Whole Brain Teaching and the Common Core
To graduate from high school and be successful in college or the workplace, students must have skills which enable them to withstand the rigor and demands they will face. Unfortunately, a high school diploma does not necessarily ensure that a student is actually prepared for such situations. More and more we are hearing from colleges that remediation classes are now being offered because so many freshmen are not prepared for the rigor of college courses. I have read that businesses have complained to leaders of school systems that the high school graduates they hire cannot get along with others, work as a team player, or think through a problem and come to a reasonable solution. Data show that our country is falling behind some countries to the extent that people wonder if the United States (U.S.) will lose its Superpower status! How can this be fixed?
One solution that has been proposed and accepted by most states in the U.S. is that schools adopt The Common Core Curriculum. In looking closely at the Common Core, it becomes apparent that the curriculum is deeper, narrower, and more rigorous. The emphasis, however, is on changing the instructional design of our lessons to lessons which foster thinking skills, communication skills, and teamwork. The hope is that changing the design will result in graduates who have learned how to think through a problem and come up with a good solution, graduates who can clearly communicate their thoughts and ideas in speech and in writing, and graduates who work well on a team. The Common Core requires students to take a very active role in their own learning and teachers to become more of a facilitator. The clincher is that if we, as teachers, do not change our instructional design for the Common Core, our students cannot be successful in school and perhaps even in life! To put it bluntly, we must change now!
What does Whole Brain Teaching have to do with this? By using "Teach - Okay!" Whole Brain Teaching has student teaching student. This requires higher level thinking skills by students, such as paraphrasing. Using Whole Brain Teaching’s Brain Toys, such as Compare and Contrast, students further develop higher level thinking skills, while the Because - Clapper, another Brain Toy, develops students’ abilities in using evidence in their thoughts and communications. (These are just a few examples.) In each of these examples, the teacher facilitates and the students must think and work together. If you are looking for a way to change your instructional design, Whole Brain Teaching is an excellent solution for the classroom. Give it a try! Go to the website, www.wholebrainteaching.com and read the forum! Download free e-books and read them! Watch the videos! Take time on Tuesday nights to join the webinars and if that is not possible, watch them at a later date! Embrace Whole Brain Teaching and improve your instructional design of the Core Curriculum!
Til next time,