Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What It Is

I realized that I jumped right into blogging about Whole Brain Teaching without giving any information about what it is.  The very best thing to do is to go to The site has free ebooks, videos, a forum on which you can ask questions and get answers, and much more!

Whole Brain Teaching is "an educational reform movement" as written on the website.  It was started by Chris Biffle when he was a professor and felt there had to be a better way to reach the challenging kids we all teach.  It involves using the whole brain which makes learning easier, quicker, and more fun!  Students use lots of hand gestures as they teach each other or use brain toys during class.  Everything is game-like which again, makes learning a lot more fun and keeps kids engaged.

Whole Brain Teaching is quickly spreading around the world because it works.  It is not some gimmick that is here today and gone tomorrow.  It is research based and has been shown - over and over - to be extremely effective.  So...don't take my word for it - check out and see how right I am!
Til Next Time,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Brain Toys

Brain Toys are used to help develop higher order thinking skills.  Plus, they are fun!  (You know that time after lunch when everyone could use a snooze?  Brain Toys liven things up for sure!)  Who wouldn't want to use Two-Finger All Terrain Action Figures?  Or Air Whiteboards?  The fun just keeps on coming with Whole Brain Teaching's Brain Toys!

This past year I used the Air Whiteboard, Sockless Hand Puppets, and the Because Clapper.  I was rather haphazard though in my use of Brain Toys.  This year I will have a specific plan to roll out different Brain Toys.  Since, as Chris Biffle says, it is a LLLOOONNNGGG year, I want to introduce one Brain Toy per month.   I will do this and keep building on the number of Brain Toys we can use.  I want to start very early in the year having my kids use higher order thinking skills and this is a good way to do it.  If I put it in my plans, it will happen so that is what I will do.  It is great to see the kids evolve in their thinking abilities!

How do I know what to do?  I learned about them on the Whole Brain Teaching web site at www.whole  So, check out the web site and watch the webinars on Brain Toys Part 1 and Brain Toys Part 2.  You will be glad you did!
Til next time,

Monday, June 11, 2012

WOW!  I can't believe the school year is over.  It has just flown by.  I am already eagerly thinking about next year and how I will use Whole Brain Teaching.  (more on that later.)  When it comes to WBT, my brain is like the EverReady Battery - keeps on going and going!

As far as my journey goes, I have found that class is much more fun when I ping pong points on the scoreboard.  It keeps the class lively.  When I do not do this, class doesn't go nearly as well for any of us - the kids or me. There have been days where I struggled with ping-ponging and I am sure there will be more.  I have to make a conscious effort to ping pong points - it won't happen if I don't work at it.  One of my goals for the next year is for this to become so ingrained in me that I automatically do it.

 I have also adopted something I learned from The Great Jeff Battle, and that is this:  when my kids are 2 points ahead of me, they can call me on it and we stop right then for a 5 minute game.  No matter what we are doing, we stop and play the game.  They really get excited over it and try hard to win.  The fact that they are playing a review game is irrelevant - stopping class and playing a game is just cool!

One of the great things about Whole Brain Teaching is that you can use it in so many ways.  Like Jeff's idea of stopping to play a review game.  Or, sometimes the kids want to make up the names for the scoreboard, or write the point on the scoreboard.  Kids can make up one-second party phrases and mighty groans as well.

So...if you have not yet been to, please take the time and go there now - you will be so glad you did!

Til next time,