Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Whole Brain Teaching? AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

Have you heard about this thing called Whole Brain Teaching?  Perhaps you have been on Periscope or Twitter lately and seen one of the national trainers sharing information about it.  If you are new to WBT, or even if you have dabbled in it a bit, it can seem a little overwhelming!  I would like to help a fellow teacher out with where to start and what to focus on!

Whole Brain Teaching is a grassroots education reform movement that gives teachers strategies to use in their classrooms to engage students and reduce classroom management issues.  When you visit the website at www.wholebrainteaching.com you can easily become overwhelmed with the plethora of information available for FREE!  Add to this multiple grade level Facebook pages, twitter accounts, blogs, and now Periscope and it is enough to make a teacher's head spin.  So where should a brand new to WBT teacher begin?  As a member of the executive board and a national trainer, I receive emails daily from teachers who are asking this very important question.  Here are my suggestions.

1. Buy the book.

What book?  This book!

This book is the MANUAL!  It lists all the basics and gives scripts to use when introducing strategies.


I can not stress this enough!  I have been using the WBT strategies for 7 years and I still read the book AGAIN each summer.  I am getting pretty good at quoting it!  

3.  Start with the BIG 7!  LISTEN TO ME!  START WITH THE BIG 7!

So many times I get emails from teachers who are brand spanking new to WBT and they are asking about a new WBT strategy that they just saw on a FB post, Twitter feed, or Periscope and they are trying to figure out how to implement it.  When I ask them about how they are using one of the basic elements of WBT (the Big 7) they are totally lost.  

Whole Brain Teaching is constantly changing and upgrading games and strategies to deliver grade level specific content, however, EVERYTHING is built on the foundation of the Big 7!  If you are not comfortable with the BIG 7 it will be next to impossible to correctly or effectively implement other parts.

So my best advice is to start with the Big 7 and STICK TO THEM until you totally have them down. Then add more, a little at a time.  You have to remember, all of the executive board and national trainers have had years to implement all these strategies.  When I came to the team, the Big 7 was practically all there was.  Then came the Super Improver Team. Then more and more, piece by piece, WBT grew into what it is today.

4.  GO SLOW!  

Please for the love of all teacher sanity do not try to go to fast or implement too much!  The Big 7 is perfect for k-12th grade the first year!  You don't have to be VIDEO ready by the end of the first year.  None of us were!  TRUST ME!  I look back at some of my earlier videos and man on man I wish I owned a time machine!  Oh wait...there is always the DELETE button!

5.  Last but not least, USE the CEA!  

See, if you had the book you would know what that was!  The Classroom Engagement Average (CEA) is a quick and easy tool to help you see weekly how WBT is transforming your classroom.  It's easy, efficient, and effective so use it!  You can even see a blog post here on my blog all about it!

I hope this has helped you calm your nerves about jumping in with WBT!  You will not be sorry that you went down the rabbit hole and decided to transform your classroom!  Find your grade level WBT Facebook page and follow a few WBT blogs.  Watch for us on Periscope but remember, going slow and doing it with fidelity before moving on to more advanced techniques will result in the Teacher Heaven we all continuously talk about!

Wib On Wibbiteers!