "You can work really hard, using the wrong techniques, and get nowhere" exemplified that year! Well constructed activities and preparations, lively delivery of the lessons, and constant reminders of focus did little to prevent my students from retreating into either their zombie stares or difficult behaviors. Now I have a set of tools that will help me avert those behaviors in a positive and fun manner.

    1. Deborah,
      Wonderful letter! I'm looking forward to reading more about how WBT transforms your classroom this year! Here are 25 certification points. Save and date this in a Word document to submit later.

  43. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” –Vivian Greene

    Growing up as a dancer, this has always been one of my favorite quotes. Unbeknownst to me, this quote would continuously apply to every aspect of my life, including my careers as a teacher and a principal.

    As I read Chris Biffle’s, “Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids” this summer, all I could think about was you, my amazing staff, and this quote. At one point, Biffle compares being an excellent teacher to dancing, stating that, “if you don’t do the right steps you’ll never dance the cha-cha,” which supported the 2002 National Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Rafe Esquith’s quote, “there are no shortcuts to excellence.” This is what using Whole Brain Teaching in your classrooms will teach you, the right steps to achieving excellence!

    Unfortunately, as Biffle points out, “too many classrooms are battle zones between kids who want freedom and teachers who want order.” However, “Whole Brain Teaching produces classrooms that are full of orderly fun,” which will allow you to actively engage each student’s whole brain-hints the name! Remember, we want our students taking the right steps to achieving excellence, not stepping into a battle zone.

    I’ll leave you with this, “the First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching: The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” Less is better! Make the first ten minutes of lecture so powerful and engaging that it’s impossible for your students to tune out! If I had followed this law my first year of teaching, each student would have taken part in a full performance every day. Instead, I was performing solos and losing them! Using Whole Brain Teaching will help all of us, including our students, achieve excellence, weather the storms, and most importantly learn how to “dance in the rain!” I wish you all an amazing school year; let’s set the stage for excellence with WBT!!

    Meghan Holliday

    1. Meghan,
      Excellent presentation to your staff! In your fourth paragraph you mentioned "...engage each student's whole brain-hints the hame". Did you mean "hence the name"? Here are 20 certification points.Save and date this post in a word processing file. Later, we will post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

  44. Chapters 1 and 2 --Good afternoon!! I hope and trust that everyone had a great summer and an awesome beginning to our new school year. We have all definitely hit the ground and are off and running! Several months ago I was talking with some teacher friends of mine and they asked me if I had heard of WBT? Of course my response was what is WBT? I was told that it meant whole brain teaching and that it was a great teaching method and that they were looking forward to using it where they taught. Now I have to admit that I didn't immediately inquire about the whole brain teaching methods that they were using. However, as time went on I became curious and so I did what we all do and one point or another...I googled it! Upon reading up on this method and hearing even more about it from friends, I became very excited when I found out during the summer that my school was going to be given the opportunity to participate in Whole brain teaching this year.
    Chapter 1 hit the nail on the head when it stated what we as educators have all felt and that is "we can't teach classes that won't listen." How do we teach and get our children to listen?? We first have to remember that they are kids...and kids will be kids no matter if we teach in public or private schools, or in the inner city or suburbs. Whole brain teaching illustrates the point that children love to have fun and play games;however, it's orderly fun. Whole brain teaching is just what the name implies, the whole brain is involved in the learning process and each student is actively engaged in their learning/education. Whats more, each student is having fun while their whole brain is engaged and I don't know about anyone else but I am having fun right along with them. I feel that it's important for our children to see us having fun too!! My students know that I love to have fun and be playful with them during the teaching/learning process.
    The whole brain teaching method works. No matter your schools student demographics,or socio-economic background. No matter whether our students are white, black, brown, red, green, purple, yellow, EVERY student deserves the opportunity to take an active role in their learning and EVERY student is capable of learning, especially in a FUN way!
    The whole brain teaching method has a powerful secret...one that it is willing to share and that is, "if a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior." AMEN!!!
    Chapter 2 emphasized an extremely important law that I along with many others have broken time and time again and that is "the longer we talk, the more students we lose." The whole brain method works with students from PK throughout college.
    I am very excited about using the whole brain method this school year and the excitement that it will bring to my students who will be actively engaged in their education!!! Here's to the light going on for me...FINALLY!!
    Karlyn Davis

    1. Mochalala,
      It sounds like you are ready for a great year! You had one minor spelling error "whats" (what's). Make sure you sign your first and last name to your posts, and save them in a word document to submit later. Here are 20 certification points!

