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."

Pages 1-8
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208 comments:

  1. I’d like to tell you a secret. This secret is something Chris Biffle, Director of Whole Brain Teachers of America, learned over the better part of his career as a teacher and coach. 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? How do we as educators solve the problem of student inattention and subsequent behavior problems? Techniques that I have learned from Whole Brain Teaching help to solve that problem.

    Mr. Biffle hit the nail on the head in his book “Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids” when he said, “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” Think about your own classroom. You stand in front of your class and with gusto, you deliver a well-planned and thought out lesson. Your students, however, are doing everything but paying attention. At times, you resort to raising your voice, threatening to give punish work, or simply asking, “Are you listening to me?” just to try to keep them on task. In my mind I can hear the cartoon character Charlie Brown’s teachers and I can see the students losing focus because there is talking too much, giving them the room to do things other than focus on what is being taught.

    Whole Brain Teaching is unique since the system will work with any grade, in any area of education for one simple reason; the techniques are brain friendly. Mr. Biffle started trying these techniques in his college philosophy classes with some success, so he asked two of his former students, Chris Rekstad and Jay Vanderfin, to fine-tune them in their respective kindergarten and fourth grade classrooms. Even with young students, the methods began to work. The classrooms turned into lively, fully engaged learning environments. With less lecturing from the teacher, more student interaction, and productive activity, there was no room for challenging behaviors to arise and thus students were learning more material.

    In my own classroom, I have had the pleasure of using these techniques. After going through half a school year with traditional teaching methods I stumbled across a Whole Brain Teaching video on YouTube. I researched more and decided to give this new system a shot. I had reached the lesson on fossils that I dreaded teaching because my students had a difficult time remembering the long process. Using teaching segments that included my teaching the steps in small chunks with gestures and having the students review those chunks with a partner changed my teaching methods. For the first time in the 5+ years that I had taught that particular lesson, nearly all of my students were able to provide the steps of how a fossil is made. I had an “ah-ha” moment!

    My hope is that this year you can embrace the techniques of Whole Brain Teaching that I learned and apply them in your own classrooms. You will be a amazed at what your students not only will learn and remember but also how the behavior of your students will change to create a better learning and teaching environment. Then, you too can experience that “ah-ha” moment.

    Julie aka Southern Teacher
    Southern Teacher WBT

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  2. If you were a student, would you want you as a teacher? I am hopeful that most of you said yes. The difference between when you were in school and our students today is that we didn’t learn the same way and our environments were very different. I am sure some of you can remember that one ring was for Mrs. Smith down the lane, two rings was Grandma’s phone and Three rings, you could answer. Now most of our students have phones. Not only can they take messages, send text messages and have their phone book, they also play music, take notes, take pictures, videos and can access the world wide web.
    Being new here, I could ask you for a list of students that will be in detention, Saturday school, or suspended this year. Your list will probably be pretty accurate because you know your students. A famous author once wrote: “if students’ behavior could be controlled by angry adults, then kids from troubled families would be exceedingly polite” (Biffle, 2013). What happens with “that” student, the one on the list you created in your head a minute ago? He is disruptive so he is sent in the hallway, because of boredom and need of attention; he gets disruptive there so he is sent to the office. That also means that he misses all the information you provided your other students today. Tomorrow comes and he acts a little worst because he doesn’t have a clue what you are talking about today since he wasn’t there yesterday. The cycle starts again and soon he is in the office missing out on information. This cycle happens here and there and he ends up failing. Did you like it so much the first time that you want to do it again?
    Why is he/she acting in such a way? As you reflect on last year, think of what you could have done differently for those students who needed your guidance the most. Please try to stay away from variables you can’t control such as the lack of parent involvement, lack of interest from the students, students not having school supplies or not doing their homework. What can YOU control? Your curriculum, you classroom environment, your lessons, and student engagement.
    Let me introduce you to Whole Brain Teaching (show a short introductory video). This year, we will provide you with the opportunity to learn about this movement and how you can apply it to your class. This is a voluntary program with greater rewards then money. We will look at a webcast after each faculty monthly meeting. We also purchased 10 books for those of you who will be interested in a book club that will meet once a month to progress through the program one step at a time. I was working with someone who used WBT and it was life changing. I hope you are ready to revamp your classroom and looking forward to a great year. Teach!

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  3. As we prepare to begin a new school year, there is a new program that is transforming the way we teach and children learn. It is called Whole Brain Teaching, and I’d like to share some points of the program with you today.
    Teachers have even harder of a task to get students and keep them engaged in the classroom, then they ever have before. The power of video games and the internet has at times, over run a child’s life and therefore, they cannot concentrate at school. One aspect of WBT is that the students are finally engaged in something fun and meaningful. Each step of WBT is for the benefit of the child. This is because as a student is engaged, he is also interested in what there is to learn. This will also cut back on the teacher having to work harder to keep the class under control and behaved. Another aspect is children do want to learn and this will provide them with a more concrete way of that learning. In WBT, there is movement, repeated phrases and general activity. It keeps the kids feeling more a part of the classroom and their learning process. A third aspect of WBT is a foundation for the program, which is the longer we talk, the more children we lose. As teachers stand up at the front for sometimes hours at a time, children become less engaged and tend to lose focus both academically and behaviorally.
    This new program will revolutionize your classroom. I assure you! There are many resources available for you online in the form of videos and ebooks. I encourage you to check them out.
    As a teacher in my second full year, I was hesitant to start WBT. I wasn’t sure if it would really work and more importantly, stick. During the middle of this year, I decided to print out some posters of common WBT phrases and used them in my first grade classroom. The kids responded well and my goal over the summer is to really utilize this book study to become more confident starting WBT from the very first day!

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    2. Sarah, I love how you reminded us that WBT benefits the children. It's easy to see how it benefits me - fewer misbehaviors = happier teacher! But, we all teach for the kids, or we wouldn't continue to fight for them every day. Sometimes I need the reminder of WHY I try so hard to figure out what to do and how to do it better. Thanks!

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  4. Welcome back and Happy New School Year! I am excited to be here as your new administrator and I wanted to share with you a method of teaching that I found last year while in my own classroom and it is going to blow your socks off! Turn to your neighbor and tell them how excited you are to learn something new! (Pause) I came across the most amazing method of teaching. It’s called Whole Brain Teaching and we are going to utilize this method this school year and put some funtricity back into our classrooms! As Coach B would say, I hope everyone brought a hanky because when we’re done, you’ll be armed with the most effective, fool-proof behavior management and teaching methods out there and you’ll be wiping away tears of joy.
    Whole Brain Teaching works on the premise that if a student’s whole brain is involved, there isn’t any room left for challenging behavior. Coach B says that we can’t teach classes that won’t listen. Year after year disruptive kids and teachers are at war in the classroom. Disruptive children break rules, distract classmates, shut down on you, and do everything in their power to rebel because their brains need activity that the typical classroom doesn’t provide. I was there once, not too long ago. I taught in at-risk schools and was getting burnt out because of the behavior problems I had to deal with year after year. Whole Brain Teaching made such a difference in my classroom. It wasn’t “cool” or “productive” for those disruptive children to do what they would normally do. They weren’t getting the support of their peers anymore; I was. I truly believe that once you squash the disruptive behavior you have all the time in the world to teach.
    That brings us to the first law of WBT: The longer we, as teachers, talk, the more students we lose. Whole Brain Teaching is all about chunking information and having students teach each other. It will be difficult at first, and it will require a lot of planning and organization, but I promise you it is worth it. I thought that it would take me forever to get through a lesson with all of the chunking and student teaching, but I noticed that my students were more engaged and listening attentively so that they could be the teacher. My students were having fun and they were retaining what we taught each other. And because I was streamlining what I taught, I could actually fit more into a lesson.
    The website has so many free e-books and videos that will walk you through the WBT experience. We are taking this journey together. We will be investing a lot of time into this and need to be there to support each other. So if you’re ready to be the most effective teacher you’ve ever been and are ready to engage your students like never before give me an OH YEAH!

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  5. On this, my first day as your administrator, I would like to share with you a revolutionary way of teaching. How many of you have students in your classroom who are inattentive, daydreaming, or causing distractions? Let me tell you about Whole Brain Teaching (WBT). Whole brain teaching is a method that will emotionally involve your students in lessons that require seeing, hearing and physically moving. We all know that students all learn differently. The WBT type of teaching involves all the modalities. Students are inattentive and disruptive because their brains require activity that traditional teaching does not supply. With WBT, the student's whole brain is involved in learning, so there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behaviors. WBT reaches students of all races, academic levels, and socio-economic levels. I tried aspects of whole brain teaching in my classroom last year, and the students loved it! It's a way to involve ALL students ALL the time. I just touched on some parts of whole brain teaching last year, so I look forward to watching your classrooms blossom as you and I learn more about WBT. I have a copy of Chris Biffle's book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Students, for all of you. In addition there are many resources available for you online in the form a videos and ebooks. I want us all to have a great year! As I know from teaching and taking college courses, the longer we talk, the more students we lose. With that being said, I will close now with the hope that you will read the book and check out the online resources.

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  6. Welcome to a new year! Beginnings are always exciting and this year is no different, but wait, maybe it can be different. Along with excitement I want you to put some fun into your teaching. This journey into fun began for me when I was using the method of Whole Brain Teaching whose director is Chris Biffle. My dream and expectation for each teacher here today is to take the frustration and disillusionment out of teaching and add funtricity. I know that is not a real word, but it can be a real possibility in your classroom. I am providing each of you a copy of a new and exciting book called “ Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids” by Chris Biffle. Take this book, read it, digest it, and put it into practice and end up in “teacher heaven”. Three ideas that you will find in this book are “The longer we talk the more students we lose, we can’t teach classes that won’t listen, and if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” (Biffle 1,2,6)

    In addressing the first idea, do I need to say more, I think not?

    The past has shown us that we can have all the knowledge in the world, but if students won’t listen it is all in vain. This quote from the book says it all “ Isn’t it obvious what every pupil wants? Kids want to laugh and play games. Our system, Whole Brain Teaching (WBT), produces classrooms that are full of orderly fun.” “Students work hard with their classmates to gain a few minutes of free time, because we have created structures that make this hard work more entertaining than zoning out.” (Biffle 2) When we making teaching fun, like a video game, students will listen and learn.

    The third idea may not be new to you, but new in the way to implement the whole brain. WBT has taught me “the brain has no on or off switch…and is constantly learning either positive or negative behaviors.” (Biffle 2) So, we must teach to the whole brain this year. WBT has proven strategies that work and make teaching and learning fun again.

    Finally, I leave with you one of my own experiences with WBT. I struggled many years trying to gain and keep my students attention. WBT has a quick and easy way to do this with the Class/Yes strategy. Class/yes turns on the prefrontal cortex and makes the student ready for information. When I say Class and the students respond with yes; I have their attention, all of it, instantly. It works everywhere and it is amazing. It works even when I’m not around. One class of mine was in P.E. and the teacher was waiting for their attention. (This teacher did not use the WBT method) One student notice his disgusted look turning to anger as the class continued to talk when they were suppose to be quiet and listening. The student yelled out Class and the whole class responded with YES and immediately became quiet for the teacher. Needless to say the teacher was impressed and recognized the value of WBT. So, this year let’s make it a different year of excitement by giving our best to the students through WBT and we will all be in “teacher heaven”.

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  7. Hold on to your socks dear teachers. I'm going to share a method of teaching that will revolutionize our school and will increase learner engagement tenfold. That method is Whole Brain Teaching. We know that children love to laugh and play. This system "produces classrooms that are full of orderly fun.” Further, behavior will improve because brains will be busily engaged in learning and won't have time for class stopping shenanigans. Whole Brain teaching reaches out to that challenging student by engaging their brain in activity, which unfortunately, is something that most classrooms are lacking. Also, gone are the days of lectures lasting longer than 10 minutes each. According to research, students "tune out after only 10 minutes" of presentation.  I experienced this with my own classes until I began “Whole Brain” teaching. The transformation was amazing! I found my class was fully engaged when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, hearing and physically moving. It reaches all the different learning modalities. Whole Brain Teaching is a grass roots education reform movement that will provide ALL students the opportunity to succeed.   I've got a copy of the book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle, for each of you and I encourage you to check out the videos ,from some awesome Whole Brain teachers, to see the goodness in action at WholeBrainTeaching.com. You will also find a plethora of free ebooks there to enrich your classrooms. One more cool fact about this system is the collaboration between Chris Biffle himself, the veteran Whole Brain teachers and us. We teachers are never too old to learn and grow. The sharing and interacting of this method with our fellow educators can help us hone our skills. Get your harps ready teachers, because soon you will be in teacher heaven.

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    1. Hi Marianne12!
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  8. Our focus, as we start this new year together, will be on student engagement. A wise man once said, "The longer we talk, the more students we lose." In my own schooling, I know I sat through hundreds of lectures, but I don't remember a single one. Lecturing doesn't engage more than a handful of students. With so much unused brain power, these kids find other ways to engage themselves!

    I clearly remember a time in my early teaching career when I was giving a lecture to a 5th grade class on nouns. Half the class was not paying attention, so I yelled at them and sent two kids to the principal. I was punishing them because I hadn't done a good enough job creating a lesson that engaged them. If their whole brain is engaged in an activity, there isn't any room left for challenging behavior.

    Many of our challenging students come from troubled families. Troubled families can be found everywhere. It's not just poor inner-city kids, it's also upper-middle class Suzy from a small town. Even if their families don’t look “troubled” on the outside. If yelling and punishment worked, then kids from troubled families would be exceedingly polite. They have, instead, become masters in the art of rebellion. Their brains are crying out to be engaged! It's up to us to harness their brain power in a direction that will lead them forward. To really reach those kids, and all kids, we have to rethink the way we do things. We have to make our rules fun to follow, and help unite them under our leadership.

    All of the things I've been talking about today are part of the Whole Brain Teaching movement, and come from an amazing book written by Chris Biffle. I'm giving each of you today a copy of the book, and look forward to talking about this book at each of our future meetings.

    Sarah
    WBT in Middle School

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    1. Sarah ... How does it feel to be at the top of the WBT Certification Leader Board? You earned 25 more WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.
      Coach B

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  9. Each of you has been provided with a copy of Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle, the Director of Whole Brain Teachers of America. You will soon discover that this book is an invaluable tool.

    There are three specific points that Coach B, as the author likes to be called, makes in the first two chapters of his book. First, “…we can’t teach classes that won’t listen.” Second, the secret of Whole Brain Teaching is: “…if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” Third, the First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching is: “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” Kids don’t want to sit and listen to an adult drone on and on. They want to have fun and play games while talking, laughing, and moving. The WBT system offers organized, orderly fun that enables learning in classrooms from kindergarten to 14th.

    On a daily basis, tens of thousands of teachers across the United States and in 30 countries use the techniques put forward in this book with great success. I also had success using WBT with my remedial students because of the multimodality approach. Coach B is a big proponent of daily practice and oral learning before written assignments. Getting students out of their seats, gesturing, and teaching each other certainly worked well for my students, and I’m sure it will work here as well.

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    1. Marie: In the future, we need a bit more from you ... especially useful would be one or two more detailed stories from your teaching experience. For now, you earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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    2. Coach,
      I had over 600 words on my original one! When I saw a limit of 250, I cut the dickens out of it.
      Thank you for the CP.

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    3. Good chopping! Poor dickens!

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  10. A wise man once said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” That man was ― Benjamin Franklin. This is what each and every one of us wants for our students. We all have our favorite lessons and our tricks of the trade that keep our classrooms running the way we want most of the time. Imagine now if you engaged all of the students’ brains. I’m talking about using their whole brain for learning. What is this new principal talking about you might be saying right about now. In my last few years in the classroom, I came across the most amazing secret in education today. I’m talking about not being able to wait to get to your class each day to teach. But wait, now the students can’t wait to get to your class either because (clap) they can’t wait to be a part of their own learning that will be happening. If you want to know what I’m talking about, turn to your neighbor and tell them how much you want to know what it is. Ok, ok, you’re all being good sports, so I’ll tell you. Whole Brain Teaching. Whole Brain Teaching is a program that might have some components that you currently use in your class that are successful, but what it has – is a plan to help raise your test scores, increase your students’ memories, and even help with your most challenging students. Now turn to your neighbor and tell them how excited about learning about whole brain teaching you are. Teach! That’s a little taste of how your students will react. They’ll laugh at first, but then will see how well it works and will love responding to your questions. This even will engage your most challenging student. Research has proved that if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior. Let me give you an example. Last year I had a student, TK, that loved to disrupt my class regularly. He loved to get us off track, entertain his classmates, and basically just waste our time. While teaching a lesson on possessive nouns, WBT worked it’s magic. So you now know that everyone has to talk with a buddy or their neighbor when asked to teach each other or share what they have learned. TK now had a captive audience to show what he knows and he loved to share with the class. Now, instead of disrupting the class, he was actually contributing. I know, I know, nothing is that easy. No, but even the punishments in whole brain teaching are fun. It’s all about retraining the behavior with daily practice. What’s also great is that the students not only orally respond, but also physically as well with specific gestures. 100 % of the students actively learning … great. 100% of the students actively engaged in their own learning… priceless! So let’s begin our year with the help of Chris Biffle and his amazing team of whole brain teaching creators as we impart the standards of the common core curriculum that must be achieved by all students, even the challenging ones.

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    1. Hi Lisa!
      Great story about TK!! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.
      Coach B

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  11. dmanuel

    6/2/13

    How to manage challenging students? More and more teachers are leaving the profession because of disruptive students, and this leads to frustration and defeat. Each teacher wants students to be successful, but know that without proper intervention, success is only a dream. Yelling and punishment does not work because it only fosters angry adults and students just rebel. Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle will instruct teachers on how to become effective teachers. This book will give teachers the tools to reenergize their teaching and be successful, and hopefully, stay in the greatest profession of all, education.
    Students want a fun, loving, and nurturing environment in which to learn. WBT is the secret to this classroom. When a student’s whole brain is involved, challenges fade away. This technique has worked for over tens of thousands of teachers, and it continue to provide quality instructional techniques to any educator who utilizes it within the classroom. Students will learn a set of core rules that will set the tone of the class and keep students actively engaged in learning. Students will be excited about learning (and forget about misbehaving) and teachers will go home at the day with more energy and the feeling of success and not defeat.
    Lecturing is an ineffective teaching technique we all use in our daily classes. Using this technique, we lose 80 percent of our students’ attention and focus. This is when students begin to misbehave out of boredom. Knowing how the brain operates, Chris Biffle and colleagues have developed a set of “brain rules” to manage the most disruptive students. Chris developed this technique based on his own frustrations as a teacher. As teachers, we must remember, “the more we talk, the more students we lose.” (6) Teachers get ready to stimulate students’ brains with WBT.
    I have taught school for twenty-nine years and have been fairly successful. I have to admit that at times I have raised my voice more than once to get students under control. At the end of the days I raised my voice, I was totally exhausted when the school day ended. This past summer, I was introduced to WBT and tried bits and pieces of it in my classroom throughout the 2012-13 school year. Just teaching class-yes was a miracle. Who knew a five-letter word (class) was so powerful. We live in a world of instant gratification and here it is in WBT exhibited within a classroom for the production of success from young people. As soon as I would say, “Class,” students would say, “yes,” and would wait for further instructions. I am sold on WBT and want to make it my goal for the up coming year to try more of the techniques that were shows as successful by Biffle.

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    1. Hi Debora ... it is always thrilling to hear about a rookie's success (only 25 years in the trenches) with Whole Brain Teaching!
      Coach B (42 years ... and hopefully lots more to go!)

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  12. As the new principal of the charter school it is my job is to make sure teachers have the tools they need to be successful. My goal is to integrate Whole Brain Teaching in all classrooms. Our school encountered many problems last year including student behavior being a challenge. Well no more! Think of it like a great offensive plan. We will prevent a lot of the problems because there will be a school wide classroom management system in place. First, students will know what is expected of them by the school rules. Second, students will be rewarded for their accomplishments with free time. The third aspect of Whole Brain Teaching is the lecture model does not work. Therefore there will be no lecture model used in your lessons. You will still need to introduce a lesson and model a lesson but the goal is to be a facilitator in the classroom. The first great law of Whole Brain Teaching is the longer the teacher talks, the more students are lost. We do not want to lose our students when they should be learning. Students should be learning from each other through collaboration and cooperative learning. Most importantly, it should be fun. Instruction should utilize student’s different learning styles and multiple intelligences. When I first started teaching, I taught kindergarten in a private school. All of my lessons were taught in centers. Students learned through play. The play was purposeful which I found myself having to explain to parents on numerous occasions but the student’s loved it. The same is true of any age. Students should be engaged in fun hands on learning activities.

