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 nerd...so 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!!!