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Welcome back everyone!! When you look back on this year, I know that you will say “This was the best year teaching I have ever had”! I am very excited to share with you a new system of teaching that I learned about this summer called Whole Brain Teaching. Whole Brain Teaching will change the way you view your students, how your students view you, how your students learn, and allow you to fall in love all over again with your profession.

    In all my seven years of teaching music at an inner-city school, my biggest frustration has been that the students just will not listen. Imagine that, not listening in a music class! Over the years, I would bemoan by classroom problems to colleagues hoping for snippets of advice, but never received any of real value and usually left the meeting feeling inadequate and ineffective (to me, ineffective is the WORST word any teacher wants to hear or feel). It was never the whole class, but a select few of disruptive students that somehow ruined each class. As the lesson progressed and I got angrier and louder, my behavior problems seemed to blossom as my good students seemed to retreat behind a glassy stare in self-defense. This is key point of Whole Brain Teaching: “Challenging kids are rebels; punishment makes them more rebellious”. Let’s face it; some of your kids are absolute rebel geniuses! They are smart, they are cunning, they are active, they are engaged – just not in what we want. Most importantly, they are children and Whole Brain Teaching is going to give us the tools to lead these children back into the folds of academic success.

    Another key point of Whole Brain Teaching is recognizing what every child wants to do – play games and have fun. They want to laugh. They want to laugh at anything. They love games and will make anything into a game. In the Whole Brain classroom, even the rules are fun. Kids will be able to role-play as the teacher. They will be allowed to talk to each other. Students will work together as a team to achieve awards. There will be penalties, but they will also be entertaining. In the Whole Brain classroom, you will no longer be the “teacher”, but the “game master” in your students’ minds.

    Whole Brain creates a structure of teaching that involves all parts of our students’ brain. We are going to be teaching to our students’ pre-frontal cortex, visual cortex, motor cortex, and limbic system to name a few. The third key point of Whole Brain Teaching that I am going to talk about today is this: “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior”. In other words, if a challenging student is engaged in an activity using multiple parts of his/her brain, there won’t be any part of that brain left to think up the next great rebellion.

    I believe Whole Brain Teaching is going to revolutionize our school. The teachers will teach, the students will learn. The teacher will feel effective and the students will be proud of their success. It’s going to be a “win:win” school year.

    Kimberly Gandrup

    1. Kimberly,
      Welcome to the book club! I can feel your excitement to share WBT with your students! Here are 25 certification points! Save them in a document to submit in the future.

  47. Welcome back everyone! I hope you have had a great summer. I am so excited about the beginning of school this year because of a new program I am going to share with you called Whole Brain Teaching. This program can make this year the easiest, most fun, and most productive school year you have ever had. I want to share with you some of the reasons I chose this program for our school.

    The first major concept of Whole Brain Teaching is that the longer teachers talk, the more students we lose. Within the first 15 minutes, most students have tuned us out. I know when I teach a class a concept I love teaching, I convey my eagerness immediately. Students, seeing my love for the lesson, are all ears in the beginning. However, the longer I talk about my beloved topic, the more I see students drift off. How dare they! There must be a way to hold students’ interest.

    Good news, faculty! There is a way.

    In Whole Brain Teaching students are taught small chunks of material which they in turn teach to a partner. This keeps students focused and is engaging for everyone.

    Another important concept of Whole Brain Teaching is learning should be fun. WBT will introduce you to rules that are fun for your students to follow. Learning becomes an organized game that students are eager to play. Students work hard to earn small rewards and avoid penalties.

    Last, I want you to know that Whole Brain Teaching involves every part of the student’s brain. With the entire brain being devoted to following the rules and learning, students don’t have brain space left to devote to misbehavior.

    Students who are engaged, focused, and well behaved. . . . teachers with tools to ensure students’ success . . .everybody wins! I can’t wait to introduce you to Chris Biffle’s Big Seven.

    1. Kristi,
      Nice job introducing WBT to your staff! WBT is the perfect solution for those students that are drifting off! Here are 25 certification points. Save these in a document to submit later.