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    1. Hi Faten! Thanks for your post! A good offense is always key! We need to bring the play and fun back into each lesson - powered by funtricity! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  13. Welcome, fellow educators and lifelong learners! This is the year I want us all to learn a new and exciting way to teach less and teach more. Whole Brain Teaching is a highly successful educational movement that will help us accomplish this achievable goal.

    Think about your own experience sitting in college lectures, required continuing education seminars, and even church! The more the speaker talks the less we hear; our brains become numb to the sound of the voice and off our minds go to “more important things.” “Our brains do not have an off switch and continually demand activity.” (Biffle, page 2) The same goes for our students; if we as adults cannot keep our attention focused after the first 10 – 15 minutes, how can we expect children of any age to accomplish this impossible task?

    When I was student teaching, there was a six year old boy who was completely out of control. This made me very sad; sad for the teacher who had to deal with him every day and was out of ideas and patience; sad for the other students who did not have an emotionally or academically safe place to learn; and sad for the little boy who didn’t know how to control himself, a student who faces years of trouble in the years to come. This put me on the path to search for answers on how to help children such as this child and his future classmates. Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids is the answer to this search.

    Whole Brain Teaching helps teachers regain our students’ attention and love of learning by engaging the whole brain so there is no mental room left to plan their next step in pushing your buttons, distracting and keeping the “good” students from learning, or totally spacing out. Research has shown students have different learning styles and Whole Brain Teaching taps into those different styles to engage the whole brain and therefore the whole student.

    Kids are kids and can only behave as kids which means they want to have fun, fun, and more fun. Whole Brain Teaching will help us as teachers make rules fun so our students will obey the rules and have fun doing it. Educators are always wishing there were more teachers in the room; well they are already there. We just have to tap into our students’ knowledge and love of teaching, talking, and sharing.

    Whole Brain Teaching will help us do the job for which we have such passion, helping students become successful not only at school but throughout their lives.

    May Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids bring the joy back into the job we all love and to which we have committed our lives.

    References:
    Biffle, Chris. Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids; page 2

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    1. Hi Peggy! Joy, love of learning, and fun...a great opening for a WBT Triple Whammy! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  14. Staff, welcome back! I hope that you all have had a restful summer! As you all know, while you may not want to admit, it is the first week of school. In just a few days your students will walk through your doors and be eager as ever to embark on a new year. This years top priority is to engage, encourage, and entertain. I will keep this brief since research shows that more than 10 minutes of lecture will cause students (even the best students) to tune out and lose interest. The more I talk the more of you I will lose. So lets get this started.

    In years past we have seen our colleagues counting down the days until Christmas break, then spring break, and finally the end of school. When I was in the classroom the biggest frustration was dealing with difficult students! I had a student, Johnny. He slammed my arm in a locker this last year. Most teachers wouldn't give him the time of day, but all the students did while he was carrying on. He was my biggest success last year. Even though he was not in my classroom I had the privilege of dealing with him in the hallways and at recess. He went from not being able to respect me or my words as an adult. This was helpful since his teacher was in support and used the WBT model in her classroom! I could award SIW stars, help practice rules at recess and so much more.

    I heard many of you say that the kids that don't listen, have attitude problems, and just don't learn. Remember to use strategies with involve the entire brain and body for learning, they will have no time or room in their brain to create chaos.

    As we begin this year let's remember why we are here and create that fun environment in your classroom where students want to be and you want to stay! Rub your hands together and say oh sweet mama, I'm ready to begin this year!

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    1. Hi Krystal! It's great to have you as part of our new book club! A fun environment and engaged learners make for the perfect combo in any classroom! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points. (Watch your future posts for grammar and mechanics. Thanks!)

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    2. Hey girl... we should totally start a WBT Charter school together! :) LOL!

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  15. Welcome staff to the most memorable school year in your educational career. Take a moment to reflect back on those students you labeled “challenging”. Think of everything you tried to get them to sit still and focus in your classroom. Fellow teachers, a great educator Chris Biffle wrote in his book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, “Most challenging kids genuinely want to be part of the classroom environment; this is why they work so hard, and continuously, to get everyone’s attention”. Of the students I labeled “challenging”, every single one was very intelligent but bored, not engaged, and desired to be doing other things.

    All students are sent to school to learn and deserve an education that is engaging, thought-provoking, and memorable. I think back to college professors reading the Power Point off the screen to us like we were illiterate. Every teacher is guilty of reading to students and expecting students to follow along. This involves no engagement and most students sit there quietly hoping not to be called on if you stop and ask a question. Is this how we want our students to remember their childhood education?

    Biffle also said “We can’t teach classes that won’t listen.” All students will listen if we change our teaching styles to incorporate “funtricity”! Instead of you teaching all day, Whole Brain Teaching allows students to actively listen to information and then able teach each other. Student’s brains will be lively, ready to learn, and willing to follow every rule.

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    1. Hi Laken! You have pointed out a very key element in learning...student engagement! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  16. Fresh from the classroom, I come to you today as your new administrator. I’d like to share with you a little bit of what I found most successful in my last few years of teaching. So I am going to share with you what I learned that drove me to become an educator who felt pride in the profession of teaching, and that is Whole Brain Teaching.

    Third graders knew the rule. When whole group learning was going on, we showed respectful listening behaviors. I had to take the book away from Frank during our lesson on the Solar System, again during the novel study discussion, and then again while reviewing math facts…which was just as much a punishment for the rest of the class as it was for him. His behavior was great if he was engaged, however the book removal would inevitably lead to challenging behavior. I’m sure many of you can relate to this. Frank’s issue was that he was not an auditory learner; however his issue became a problem for the whole class when his behaviors became a challenge. I want you to remember this first point as you go into this year, if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior. Students with different learning styles require different activities to engage them. One simple way to attain this level of engagement is to incorporate Whole Brain Teaching into your classrooms this year.

    Getting back to Frank, he was brilliant. He was brilliant in math, brilliant in reading, and brilliant in executing challenging behavior. He put a lot of effort into challenging the adults he dealt with on a daily basis. I found that if he was given back that same level of effort, respect was established. Planning and preparation were a must on my part. Whole Brain Teaching establishes a comfortable, well thought out, well executed plan for each day. Remember this second point, most challenging kids genuinely want to be part of the classroom environment; this is why they work so hard, and continuously, to get everyone’s attention. They work for attention, so provide the right kind of attention. WBT provides the right kind of attention.

    As I planned my talk today, I realized I was not going to be doing for you what I would do for my classroom of students. I would not be communicating in a way that would engage your whole brains, which gave me the perfect opportunity to watch what happens when we do not practice Whole Brain Teaching. As I stood up here and lectured, I watched you. Your eyes and hands were respectfully in position showing “listening”, for the first few minutes. Then, I noticed eyes darting around the room and hands reaching for pens, gum, and cell phones. One last point I will leave you with is one Chris Biffle and his Whole Brain Teaching colleagues state is the First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching: The longer we talk, the more students we lose. Their new book leads with this idea.

    This is the reason that as you go back to your classrooms you will go with a copy of their recently released book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. I share with you this resource. Whole Brain Teaching proved valuable to my success in the classroom, and I encourage you to share your successes and resources you find valuable as we move through the coming school year. As Randi Weingarten the president of the “American Federation of Teachers” states, collaboration is our best hope for improving America's schools. So let’s make this a year of great collaboration starting with Whole Brain Teaching.

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    1. Hi Catherine! So glad you found your way over to our new book site! Your post is excellent! We all need to reflect on the dynamics of a typical staff meeting, and why our classroom instruction needs to be about so much more! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  17. Staff, welcome back to a new school year full of new and exciting adventures. Turn to someone beside of you and tell them one new thing that you would like to try in your classroom this year. Class, Yes! You all have something that you want to try in your classrooms and your partner is going to hold you accountable to that. Now, I have a new, classroom-changing system that I hope you will get as excited about as I am - Whole Brain Teaching. The brains of Whole Brain Teaching is Chris Biffle and he has been in your shoes - he was a teacher. This revolutionary teaching system is sweeping our country thanks to YouTube videos from teachers who are implementing this in their classroom - Pinterest and YouTube is actually how I happened upon WBT. Now, like we teach our students when they are writing an opinion piece, they need to give at least three solid reasons to support their opinion. I am going to keep this short since research shows that I only have about 8.5 more minutes until I lose all you completely, so here goes.
    First, as teachers you plan engaging activities, only to find students in another world while you talk and talk about the difference between nouns and verbs - something you love and what to share with them. Research shows that you need to keep lessons short and engaging, having students responding and interacting with each other throughout your lesson. Not only are students learning while they are interacting and sharing with one another in an organized matter, they are focused on what you are teaching them and what you want them to learn.
    Second, I have been in your shoes before and remember counting down the days until the next break from students because all of you are sick of each other. You are at your wits end with disruptive behavior and students are tired of hearing you rant and rave about how they should behave. With WBT, students are with you throughout your entire lesson and they are using ALL of their brain, so there is not any room left in their little brains to become a disruption. I have used some of these strategies in my own classroom in recent years and while I was not consistent, when I made the effort to go full-WBT during a lesson, my students were engaged and the talking, blurting out, and other disruptive behaviors dropped dramatically - they almost disappeared! It was amazing. I can only imagine how my students would be if I had made this a habit and been more consistent with these strategies.
    Lastly, our students, and us as teachers, want to come to school to do what? Have fun, of course. Well, it is simple as this - Whole Brain Teaching will make your classroom fun again! Students enjoy playing games and having fun. Teachers enjoy playing games and having fun in an orderly fashion. If our students know the rules and they can work together to earn a small, non-material reward such as a dance video or an extra minute of recess, they will aim to please you through any means possible and you can all have fun! When you can create a team out of your students who are working for a common goal - your classroom will become total bliss.
    I want each of you to remember why you are here. It is our job to create a classroom environment where you and your students want to come and learn and grow together. I have taken the initiative to purchase each of you Chris Biffle's book, "Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids". I want each of you to begin reading this book and begin discussing strategies that you are using from the book in your PLC groups. I will share resources and videos that I have found to help you begin implementing this in your classroom. Your buddy is responsible for holding you accountable for trying your new thing this year and I am going to hold each of you accountable for trying at least 3 WBT strategies within the first 10 days of school. I know that each of you will see results from your students that will make you re-think how you have been teaching all these years.

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    1. Allyson, great post! Wouldn't it be amazing if admin purchased books for staff, and set a goal of three strategies in the first ten days! What an amazing opportunity that would be for staff to have a great PLC discussion! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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    2. Allyson, Wow! I would be a teacher in your school in a heart beat! Great speech! I am motivated!

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  18. First, no one is doubting your willingness to work hard. Unfortunately, hard work alone is not the answer. If all it took to be an excellent teacher was hard work, our schools would be the best in the world. The strategies we use with our students must WORK. Whole Brain Teaching works. The brain research backs it up, and equally as important, thousands of other teachers have used it with amazing results. You can, too.

    Second, the lecture method for instruction is woefully inadequate. It's just not engaging our students. We are highly educated people...so why are we clinging to a method that has such a weak track record for getting the job done? Tradition? Perhaps, but more likely we don't know what to replace it with. Whole Brain Teaching knows. The instructional techniques used in this model have been proven to work with students of all ages and in all subject areas.

    Third, if you haven't figured it out yet - "kids want to laugh and play games." We want our students to learn. They want to have fun. Whole Brain Teaching combines them both together. I used to self-righteously proclaim that "it wasn't my job to entertain kids." Well, I was wrong. In hindsight, I think I made that statement not because I didn't want to entertain them, but because I didn't know how to entertain them while also teaching them. Thanks to Whole Brain Teaching, we have a map for how to get there...Teacher Heaven!

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    1. Sally, you a so right! Teaching is a performing art! Being able to entertain and engage is an art form. You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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    2. Yay! My first WBT Certification Points! Marking this day on my calendar! :)

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    3. Sally,
      I remember my first certification points as well! I can 'hear' your enthusiasm through your typing! Great luck on your journey. It is the most rewarding I have found for my classroom.

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    4. Krystal,
      Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. :)

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  19. Please humor me. It's my last day of school today and I'm in a silly mood! I was wondering if a principal could address the staff using WBT.

    Class... (yes) Too slow! Mighty Groan 123 (ugh!) not loud enough! Mighty groan 123 (UGH!) Much Better, Mighty Oh yeah 123 (O YEAH!)

    Class-Yes! Hands and eyes. (Hands and eyes!) We have begun a new charter school based on Whole Brain Teaching. Today our question is.. (dramatic pause) What are 3 important keys to whole brain teaching? Turn and tell your neighbor the question. (Clap,clap) Teach! (Clap, clap) OK! (Walk around the room, monitor, praise and prompt) Class-Yes! I saw some very nice gestures. Mighty Oh yeah! (OH YEAH!)

    Class, class! (Yes, yes!) What are 3 important keys to WBT? Mirror words (Mirror words) The first (gesture) and most important (gesture) key (gesture) is (echo)
    talk less. (Talk less) Mirrors off (Mirrors off) I want you to use big gestures and tell your neighbor the first important point is to talk less. (Clap, clap, clap) Teach! (Clap, clap, clap, OK!) (Monitor, prompt and praise)

    Yo yo class class class! (Yo yo yes yes yes!) Oh no! Too slow! Mighty groan! 123 (UGH!) Wonderful! Mighty Oh Yeah! 123 (Oh Yeah!) Giddy-up class! (giddy-up yes!) Who can tell me why it's important to talk less? (I can tell you why it's important to talk less) All eyes on Sam (All eyes on Sam)

    (Sam) Oh my class! (O My yes!) Mirror with words (echo) It's important (gesture) (echo) to talk less (gesture) (echo) because (clap) because (clap) if you talk to much (gesture) (echo) people will stop listening to you. (echo) Erk! (Erk!)

    10 finger woo! (Woo!)

    4+7 Class! (4+7 is 11 Yes!) Turn and tell your partner why it is important to talk less. Clap clap, clap, Teach! Clap,clap,clap, OK!

    The end!
    For the sake of keeping this short - the other 2 points are:
    There are no shortcuts, and
    Even if you work really hard, with no shortcuts, but you use the wrong TECHNIQUES, you will get nowhere.

    In my experience, (I'm a 55 year old newbie) I've had YEARS of perfecting the art of effectively lulling students into short term learning, because no one ever showed me a technique that helped me talk less. Until now. It sure ain't easy for an old dog too learn new tricks. I will need a lot more practice. But it's worth it, because it works!

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    1. Andy, that was awesome! Can you imagine, a charter school FULL of whole brain teaching? Now that's a school I would love to work at. It's never too late to learn new tricks, especially when those tricks WORK! Glad to have you with us! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  20. Attention teachers. Teachers may I have your attention, please. I will now be using the next 45 minutes to discuss with you a very, very interesting I might even say revolutionary teaching style. However first in order to gain your full and undivided attention I need for you to turn all cell phones into my secretary; oh yes and I-pads, kindles, surface or laptops must be screen down and off. Now for the 265 manual we will be studying today.

    What? Wait? I’m asking you to tune into me? Are you afraid of a boring lecture? Me? No way, I am the most enthusiastic speaker you will ever find! Really! You know that pit in your stomach is the exact pit of doom that the majority of our students feel everyday when they walk into our classrooms. The reality of the situation is clear, crystal clear. We have to do MORE than lecture, but what? What can I do to trigger my students, engage them like no other, bring that light back into their eyes?

    I have discovered a hidden gem, a diamond in the rough, in a teaching movement called Whole Brain Teaching. I have personally used it to engage young second graders to understand the complexity of the water cycle and double digit subtraction. I have watched them flourish with deep connection and understanding. I have seen my gifted and talented students engaged and not bored, ready to tackle the next step. I have watched my jiggle, wiggly students get up and be involved in the lesson and then settle into a reading assignment. Never interrupted another student and not day-dreaming!

    The WBT approach to teaching is life changing but it is not for the weak, non-engaged teacher. It is not for you if you are willing to accept another year with disengaged students who ruffle your feathers and fellow classmates. No, WBT is only for the teachers who are passionate. It is only for teachers who want to be engaged and desire for real learning to take place in his or her classrooms. It is only for teachers who want to make a positive change in their teaching careers. It will be fun, but oh it will challenge you more than it challenges your students. You will have to grow, you will have to change, but in the end I testify your classroom will be filled with life, energy, orderliness, and learning. Are you ready? I am. Let’s begin by throwing away the manual and begin with rule 1….

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    1. We have all been in that staff meeting at one time or another. No connection with the outside world, just the drone of someone reading the PPT slides behind them. The eye rolls, the sighs, the disgruntled grumblings from staff members as they put away their technology are some of the same signs of dread and boredom students exhibit in classrooms across the country everyday - until they are surprised by the varied vocalizations of Class-Yes, the cheers of the Mighty Oh Yeah, and the excitement of Teach-Okay. 25 CP points just for you! Be sure to proofread your comments for missing words or grammar in need of tweaking. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  21. Good Morning and welcome to a new school year! As we begin , I would like to provide a road map we can all use to find classroom success. Most importantly, our attitudes affect our students so we must embrace and embody positive attitudes at all times. Your attitude is contagious and your students will catch your enthusiasm. The method of harnessing that positive learning energy is Whole Brain Teaching! This five step process engages all parts of your student’s brains. Engaged minds have no mental space for off task behavior!
    Think for a moment about your "I absolutely LOVE my job!" days. What was it that made those days so awesome and memorable? Student engagement with lessons that flowed and had results beyond my wildest dreams are ones that I would describe to you. Take a moment and tell the person to your left or right about your best lesson.
    Ladies and Gentlemen you have just experienced a small portion of Whole Brain Teaching! Can you remember what your neighbor shared with you? Did you enjoy being able to talk and move without being in "trouble"? This school year we will incorporate Whole Brain Teaching into each classroom. I can see the high school faculty rolling their eyes. Whole Brain Teaching is for all levels of teaching, it’s not just for elementary schoolers Toto! The fact is that although lecture style instruction can feel engaging, it isn’t. Student involvement drops to 20 percent after the first 15 minutes. What about those wall flowers who try to sit as far from the front of the class as possible? How do we as teachers engage them and help them succeed? Whole Brain Teaching gives each of us a tool kit that increases student involvement, engagement and success. It is a time tested and researched method from kindergarten through college level. I became a Whole Brain Teaching advocate when after asking my principal for assistance she demonstrated the” Class Yes” with my class. In minutes, she had the class engaged and learning the lesson! It is my goal to help you use Whole Brain Teaching to increase student success and teacher satisfaction.

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    1. Good post Norma! I remember those "I absolutely LOVE my job!" days. Oh wait, that was just today because I used WBT! You are so right that these techniques make us love our jobs again but they also help our students love their classrooms. Here are 25 CP for you. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  22. Each year as a teacher I would always be excited to try new methods or ideas in my classroom to engage my students to become active and excited learners. I would often find great math or science lessons to try, but then the lesson would end in a week leaving me stranded yet again. I knew that simply finding a great lesson was not going to be enough to fulfill what I was looking for. Then one glorious day in graduate school, Whole Brain Teaching came knocking and I knew this was the one thing I was searching for. Learning new components of WBT on a regular basis has kept my classroom engaged, excited, motivated, energized, and has stretched my student's thinking skills to the universe!
    Now as a new and eager principal I want to share with you some of the wonderful ideas that is Whole Brain Teaching. To start, let's brainstorm some ideas or lessons you have tried in the classroom that did not amount to what you thought it would be, but most importantly think of why these did not work. Now share your thoughts with a partner and remember to include why they did not work out the way that you were hoping.

