Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Reflections From WBT National Convention

After returning from Louisiana last week, I wanted to post on some of the things that were most beneficial to me.  We received many "pearls of wisdom", but these three were key for me as a teacher who has "dabbled" in WBT prior to attending the more formal training at the conference. 

First of all, I learned how the brain works...this is the foundation...the WB in WBT. We all can agree that teaching is both an art and a science. A lot of teachers are great at the art part of it, but I've found, over the years, that very few teachers are scientific in their approach to teaching. Understanding how the brain works and why WBT works is totally essential to putting this methodology into practice. I'm a math/science the logic of the brain science made WBT make sense!

Secondly, I got a better understanding of the Scoreboard. The scoreboard is the motivator...not really the "scoreboard". The "score" is completely manipulated by the teacher to keep the class engaged...not to keep score and track behavior. You don't have to record every positive thing in the classroom on the smiley side, and you don't have to use the frowny side for all negative behavior. Sometimes just the threat of the negative, or the hope for positive, is enough to re-engage the students.

Another crucial point that I received clarification on was on the usage of PowerPics. The visual cortex is a large area of the brain and it has a direct pathway to memory. That's why we remember faces, but not names. Putting the PowerPics up on the wall puts our state standards into the memory via that visual cortex pathway. I will be putting these up this year and using them for direct instruction and review.

I really can't believe that I'm saying this...but I can't wait for school to start!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Welcome and Introduction

Welcome to my Whole Brain Teaching blog.  I have just finished my 8th year of teaching at the intermediate (3-4-5) level.  Currenly I teach 4th Grade math and science and I discovered Whole Brain Teaching in December 2010.  I started using Class-Yes, Teach-Okay, and the first two levels of the scoreboard because I had an extremely high achieving but very challenging group.  The kids loved it and using it made a huge difference.  I decided that I needed to go ahead and dive in to this and learn all I could!  I started downloading the materials, I put in Super Speed Math, and I watched a lot of video on YouTube!  At the end of the year, I sent more students to the "End of Year Multiplication Fact Party" than any other teacher!  I was sold and had to get more next week, I'll be driving myself and paying my own way to Pineville, LA to the WBT National Teacher Conference!  I can't wait to meet Mr. Biffle and his staff, and learn all that I can about this revolutionary teaching methodology and classroom management system!