Whole brain teaching is in full swing in both of our classes! The students have been responding really well to the gestures and love being an active part of every mat session.
Now that we have introduced all of the rules (download here) and the "class, yes" we are now moving to hands and eyes and the smilies and frownies tally. Hands and eyes is a simple command that can be used to indicate that the students need to pay special attention to an important point. It also works well when "class, yes" does not result in full attention. When using hands and eyes the students should respond with "hands and eyes", grasp their hands and look intently at you. Download your copy of the visual prompt card here.
To go with the hands eyes command we have also started using the smilies and frownies tally. Each morning we negotiate a reward to work towards such as a game at the end of the day, a favourite song and dance at the end of the day. We really like that there is no punishment for having more frownies than smilies. Every time the students respond appropriately (great mirroring, big gestures during teach ok, quick response to hands and eyes etc) they earn a smilie - this is followed with an "oh yeah". If the students fully participating or if they dont respond quickly to the hands and eyes command then a tally is added to the frownies side and the students say "oh no".
While we refer to the tally chart and check which side of the board has more we dont spend a lot of time focusing on it. The tally is just added a quick explanation is given as to why that tally was earnt and we continue with the lesson. It is important to keep the differnece between the smilies and frownies no more than 3. If you reward too much the students may become complacent, and if the number of frownies is to great they may feel that they have to work to hard to make the difference up and will therefore stop trying. Download your score card here.
Have you started using any of the whole brain teaching ideas in your class? Let us know how you are going with it, we love hearing from you!
Remember keep calm and pretend it's on the lesson plan!
Top Teacher xx