    Chris Biffle, the creator of WBT thought of this exact issue when he came up with the first law of WBT, the longer we talk, the more students we lose. That truly represents one of the main reasons students of any age lose information we are trying to teach. A presenter, rather it be an elementary teacher, principal, or college professor cannot stand in front of a group of people and talk for a lengthy amount of time and expect their audience to retain any of their information that was presented. Resulting in a waste of time due to the lack of engaged learners. At this point, we as educators should know something needs to be done to fix this major issue.
    WBT then began to grow with the help of other educators who shared the same passion on improving student learning as they shared the power of what Whole Brain Teaching possesses. This is what we as a staff should be doing as well. Go to the teachers with WBT knowledge or other WBT resources and take ideas that you could use in your own classroom. Teachers may be thinking, is this something that is going to take some research and time to establish successfully in my classroom? The answer, yes. However, as a teacher, this time will be worth every second used because it will completely rejuvenate your classroom and you will never look back at traditional methods of teaching again.

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    1. Lindsey,
      Having staff reflect on why lessons went poorly leads them right into the 7 Common Teaching Mistakes. You are so right about WBT rejuvenating classrooms and it is quite an infectious program. Sharing will only help increase the number of successful teachers and students out there. For future posts, check your sentence structure to keep earning those points. In the meantime, here are your 25 CP for your thoughtful response. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  23. I’d like to begin this year by asking you to take a short survey. Raise your hand if you had students in your class who spoke out of turn? Raise your hand if you had students who left their seat before raising their hand? Raise your hand if you had students who did not follow directions quickly? Finally, raise your hand if you had students who upset you daily or weekly by their poor choices? If you raised your hand to any of these questions then you’re going to want to hear about a fabulous system that can produce a classroom “full of orderly fun.”
    But first let me take you back to my time in the classroom and I want you to hear my story and see if you can connect with me. I fell right in out of student teaching an ELA class into a 4th grade Math and Science class. Not only was the curriculum new to me, but the students were new as well. I also wasn’t prepared to take on the behavioral challenges that I would soon encounter. I had students do all of the things I asked you about in my short survey plus more and I quickly gave them consequences of punishment such as calling home, time off from PE, and no recess. I also made the mistake of not always following through on those consequences and the students soon caught on and behavior exacerbated. Over the years, I found new classroom management strategies that I implemented into my classroom. Some of them worked and some of them didn’t.
    Until, two years ago, I found Whole Brain Teaching. Upon implementing Chris Bifle’s revolutionary teaching system on the first day of school, I had every students’ attention, and I was engaging their whole brain. How amazing is that? Give me an Oh Yeah! (Oh Yeah!) So are you ready to hear how to produce a classroom “full of orderly fun?” Give me an Oh Yeah! (Oh Yeah!) This system that I want to tell you about today is called Whole Brain Teaching. Turn and tell your neighbor how excited you are. (I am so excited!) An extraordinary educator named, Chris Bifle, founded Whole Brain Teaching. According to Chris Bifle, “the behavior of challenging kids cannot be improved by heavier and heavier does of punishment. Challenging kids are rebels; punishment makes them more rebellious.” This is so true and I wish I would have known this my first few years of teaching. Also according to Mr. Bifle, Whole Brain Teaching is like a large, lively game than a traditional elementary school management system. Raise your hand if you like to play games? Raise your hand if your students like to play games?
    This year we as a school are going to do a book study using Chris Bifle’s book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. I encourage you to keep up with the readings and discussions at your grade level. I also encourage you to implement parts or all of the system into your classroom this year and I hope you will be amazed at the difference this system will make in you and your teaching style and most importantly in your students behavior and learning. My hope as your principal is to see all of us including students come to (insert school name) excited and motivated to learn.

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    1. Mrs. Shepard,
      Very good post highlighting 3 points from the first 2 chapters! Turning every school day into a game makes school so much more fun! You win the prize in this game. Here are your 25 CP. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  24. Every time we start a new school year, we hope that it will be better than the year before. Often we say “this did not work out the way I wanted” or “if only my students would stop talking for even two minutes I could possibly get through this lesson.” This has happened to me many times. Throughout my years of teaching I have had great classes, and not so great classes. This past year was particularly challenging as I had a majority of chatty students in my classroom. That was until I stumbled across Whole Brain Teaching.

    Chris Biffle, author of Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, stated that “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” What we need to do with our chatty, troublesome students is to be sure that they are fully engaged in the learning process. It may sound difficult, but it is completely possible. By putting in the time and effort now, you will reap the rewards.
    The first great law of Whole Brain Teaching is “the longer we talk, the more students we lose.” I have found that out the hard way. We can only hold our students’ attention for so long and while we have their attention, we need to use the best of that time. You are going to learn techniques that will have you successfully teaching grade level skills. Students will be actively involved. No more lecturing and taking notes.

    One thing Chris Biffle said really hit home. He said that “we can’t teach classes that won’t listen.” Believe me, I have tried. Yelling and screaming does absolutely nothing. You will have their attention for a moment and then it will be gone once again. Halfway through this past school year I realized I needed a change. My students needed a change. I came across Whole Brain Teaching from a teaching blog and decided to give it a try. I hung up posters in my classroom and taught my students several of these strategies. All the teachers in my class started using these strategies. We just had our end of year honor roll assembly. The audience was buzzing. The teacher said “Class class.” All of the students replied “yes yes.” She said “classity, class.” Students said “yessity, yes.” Yes – all of the students replied, not just her students. It was uniform throughout the school.

    We can do this! With consistency throughout the grades, our students will learn these techniques. All students will be engaged in meaningful learning and they will be successful. Are we ready to give this a try? This is going to be a wonderful year!

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  25. Elissa,
    Good post! When WBT becomes the unifying factor in a school, the results are amazing. Good job pointing out 3 points from Chapters 1-2. Here are your 25 CP. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  26. Before we begin, I'd like you all to write down the most frustrating part of your instruction time? I'm going to give you about 3 minutes to write it down and share with your group. To get us all back together, I'm using going to say, "Class", you will respond "Yes!" when you hear "Class.". Let's practice one, ok? (practice) Alright, time's started, go!

    Alright, let's share some of those answers! I've noticed a common pattern here, one that most of us have as educators. One I struggled with myself, for years, until I found this marvelous idea that we'll learn about today. The main idea to remember about this theory is "if a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior." I'd bet we'd all love to have a year with children fully turned on to learning instead of the usual, "He hit me, she looked at me.." Right?

    So, I'm giving each of you a copy of Chris Biffle's book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids (And the Rest of You). I'd like us to use these techniques in all our classrooms so our kids are engaged, enthused, and having fun while they're learning! And you will have more fun too!

    There are several "Laws of Whole Brain Teaching", this is the first:
    1. The longer we talk, the more students we lose.

    We need to what we are doing to engage the students' fully, so they are seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving to really engage their brains, then they won't be engaged in other negative behaviors.

    I used this in my Kindergarten class for the first time and it worked great! The kids loved being able to yell back and clap when I called Class and they said Yes, with a clap!

    So, for tomorrow's session, I'd like you to read the 1st two chapters so we can get learning!

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    1. Hi Cindy!
      Your post does a nice job of focussing on the connection between the challenging behaviors of students and the teachers' strategies used to fully engage students. You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  27. I would like to start of having you reflect back to your own educational years. Who was your favorite teacher and why? What about those 1 1/2 college lecture classes? What did you really get out of it? You as an educator when do you become most frustrated? When do you notice that you lose your students? When do you start encountering behavior issues? What we are going to learn about today is Whole Brain Teaching. I spent 3 fabulous days this summer learning about this theory and I can't wait to share what I learned to help you love your job even more. There are several great laws of Whole Brain Teaching is
    1. The longer we talk, the more students lose. We know that as elementary educators that the longer we lecture and do not have our students engaged, we are e our students. Turn to your neighbor and brainstorm ways we can better keep our students engaged.
    You have just learned one step of Whole Brain Teaching. Our focus this year is to engage students “Whole Brain” so they are seeing, saying, hearing and moving in the classroom. This theory we are going to be learning is going to be exciting for you and your students. Students will follow rules because we make our rules to follow. Students will have penalties as well as rewards. I believe that this theory is going to engage all students and minimize the negative behaviors. I can’t wait for an exciting school year.

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    1. Nice job, Lori! As teachers, we do need to question and reflect on our personal experiences and goals in the classroom. WBT helps bring the focus of those questions back to our goals for student engagement and learning. You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points. (Be careful of grammar and mechanics in future posts. Thanks!)

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  28. I am so excited to be in front of the greatest school faculty in our district! I am honored by your desire to become an integral part of the most exciting and personally fulfilling professional experience of our careers. I believe that, first and foremost, we need to build a relationship among ourselves. A relationship built on mutual experiences and mutual trust that will develop into a collaboration that will spill over into our relationships with our students.
    Our career is filled with highs and lows, fulfillment and frustration. It is often that from the greatest frustrations come the greatest realizations and changes. Classroom and behavior management is a mutual area of frustration for most educators. I can remember facing my first traditionally set up fifth grade classrooms two months into the school year. It was up to me to unite 28 children, who had already been exposed to four different sets of classroom rules and expectations, into one cohesive, well-oiled machine of learning. How I wish that I had read Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Mr. Chris Biffle before undertaking that challenge. Because of my positive and successful application of what I have learned about Whole Brain Teaching (WBT), we will be reading this as our beginning of the year book club selection. Let me share three great points- just from the first two chapters- that will speak volumes to all of you:
    • Mr. Biffle equates the classroom using the WBT system as being “full of orderly fun” and “more like a large, lively game than (a) traditional elementary school classroom management system." We can create an environment that is suited to the learning styles and energy level of our students rather than old school marms.
    • The First Great Law of WBT is: “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” Amen! I dread becoming the whaawhaa voice at the front of a class, like the teachers in the beloved Peanuts comic series.
    • Finally, Mr. Biffle states and restates one simple fact (I am paraphrasing here)- an active and engaged brain has no room for nonsense. I believe that as we learn and master WBT, this very fact will help us to help our students to close the achievement gap that has existed in this community prior to the opening of our school.

    Join me as I fulfill one of my professional dreams- to create, with the aid of WBT, a school in our community that will make a positive impact on all of our students and help them to be remarkable in their lives as world citizens.

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    1. Roberta,
      Your well organized post really highlights the major points found in our first two chapters. I really liked your staff goal of building a relationship of trust and collaboration as you initiate WBT into your school. You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  29. Welcome to a new school year! This will be a life-changing year filled with learning for teachers and students alike. You might be a veteran teacher or a new graduate just starting out, but I would like to share a radical new way of teaching with you called Whole Brain Teaching. It was developed by a philosophy professor, Chris Biffle (Coach B), in California. Coach B noticed that even a well taught lesson could not keep his students’ attention, or draw more than a handful into a discussion. Can anyone relate?
    Coach B explains is his book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids that teachers cannot teach when students won’t listen, and that the more teachers talk the more students we lose. We as educators know that we have a problem when students won’t listen to teachers who want to talk. Traditionally the solution has been to make them listen, but this leads to more rebellion and higher dropout rates. On the contrary kids want to have fun and play games…the answer is to give them what they want, fun and games; while also giving the teachers what they want, teaching with a twist.
    The more teachers involve the whole brain of the student in the learning activity the less room there is “left over” to misbehave. You might think this sounds too good to be true…but ladies and gentlemen it is true!! WBT involves the emotional control center of the student through the scoreboard as they play for positive and negative points; the speaking and listening centers are engaged as students teach each other; the motor cortex is involved through gestures; the visual center is activated during mirrors. There are even more fun-filled activities that draw the students into this fun-filled new teaching strategy, which will result in 100% engagement in your classroom.
    You might ask me where can you learn more about this method ? The answer is in your bag…Please reach inside the bags, you received at the entrance, for your very own copy of Coach B’s Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. Go ahead and also get the box of tissues out.
    While you get the tissues out to wipe away the tears of joy, let me tell you about my own experience. I was a third grade teacher at a small rural private school in Virginia, and experienced much of the same frustration as Coach B, when a “good” student was clearly not paying attention to my lesson. That night I was determined that there had to be “something out there” to help me with my method of delivery, so I searched the world wide web….lo and behold, I came across Whole Brain Teaching. I saw some You Tube videos and was hooked. I think I might have heard angels singing in the background. I tried it the next day in my classroom, it worked!! Even the little bit I read and applied worked like a dream. I wiped away my own tears of joy, and have never looked back.
    Take this book, we will provide you with mentors, and the rest is up to you. Change yourself first and then change your students. Power to the teachers!!

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    1. Excellent post, WBT Pioneer! Yes, WBT creates a "win, win" situation for students and for teachers alike! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  30. How ironic!!! We were given the assignment to imagine we were principals presenting Whole Brain Teaching to our new staff just as I found out I would be getting a new principal at my school next year. This assignment has helped me get my thoughts together as to how I am going to present Whole Brain Teaching to Dr. Reitz.

    Today I am going to introduce you to a classroom learning system that is brain friendly, works with students of all ages, and actively involves your students so that they will not have time to exhibit challenging behaviors. Keep in mind that I said “a classroom learning system” not a “classroom behavior management system” or a newly coined name for an “academic program” that has made its way back into the education world. Whole Brain Teaching is exactly what it says…teaching to the whole brain and having the whole brain engaged in the learning process so it does not have time to entertain itself.

    I taught for 25 years before I discovered WBT and it changed my teaching life. I always looked forward to summer vacation because I was exhausted from trying to keep my students on task, focused at all times, while also learning all the curriculum that had to be taught. Discovering WBT made each day a vacation…a vacation to teacher heaven. The best part of this vacation is that no matter who you are, no matter how old you are, no matter if you are a boy or a girl, and no matter how long you have taught there is plenty for you to do on this vacation to teacher heaven.

    Anyone who wants to go on this vacation with me is welcome….all expenses paid. Please come forward and get your itinerary. Be sure to pick up the one labeled Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. I look forward to traveling with you.

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    1. Great post, Paige! Your all expense paid WBT trip to teacher heaven will be a great ticket to have when you start your new year! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  31. Welcome back! Whew, I hope you’ve had a fabulous summer full of relaxation and excitement! As many of you have been readying yourself for another upcoming year, I too, have done the same. Let me ask you a few questions. What kind of teacher would you like to have if you were a student in elementary school? Are you that kind of teacher? You want to be that one that reaches all students, by teaching enthusiastically with fun and excitement. You wonder, ‘how will I do that?’ Well, I may have the answer for you. And this may be the just the right fit for you and your students. It is very engaging and involves the student’s whole brain. It’s called Whole Brain Teaching . . . oh I see many of you have heard about it! That’s great!
    In my own classroom I’ve seen students bored, lost and uninterested. I would put in a tremendous amount of time preparing, give what I thought was an exciting lesson, only to realize they didn’t ‘get it’. Or I had the student that was too intimidated to answer in class and I needed a way to make the classroom environment feel comfortable. Let’s imagine a classroom with smiling students on the edge of their seats, paying close attention to what is going to happen next. Their learning is heighten because THEIR motivation level is through the roof! They actually get to be the teacher and teach their peers. An active classroom is an exciting learning environment for all! So get your ‘woohoos’ and ‘classity, class’ ready. We’re in for a great year!

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    1. Mrs. C,
      Nice post! Yes, WBT classrooms really do have the most roof repairs! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points. (Be careful of grammar and mechanics in future posts. Thanks!)

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  32. Education has changed greatly in the short time since I’ve entered the field, as you all know. With the heavy demands placed upon you teachers, I know the obstacles you face daily and I am here to help. And so I am extremely excited to introduce you something that will change your classroom so dramatically that you will think you have finally have the dream class and think you are in teacher heaven. Here is my story:
    In my last year of teaching, I had “a class and a half” I would joke to my principal. I had more students than ever and I had a higher number of IEP (with behavior issues) students than ever before--a classroom similar to yours today. When I left my teaching position, my principal practically begged me to stay—he said my classroom management was awesome. I had struggled the first month with using typical classroom management strategies. In my attempt to teach this class, I stumbled across something that looked too good to be true--Whole Brain Teaching. I went to school and added WBT classroom rules. Within two weeks, the classroom had changed. My principal had disappeared from our classroom. Yes, it happened that quickly and as I incorporated the steps of WBT, the students loved it as much as I did until the last day of school.
    I know you think that this is just another phase, just something else to add to your already hectic demands of teaching—but, the American educational system is not at the top. I know that most of you have already checked out—thinking about everything that you need to do to get ready for the school year….
    I want to tell you about the “great law of Whole Brain Teaching, the longer we talk, the more students we lose.” Yes, you have seen it in your classroom—the students check out. How do you effectively engage your students? WBT is effective in any classroom in any demographic—that won’t cost you a cent—for materials or professional development.
    By using WBT, students will become actively engaged by seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving. Their brains are simultaneously engaged while they are too busy learning to be challenging students. I want to be your resource for an astonishing change for everyone in the classroom.

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    1. Gemma,
      Great post! Thanks for sharing a personal classroom experience with us! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  33. As your new principal at our brand new charter school I am so excited to introduce each of you to Whole Brain Teaching! This innovative approach will cut down on so many behavior problems? Children will be so engaged by the amazing teaching techniques learned in this program. Whole Brain Teaching incorporates each part of the brain making it easier and fun for children to learn. It even ties in with the Common Core Standards. Wow!

    On Page 6 of the book for Whole Brain Teaching that you will each receive a copy of it says "The longer, we talk, the more students we lose." If you are like me when you are in trainings and they don't give you something to do and only lecture your mind starts to wander. If that happens to us as adults of course it happens to our students. Whole Brain Teaching has us teaching things in tiny chunks like 30 seconds to a minute, then children turning to their partner while using hand gestures to teach it to them. All of a sudden children are engaged and learning the whole time!

    Also, Whole Brain Teaching works for any grade level from Kindergarten all the way through college! It has been tried out by educators since 1999 in Elementary school all the way through college and it works because it keeps children engaged. You also probably know from experience when children are engaged they are unlikely to misbehave.

    I can't wait for you to get the chance to try out this absolutely amazing program. I promise not only will your students be having fun and learning at the same time, but you will have so much fun yourself. Enjoy the book and also head on over to http://www.wholebrainteaching.com and check out the ebooks, videos, Monday night chats, forums, and everything else the site has to offer. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me. I can't wait to see all the learning that will take place in your classroom this year!

    Brian
    http://www.wholebrainteaching.com

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    1. Hi Brian!
      I appreciate all the WBT details you put into your post! It's great how WBT expands across the grade levels! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points. (Be careful of mechanics in future posts. Thanks!)

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  34. Good Morning Staff and I would like to welcome you back to a new and exciting year. Give me an "Oh yeah"! Oh no, that didn't make me happy so you earn a point on my frown face board. Let's hear it again with enthusiasm and excitement. Give me an "Oh yeah!" Now that's much better you just earned a point on my smiley face board which could earn you a chance to leave 15 minutes early today. I have been reading an interesting book over the summer called "Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids" by Chris Biffle who is the cofounder of Whole Brain Teaching. I started using some of these wonderful techniques in my own classroom with students two years ago and found that the techniques really do work.

    Chris stated that "Challenging kids are rebels, punishment makes them more rebellious. No sane adult wants to punish kids; we punish because we don't know what else to do!" Well I can tell you that in my experience I would do just that punish and yell because I didn't know what else to do. Two summers ago I was worn out and looking for new techniques that would make me love teaching again and my students love learning. I found Mr. Biffle's website www.WholeBrainTeaching.com and started doing some research. I watched the videos that are on YouTube and was amazed and excited. I wanted to know more and I decided to use WBT in my class that year. I started the first day off using the 5 rules and "Class, Yes" just to name a few. My students loved it and they were hooked. I didn't have to yell or scream when a student broke a rule I just had the class repeat the rule and the rule breaker would stop the action. I didn't have students sassing me or treating others inappropriately. I had all students’ attention and they were having fun learning. I was having fun teaching again. Students didn't have time to misbehave because they were all moving and grooving and earning extra recess all the while they were learning.

    I will tell you that once I started incorporating these wonderful techniques I started seeing my student’s attitudes change and parents were excited that their children wanted to come to school to learn because they were having fun. Mr. Biffle states in his book that "If you don't do the right steps, never dance the cha-cha." Now it's time to learn those right steps and learn to Cha-cha. I have ordered a copy of Mr. Biffle's book for each and every one of you as a welcome back to school gift and we are going to read and discuss the book together. I want to see everyone using the techniques in the book to improve your skills and your student’s skills and love for learning.
    Who's ready to fall in love with teaching again and have a class of well behaved, excited learners. Are you with me? Give me an "Oh yeah!"