  48. Good morning and welcome back. I'd like to start today's meeting with a quote from one of my former principals. "He's your problem. Deal with him!" These were the words written on a Post-It that was handed to me upon the return of a middle school student who had been sent to principal's office for inappropriate classroom behavior. I do not use the quote today as a warning for what may happen if you send a student to me for inappropriate classroom behavior. Rather, I use this as a challenge to all of us that have or will have challenging students. After I calmed down after my initial shock of reading the Post-It, I was able to recognize that there was a clear message and an ounce of truth there. However, I did have one lingering question. How do I address challenging behavior in the classroom?
    It was at that point that I realized I had to play by a different set of rules. The Whole Brain Teaching movement offers us those rules, in five simple statements, and a new game plan. Upon reflection, I realized that the lecture model doesn't work. Coach Chris Biffle addresses this idea in his book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. He says, "the more we talk, the more students we lose." As a result, I had to tell myself to shut up before the kids had the opportunity. Upon more reflection, I realized that the student was not my "problem" but he was my "responsibility". We may only have our students in class for 180 days but we impact the rest of their lives in that short time. We must examine our instructional practices and determine if we are part of the problem. Coach B states that "challenging kids can't be challenging when they are busy learning." I feel the number one deterrent for "bad behavior" is good teaching. This is why Whole Brain Teaching works, it is brain friendly!
    We will examine these ideas from Coach B, along with numerous others, as we begin a new school year and book study. Whole Brain Teaching is a journey that we are set to embark on this year that will offer us challenges and successes, but no Post-It notes.

    Megan Hunter

    1. Megan,
      Oh my! That would be a difficult Post It note to receive! I'm confident that you will see great results with these challenging students as you use WBT daily! I appreciate your comment "...the student was not my 'problem' but he was my 'responsibility'." It is so nice to have WBT to lead us through strategies to help those kiddos that truly need us! Here are 25 certification points! Save these to a document to submit later.

  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. Good morning and welcome back. I know that everyone here is ready for a new school year. This year our focus is on student engagement. It’s important that ALL of your students are engaged in learning in the classroom. I know we all have students that seem impossible to engage in our lessons, even when we work hard to make them creative. Most teachers have accepted that there’s always going to be students that are unmotivated and just aren’t going to pay attention no matter what they do.
    Well, I have a solution that will engage every student in your class. It is a new way of teaching called Whole Brain Teaching. Whole Brain Teaching was developed by Chris Biffle, an educator with over 25 years of experience in the classroom. As Chris went through his teaching career, he noticed that his students were tuning him out. He was losing them within minutes of beginning his lectures. Sound familiar? Chris states, “ The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” This quote makes me cringe because I am a talker! I love talking to my students and before I know it, many of them have moved on to more interesting things.
    Children become bored quickly and easily. Their brains are demanding activity that we are not providing and we lose them. They start entertaining themselves and seeking attention. This isn’t possible with Chris’ program. Whole Brain Teaching is a fun, energetic technique that involves the whole brain in the learning experience. The students are hearing, seeing, speaking, and physically moving around with Whole Brain Teaching. They don’t have time to be difficult or unfocused. Instead, they are having fun “mirroring” words and “teaching” their peers.
    During my first year of teaching, I was lucky enough to attend a Whole Brain Teaching workshop led by Chris Biffle. It was unlike any workshop I’d ever attended. I went into this workshop thinking it was going to be like most of the other workshops I had attended, interesting, but long and drawn out. I decided to take some class papers to check and get two things done at once. I always try to multitask whenever possible. Well, it was NOT possible for one minute! Chris led a workshop that had everyone involved at all times. We were busy trying to learn the hand motions that he was teaching and trying to teach it to each other. We were up and down and in and out of our seats. It was great! I could visualize myself doing these things with my students. I left that workshop completely exhausted! Yet, I couldn’t wait to try this with my class. They fell in love with it immediately! They wanted to do it all the time.
    If I haven’t convinced you yet, let me share one more thing with you. I taught 4th grade my first year teaching and had quite a few ESE students in my class. One of my ESE boys was 12 years old and read on a first grade level. He had major attention problems and couldn’t read well enough to pass most of his tests. He, as well as the other students, loved doing “mirror words.” On only our second day of learning our vocabulary words with “mirror words,” he raised his hand and waved it wildly. He wanted to teach the class the definition to the word he knew. He did a fantastic job! It was the first time that he knew the actual definition of one of his vocabulary words. I called on another student to do the next word and my ESE student got upset and started to pout. I asked him what was wrong and he announced that he knew that word, too, and wanted to teach it to the class, also. I let him and I knew at that moment that I had found something that would forever change my students’ lives and mine. I know that as you experience Whole Brain Teaching this year, you will feel the same way.

    Jackie Rabin

    1. Jackie,
      Great job! Here are 25 Certification Points for you!