I know I am not alone in saying this, but when you do, you will love it and want to try more and more from this great program :) If you want to read all of my posts about it, you can by clicking HERE.
Having received a lot of questions about how to start using WBT in your classroom, I want to share with you the top four principles of WBT, also known as the "Core 4".
The Core 4The Core 4 are, simply put, the four main things you can incorporate into your class to implement Whole Brain Teaching quickly, effectively, and with immediate results each and every day.
- The Scoreboard
- Bring the class together (Class-Yes)
- Keep them motivated (Scoreboard)
- Get them active (Mirror)
- Build community and be accountable for their learning (Teach-Okay)
As the teacher, I say, "Class?" and my students stop what they are doing, fold their hands and look at me, giving me their undivided attention, but not before replying, "Yes!". They key is they say "Yes!" in the exact same voice/style that I said "Class?".
This can include, but is not limited to:
- singing voice
- "Classity Class- Yessity Yes"
- "Classadoodle Doo- Yesadoodle Doo"
- "Ohhh Class? Ohh Yes!"
- and TONS more!
I have posted more about this HERE, so head over for some additional ideas as well as a helpful video!
While Class-Yes is a quick and fantastic way to get the class together, there needs to be some motivation to ensure that this is done super quick and you aren't having to call out Class-Yes more than two to three times to get their attention.
This is where the Scoreboard comes in VERY HANDY!
The setup is simple- a T-chart with a smiley on one side and a frown on the other. As you use Class-Yes, you reward kids with a smiley or a frown for how well they came back together. The celebrations or moans are quick in response to the point on either side of the chart.
The key to keep up motivation is to keep the tallies within three points! This will ensure that kids are still trying to get the goodie at the end of the day (which is a fun Brain Break, a free minute of music playing, packing up one minute early, one extra minute of recess.... you get the idea!)
I have posted more about the Scoreboard HERE.
Disclaimer: The third and fourth part of the Core 4 are meant for use during your teaching. Don't feel the need to do all of these on the very first day! As with everything, do what you are comfortable doing. It took me a while to use Mirror and Teach-Okay. I used Class-Yes and the Scoreboard for weeks before I felt confident enough to introduce them!!!
BUT, that changed when I started getting into the flow of WBT and there were times I even had the kids help!
Mirror allows the kids to repeat your gestures as if they are your mirror as you teach a new concept. You teach a little with gestures, they gesture along with you. One thing to remember- mirrors don't talk!- so the focus is on your motor & visual cortexes and linking movement to their learning.
If you do want your kids to repeat words and gestures, you would say "Mirror Words" and this time, kids would repeat what you said and your movements. This engages their motor and visual cortex as well as their Broca's and Wernicke's Areas.
The gesture for mirror is holding up both hands, palms facing out and saying "Mirror". The kids repeat only using their hands, palms out. If you are using Mirror Words, you say "Mirror Words" and have one hand up and the other hand start at your mouth and them go to the regular Mirror position.
As the lesson continues, there will be times they will need to explain their thinking with examples use the word "because", but it's important that both students are taking turns talking and always gesturing during this time.
The gestures for starting Teach-Ok is clapping and saying "Teach" while the students clap and reply "Okay". Just as you did with Class-Yes, mix it up to keep it fresh & fun!!
Putting It All Together
Remember this WONDERFUL video? It's what got me hooked on WBT :) Watch it again for the Core 4 (Class-Yes, Scoreboard, Mirror & Teach-Okay) and think about how you would incorporate them into your class this year.
Don't you just LOVE WBT in action? And, I totally would LOVE to have this teacher, she's amazing!!
As I stated above, it took me WEEKS to feel confident enough to incorporate all of these steps into my classroom, so don't feel you have to do even the Core 4 from the very beginning. I started with Class-Yes and the Scoreboard and went from there.
The best part is that the kids are engaged, you are all having fun, and as a teacher, you are in Teacher Heaven :)
If you are interested in my WBT Signs, you can find them in my TpT Store for free! They also match a set of WBT Classroom Rules.
I look forward to reading about your experiences with Whole Brain Teaching :)