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    1. Hi Tab!
      I'll give you an "Oh, yeah!!" Great post! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  35. Hello and welcome. I am so excited to be here at the charter school. I want to start by asking you, how much fun did you have last year in your class? How much fun do you think your students had in your class? Did you have any challenging kids? How much of your time did you spend trying to manage the challenging kids instead of teaching? How much time did you spend on creating lessons only to have your student start to fidget after a few minutes?
    I began my teaching career as a preschool teacher. Preschoolers learn by doing. They learn through play. They are constantly moving and doing. They sing and dance with hands moving. They use their whole body, their whole brains! We had fun all day long and they were learning.
    I want to introduce you to a way of teaching that will be fun for you and your students, called Whole Brain Teaching. WBT was developed by Chris Biffle, Chris Rekstad, and Jay Vanderfin. They have done all the work so that now, we can benefit from their discoveries. No matter what grade you teach, your students can learn by doing, with gestures! When we talk at children we lose their attention very quickly. They need to be involved, engaged. When their whole brain is engaged they have nothing left for challenging you. They spend their time learning.

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    1. Great post, kokoshep! Yes, never underestimate what preschoolers can teach all of us! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  36. Good morning! This year we will be doing Something New. It is a way of teaching that works!
    I’ve made the mistakes in my 24 years of teaching. Here is one of the worst. I learned early in my career that the best I could hope for was to reach “almost all” of my students. A principal evaluated me, criticizing me for numerous things. He promised to come into my room and show me how to “do it”. He delivered a powerful lecture in his “come-to-meeting preaching style”. I watched the same three children, who had not paid attention to me, ignore him, also. If he, with his magic, couldn’t hold students’ attention, I didn’t stand a chance. I knew this was wrong, but I didn’t know what to do about it, because all the techniques I had been taught engaged “almost all” of my students. “Almost all” was accepted by most educators. But there is something better, Whole Brain Teaching.
    First, we know things about “the system”: students must pass the state tests, teacher advancement is based on test scores, and most schools are not exciting places to be. Have you really looked into their faces? Their eyes? It is clear most are here only because the law states they must attend.
    Second, the advances in educational neuroscience should change teaching practice. Brain research is revealing much about how we learn and why certain instructional strategies work (or don’t work). Whole brain teaching works because it is brain-friendly! Children learn because the techniques use many parts of their students’ brains: the prefrontal cortex, the motor cortex, the visual cortex, the limbic system, and so on. We will become experts on brain functioning
    Third, here at our school, we know something more. We all love to learn. We also want teaching to be fun. We are going to use laughter, controlled silliness, and games to teach and to learn. We will become experts in designing lessons that use so many parts of the brain that our students will have to learn. They will be seeing things, hearing things, speaking, laughing, practicing, building more and more dendrites….oh, sweet mama….it is going to be FUN. And the best part of all this is that we can learn how to do this. Then all, not “almost all”, our students will become engaged in learning.

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    1. Hi KarlaAnne!
      This is a powerful post! I appreciate the details on why "almost all" is never good enough! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  37. Whole Brain Teaching has not only revolutionized students’ engagement in the classroom but also revolutionized the delivery of lessons. Thus, these two powerful components in teaching highly contribute to today’s students’ academic and personal growth. First, techniques and strategies used in WBT highly engage students. This is due to the involvement of simultaneous brain activities. Students are moving physically, hearing, saying, and seeing as they learn! “The longer we talk the more students we lose.” All students are engaged because their learning styles and multiple intelligences are involved during the learning process. I constantly used the mirror strategy as an attention getter during my student teaching. Students loved to mimic my movements. Now, I realize there are far more benefits to using the strategy. For example using mirror word to emphasize key vocabulary, topics, or ideas. Students are engaged during the process and love to be involved throughout it. Second, the reason we all became teachers is because we are truly excited in being part of students’ educational and personal journey. WBT provides an opportunity for teachers to devote maximum instructional time to positively impact students’ academic achievements. As a teacher and new member to WBT I am truly excited in implementing WBT in my future classroom. Just like any other teacher, I dream of a perfect classroom where all students perform at their maximum potential. The more prepared and knowledgeable I am in understanding students’ learning process, the more instruction (FUN instruction) will be provided to students all across the board.

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    1. Hi Nancy!
      Great post on the positive effects of WBT on a student's academic achievements! I love how you implemented Mirror into your student teaching experience! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  38. Welcome teachers to a new school year! I'm happy to be here and share what I know about teaching and cannot wait to share the best tool I have which is Whole Brain Teaching! Before I explain what my favorite tool is, I want to read a quote that is very eye opening. An unknown author once said, "If a child cannot learn in the way we teach, we must teach in a way the child can learn." Let's think about this for a moment....what does this mean? Turn to your neighbor and briefly talk about this. Ok, let me hear one comment on what this means. You're right! If we teachers cannot get our class engaged with learning, we might as well just stand up at the front of the room and let them go crazy while learning nothing. The more we lecture and yap, the more kids we lose.
    When I taught kindergarten, I was so frustrated because I could not get my class to listen and behave. I had several boys who were particularly not listening and I was in tears every day when I went home. I was at a loss. I started to look on YouTube for some answers on classroom management. A video popped up of a kindergarten class reciting their rules. I saw a kid teaching the rules to the class and all the kids were participating and listening! I was amazed! The kids went on to teach each other the letter of the week! I knew this was something I had to do. The next day I went into my classroom with a new attitude and was so pumped to try this new strategy. Guess what!? It worked! The boys I was having trouble with were excited to be learning and their behavior improved because they were using movements to learn. It was an eye opener just like the quote I read to you. Most kids that act out in class usually want to be part of the class but do it in a way that often leads them to getting in trouble. Those boys were part of the classroom environment in a positive way after using the WBT technique! We need to teach in a way the child can learn while having fun and that's where WBT comes in.
    I'm giving each of you this amazing book that helped me. It's written by Chris Biffle who is the master mind behind WBT. One of the points he made was, "if a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there's isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior." My first thought after reading that was, wow! That's so true! I knew it was true when I saw it with my own eyes in my classroom! It's so important, especially when teaching at a charter school like our own, to keep our students engaged while using their whole brain. We can either keep them learning in a positive or negative way. It's our choice to use these WBT techniques daily for it to work superbly.
    I hope all if you are as excited as I am to become better teachers for our students and teach them in a way so they can flourish by using their whole brain. Remember, our most challenging kids will be too busy learning to be a challenge for you while using WBT! It's going to be an amazing year!

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  39. Hi Stephanie!
    Awesome post on the connections between WBT, student engagement, and higher learning! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  40. Whole Brain Teaching is a fun way to manage your classroom and to get every single kids involved in the classroom. Not just the kids who want to learn, but even the ones who don't. If you have ever felt like your students don't listen, that they engage in power struggles with you, that nothing you try works, or that you yell or feel angry most of the time, Whole Brain Teaching will help you turn that around!

    I fist found out about WBT last summer while researching behavior management online. I had just moved to Hawaii and was about to begin my first year of teaching in the state. I had previously taught in an urban district on the mainland and I felt many of the emotions I mentioned earlier: anger, frustration, and disappointment. I knew that I wasn't ready to leave teaching, but that something drastic needed to change in my classroom if I was to make a life-long career of this. I needed structure, routine, and FUN! I started with the rules and the attention grabber, then slowly wove more techniques into my day, having them become routine for me and the kids. And you know what? It worked. The kids were learning.

    One quote that resonated with me is "The longer we talk, the more students we lose." Turn and talk to your neighbor about a time that was true for you. {pause}. Your students might be looking at you, making eye contact, even nodding their heads in agreement, but I bet you not every single one could repeat or summarize what you said. By teaching them to repeat you in small chunks, you are teaching them to truly listen and internalize what you are saying. By having them teach what you said to each other, they are taking ownership over the content and truly learning it.

    Many aspects of WBT coincide with what we know to be good teaching - giving wait time, assigning movement to learning, students teaching each other, setting solid routines and expectations. WBT just gives us a solid structure for doing all of this, all the while incorporating fun! Who's with me?

    Nicole Heinlein
    Teaching With Style

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  41. Nicole, you are so right- it's the fun that we need to bring back into the classroom! Good for you! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  42. Hello Staff,
    Let’s make the teacher’s lounge a place to share our success. How you ask? I can say I think I honestly have found a way for teachers to stop complaining about what students are not doing and focus on their progress. Not test scores, but student progress in academics and behavior. Just think about that, we could share our “this is working“ stories this year.
    I believe Whole Brain Teaching is my answer. In chapter of one of Whole Brain Teacher for Challenging, by Chris Biffle, being stricter or yelling does not change negative behavior. I for one do not want another year of wishing I want to connect all students and change not participating to engaged students.
    On page 5 Chris explains how he notice after a lecture a student could not repeat what she had just listened to in class. This translated to the First Great Law” The longer we talk the more students we lose (Page 8).” Upon further reflection of his teaching styles he realized the only “7/35” were part of class discussion. Staff as I read the first two chapters I can honestly say I have done the same thing and thought I was teaching engaging lessons. Many of my lectures were longer than 10 minutes followed by discussion with only about ¼ of my students truly engaged. According to Biffle, I was teaching and no not all were hearing.
    Please read Whole Brain Teacher and share our students’ success this year.
    Diana Galloway


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    1. Diana, what a great idea to include a "this is working" wall in the teachers lounge. Collaboration and sharing is so important. On your next post, please make sure to correct your grammar and sentence structure. You earned 10 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

      Delete
  43. Welcome back and Happy New Year!!! In celebration of a new school year, I would like all of you to raise your glasses of sparkling grape juice and join me in toasting to a year filled with students who are actively engaged in the learning process, so engaged that there is no time for misbehaving! Sound impossible? Well, believe me it is NOT! Let me tell you that this year is truly a NEW YEAR, because this year we will dive into a new book called Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids! Author Chris Biffle has 25 years of experience as an educator and what he has created is a classroom learning system that actually works with students from Kindergarten to College!
    Two years ago, I had a classroom that every teacher dreads. I was given seven ‘tough customers’ as we call them. These children had every behavior issue imaginable. While searching the web for management tips, I came across Whole Brain Teaching and knew I had found a brain friendly system! I spent the entire weekend learning as much as I could about WBT and was as prepared as I could be for Monday morning. I started with the Class-Yes and Hands and Eyes; by lunch time I was ready to add the Mirror and Scoreboard. Something changed for me that day and my teaching will never be the same. My students were listening, learning, engaged and having FUN! As Chris states in his book “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.”
    Staff, each one of you is getting Chris’s book today. I know it will change your year, just like it changed mine. So here is to a New Year filled with students who are actively engaged in the learning process!

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    1. Gina, I can feel your passion in your writing, and I think you are right! Teaching will never be the same now that you have WBT! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.Happy NEW year !

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  44. Today we are going to start planning a trip! I am going to take each of you with me! We are going to Teacher Heaven! I know many of you have heard me talk about it before. Thanks to Whole Brain Teaching I have gone many times and I am so excited to take AN ENTIRE staff with me on the trip this year. When you walked into the room today you found Chris Biffle’s new book “Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids”. This book is going to be our passport.

    I see that all of you have brought your pillows with you! No, I am not giving you the nap that you all need because you stayed up late with excitement, just thinking about what wonderful things I was going to say! I asked you to bring your pillows because you are going to pass out when I tell you the secret of teaching challenging students. Tell your neighbor how excited you are to hear the secret.

    In your passport to Teacher Heaven, Chris Biffle says, “Most challenging kids genuinely want to be part of the classroom environment; this is why they work so hard, and continuously, to get everyone’s attention.” Here is the good news, the secret if you will of Whole Brain Teaching, “If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” Talk to you neighbor about the SECRET power of Whole Brain Teaching.

    Now I have told you the SECRET of Whole Brain Teaching… now here is the FIRST GREAT LAW: “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” So with that in mind let me leave with a story from my first year using Whole Brain Teaching.

    My favorite part of Whole Brain Teaching is the Super Improver Wall… and this is the reason. I was having great success with Whole Brain Teaching before I learned about the Super Improver Wall… but there was ONE student I hadn't reached yet. He wasn't in the room all the time. “Max” is a student with Autism. Every time he entered my room from a special class he would wander around make distracting sounds, laying on others’ desks, and talking to his buddies. You could sometimes see the frustration on the faces of my students when he walked in the room.

    I was in the middle of a math lesson, on the day I had introduced the SIW, when “Max” walked in. He started to wander but his eyes caught the Super Improver Wall. He was frozen. He stared at the board for a while, then he blurted out... "What is that?" My students and I explained this to him and he silently went back to his seat. WOW! You could tell his mind was working.

    The next day, “Max” came into the classroom, you could see him start to wander... but he stopped again looked at the board and went DIRECTLY TO HIS SEAT! I was shocked. The students looked at me and back at “Max”. I was so overcome, I almost went on with my lesson. My kids started waving their hands like crazy. They saw I wasn't reacting to their hands so a couple blurted out ... doesn't “Max” deserve a star? So of course, he got it and was so proud! The Super Improver Wall had hooked this kiddo and made his classmates proud of him… they were truly displaying what would become the Super Improver Team!

    I look forward to sharing many more of my stories with you this school year as well as hearing yours. Let’s get ready for a school year FILLED with funtricity!

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    1. Welcome to a new and exciting school year! I would like to share with you some "techniques" for lack of a better word that will help you keep your students actively engaged in the learning process. As you came in today you were given a handout that was titled The Big Seven. We are going to learn these first so you can instantly put them into place when the students arrive next week.
      We are going to take turns practicing with each other so they become second nature to you.
      In my experience the more actively the students mind is engaged in what is being taught the less likely they will have time to find ways to be disruptive.
      As we go through this next year I hope you will share your success and discuss with your fellow teachers where you may need help.
      On a personal note when I have made use of my WBT knowledge I have students who love coming to class, may experience success for the first time ever, and I loose very little teaching time to behavior issues. I have had staff members ask me what I am doing they are not. An example would be that after the first few weeks of instilling the rules in my class, if a student is talking out of turn I simply hold up 2 fingers in their direction and they automaticly repeat Rule 2: Raise your hand for permission to speak. So they have learned to self correct. Within a month I rarely have to use the gestures.

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    2. Deanna, what an engaging and heartfelt post! Max was truly lucky to have you as a teacher! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points. Happy NEW year !

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    3. Well said, Peg! The more we are able to make WBT second nature in our classrooms, the better our students respond all around. You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  45. I am so excited for our new year of Rockin Learnin! Have you ever had a student that never listens, always interrupts you, constantly out of their seat to get a tissue or go to the bathroom? These students do a really good job of taking our attention off of teaching and distract the other students. We actually start questioning why I even up here am talking. I would like to introduce you to a new method of teaching we are going to implement called Whole Brain Teaching. Chris Biffle put it well “if the whole brain is involved in learning there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behaviors.” Your goal this year is to get your students engaged in every lesson. One of the First Laws of Whole Brain teaching is “the more you talk the more students you lose.” The first year I tried whole brain teaching, I had a student who was a challenge. He was constantly shouting out , talking, moving I got so frustrated! I started using Whole Brain techniques where students teach each other. Any time I would see him start to fade I would say Mirrors or Mirrors and Words or Teach/OK. It was like a light switch went off. He wasn’t on task 100% of the time, but he was engaged and by the end of the year he performed above grade level and I did not lose my sanity. Our theme is going to be Rockin Learnin! Making your lessons physically and mentally engaging will make learning fun and you will be amazed to see their growth! Our school is going to be a place of fun learning where students crave learning. It will an awesome year!

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    1. Joanna,
      Good attempt at the first assignment. Haven't we all had one (or many) of those challenging students at one time or another? It's a good thing we have a big back pocket of tools to draw from with WBT. When you write your next post, be sure to proofread. :) Good sentence structure and addressing the prompt will help you earn the maximum certification points.

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  46. Wouldn't it be nice to actually be able to teach your students instead of redirecting their undesirable behavior? I always worry about the good kids in my class who miss out on vital instruction because challenging students disrupt the class.

    This year, as your new principal, I am going to introduce to you one of the fastest growing education reform movements in the world. The kinks have been worked out and there are success stories from teachers all over the world using these techniques to overcome the challenges with challenging students.

    I'm excited! Are you? Give me an "oh yeah" (oh yeah!) I have taken the first step in helping all of you become the teacher you have always wanted to be! Each teacher here today is receiving Chris Biffle's Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids book! We are starting right now!

    Here is the first WBT secret to success: if a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior. Repeat that after me. If a student's whole brain is involved in learning, (Teachers repeat) there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior. (teachers repeat)

    Now I want all of you to turn to your neighbor and "teach" him/her what I just taught you. (clap clap, Teach)

    But how do we engage our students in whole brain learning you ask? It will take some practice! You will be working hard just like you always do, but you will get far better results! When I started with WBT it was the middle of the school year and I was not fully equipped with all the information Biffle provides. I practiced little circle-time WBT and I did see results. But when I was able to get my hands on his entire system and implement at the beginning of the year and when I decided to be fully committed, dramatic results followed. I am going to give you a head start today and then you will read this book and go to the website and start your most satisfying teaching experience to date!

    The First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching: Are you ready? give me an "Oh Yeah" (teachers say, Oh yeah)
    The longer we talk, the more students we lose. The longer we talk,(pause) the more students we lose. Let's say that one more time together and follow my hand gestures. The more we talk, the more students we lose.

    But Mrs. Principal, I teach kindergarten and she teaches P.E.? Not an issue with WBT. These techniques work, no matter what age group or subject matter. Biffle was teaching college students! It works because it is brain friendly.

    Another thing, my wonderful team of teachers, a plethora of videos, systems, lesson plans, you name it, is on the website ready for you to download...free! Can I have an "oh Yeah!, (oh yeah)

    Get to work team! This is going to be a great year with great kids!

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  47. A wise friend of mine says, “The glory is in your story!” In this case, the glory of Whole Brain Teaching is in my story. I started teaching seven years ago. My background was in traditional education were “funtricity” and “exhilarating” were not acceptable classroom management tools. Reality hit me when I started my first teaching job at an inner city private school filled with “rebels.” In a very short amount of time, I became the “mean” teacher and started building an unwanted reputation without even knowing it.

    A major shift occurred when I became acquainted with Whole Brain Teaching. I couldn’t believe what I saw: energetic teachers no longer tired of hard work with little results; students of all ages engaged in their learning while having fun; and challenging students that, when corrected immediately, joined back the group.

    As I implemented Whole Brain Teaching in my classroom, I quickly understood three major truths of teaching: “We can’t teach a class that will not listen”; “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior”; and “the longer we talk, the more students we lose.” (Biffle 1,2,6) These truths have showed me that students can learn despite uninvolved parents, bad sleep and homework habits, etc.

    Let me show you this year, how the power of the brain will not only help your students have fun learning, but also help you have fun teaching.

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    1. Nice job, Edelsa! It's easy to make excuses for non-performing students, but WBT gives teachers a way to walk around those excuses and get busy! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  48. Chelsea,
    Wouldn't it be great if all of our staff meetings were done WBT style? It would surely start our year off in a much more fun positive way. Imagine the enthusiasm it would generate. Give yourself an Oh Yeah and 25 certification points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  49. Good Morning! My name is Jason McKinney and I stand here before you as a teacher of 13 years. I have taught in a private Catholic school and in poverty stricken public schools. In all of my years there has ALWAYS been students that were a challenge! There have been at least 2 years where I seriously considered whether I could continue giving so much of myself into something that I didn’t feel I was succeeding in. “The guerilla warfare between bands of rebel students and solitary instructors is the same on every front”...UNTIL NOW! I have the key to helping teachers in dire situations or teachers that simply want to improve their teaching to be the best. They key is called Whole Brain Teaching!
    We can’t teach to students who aren’t listening. Students listen better when their whole brains are engaged and unfortunately the longer we lecture the more we lose students’ attention. Many studies show that students are tuned out after merely 10 minutes of lecture. Ouch! Whole Brain Teaching is a way to engage students physically, mentally, and emotionally in your lessons.
    I sincerely hope you allow me the opportunity to share with you the specifics on how to engage those challenging students in way that will fill their brains so full they won’t have the energy nor time to decide how to interrupt, distract, or disrespect you! I remember a line from the great Harry Wong who said “the students should be the ones leaving tired from working so hard, not the teacher!” They will leave exhausted but excillerated! Please join me on this journey. Who’s ready!?!

