Have you heard about whole brain teaching, also known as power teaching? I recently stumbled upon a youtube video clip and was intrigued from the get go! I then, in typical fashion, spent the next few hours looking further into whole brain teaching (meanwhile neglecting the math planner I was meant to be working on!). There is a lot of information out there about this teaching style, however this is the video that got me hooked. I'd love for you to watch it too, simply click here.
After watching the above video I really felt that elements of this teaching style could have a huge impact on my class teaching. I am currently teaching Kindergarten (4 year olds) and I'm sure you can understand the type of attention span I am working with! Hopefully using some of these ideas will help to maintain my students attention and involvement in each lesson.
Because my students are so young I have decided to implement elements of this teaching style including the rules, class yes, and hands and eyes. I will then assess how well these elements are working before introducing anything else. While I really like the 'class teach' aspect of this style where the students have their mat buddy and turn to them to teach/revise what has been said, the logistics required would not be possible in my class (having set places on the mat, remembering who their mat buddy is). For now I will continue to use knees to knees where the students turn to the nearest person and sit knees to knees.
I have modified the rules from the above video clip to meld with my teaching style and incorporate other rules I have seen and made 5 rule cards to match. The rules I am using are listen when the teacher is talking, raise your hand to speak, follow directions quickly, respect others respect yourself and respect your school, and make smart choices.
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The rule cards are designed to be used with gestures/actions to help the students remember and understand each rule.
Listen (cup ear) when the teacher (point to teacher) is talking (use hand to make a talking mouth).
Raise (put hand up) your hand (hold hand near face) to speak (use hand to make a talking mouth).
Follow directions quickly (use hands to make a snake/winding path).
Respect others (hands out) respect yourself (hug self) respect your school (move hands over head like a roof).
Make smart choices (tap side of head with pointer finger).
I am introducing one rule per day at the moment and have been blown away by the way the students have remembered, recalled and understood the rules. The class yes is proving to be a little more tricky - some "little gems" don't quite get that 1 class equals 1 yes! We will continue to work on this!
What do you think about whole brain teaching? Is it something you can see benefiting your class? It has been point of difference between us here at Top Teacher. However I think I may have convinced Shez to give using the rules a go in her class (despite her claims that it resembles cult teaching/brainwashing!). We will keep you posted about how WBT goes in both our classrooms and would love to hear your thoughts via our Facebook page.
Remember keep calm and pretend it's on the lesson plan!
Top Teacher xx