The problem many teachers have is that they post their rules on a poster, or a bulletin board, go over them a time or two near the beginning of the year, and then are surprised when the students do not know the rules months later. Once again the students are not a part of the rules. In Whole Brain Teaching there are five simple rules, each has a gesture associated with it, and each one is an intimate part of the classroom learning environment.
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As one might imagine, it is the most violated rule in a classroom setting. Typically, if a student is speaking while the teacher is addressing the class, the teacher calls the student down and asks them to stop speaking. This can open up a power struggle that can derail the class, or at least lead to hard feeling by the student for the teacher.
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This way the teacher has not embarrassed the speaker, every student is involved in practicing the rule, and class has been interrupted for a matter of seconds with no possibility for power struggles. In this approach the students master the rules quickly, and the rules are an active part of class. This is a classroom engagement game that your students want you to play, but the teacher cannot really lose. In the Scoreboard Game a scoreboard is drawn on one side of the board, and can be divided for different classes for secondary teachers or teachers who rotate classes.
Elementary scoreboards are set up with Smiley versus Frowny.
Secondary classrooms are set up teacher versus students. In the secondary environment the only way for a rebellious teenager to rebel is to do what they teacher asks, scoring for the students, keeping the teacher from getting a point. Teachers usually provide a reward for students winning the game on a daily, or weekly basis. However, the rewards are not extrinsic. Recommended rewards include a little less homework, the ability for students to choose their own seats, or time to play a game.
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The Scoreboard Game will work for most students, but Whole Brain Teaching does have other disciplinary elements that are effective, even with the most difficult students. For any teacher maximizing student comprehension is a vital part of the job. Most teachers rely on the traditional methods that were used when they were coming through school themselves.
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Students can learn information using all of their senses, but they may learn through some senses more easily than others. A valuable approach for a teacher would obviously be an approach that provides the information to the students using more than one sensory system. Using this method a teacher talks about an important concept or idea for a couple of minutes.
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Then the students turn to face their partner, and teach their partners the same information that the teacher just covered, and they can then take a note on the information if the teacher desires. The students are now part of the teaching that is going on, and they are delivering content to one another using all their senses.
As any teacher knows, you learn the most about any content when you are the one who has to teach it. An additional benefit of this technique is that, unlike most traditional instruments, the teacher can tell at a glance if every student is engaged in the lesson or not. Once the students have learned the Teach-OK approach the teacher can add Switch.
This insures that students who are reluctant to talk are actually teaching their partners. These are just a few of the elements of Whole Brain Teaching that provide teachers, especially those new to the classroom, with a method that integrates both effective, fun, low stress classroom management and exciting teaching methods that produce enhanced retention and comprehension of content. This has been only a very basic introduction to the things that can be accomplished using Whole Brain Teaching.
The flexibility and utility of this approach is limited only by the imagination of the teacher. To learn more about this approach, and talk to hundreds of teachers who use this approach everyday in their classrooms, visit www. All of the videos, and e-books detailing this method are free to teachers. He holds an M. Graduates from the following list of accredited programs are eligible for Provisional Accreditation to teach in NSW schools.
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