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    1. I really did have paragraphs that were indented. Guess I need to leave spaces between them next time! :)

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    2. I'm ready! Good job Jason. There are too many teachers considering leaving our profession for just the reason you mentioned. It's time to spread the power of whole brain teaching! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  50. As a math specialist for the past 4 years, I've used a 'sprinkle' of WBT as I've taught model lessons and done co-teaching. However, before I was I specialist I had the most horrid classroom management! I even tried 'spritzing' the students with some WBT to no avail. Now that my specialist job has been eliminated, I'm ready to 'drench' my students with WBT.
    The second paragraph couldn't be more true, and I couldn't be a better example: "We can't teach classes that won't listen."
    Having a reputation as the FUN teacher has its drawbacks, and this is one of them. They think we're just having one big math party! Forget about the content! Mrs. Smith is funny and really relates to us. Well, NEWS FLASH! There's a new Mrs. Smith coming to school in August. I'm still funny and relate to kids, but my class will keep you on your toes. You'll learn so much, you won't want to leave.

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    1. Sherry,
      I am sure many teachers can understand your personal story since they have probably been there themselves. Thank you for sharing. Good attempt at your first entry but on future posts, please make sure you address the prompt. Here are 10 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  51. Welcome to the new school year! This year, we will maximize our students’ learning by implementing Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle, which I will call WBT. Many of you are already successfully using these techniques, perhaps without realizing why they are effective. Let’s begin with the introduction.
    “…the First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching: The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” We need to break our lessons into small chunks, allowing students time to absorb each chunk before we move on to the next chunk. As WBT was created, the author says, “…our students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving.”
    “Too many classrooms are battle zones between kids who want freedom and teachers who want order.” One of my fights was manipulatives. I would get them out; invariably, students would play with them and get them taken away! So, I stopped getting them out. I thought, ‘Why do they resist what’s best for them?’ WBT has the answer! “Our system…produces classrooms that are full of orderly [what teachers want] fun [what students want; emphasis added].”
    “When a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” In my classroom, students wanted to talk, and I wanted them to listen! When I began implementing WBT, I thought, ’Students want to talk – OK, I’ll tell them what to say and let them!’ I taught them to teach their neighbor, and their talking transformed to learning!

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    1. Good beginning post highlighting 3 key points about WBT. Here are 25 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  53. One of my favorite Christmas stories is "The Christmas Carol" by Chales Dickins. Today we are going to use this story to help us learn about our past, present, and future in education. I want you to picture the Ghost of Education Past coming to take you to a time when you were young and in a classroom. Picture that classroom and how you felt being in it. What were the things that made you feel good or bad? Looking back what would you have wanted to change? Were you engaged in the lessons or did the teacher lecture all the time?

    Now picture the Ghost of Education Present coming to take you to your classroom today. As you watch yourself teach, are the students actively engaged or are there only a few paying attention? Whose doing all the talking? Do the students look happy to be there? Are they remembering what is being taught? Are you willing to help your students reach their full potential and be willing to participate in every lesson? Or will we see the doom of gloom forever imprinted on their faces.

    Here is the part of our story where we can make the change. Let's take a look into the future and watch how your students become acitively engaged in your lessons. The Ghost of Education Future will whisk you to your future classroom where you will see students using gestures and communicating to one another. You will see smiles on their faces while they are learning the core material you are teaching them. You will no longer loose your voice because you will not be the only one talking all the time.

    Now that you have taken this journey, I want to share with you a system that has worked for me and thousands of others. I once lectured too much and couldn't understand why my students weren't retaining what I was saying. I realized that I wasn't involving all the parts of my students' brains. I needed to get them actively engaged and Whole Brain Teaching came into my life. I want to share this system of teaching with you and take you to the same teacher heaven I have experienced.

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  54. Marty,
    Excellent connection to great literature! We are on the cusp of the future as WBT is currently being instituted in thousands of classrooms around the globe. It won't be long before teacher heaven is everywhere! You've earned 25 certification points for a well thought out response. On a side note, check the difference between "loose" and "lose". :) Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  55. I am excited to introduce you to a man that has mentored me, Chris Biffle, the Director of Whole Brain Teachers of America (Hold up copy of the book and pull up WBT website to be shown on screen)! His innovative techniques have transformed my classroom by giving my strategies to engage, instruct, and transform even my most challenging students. Whole Brain Teaching is a research based system that utilizes all areas of the brain, keeps children actively involved in learning, and helps them retain much more information than the standard lecture-discussion model.

    Chris Biffle says, “Most challenging kids genuinely want to be part of the classroom environment; this is why they work so hard, and continuously, to get everyone’s attention.” The great part of WBT is that the students' whole brains are involved in learning, so there isn't any mental room leftover for challenging behavior. Let me share an example. Last year I had a student, let's call her Meg, that loved to be off-task, do her own thing, and socialize constantly. Through using Whole Brain Teaching techniques I was able to draw her into my instruction because WBT lessons are engaging, movement based, and involved "playing teacher". She was able to shine when she used her energy to create new gestures and paraphrase information for our class. There was a WBT system in place, the Super Improvers' Wall, to praise her for doing better than she had done before, which motivated her to want to improve her behavior. She responded so well to the WBT techniques and changed from a disruptive student to a positive contributor in our classroom!

    I am excited to help each of you jump right in and begin using the WBT techniques. I strongly believe that WBT will be instrumental in teaching common core standards and critical thinking. I have a copy of his new book for all of you. I have set-aside our Tuesday in-services to devote to learning about WBT and growing together on this new journey.

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    1. Miss Viola,
      Your staff presentation on WBT was well done. I especially appreciate your inclusion of future WBT in-services to help your teachers initiate and develop WBT strategies in their classrooms. The Megs of the world are counting on us! You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  56. I am so excited to be here this morning! I'm thrilled that our new middle school has been chosen to implement Whole Brain Teaching! This summer, we had the opportunity to participate in the WBT Book Club, and now it's time to implement all of those fabulous ideas we have been learning about.
    I want you all to think back to last year's students. I know it's been a while, but I'm sure you can remember your students well. Take a moment to remember. (Pause.) Now, think about your most challenging kids. You know, the ones that talk out of turn, refuse to participate, don't turn in assignments, talk back, can't keep up with nor bring materials to class, and they distract others. As hard as we try, it's difficult to engage these learners.
    Before taking this principalship, I was able to take a Whole Brain Teaching class through Walsh University, and I learned a lot about how the brain learns. Chris Biffle, or Coach B. as he's called, is the leader of WBT, and he states, "Challenging kids are rebels. Punishment makes them more rebelious. Most want to be a part of the class and that's why they work so hard to get attention." As educators, if we are to help these students, we must be willing to change and try new strategies. The key law of WBT is, "The longer teachers talk, the more students we lose." Our students are no different than us. You don't want to sit through long lectures, and your students don't either. And, even the most lively class discussions only engage a fraction of our students.
    The WBT book holds "detailed instructions for teaching challenging kids." And, the rest of your class will love it, too.
    My consistent use of WBT strategies helped me help my challenging students. I believe it will help you and your students, too. Whole Brain Teaching will make all the difference!
    I love Whole Brain Teaching with my whole heart! This past spring, I did, in fact, take an online class through Walsh University instructed by Dr. Brobeck and Dr. Digianantonio. It created an opportunity for me to use WBT consistently with my sixth graders. The techniques came at a time in my career when I needed a boost. Now, my new teaching style has caused a ripple effect among my team members and other sixth grade level teachers. Currently, five other sixth grade teachers have purchased the book. WBT is addictive! It has forever changed my classroom attitude and the principles that govern the happenings in each of my middle school classes. Oh yeah!

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  57. Great post, Melinda! Your personal WBT classroom experiences, combined with your college coursework at Walsh University, will definitely benefit your staff's future successes in helping all students learn. You earned 25 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  59. I remember one time after teaching hours at school. I felt so tired. Not because of physical activity but because i felt incapable. Felt like I've done everything to teach in class. But those kids didn't seem to want to hear. All they wanted to do was just playing around. And screaming did not solve the problem. They just learnt to scream back to another people. And that was not definitely what i wanted.

    And I said to myself, "Please, isn't there any way that can be used so that children still can have fun and at the same time they can learn as well? There must be a way in some place." Through youtube I found videos which brought me to one incredible learning sytem . A technic which spread out through site which has a lot of e-books and videos about this technic. This site compiles all the materials with well structure so that we, who are new to this technic, can learn this easily.


    Whole Brain Teaching. This technic is absolutely the kind of technic I have been searching for. A technic in which the children's need to play and play is fully contented and at the same time the learning materials are well understood by the children with a great understanding. Isn't this the technic that every teacher in the world has been looking for?

    I do not know if you have the same problem like I ever faced in the past. But one thing I know for sure is that the Whole Brain Teaching technic will get our teaching-learning process in our school to a better dimension. Dimension where the children and the teacher have fun in the teaching-learning process.

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    1. Imanuel,
      WBT is exactly what you have been looking for! Your goal to bring fun and learning together can now be met through the strategies and techniques of Whole Brain Teaching. Here are 10 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points. Please check for correct spelling and capital letter use in future posts. (technic/technique, i/I)

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  60. Good morning! This year I am excited to begin this new adventure with you as we implement Chris Biffle's "Whole Brain Teaching!" As we begin this school year, let us all begin anew and refreshed in our excitement, attitudes and willingness to be learners ourselves. Whole Brain teaching gives educators a fresh perspective on teaching those challenging students; students who are hard to teach, who don't seem to care or listen, or perhaps, are just not hearing you. It may be hard to admit to ourselves, but we often blame student's attitudes or performance on the student and neglect self-examination on our parts. Whole Brain teaching will enable us as educators to reflect on our own teaching and will engage the student's WHOLE BRAIN so learning will take the place of challenging behavior.
    I find myself reflecting back on that ONE student every year that I was just never able to get through to, or knew how to exactly push my buttons. Just this past year, one student comes into my mind that I was never able to truly engage, to teach, to make a difference because I had, unknowingly, created a student vs. teacher rapport with that student. With the WBT techniques, I feel strongly that both you and I can and will make that difference this year, as we learn together how to not lose those challenges students, but to make them apart of the learning environment in each of our classrooms.
    WBT will also allow each of us to completely engage our students as we allow them to become not only intellectually involved, but emotionally, as our lessons will require all five senses! When it comes to teaching, many of us feel naturally inclined to... talk, talk and talk some more, but with the WBT method, we will learn that less is more. I know we each find that true even with ourselves as educators and life-long students!
    This year, as a school, let's join together in engaging our students and involving the WHOLE brain!

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    1. Good post Amanda! It is truly so important to realize that if a power struggle ensues between a teacher and a student, it is the teacher that allowed it to happen. We must teach our students how to work within the school system. WBT gives us ways to do just that. Here are your 25 certification points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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  61. Hello Excellent Educators, I am so glad you are here today. Let’s try something. When I say, “Faculty”, I want you to say, “Yes”. Let’s try that, “Faculty”. Oh that was great for a first time but you really need to do it quickly (marks frownie face tally on board). “Faculty”. Oh much better. (marks tally under smiley face). Believe it or not you just saw 2 of the 7 teaching strategies of Whole Brain Teaching. It is the perfect solution for those challenging students. The best thing is that is not just for the challenging students but it is also for all students. I know I am hearing “Mighty Groans” out there. I am sure you are thinking, “Another program, how long will we use this one?” I understand I’ve been there. But this isn’t a buzz word it’s a new pardigm for involving your students’ whole brain in your teaching so they are able to learn more effectively. It’s not a fad. It started about 10 years ago with 3 individuals who knew there needed to be something different. It’s been tried true by thousands of teachers on an international level. It’s not only for the primary grades. This has been used from K-14. Imagine that?!
    First let me tell you as I read this material I had some haunting thoughts. I didn’t want to believe that I could be the cause for the issues in my classroom. However, as I read through Chapters 1 and 2 they eerily resonated with me. The seven mistakes could have been written about my last two years teaching 5th grade. I am sure we have all read about brain research and its involvement in learning. But it doesn’t quite seem to get you there like WBT does. How disheartening to see how ineffective I’d been. But how enlightening and uplifting to know that I may just have found the key to unlock all those inefficiencies and turn them into effective strategies to reach all students. I am excited to share it with you today.
    Can you get excited for a strategy that has rewards built in that won’t cost you any out of pocket money? I know you want to give me a “Mighty OH YEAH” for that one. How many of you feel like you are talking too much? Well, you know that the more you talk the more students you lose. So, WBT will help you build mini lessons that will engage your students to do more learning with less talking. How amazing is that? Let’s watch a video to see it in action.

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    1. Wouldn't it be great if all faculty meetings at the start of school started like this? Here are 25 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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    2. Thank you! glad to get your response. I have read more but didn't want to go ahead until I found out if I was doing them okay or not! ;)

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  62. (I'm speaking to a group of Music teachers...)

    Hello, fellow music teachers. If you're like me, you worry that someone coming into your classroom will think you're a disaster. We have noisy, active classrooms that often look (and sound) like chaos. (Let's face it. Music isn't pretty from the start.) Have you ever tried to get your classes attention back when they're busy working in small groups or individual practice and everyone is armed with a "noise maker?" Flash the lights, right? Then flash them again, try to get their focus, discipline, etc. How frustrating!

    But no more. Let me introduce "Whole Brain Teaching." It not only will simply and transform the way your classroom runs, but it will scientifically verify things we already know. We know that the longer we talk, the more students we lose. We know that adding actions to key words in songs will help the students remember them. We know that choral speech creates a safe environment for individual experimentation. Chris Biffle and the Whole Brain Teaching crew has created a way to systematically and actively engage all students in every part of class, motivate students to beat their own personal goals, and best of all... it's FREE!!

    Sounds too good to be true? It's not! I've used Whole Brain Teaching in my classroom for a few years and I can tell you that every class, even the rowdy ones, respond. Let me tell you more!

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    1. Gwenn,
      Music, gym, art, etc. all present some unique management issues. WBT is so amazing because it will work in all of these situations. On your future posts, try to expand a little more on the points from the book you are highlighting and be careful of those pesky writing errors (i.e. class'). Here are 10 certification points for you. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

      Delete
  63. We have all faced challenging students in our lifetime. We’ve had days where we find our emotions leading us to punish. But punishment does not fix the rebels! In fact, “punishment makes them more rebellious” (1). This point leads me to an introduction of Coach B and his overall feeling of failure as a teacher. Coach B had moments where he felt he had taught his heart out and found a system that benefitted the whole class. Unfortunately, students tuned out the lyrical moments of pedagogy and the classroom systems quickly lost their flare. It was easy to pinpoint the things that were not working, but not what would work. Then I would highlight how WBT is the lighthouse that led our minds out of the storm and muddy water. WBT works because it is brain friendly.
    So, how did I came to love WBT? As a new teacher, I was given two inclusion classes of 25 reading/writing students. I attempted to implement the same management plan as my teaching partner across the hall but found it to be unnatural. My rebels took this fumbling moment as an opportunity to flourish and lead others into the chaos. My administration made many visits and observations. They even sent me to CHAMPS training. Nothing I tried seemed to help. I cannot tell you how many nights I went home crying from my ‘tough’ class! Finally, through much research, I stumbled upon WBT. I started small with the Class-Yes and the Scoreboard. Their affect on the classroom was nothing short of astounding! My classroom began to flow naturally and my students’ scores began to rise. I knew from that moment on, I was hooked!

    Jennifer Mulcahy
    Kindergarten Teacher

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    1. I realize that I presented my post slightly differently than others...my post is an outline of what I would say to the faculty and not actually what is said. I feel that 250 words is not enough for me to get the whole speech across with my three points and personal story. Hopefully, this will be sufficient. Please let me know if you'd like me to redo this first assignment...JM

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    2. Jennifer,
      Don't sweat the 250 words! It is a guideline and if you have to go over, that's fine. But please, no short novels. :) Good attempt at a first entry. Here are 25 certification points for you. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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    3. Jennifer, I'm so glad you found WBT. I've taught for 23 years and I just found it last year. I teach SPED inclusion/resource also. It is something I wish I'd found years ago!

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  64. Hello staff and welcome back. I hope you all had a refreshing summer and are excited to start the new school year. A wise man once wrote “We enter teaching because we want students to be successful and we are daily beaten down by the kids who most need our help.” I know this is true for most of us in this room and it is definitely true for me. The last year I taught, I had a student who challenged me every single day. I would leave frustrated most days, with no patience left for my own children. As I read Chris Biffle’s book, I kept thinking about how this method could have changed that school year for me and for him.
    Amber Laue
    First Grade Teacher
    Chris Biffle’s Whole Brain Teaching will change how we educate children for the better. I am providing each of you with a copy of his book, which I have spent a lot of time with over the summer. Chris points out that we” punish children because we don’t know what else to do.” He hit the nail on the head with that statement. We need to find a way to keep our students so engaged in learning that their mental capacity is being used entirely on the lesson. Whole brain teaching has a core set of strategies that, when implemented correctly, challenges students so much in the classroom, that they are no longer able to have challenging behavior.
    I hope that you are as excited about whole brain teaching as I was after reading this book. Please be checking your inboxes for excellent videos displaying the WBT strategies.

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    1. Amber,
      Don't sweat the 250 words. If you have to go over it is not a problem. Staying in that general word count area though is helpful. Here are 25 certification points for you. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

      Delete
  65. Welcome back! I am so excited to join such a wonderful team of educators. As we begin this school year, it is important to implement strategies that will challenge, inspire, and engage every student. Luckily, there is a silver bullet that will accomplish all of this and more! Whole Brain Teaching is a grassroots educational reform movement, started in 1999, by three educators in California based on research about how the brain learns.

    Every student needs to be challenged in a positive way. Using WBT, learners participate in high energy lessons composed of short micro lessons, repetition, and critical thinking. Students are challenged to extend their own learning while engaged in fun games. Through this high energy controlled fun, students brains are so busy there is no space for challenging behavior.

    With less time spent on challenging behavior, students' efforts are focused on their growth. Once students experience success as a normal part of their education, the inspiration to be better gets a foot in the door. As a teacher, I can attest that there is no better feeling than to witness that infamous student transform into a motivated learner. The pride that radiates from them is contagious and infects those around them. Now instead of leading the way to the dark side, they head the charge to conquer the next educational challenge presented.

    By implementing WBT Techniques, 100% of our students will be engaged 100% of the time. That's bell to bell instruction. Children's brains demand activity. If the classroom does not provide it, the brain, which does not have an off switch, will busy itself with other learning. It is up to you as teachers to provide the activities that keep these brains so busy and engaged learning there's absolutely no time or capacity to wander.

    It's my challenge to you to set the bar high for both yourself and your students. It will require change in the way we think about teaching in order to reach our true potential.

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    1. Hi Karen!
      Well said! I like your focus on three very important words: challenge, inspire, and engage. Here are 25 certification points for you. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

      Delete
  66. I am here today to share with you, what I consider to be our future in reaching and teaching our students. I am so excited to introduce you to, Whole Brain Teaching! This innovative method of teaching produces fun and orderly classrooms where teachers are excited to teach. It is focused learning while engaging in a game like manor, where the class can earn points and privileges such as longer recess times. Once you learn the strategy of the WBT, it is easy to use and allows you to teach in small sessions and with class involvement. This high energy controlled environment, will motivate students of all ages to follow the rules because WBT makes it fun and inviting.

    I am providing you with the book by Chris Biffle called whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. One of my favorite quotes in the book is “If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior”. This is a read that is bound to change your life as a teacher. You will watch students who were once distracted rebel’s and rule breakers, flourish and blossom into students who love to learn and become loyalists of your classroom. You will be sobbing tears of joy, when you see how fun teaching can be. What an accomplishment for a teacher.

    Through much research and looking for a better way to manage my classroom, I stumbled upon a WBT video, than read the book. I run a class of 12 3 and 4 years old's so behavior management is critical. I started small with the Class/Yes, 5 rules and scoreboard. I knew I did something right based on the response from my class and their excitement and energy. It allows them to be engaged in the learning process and moving as children always want to do. It is easier to teach with passion and know I am getting through even to the most difficult of children.

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  67. Julie,
    Nice reflection on how WBT helps learning and fun walk hand in hand, as it reaches out to students performing at a variety of levels! Here are 25 certification points for you. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points. Be careful of small writing errors in your future posts. (Ex. manors/manners, whole Brain Teaching, rebel's/rebels)

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  68. Good morning my team of teaching rock stars! I am so excited to be working with all of you. Turn to your neighbor and say, “She called us teaching rock stars!”
    That’s right, because I know each of you joined this noble profession to make a difference in the lives of children. Twenty years ago, I eagerly joined for the exact same reason, but I soon discovered teaching wasn’t quite as simple as I thought it would be. I learned that I could prepare the very best lesson plans, but couldn’t teach those rigorous lessons thoroughly due to my daily battles with managing student behavior. Turn to your neighbor and name a few things that make teaching a little more difficult than what you expected.
    Now, how would you feel if I said I have resources available to make your classroom a place of “orderly fun“? Resources to engage ALL students, even your most difficult ones. Believe it or not, I do have those resources available for each and every one of you. Turn to your colleague and say, “I can’t wait to see the resources!”
    We have access to web casts, grade level specific Facebook pages, videos, EBooks, and more. The first resource I am providing each of you with is this book entitled Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids written by an incredible educator named Chris Biffle.
    When I discovered Whole Brain Teaching, it completely transformed my classroom from a place of battling with student behavior to a place of joyful learning for all. Whole Brain Teaching is more like “a large, lively game than a traditional school classroom management system”. Turn to your colleague and say, “I want to know more!”
    I learned the “Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching” from Mr. Biffle. He said, “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” Turn to your neighbor and say, “Yes, sometimes I do talk too much in class.”
    Whole Brain Teaching will put an end to this and give your students the opportunities to engage in lessons with their whole brain, leaving no room for misbehavior. Read the first three chapters by next week and we will come together to discuss implementation and the impact this will have on our school. We will continue with more chapters and assignments each week.
    Will this journey together take time and dedication? Yes, but remember, “there are no shortcuts to being an excellent teacher”. We are all here to make a difference in the lives of children and make Ten Finger Woo Elementary an exciting place of learning and growing for all, including students, faculty and staff. Together we can make this happen. Remember, you are all teaching rock stars!

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    1. Sandysockmonkey, welcome to the book club! Great job using the basic techniques to address a room full of teachers! Having no more "sit and get" faculty meetings would be great! Here are 25 certification points for you. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

      Delete
  69. Welcome to what is about to be the greatest year of your teaching career! I couldn't be more proud to lead a group as incredible as the one sitting before me today. I have some exciting news for you so, take out a big hanky because what I am about to tell you will make you weep big, wet tears of joy.

    There exists a revolutionary, brain friendly way of teaching which is so incredibly fun that even your most rebellious student won't have any mental area left over for challenging behavior. I am talking about Whole Brain Teaching, the brain child of an incredible man named Chris Biffle. After 25 years of failure, Chris hit the educational jackpot. He found that students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing and moving. When Mr. Biffle realized he was on to something big, he asked two of his former students to try some of his techniques in their classroom and in only a few weeks they began to see dramatic changes in their students. Together they developed a core method that involves many areas of the brain at the same time and saw remarkable results.

    Throughout my teaching career I was always busy working on behavior modification charts and reward systems to keep my students motivated. I remember feeling frustrated after working hard on my lesson plans only to waste the time away redirecting and reprimanding unruly students. One night, I came across a Whole Brain Teaching video on Youtube. I stayed up way past my bedtime watching video after video and couldn't wait to get to school the next morning to start using what I had learned. Whole Brain Teaching changed my life forever. The strategies you will learn will work with any grade level and in any area of education because it is brain friendly.

    I know that you all dream of the day that your classrooms become the kind of place where every child wants to be; a place where they can grow and learn and feel excited to come to every day. After learning and implementing the strategies of Whole Brain Teaching, your classrooms will be full of engaged, energized and well behaved students who are having loads of fun as they learn more than you can ever imagine! Now, turn to the person sitting next to you and tell them how excited you are to learn the strategies of Whole Brain Teaching and become the greatest teacher you can be! That was great! Don't forget to pick up your copy of "Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids" so you too can be part of this great revolution.

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    1. Rivky, this is a passionate reflection on your introduction to Whole Brain Teaching! Here are 25 Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

      Delete
  70. If someone could show you an easier way to perform a task…that would yield a better outcome and with less effort…would you be interested in hearing more? What if I told you that I’ve been to Teacher Heaven and as you might expect, things are done differently there than we’re doing here. Do you want to hear more about how you can have Teacher Heaven right here in your classrooms? (everyone claps and cheers wildly). I was hoping I’d get this kind of response because what I’m about to show you is something that is going to change the way you teach AND it’s going to change the way your children learn AND even improve our test scores in the process! Now think about this. Research has shown that the longer we talk the more students we lose and only 5% of information learned through lecture is retained. Yet, how do many (or most) teachers above the first grade teach? With a great deal of lecture interspersed with a great deal of fussing at students to pay attention and stop…well, you fill in the blank.

    Teacher Heaven that I mentioned earlier has another name and that’s Whole Brain Teaching developed by Chris Biffle. It’s a teaching model that uses all parts of the brain to engage children in learning and guess what? What Chris and his colleagues found was that students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving. WBT uses gestures and short chunks of teaching no longer than 45 seconds with the students repeating what the teacher says and then “teaching” the same material to a partner. Research has found that 90% of what we teach is retained! Skills are scaffolded and students are reinforced for individual improvement. This is what the WBT team discovered: their challenging kids couldn’t be challenging because their entire brains were too busy learning! I’ve used WBT in my classroom with special needs students and it IS amazing. My students loved the Super Improvers Board because they were competing with themselves to improve their sight word fluency time or to complete an objective from their IEP.

    Does this sound like Teacher Heaven to you? Do you want your kids to remember 90% of what you teach rather than only 5%? Chris Biffle has a website with free (yes, I said FREE) materials, videos and training. I want you to watch this short video of a WBT teacher demonstrating this method with a first grade class and then I’ll be happy to take any questions you have about how we can become a Whole Brain Teaching school!

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  71. Wouldn't you love to hear this from your principal on your first day back to school? Wonderfully crafted response! Here are 25 certification points for you plus a whopping 5 BONUS POINTS!

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    1. Thanks!!! Actually, my principal is very excited about WBT as is my SPED Director. The day after Russ and I got home from the WBT Conference, we got a call from the district office asking us to do a morning session training and an afternoon session training for WBT. It will be an option of four options teachers have but we're going to send out emails with links to videos and other WBT info to get everyone into our sessions so we can share the wealth!

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  72. Welcome to a new year at our new charter school. I am so excited to be your principal this year. We are going to have many new adventures this year but the first adventure I want to take you on involves Whole Brain Teaching. This summer I read a book by Chris Biffle and he lays out exactly how we can reach our challenging kids. You know the ones I am speaking of the student that never listens, always interrupts you, constantly out of their seat to get a tissue or go to the bathroom? These students need to be engaged in something. If you don’t engage them in learning they are going to engage themselves in distracting. Chris Biffle put it well “if the whole brain is involved in learning there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behaviors.” One of the First Laws of Whole Brain teaching is “the more you talk the more students you lose.” The first year I tried whole brain teaching, I had a student who was a challenge. He was constantly shouting out , talking, moving I got so frustrated! I started using Whole Brain techniques where students teach each other. I would speak a few minutes and then the students would teach each other. They would use gestures as they were teaching and I became a monitor not a lecturer. Through using the simple strategies in my classroom I talked less and the students taught more. They were teaching each other and it changed how I thought about teaching. We will venture through a book study together this year Whole Brain Teaching Challenging Students by Chris Biffle We will start with the basics using Class—Yes to get students attention and Hands and Eyes when we are going to make a BIG point in our lesson. ““We can’t teach a class that will not listen.” Just teaching basic attention getting techniques will start your lessons in the right way and help our challenging students become engaged students. As we go through the year and our book study let us have an open mind and be engaged in our teaching. Let’s think of the mistakes we make as a teacher and how we can fix these to better engage our students. I’m excited about our new year and I look forward to going on our new adventure this year.

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  73. Hi Joanna,
    I see that this is your 2nd entry for these chapters. Please take a look at the directions at the top. They don't allow for rewrites. :( On future posts, watch out for those needed capital letters and punctuation marks. Thank you for your effort.

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  74. Whole Brain Teaching is a way of teaching that increases engagement and decreases common management problems. It isn’t a system, or a program. It’s a mindset!

    First, students are “emotionally involved in lessons that require seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving.” We’ve all learned that in order for students to be successful during a lesson, and retain the information taught, we have to move past lecture and basic discussion and toward the students teaching each other. WBT provides a structure for teachers to constantly engage their students and for students to retain information and solidify it as real learning rather than regurgitation.

    Second, students CRAVE fun and excitement. It’s difficult as educators for us to compete with video games, iPods, and social media. WBT structures lessons in a way that encourages “orderly fun.” When students buy-in to the game format in a classroom, review becomes fun… challenging even. It helps us as educators move past surviving and into actually thriving in the classroom!

    Finally, educational neurology is proving what we as educators have known for years… the more modalities a student uses, especially simultaneously, the higher their engagement and the more they learn and retain. Coach B adds, “If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” By engaging students in sight, sound, speaking, doing, and teaching, all at the same time, we get 100% of them 100% focused on the lesson and there isn’t any time or energy left to contemplate and manipulate.

    I have taught in two very distinctive classroom environments. In my first environment, the most challenging behaviors I experienced were students (yes plural, as in more than one) who brought knives to school to threaten me and actually toppling classroom furniture onto me. They were first graders. In the second environment, the most challenging behaviors I experienced were giggling and talking during my lessons. In both instances, WBT rescued my classroom from failure. When I switched from the first environment to the second, I believed I wouldn’t need WBT because I wouldn’t have kids physically trying to harm me. However, for our students to truly succeed in school (beyond a standardized test) and become productive, well-educated students, they need a classroom structure that encourages the highest level of cooperation and thinking—what is truly expected of them as adults.

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    1. Addie, your post notes several solid reasons for addressing higher student engagement and individual differences in student learning styles. Here are 25 Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

      Delete
  75. Welcome back to a new and exciting school year! I hope that you are feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new school year with a new outlook. We are going to be using the Whole Brain Teaching approach to engage our students. Since we will all be learning and using these techniques the classrooms, our students will find unity from grade to grade, class to class and teacher to teacher.

    I see that some of your faces don't seem to reflect the same excitement that I have for this project. However, I have sat in the lounge and listened to your complaints. I hear talk of students who don't listen, students who are disrespectful, students who challenge authority, students who teacher's wish would be sick a few days so they could have a break. However, our teaching success is not dependent on the quality of students we have in our class on day 1, but our success as educator's is found in the effect our actions have on these students. Do they feel safe in our room or are they on the defense all of the time? Are they engaged in our lessons, really and truly engaged? Can our students collaborate and respect the other students in their class? Have we given them the tools to be successful in these situations? I believe that the WBT method will allow us to take a unified front so that every child is engaged, feels safe, can work in many situations and is prepared for real life settings.

    WBT shows us that " If a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior." I know that I would love to have my students attentive and truly engaged 100% of the time. By using the methods we will learn, we will be able to engage all of the students senses, so that they have no "room" left to misbehave or go off task.
    Remember that the longer we talk, the less our student's will hear. It is so easy for the students today to tune in and out.
    Together we are going to learn how to keep their attention and become facilitators of education.
    We know that students from all different ability levels crave order. WBT is based on order, but in a fun and exciting way that makes the students so involved that they forget we are "working."

    Last year I began the use the WBT guidelines, but I have only touched the surface. Several teachers asked me one day how it was that I managed to quiet down the 81 students in my 4th and 5th grade chorus. These students meet in the hallway after recess, red faced with their play equipement and games still going on in their heads. The teacher's were surprised when I let them know that all I do is say "o class", and the 81 kids stop and say "o yes!" And then silence! This is just the smallest bit from WBT, but when kids know what to expect and we hold them accountable in fun ways, they will surprise us!

    Let's make this year one that you remember as the start of a new feeling in your classroom. Let's work together with the WBT team and reinvent how we teach so that we can bring our best to our students!

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    1. Monica, your passion for change at your school is striking! On your next post, please make sure to correct your mechanics and grammar. You earned 10 WBT Certification Points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

      Delete
  76. Good morning everyone! I know that principals come and go and teachers stay where they are. So, you are wondering what this guy is going to do to complicate your life. I think if you will give me a little time to introduce you to a concept that is exploding in education around the world and in every state in the country, you will have the most fun and exciting success you have ever experienced as a teacher.

    Tall order? Not really. About 14 years ago, a college professor in an area with lot of troubled young people on the streets and in his class realized he might, on a good day, reach about 25% of his students with his amazing lectures on philosophy. He tried lots of techniques, read, researched, and even invented crazy ways of teaching. Eventually he found a way all his students stayed engaged and learned more than any of his classes the previous 25 years of teaching.

    The professor is Chris Biffle, and technique is called Whole Brain Teaching. He invited a couple of former students to try it in their kindergarten and fourth grade classrooms. It worked there just as well and the three men spent a year refining the tools for Whole Brain Teaching. That refining continues today. The most amazing part is that he began training teachers, writing e-books, making videos, and giving it all away, free!

    I know from personal experience this method of teaching will keep our challenging students engaged, our entire class waiting breathlessly on our next words, and most importantly, take a class of disadvantaged students from 49% reading proficiency to 89% reading proficiency in one class year!

    If you want to run ahead of me, you can start watching videos and reading e-books at www.wholebrainteaching.com. I’ll be offering training two nights a week after a big Saturday kickoff and helping you any way I can. This program is totally positive, and as your principal I plan to lead our instruction in that mindset.

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  77. Okay, Russ! I see a line forming by your office ready to interview for a job! I especially appreciate your follow-on trainings to extend and reinforce the WBT methods with your staff! Here are 25 certification points for you. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

    ReplyDelete
  78. I am so excited to work with all of you amazing educators. You are the heart of this school and I can’t wait to get to know you all and to see you in your element, the classroom. When I first started teaching, my students were challenging (to the max) and I was spending most of my time dealing with behavior instead of teaching. This forced me to stop and reevaluate my own teaching tool box. Was I doing everything that could be done for my students? The honest answer was no and the truth was I had no answers. So, I began to search for solutions and found Whole Brain Teaching.
    Whole Brain Teaching gave me the answers and the tools that turned the word differentiation into a reality. One of the most brilliant ideas (and there are many) that comes out of WBT is this: the more we talk the less they listen. However, when students become emotionally involved and are required to use seeing, saying, hearing, AND movement to learn or review concepts they will remain engaged for quite a while. Giving students information in short bursts and having them INTERACT with the concepts creates excitement (an emotion) and then you have your students right where you want them, learning. The greatest thing about what I am telling you is that challenging kids can’t be challenging when their whole brains are busy learning. It is possible to have 100% engagement in your classrooms. Whole Brain Teaching has the secrets to success and I am so excited to be able to share Whole Brain Teaching ideas and methodologies with you. I can’t wait to see how this information and approach to teaching transforms your classrooms, your passion for teaching, and your creativity.
    Have a great planning week, enjoy the WBT sessions, and get super excited about this totally awesome new school year! Now everybody put your hands up, stick your fingers out, wiggle them, and say “WOO”. This is a Ten Finger Woo, a most excellent way to have a mini celebration with your students. Give yourselves a Ten Finger Woo and have a great day!!!

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    1. Sarah,
      Wouldn't it be great if this was the first "speech" of the year from principals in every school across the country? Think of the excitement! Here are 25 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

      Delete
  79. June 25, 2013 Chapter 1/2
    Welcome to a new beginning at Montclair Elementary School! I have some exciting information to share with you that will change the way you teach, the way your students learn, change their behavior (OOOHHHH!!) and will actually give you the end of the year results you have been wishing for!!

    Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) developed by Chris Biffle!! Give me a mighty OH YEAH! What’s this? I am so glad you asked! WBT is teaching students in smaller chunks of time (45 seconds or less) using big gestures, then having them repeat what you say using big gestures and teach their partner. Research has shown that students do not retain the information we throw at them in lecture form. Thus, breaking the information up into smaller parts and engaging the “whole brain” in learning helps them process and retain the information leaving no room for misbehavior!

    I implemented a couple of the techniques in my first grade class last year. I used the class/yes and hands and eyes and I was super surprised at the response I received from them. Gone are the days of “123 eyes on me”!! The engagement piece of just these two techniques worked wonders as they actually had a part to play in the experience which didn’t give them an opportunity to disrupt with inappropriate behavior. It also introduced fun back into the classroom because I could vary how I said it and they had to mimic my voice.

    How do you get started? We will implement “The Big 7” school wide. The WBT website has FREE (yes, I said FREE) videos and printouts for us to use to help this process. The 5 rules will be used school wide as well. EVERYONE will know them (even the cafeteria staff and custodians) so the entire school will be able to reinforce them. We will also incorporate our PBS model under the umbrella of WBT so it will have structure and support.

    Are you ready to make Montclair a Whole Brain Teaching model? Let’s learn more about how this method will change our school for the better! And as an added bonus…….Chris Biffle himself will be coming to our school July 29th to help get us started!! Give me a ten finger WWWOOOOOOO!!!

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  80. Hi Betsy!
    Well written, and with a punch of Funtricity! Your staff is off to a great WBT year! Here are 25 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Memories and a Pencil: What do these two items have in common?

    You probably surmised that these are the only things students take with them when they enter a testing room. That means all students have to make strong memories in our classrooms every day.

    Ask your neighbor: “How are strong memories made?”

    You’ve learned that making strong memories requires things like: high student engagement, hands-on activity, humor, brain-friendly techniques, and student-centered lessons. We know the components. The hard part is getting them into one simple framework.

    Ask your neighbor: “Where can we find a teaching framework that makes strong memories?”

    I am glad you asked. All of the components have been put together into a powerful memory-making framework called Whole Brain Teaching. WBT is brain-friendly which means it maximizes student engagement and learning.

    Tell your neighbor: “Ahhh.”

    WBT techniques are learning-centered fun and games. Students are (1) happy learning and are (2) so engaged that their minds do not have space to think of disruptive behaviors.

    Tell your neighbor: “Ohhh.”

    When I used WBT in my bilingual classroom, students were excited to be in class. The talkers got to talk; the movers got to move; the quiet students had to talk. Strong memories were made while students increased their language abilities. It was teacher heaven.

    Tell your neighbor: “I want some of that teacher heaven!”

    This year, WBT will give you a piece of Teacher Heaven, and your students will leave your classroom with more than just a pencil – their brains will be filled with strong memories.

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  82. 5th Grade Science,
    Reaching out to your staff by using WBT techniques is great! You are showing why modeling WBT across various learning settings is invaluable for all participants! Here are 25 Certification points for you. Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Let me ask you all a couple of questions. Do you dream of a classroom where students are actively engaged in whole group lessons and learning activities? Can you picture a classroom where students follow the class rules on a consistent basis? When I was a classroom teacher this dream classroom was made possible by using the classroom management techniques and instructional strategies described in “Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids.”

    Elementary students want to come to school to have fun, play games and socialize with their friends. In “Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids” Chris Biffle states that Whole Brain Teaching “produces classrooms that are full of orderly fun.” When I first implemented this system I was amazed by the immediate change I saw in my students. After about a week of implementation, gone were the days of students getting out of their seats all the time, shouting out answers and questions and that glazed over look we have all seen in our classrooms when students have checked out of the lesson. Students were engaged, learning, behaved, smiling and laughing all together.

    Whole Brain Teaching is brain friendly which helps to keep students engaged and increases what students retain from lessons. In “Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids” Chris Biffle states, “If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” Once I had implemented Whole Brain Teaching strategies in my classroom, I was pleasantly surprised to find this was true. My students were fully engaged in a lesson and there were zero behavior issues or interruptions. Using strategies like Class-Yes, Teach-OK, Mirror, the Scoreboard and reviewing the five classroom rules daily transformed my classroom into a fun place to be for all and I know these could do the same for you.

    As we go forward this year I ask you to try Whole Brain Teaching this year. I would love to hear your experiences and successes in your classroom as you try these new techniques.

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    1. Dan,
      Your staff will appreciate your personal empathy for their day to day challenges. But, giving them a program that works quickly and efficiently to help meet those challenges is even better. WBT works the first hour, first day, and all through the year! Here are 25 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

      Delete
  84. As we prepare for a new school year I would like to share with you a revolutionary teaching system called Whole Brain Teaching. You will find in front of you a copy of Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle, the director of Whole Brain of America. I encourage each of you to read this book and discover how the book and the techniques discussed in the book will become an invaluable tool in your classroom.

    I know many of you go home each day frustrated and defeated by some of the students in your classroom. I know I felt the same way last year when I was a classroom teacher. I can remember standing up in the front of my class teaching and the students playing with items in their desk, bothering other classmates, or just staring into outer space and not paying attention to the information I was trying to teach. In other words, the students were bored with the information and would rather be anywhere but sitting in my class listening to me ramble on about a topic and soon they had zoned out and gone into what I like to call “never never land”.
    Whole Brain Teaching First Great Law reminds us “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” I am sure many of you would agree with this statement. Kids don’t want to sit and listen to an adult drone on and on. They want to have fun and play games while talking, laughing, and moving. The WBT system offers organized, orderly fun that enables learning in classrooms from kindergarten to 14th.

    Another point Coach B, as the author likes to be called makes is “…if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning there isn’t any metal area left over for challenging behavior. I think most of you would agree with this statement. Whole Brian Teaching is a classroom management system that allows students to teach their classmates using fun and engaging activities in an orderly way. Your students will become the teacher and we as teachers will be the facilitator of the class.

    In closing, I would encourage you to read the book and visit the Whole Brain Teaching website to view videos and resource materials to help you engage your class in lesson that require students to become actively involved in their own learning.












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    1. Jennifer,
      Putting fun back into the classroom is a WBT requirement! Your staff members will appreciate your support during the year as they learn how to raise the level of student engagement in their classrooms through the use of WBT strategies and techniques. In future posts, be careful of sentence construction and mechanics.
      (metal/mental, "...engage your class in lesson that require students...") Here are 10 points for your folder.

      Delete
  85. Welcome to a new school year!!
    At the beginning of each school year each and everyone of us, including the students, is excited about what the new year will have in store for us. Everyone is fresh and, believe it or not, ready to learn. The challenge to us, as educators, is to keep that excitement going throughout the year and to focus that readiness to learn to the curriculum at hand. So, how will we do that? Whole Brain Teaching! This will keep our students engaged, and through that, allow us the opportunity to successfully complete our job.
    We are in a period of time where we are experiencing rapid adoption of developing technologies and a popular culture that increasingly values rebellion and challenging authority. It seems that every year it becomes more of a struggle to capture and maintain the interest of all our students, especially the education-rebels, those who don’t display a natural inclination towards traditional education. With social networking, electronic babysitters, cellphone tethering, the ever-evolving virtual reality realm that is video gaming, and other digital distractions, children are used to being stimulated every waking second. Now more than ever it is popular and portrayed as attractive to rebel against authority. We are experiencing a competition with technology and pop culture for the attention of our students and we must win.
    This generation learns by doing and being completely involved. For many reasons, our education system has not kept pace with these changes in the classroom. In particular, Mr. Biffle found that “... students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that require seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving.” By doing this, ALL students became active participants in their education, not merely bystanders to it. With WBT students get the stimulus needed to sustain their attention.
    WBT is especially beneficial to the students that struggle. I know through my own teaching experience that it seemed as if my students would co-opt the unmotivated inattentiveness of those around them. That the class that had one challenger student, at the beginning of the year, ended the year with multiple rebel students. How on earth did they multiply?! Even the “good” students, the cooperators in their own education, were affected by the end of the year. Mr. Biffle explains this experience, that we all have had, so well. He states, “Don’t think your challenging kids are not learning; they are studiously acquiring, from each other, the arts of rebellion.” Yet when we engage these brains in multiple ways, those rebels begin to learn the intended curriculum. He also says, “in a remarkable number of cases, our challenging kids couldn’t be challenging because their entire brains were too busy learning.” I know that is something we all want to see in our classrooms and school.
    Perhaps the most important lesson we can impart is to teach the students to develop ownership of their own learning process. Let us be the motivation we want to see in our students, and let us have a great year by having our students be active in their education!

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  86. Noemi,
    Being active in our own education is the only way we can truly learn! In future posts be careful of fragments ("That the class that had one..."). Here are 20 Certification Points for you!

    ReplyDelete
  87. As we begin a new school year, I would like to share the Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) method with you. This educational reform started in 1999 by Chris Biffle will transform your teaching and your students’ learning from the very first day!

    First, we need to acknowledge that the more we teachers talk the less our students listen. This is foundational to WBT and a direct challenge to the traditional lecture-discussion model many of us experienced in school. Even as adults who are motivated to learn and improve our teaching, we are often bored and turned off by “sit and get” workshops that don’t allow us to interact or move around.

    Another challenge to our students’ attention is classroom disruptions. While we have little control over the fire drills, p.a. announcements, and assemblies that are a part of school life; we can limit student disruptions. WBT is a way of actively engaging the whole brain, leaving no brain cells available for plotting disruptive behavior.

    The last point I’d like to make about the implementation of WBT is the importance of consistency. While we can’t control everything that happens in a day, we can implement WBT techniques daily. Last year, I began using WBT in my elementary Spanish classes. The techniques gave each class a set structure that had a built in opportunity for a reward at the end of the class period. This reward actually served as a review for key concepts and vocabulary! My teaching has been transformed by WBT and I hope yours will be, too!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Good job Senora Keith! Here are 25 certification points for you! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Chapters 1 & 2
    Terri Brown

    July 2, 2013

    Hello staff! I am excited to be here and have the opportunity to work with you this school year. I would like to begin by introducing you to Whole Brain Teaching. Has anyone heard of it before? It was founded by Chris Biffle and is one of the world’s fastest growing, education reform movements.

    I would like to begin by taking you through my most challenging year with a first grade class and how I found WBT. It was my first year teaching 1st grade. I had 25 boisterous students. I made a “cute” behavior ladder I found on Pinterest. Each student had a clothespin with their assigned number and they moved the clip up and down the chart depending on their behavior. That didn’t work, the disruptive behavior continued. I started a dinosaur jar. When students exhibited good behavior, we put one dinosaur or more in the jar. The goal was to get a “class root beer float party”. After a month, we still didn’t have enough dinosaurs for “the party”. I awarded “table points” for an extra minute of recess. I couldn’t send them out early unless I went. Unfortunately, I had too many students that didn’t earn tallies at their table so I couldn’t take anyone out early. My list of attempts and failures of trying to acquire appropriate behavior in the classroom goes on and on. My attention getters, I won’t even bore you with how many I tried and failed at. Let’s just say, my attention getters were no more successful than my appropriate behavior attempts. I went home more nights during that year in tears from frustration. Frustration that I couldn’t get their attention and frustration that we were losing so much educational time on inappropriate behavior. At the beginning of May, I was cruising through teacher blogs and I kept seeing things about WBT. I began to watch videos on YouTube; then I went to www.wholebrainteaching.com and read testimonials, downloaded free e-books and watched more videos. I knew I found teacher heaven when after my first week of using the attention getter “class” and students respond “yes” in the same tone and voice I used actually worked! This past summer I participated in an online book study and knew this is what we should use in our school to help our students be the best they can be and teachers to be less frustrated.

    There is so much to WBT, that today I just want to point out some key points to get you as excited as I am to start. As you and I know, you can’t teach classes that won’t listen.
    • The secret of WBT is if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior. Teachers using WBT are experiencing success in schools that are as challenging as any in America.
    • Another key item is WBT techniques work superbly, if you practice them daily. Just like riding a bike, or playing a musical instrument, it takes practice to become well-rehearsed.
    • The first great law of WBT – The longer we talk, the more students we lose.
    • WBT works because it is brain friendly.
    • Lastly, students are completely engaged in class when they are emotionally involved in lessons that require seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving.

    Today you are receiving your copy of Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle. We will be spending some of our PLC time undertaking in a book study. I know once you open the book, you won’t be able to put it down. It is time to put funtricity back in the classroom. Can you give me an “Oh yeah!”

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  90. Terri,
    Nice job of outlining WBT goals for your staff! Here are 25 Certification points for you, plus a Bonus 5 points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

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    1. Oh yeah! Thanks Nancy my first WBT points.

      Delete
  91. Welcome to a new school year. After a bit of rest and relaxation, it is now time for some renewal. Every summer I spend time reflecting back on the previous school year and look for ways to improve. Every year I believe that I have discovered "the answer", return to school armed with new ideas and strategies, ready to take on anything that comes through my door. By mid first quarter, however, I'm back to my old tried and trued methodologies because the new stuff did not produce the buy in I was hoping for. Well, not this year! I truly believe I have stumbled upon something that will transform our teaching and more importantly, our students learning.

    Whole Brain Teaching has reignited my teaching fire. Imagine yourself in front of your most challenging class. How are you feeling? How did that year go for you? How would you rate the success of the students that year? Hold onto those thoughts as you listen to an overview of WBT and then re-imagine that class with WBT. Some of the foundational concepts and ideas of WBT are:
    - when the whole brain is engaged in the learning task, there is not room left for it to engage in challenging behavior
    - the longer we talk, the more students we lose (in other words, remove the passivity from your lessons. Fully involve and engage every student!)
    - employ lessons that utilize seeing, saying, hearing, and physical movement
    - be brain friendly and your students will excel (and allow you do what you love - TEACH!)

    Now, how does that challenging class looks? Today, we will begin learning the first few techniques to get you started with WBT. Then, we will utilize PLC's to review and reflect on WBT strategies/concepts. Today, you are receiving Chris Biffle's book, WHOLE BRAIN TEACHING FOR CHALLENGING KIDS. I truly believe WBT will re-light your passion and enjoyment of teaching. Here's to a fantastic and productive year of learning for students and us.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Jenny,
    How many of us have been in that situation? We have something new that we believe is going to "fix" things and it never seems to last. Well, Happy Independence Day to us! We are now able to break free from traditional teaching and use a system that actually will take us through the year with unbelievable results. Here are your 25 certification points!

    ReplyDelete
  93. My name is Meredith Pearson. Because I love to talk, and because we are educators, and because it has a point, I am going to share a story with you.

    My first year teaching I taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grade in one room. It was difficult trying to differentiate instruction not only across the grade levels, but across vast learning styles as well. I am a great orator, and I loved to talk on and on about various literary themes, significant historical moments, my own struggles in mathematics, etc. But, after a while, their little eyeballs, though dutifully attentive, would acquire a glassy sheen, and their mouth’s would fall open, and little droplets of drool would seep out. I had one student who would ask questions. And they were on topic, too! We would have lively discussions, and, precious Ethan, he would always score tremendously well on tests and homework. But the others, not so much. And Zach, well, he was “the one” everyone warned me about, arguing every step of the way, crying almost everyday, throwing fits, but, don’t we all have that “one student”? I wanted more for my class, but I was struggling to create my own curriculum as well as trying, and failing, to help the little darlings achieve their full potential.

    Then, I stumbled across a video on Youtube about something called Whole Brain Teaching. I was enamored. I decided to implement it as an experiment the last month of school. The clouds parted. Suddenly, Ethan wasn’t the star student anymore because the others were catching up, and Zach didn’t have time to throw fits, and we didn’t have to mop drool off our tables at the end of each lesson. I know we accomplished more in that last month than the rest of the year.

    Looking back to my first year in the profession of education, and looking into my first year with you, I want to pull out three questions to keep in mind as we educate our children:

    1. Do we gain or lose students the longer we talk?
    2. How many students are taking part in your classroom discussions?
    3. Is there any room left over for challenging behavior if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning?

    These questions were gleaned from the book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle. Though I won’t force you to read it, I highly recommend it as it transformed not only my teaching but my students learning as well.

    I think we all feel sorry for our first class of students! And as your new principal, I ask for patience and trust as we go through this first year together here. We all have the privilege of tending to and nurturing these lovely little leaders we are raising up.

    I am looking forward to this year together with you. If we keep the whole learner in mind as we teach and interact, there is no option but success.

    Thank you.

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  94. Meredith,
    Your staff will appreciate your candidness about your own personal teaching experiences as you move forward to work as a team in the new school year. Here are 25 points! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Welcome back fellow teachers. My name is Heidi Keller and as your new principal, I'd like to introduce myself by sharing a story of my first year as a fourth grade teacher in an urban school much like this one.

    Of course I had high hopes for my class and had envisioned all that my students and I would learn together and all of the exciting projects that we would do. However, the reality was that I spent a large portion of my day trying to maintain order in the classroom.

    I had several students in my class who never seemed to stop talking and who rarely were talking about the lesson at hand. I was miserable and in tears many times that year as I tried to figure out classroom discipline and management schemes to prevent the class from disintegrating into complete chaos.

    I wish I could say I figured it all out the next year, or even the year after that. In my twelfth year of teaching, as I continued to read and try to understand how best to teach my challenging students, I stumbled upon a reference to Chris Biffle's WBT. I watched some videos on YouTube and even though it seemed a little goofy, I found myself laughing and imagined myself using these methods and how my students would enjoy them.

    I want you will listen carefully now, as I will now give you a quick overview of three of the key aspects from the first couple of chapters from Chris's book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. To start, the first important point, and it seems pretty self-evident, is this: if our students aren't listening to what we are saying, then we really can't teach at all.

    I'm sure we have all had the frustrating experience of kids not listening to us. It seems they just want to laugh and have fun. We have likely, against our better judgement, raised our voices, maybe even yelled, lost our tempers or even punished students who refused to listen or wrecked havoc in our classes, causing other students to not listen either.

    Certainly, we know that we can not have been the first adults, be it teachers or parents, to have encountered problems with these, our more difficult students. Clearly whatever we have been doing thus far has been unsuccessful, so we must ask ourselves, what can we do to change this? If we are really self-aware, we might even ask ourselves, why are the students acting this way and are we contributing to this behavior?

    I'm sure we have all noticed that the same students who find it difficult to stay focused in school usually have no trouble at all concentrating on video games for long stretches of time. The beauty of WBT is that kids will find that the classroom is structured very much like a game, complete with rules and penalties.

    And this leads us to the second important point: when teachers get students to learn with their whole brain, "there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior." (p. 2). Basically, when we set up our classes according to the principles of WBT, challenging students are just too busy learning to cause trouble.

    Finally, the third and most important point from these first couple of chapters, which is also the First Great Law of WBT, is this: "The longer we talk, the more students we lose." We all know from personal experience how our own eyes glaze over as someone rambles on and on in a lecture format. So, in keeping with this most important tenet, I will ask you to turn to a neighbor and teach the three key aspects I have just presented. Remember they are written on the board, now, "Teach, Teach!"



    ReplyDelete
  96. Heidi,
    Great job communicating three big ideas from WBT to your staff! Here are 25 certification points for you plus 5 BONUS POINTS for an outstanding post! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback, Kate. How exciting to receive bonus points, too!

      Delete
  97. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  98. Welcome back! I hope that your break was restful and reflective. I’ve had some time to reflect myself. I’ve reflected on our teaching, coaching, and school culture. Most of all, I’ve reflected on you. What if I told you that I would be able to help you make this year rewarding and meaningful? What if I told you that by using Whole Brain Teaching methods even our most challenging students will want to learn and beg you to teach? What if I told you that with a 5-step lesson plan [and some practicing on our part] that we’d be able to reign in every student because they can learn? Well, that’s what’s going to happen. You and I are going to transform our school from drab to fab! Whole Brain Teaching will ensure that our students, who are already engaged – yes, the ones who are daydreaming or tuning you out are actually engaged – will be engaged in your instruction. I have provided you all with a copy of Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids.

    This reminds me of my first year of teaching at a District 75 school in 2007. I was the AIS math instructor for K-5. My population encompassed children on the Asperger’s Spectrum, Emotional Disturbances, and Learning Disabilities. These children definitely had vocal minds of their own. Talk about a double-whammy! I had no leadership, no instruction, no MANAGEMENT!! So…I played games. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have games like Fingerpoint and Addition bingo. However, in retrospect, I can only imagine the type of learning I would have had if I had Whole Brain Teaching during that time.

    Take a few seconds to think about that one student from last year who you just couldn’t seem to get through to no matter what we did. Now, turn to your neighbor and tell them all about it. You have 1 minute. Get ready….go! After one minute by way of a timer - Me: Clap, clap, back to me! Teachers: Clap, clap, back to you! I’ve heard so many familiar names of children we love the most being discussed. Now, I want you to write the initials of that child’s name down on the post-its provided. In three months, we are going to touch base and check in with how you are doing with that child. I guarantee you that as a result of using Chris Biffle’s Whole Brain Teaching techniques that child will no longer be a challenge.

    I know that you’re still not convinced, but after I make just three points you’ll see why this is a must do for our students.
    First, Chris Biffle has made all the mistakes so that we don’t have to. In the very first chapter he tells us how he talked too much! We all lecture. In that same chapter he reveals that “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” Biffle, C. (2013) Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids (p.2)

    Secondly, early on in the text, Biffle discusses seven common teaching mistakes we have all made such as losing our temper and getting into a power struggle with students. Yes, we utilize Love and Logic, but Whole Brain Teaching will take it up a notch. Biffle, C. (2013) Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids (p.10)

    Last but not least, when we have a thorough understanding of how the brain works we’ll be better suited to help our students. Isn’t that what we got into teaching for? To change the world? To empower students? To have a positive impact on their lives and the lives of their families? We often think about how we feel and what we want. It’s time to break the plane and cross the line that has been stopping our students from being active participants in their learning.

    This year, we will have on-going techniques that will instruct you on how to tap into our students and engage them. Through Whole Brain Teaching, you’ll find that it’s we who need to change, not our students. To begin this year off right our first professional development session will be based on Chapter 3: Seven Common Teaching Mistakes. Read it; come prepared with questions and a promise to do whatever it takes to get our children to college.

    Rosemarie Lee

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    1. Rosemarie,
      Good job on your first post. I can feel your enthusiasm for starting the new year on the right foot. For future posts, make sure you stay within the confines of the chapter and the prompt. The 3 points you made were clearly evident but 2 of them were from outside chapters 1 and 2. Here are your 25 certification points! Save and date this post in a word processing file. In August, we'll post directions for turning it in to redeem your points.

      Delete
    2. Thank Kate! My thinking for including points from other chapters was to build momentum and interest in the text. I will be more mindful next time with staying within the parameters. Thanks again!

      Delete
  99. Welcome back! For those of you who don’t know me yet, I’m your new principal. I’m fresh out of the classroom after teaching for 15 years. I’m not one of those people that planned to become an administrator when I lost the passion for teaching. In fact, my love for teaching is why I became an administrator. My goal is to show you a path that will take you to Teacher Heaven!

    I know some of you might be thinking ... “I’m a veteran teacher. I’ve seen it all ... TWICE! What could you possibly show me?” OR “I still HAVE plenty of passion along with some amazing ideas from Pinterest, thank you very much.” OR “I wish that these administrators would realize that I don’t NEED to learn something new right now! I NEED to be in my classroom getting ready for students!” I remember ... I was in your shoes just last year! PLEASE, just open your mind for a bit. I believe that what I am about to share with you is life-changing. Curious? Then rub your hands together, turn to the person next to you and say, “I’m so excited to hear this!” Sorry! Not yet! First I need to tell you a bit of my history.

    3 years ago, I was doing my annual summer introspective. You know it, I’m sure ... It’s the time during the summer where you try to find new ideas and solutions to the issues that you had in the previous year. What was my issue? I noticed that a lot of my students weren’t retaining the things that I know I had covered. When I had them on the carpet during our morning meeting, no matter how much energy I brought with me, I’d look out and see Carson pestering the person in front of him. I’d see the glazed over expression on Olivia’s face. I’d see the wiggles begin in Hunter and the chatting begin with Jaiden and Chantal. Sure, there was Parker ... He was with me! He was blurting out the answer every question I asked, which was a whole other issue!

    I decided that I needed to add more movement in order to keep the kids engaged. I bought books on Brain Breaks, took a class, and looked for videos on YouTube. That’s when I happened upon the video that would change the way I taught forever. Okay! I’m about to share my secret weapon! Rub your hands together and say, “Oh, sweet mama! Here it comes!” On the side, a video popped up about Whole Brain Teaching. Ever heard of it? As I watched that video of a teacher leading a class that had every student engaged, every student participating, I thought, “This is it!” I was hooked! I watched hours of videos that summer. Watching the videos made me so much more comfortable implementing WBT practices into my own class. The best part is that it worked! I added piece by piece into my classroom and my teaching is forever changed!

    As it turns out, I had happened upon a treasure trove of FREE knowledge and advice. WBT videos have racked up over 3,000,000 views. Their website has over 80,000 registered members. The big idea behind the system is that if you have a child’s brain fully engaged in learning, there is no mental space leftover to become distracted or disruptive. Give me an “A-haaaa!” If you make the rules fun to follow, students will follow the rules! Give me a “Wow!” The longer you talk, the more students you lose, so you need to do “micro-lectures” followed by time for the students to teach each other. Everyone participates, not just the Parkers of the world. Give me an “Oh! Ya!”

    I want to take your hands and walk you through implementing this system in your own classrooms. We’ll take it step by step. Some of you may be so excited about joining this revolution that you will want to drink in as much as you can from the fountain of funtricity! Feel free to read ahead in the book I’ve put in each of your mailboxes by WBT’s founder Chris Biffle. You can also watch the videos on the website, WholeBrainTeaching.com. For now, Let’s read chapters 1 and 2 by the next staff meeting on Tuesday. Get your tissues ready! You are about to cry tears of joy as you move toward Teacher Nirvana!

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  100. Kelly,
    Great and humorous job presenting to "your staff"! Here are your 25 certification points plus 5 BONUS POINTS!

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  101. Welcome back teachers! I am proud to be here with you today and excited about our new adventure together. My goal this year is to bring the fun and enjoyment back, not only to learning, but to your teaching as well! We are going to reach even our most challenging kids and surpass the highest of expectations. How?
    Whole Brain Teaching! This teaching system is based on cutting edge scientific brain-based research, has teachers across the nation weeping tears of joy, and it's FREE!

    I found WBT after a very stressful year of teaching 5th grade at a failing school. I was a veteran 1st grade teacher who had a reputation for getting the most out of difficult students. After my poverty stricken school earned a state grade of an F, I was moved to a challenging fifth grade classroom to make a difference. My school year was filled with sleepless nights, tears of frustration, and an endless amount of failing behavior strategies. The fun and love of teaching was gone. Our year ended with progress being made, and my students did really well on their state test and our school grade was raised. I was very happy and proud of those students, but deep down I knew I failed them. I knew I could have done better. I also knew I had to find something to bring back my excitement and love of teaching. I was introduced to Whole Brain Teaching, and it works!

    One of the secrets of WBT is if a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior. This past year, while using WBT techniques I watched my students teach and talk to each other about the lesson instead of passing notes or throwing paper airplanes! YEAH!

    As highly qualified educators we know that we can't teach classes that won't listen. Another thing that WBT ensures is that students are completely engaged in class when they are emotionally involved. A WBT technique is to have the whole brain working, students are seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving while learning. Can you think of any students that you'd love to see doing that! That's call funtricity!

    Chris Biffle, the founder of WBT, has been an educator for over 40 years. He found that teachers like to talk. Imagine that! Teachers Talk!?! Well apparently, sometimes we talk too much. The First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching: The longer we talk, the more students we lose. Which is why you will all find WBT so successful, it is brain friendly!

    I have found teacher heaven! I was so pleased to have the love of teaching back! Teaching is fun again and I want that for all of you as well. You'll all be receiving 'Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids' by Chris Biffle. We will be spending some of our PLC time this year going through this book step by step. If you'd like to see WBT in classrooms or their free resources you can go to their website at WholeBrainTeaching.com

    If you are anything like me, any tears of frustration will now be replaced with tears of joy!

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  102. You are so right, Sara! WBT in a classroom does bring on the tears of joy! Here are 25 points for you,and a 5 point Bonus!

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  103. Welcome staff to a new school year! I am excited to be here as I am sure you are too. I am also excited to share with you Whole Brain Teaching. It is a wonderful classroom management tool that ensures student engagement. We have always used that method that challenging students need to be punished. When in all reality Chris Biffle states (pg. 1), “ we punish because we don't know what else to do.” Think about that for a moment. Is that true? Now what do you think would happen in your classroom if your students whole brain was learning and engaged? Biffle states (pg. 2) “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior.”

    Wow! If I had have known that in my pervious years of teaching, then those students would have learned so much more and I would have not been so frustrated. I would stand in front of the class and believe that I truly made a lesson that was fun and engaging, but then see students rolling on the floor, talking to others, or just tuning out. Then my frustration would set in and wonder why? “The longer we talk, the more students we lose,” states Chris Biffle WBT (pg. 6), which was my case. The students didn’t hear the instructions on what they were to do in the lesson because I talked so long that they zoned out.

    Now, I see many of you agreeing with me and want to know, “So what do we do?” Biffle states (pg. 8), “students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in the lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving.” So that is what we are going to accomplish this year!

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    1. Dominique,
      Good use of specific quotes, but develop your goals with more specific tasks for your staff. Be careful of errors in mechanics. (students whole brain/students' whole brain, pervious years/previous years) Here are 10 points.

      Delete
  104. I blogged my answer here http://scrapbunnywbt.blogspot.com/2013/07/wbt-book-club-chapters-1-2.html
    I can also copy and paste it here if you would like

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  105. Hi Melissa! Please post here! We are not reviewing blog posts for points. Thanks!

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  106. Welcome everyone! Today I want to start our year together with a 45 minute lecture and discussion on classroom management systems. I need you all to turn your cell phones into the basket in the middle of the table and give me your full attention. If you can not follow along and fully participate in our discussion you will need to write a one page essay on listening skills during lunch. OK are we ready to begin? Why don't you look excited? Doesn't a 45 minute lecture sound exciting? Don't you respond well to the threat of punishment? No? But we will have discussion time! Well you can relax because really today we are going to talk about classroom management but in a fun and much more engagement friendly way because I am going to be using Whole Brain Teaching.

    The First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching is: The longer we talk, the more students we lose. This applies not just to students kindergarten thru college age, but even adults in a staff meeting. I can give you a great lecture on the history of classroom management systems I have tried, complete with a 50 page Power Point but as soon as I have talked more than 15 minutes none of you will be hearing anything but “WahWahWahWah” like in Charlie Brown. Even if I add discussion time few of you will be talking about what I want you to be discussing. When I gave my first technology training to teachers I thought it would be great because I had so much built in discussion time but really I only had the attention of 10% of the teachers and the others were talking about everything but what I was teaching. We are going to make sure we watch how long we talk so we don't lose many students.

    Now I could have called out those teachers that were not on task during that technology training and I could make you write that one page essay at lunch but punishing adults is just as ineffective as punishing students. When we are bored we all act out or tune out, no matter the age. So what can we do if punishment doesn't work? Here is the secret I learned from Whole Brain Teaching Challenging Students written by WBT co-founder Chris Biffle, if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior. For our classroom management to work we need to work on engagement of the whole brain. I want you all engaged at staff meetings this year as much as I want our students engaged in every lesson this year so this is as much talking at one time as I will be doing all year.

    So we have the First Great Law and the secret of Whole Brain Teaching but why are we talking about using it? What makes it work better than traditional classroom management systems? Orderly Fun! The main thing that makes Whole Brain Teaching work is because it produces classrooms that are full of orderly fun. WBT is more like a large, lively game than a traditional elementary school classroom management system. Just as in all games, there are penalties as well as rewards… but like “going to jail” in Monopoly ®, even the penalties are entertaining. We learn better when we are having fun so we are going to have fun in our classrooms and our staff meetings. Who's ready to really get started with our year now?

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    1. Melissa,
      Great job speaking to "your staff"! Here are your 25 certification points!

      Delete
  107. Are you ready to rock this school year?! I know you are! This school year is going to be the best year you have ever had!! Friends, if our students behavior could be managed with yelling and being angry at them, they wouldn't have the behavior problems we see in our classrooms. Our students experience yelling and anger in their home environment. Yelling, being angry, and punishing our students will only increase the behavior problems and make implementing classroom management more difficult than it already is. Whole Brain Teaching is the main key to gaining your classroom back and being able to give your students the education they need and deserve.
    Chris Biffle states, "...if a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior." The human brain is always learning. Our brains never shut off. The students in your classroom can learn positive or negative behaviors from their classmates, you decide which behavior will go on in your classroom. Whole Brain Teaching (WBT), challenges students minds to be responsible for their actions and implement their behavior positively.
    "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect," said Phil Riggs (my father). I learned that from him about 16 years ago, and I still think about it in everything I do. You can practice the wrong thing over and over and your performance will remain the same. You can have sloppy practice and you may even see a decrease in your performance. Until you practice perfection, you will not obtain greatness. Our teaching methods are no different than a major league athlete practicing for his biggest paid performance. If we don't set obtainable goals and have perfect practice, there will be no progression. Set your goals for yourself and your classroom and strive for perfect practice each day. You can do it!
    The last thing I want to leave you thinking about is your lesson plans. Lessons must be brain friendly. My classroom experience and personal fault is talking too long. I didn't like when my teachers or professors lectured, neither do our students. Biffle states, "The longer we talk, the more students we lose." Students need to see, say, hear, and put physical movement with each lesson that we give. We as teachers, have a 3-5 minute window to speak before our students glaze over and tune out. Engage your students emotionally. Activate their brains by allowing them to briefly (30 seconds) teach each other. Challenging students can't be challenging when their brains are actively engaged in learning. I leave you with this: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi. Together we can make a difference!

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    1. Randi Jo,
      You have obviously had strong guidance from an early age! Your staff will appreciate your personal experiences and your determination to set valuable goals for the coming year. Here are 25 points for you!

      Delete
  108. Welcome aboard! We are going to sail on a ship called Funtricity. Funtricity will take us from the Traditional Teaching Island to the Whole Brain Teaching Island. What is the difference between the two islands? Before we explore the two islands, tell your partner how excited you are to learn about the two islands.

    On the Traditional Teaching Island you will see disruptive students breaking rules, getting out of their seat without permission, talking out of turn, or just being plain rebellious. This island is a dangerous place due to challenging students. Teachers go home feeling frustrated and defeated. The learning system here is that the teachers lecture and the students listen. Therefore, the longer teachers talk, the more students they lose. Challenging students are acting rebellious because they are bored! These students' brains are demanding activity. The only way these teachers know how to manage the rebellious students is through punishment because teachers do not know what else to do. Do you want to know a secret? Tell your neighbor oh, sweet mama, this is going to be good!

    The secret is the Whole Brain Teaching Island. Chris Biffle, the founder of Whole Brain Teaching (WBT), has his students completely engaged in class because they are emotionally involved in lessons. Students are using many parts of their brain simultaneously through seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving. Remarkably, you will not see challenging students here because if a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior. Whole Brain Teaching is successful because the techniques and strategies involve collaborative learning. Collaborative learning is a philosophy of interaction, where students benefit from each others strengths and build each other up where they may need support. This way, everyone succeeds as a team, rather than competitively. The simple process of explicitly teaching, modeling, and reinforcing desired behavior will bring the majority of your class to the level of behavior that you expect from your class. For example, I had an ESE student who had a processing issue and had difficulties articulating. During a noun lesson, I reinforced the desired response through repetition. He was called on and was able to articulate a response. WBT techniques gave him time to process smaller chunks of information rather than a large lecture. This allowed for him to be successful in my classroom.
    Give me a ten finger woo!

    What island do you want to explore with Funtricity?

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  109. Amanda,
    Nice post to your staff. What steps will you take now to set and reach goals for the coming year? Here are 25 points for you.

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  110. Welcome back to school teachers and staff! We are embarking upon a new adventure together this year. We will meet some of the best students we have ever taught. These students will be focused, will listen as you teach, will speak to each other in an encouraging manner, and will smile and laugh as they spend 182 wonderful days with you! You may be wondering how I recruited these amazing students. Well, it just happens that they are already OUR students, and they are ready to fill the shoes of these model students I just described.

    I can already see that you think I have lost my mind! My goodness, have I already forgotten what Marcus did in 4th grade and what Vivian called her teacher? Well, no, I haven’t. But, I have also not forgotten the methods that I have seen used in many classrooms by teachers to quell these behaviors. Too often I “hear” the problem before I see it in classrooms. As author Chris Biffle points out “We know yelling and scolding doesn’t work. If students’ behavior could be controlled by angry adults, then kids from troubled families would be exceedingly polite.”(1) Wow! Are we, as teachers, feeding the fire? Biffle notes “No sane adult wants to punish kids; we punish kids because we don’t know what else to do”.(1) That’s where I come in. I’m going to introduce you to a lifesaving teaching method. I say lifesaving because it will save your sanity, while saving the students from a year of rebellion and grief.

    Whole Brain Teaching is a research based program that has been proven in thousands of classrooms around the world. This program focuses on involving a child’s whole brain so that “…there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior”. (2) There are multitudes of free videos and an informative website to help guide you through this process. The best bonus aid is the new book “Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids” by Chris Biffle.

    The “First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching” is what caught my eye. “The longer we talk, the more students we lose”.(6) We have all been guilty of the dreaded lecture. No longer will your students be seated with glazed eyes! I remember many days that I went home with a headache after begging students to focus, or to leave their neighbor alone. In addition, I felt nauseous when thinking about the amount of money I spent on class “bribery” that was terribly ineffective! It took one day of Whole Brain Teaching for me to see the light! My days were then filled with children having fun learning, and I left with a smile on my face! My students were moving, talking, and smiling. I want to introduce you again to the world of teaching. The way we all thought it would be, should be, is POSSIBLE!

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  111. Michelle,
    Nice post addressing your staff at the start of the year. Here are 25 Certification Points!

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  112. I am entering the library filled with my staff for the up coming school year. Looking around the grade levels are seated together for the most part. Various staff members are milling around talking; catching up. Me: Teacher, Teacher! (some quiet but not enough); "Teeeeeaaaaacher! Teacher" (@ a whisper...ALL eyes are now on me! yeah :)
    "Good morning! I hope you have had a restful; rejuvenating summer break! I have as well but I was not idle. How many of you have caught yourself daydreaming of the perfect class?? I have in my imaginary classroom there are 20ish kids all working at an independent; meaningful level. When I give directions they are followed the 1st time! When we get together in whole group chats my students are respectful of each other and myself and do not shout out! Transitions are SEAMLESS!!" Well as we all know there is NO perfect classroom but I truly felt that these daydreams should be a reality. And I have found it!! When I discovered Whole Brain Teaching I knew I was onto something great!!

    This technique is the result of Chris Biffle's same struggles to reach all students. It works because as the name says it is brain friendly!! The brain is never off...it is always learning. As teachers do we want it to be positive or negative learning? I would say the most important "Golden Rule" of WBT is to remember: The longer we talk, the more students we lose. So in that spirit I am NOT going to give a 45 min. lecture of WBT. That would not be fair!! (please hide your sorrow-I say sarcastically ;) We are going to enter into a school wide book study of Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle. Lets start with the core Big Seven of WBT. **(I wrote the following based on how I implemented the techniques with my K kiddos)

    1. Class/Yes-So lets redo my intro: I say "Class" you say "Yes" BUT however I say "class" you must echo me in your reply. Me: Class, Class Staff: Yes, Yes Me: That was ok...maybe even good but I REALLLLLY think you can do better! Me: CLAAAASSSS, CLASS, class staff: YEEEESSSSSS, YES, yes ME: Great!! That was sooo good! Lets look at the next thing. Our rules:

    We only have 5 Rules! How great is that!! Tell your learning neighbor how great that is!! Tell ANOTHER learning neighbor how great that is!!! Class-Class!!(really fast) Yes-yes (really fast)-I give praise :) and we go over the rules and the gestures:

    Rules: (These are the rules I used last year with my K class)
    1. Raise your hand to speak.
    2. Listen when your teacher is talking.
    3. Follow directions quickly!
    4. Respect your school, respect others, respect your self.
    5. Be Safe, Be honest

    3. Scoreboard-"I LOVED how fast and quick ya'll have listened to the rules! That is a smilie tally!! (I put the tally) Now give me an OH YEAH!!...That was kinda weak-I think you can be louder and faster!-I add a frownie-Give me a "OH-with a shoulder shrug"... Now: Give me an OH YEAH!! ... This has brought us to the third thing the SCOREBOARD. How much fun is this?? My kids LOVED THIS!! They were watching that total all day...They always knew where our day ended. Just remember to always have a difference of +/-3 of the scores.

    **I will continue for the rest of the core seven-I had to delete due to space restraints.

    Well that's it for today. I really loved how fast and engaged you were today! My challenge to you is to read the first two chapters and pick two of the seven to use in your class and see what a difference it makes. I look forward to our discussions during the upcoming year!

    Chelsea O'Neal
    cloneal1973@gmail.com

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  113. Chelsea,
    Good attempt at a speech to "your staff". An important part of this prompt was to choose 3 points from the first two chapters to highlight as the foundation of WBT. In future posts, please make sure you address the prompt. Also, take a look at paragraph 2 for a writing error. Here are 10 certification points.

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  114. What have I learned about teaching? As a former tired and frustrated teacher I’d like to share what I discovered and implemented.
    After teaching for 15 years, I seemed to have lost my excitement about teaching students who did NOT seem to care about learning. I tried passing fads and quick fixes, but found that I was exhausted and the students were not any more engaged.
    Then I read “Whole Brain Teaching for challenging Kids” by Chris Biffle. WBT energized my outlook, changed my approach, and engaged my students. Today, I’d like to share 3 points and encourage you to join me in transforming the way we approach our wonderful profession.
    1. Yelling, scolding, and punishment do NOT work. Yelling does not control student behaviors. When you are out of control you cannot control anything. Scolding during class time usually leads to more of the negative behavior. Punishing happens when we can’t think of others things to do.
    2. Isn’t our goal to be brain friendly educators? Whole Brain Teaching’s secret: if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior. (P.2) Simply talking to students in a lecture does not engage the whole brain.
    3. Emotionally involved lessons produce positive results. Lessons where students see, say, hear, and physically move increase the brain’s learning potential. Chris Biffle and his team found that challenging students aren’t challenging when their entire brains are busy learning.

    Would you join me this school year as we transform the learning atmosphere at our school? I encourage you to dive into the pool of WBT and experience dramatic changes in our students.

    Gena Parkison

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  115. Gena,
    Nice post! WBT will help you find that energy and excitement in teaching again! Here are 25 points!

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  117. [I’m wearing dark sunglasses with round, mirrored lenses and a long leather duster. Music from The Matrix soundtrack plays in the background.]

    So what will it be for this year—the blue pill or the red pill? If you choose the blue pill, you can go on teaching as teachers always have. The problem is those old strategies aren’t working nearly as well as we would like. Sincere teachers work very hard only to find that those comfortable strategies are tried and true for producing disruptions, lack of effort, and sloppy work in their classrooms—not to mention lots of stress for teachers. Those comfortable strategies result in having problems with the same students with which teachers had problems last year. The rebels are sure to advance in one area—the art of rebellion.

    If you choose the red pill, everything changes. The red pill is Whole Brain Teaching. Whole Brain Teaching uses research-based teaching strategies designed to engage every student’s whole brain. Besides hearing, students are constantly seeing, speaking, and moving in response to your instruction. Thousands of teachers using Whole Brain Teaching have been delighted to find that their “challenging kids couldn't be challenging because their entire brains were too busy learning.”

    The orderly fun of Whole Brain Teaching will transform your classroom into an entertaining game of learning in which even the penalties are amusing. The Scoreboard provides motivation for appropriate behavior and unites the class as a team. Like a video game, the Super Improver Team has every student advancing through levels of improvement in which he or she is rewarded for personal improvement in behavior and academics. Even the Class-Yes attention-getter provides opportunities for splashes of humor as you use interesting voices and phrases to focus the students.

    Thousands of teachers at every level, kindergarten through college, have seen fabulous success in their classrooms when using Whole Brain Teaching. In my own classroom, I started using just of a few of these techniques. I won’t lie; it felt very uncomfortable at first. Only the happy engagement of my students inspired me to work through my discomfort. (Yes, including THAT kid--the one who just popped into your head.) I know it was no coincidence that the first year I began using Whole Brain Teaching strategies, I had the best behaved class I have had in my fifteen years of teaching.

    Blue pill? Red pill? There is no magic pill for solving problems in education. When you experience the success of Whole Brain Teaching, it may just seem like magic.

    Diane Strickland

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