Whole Brain Monday!

Have you ever heard of Whole Brain Teaching?  I discovered this little gem about 6 or 7 years ago and I know a lot of bloggy friends out there that use it too.  
It's a behavior management "system" (I'll put that in quotes because I'm not sure what the creators would actually want me to call it, but I call it a system).  The basic idea is that if you keep students 100% engaged,  100% of the time there is never any time for bad behavior.  It really does work but it takes 100% commitment part on your part.  Today I pulled out all the stops and put WBT to the test again.

Here are the major points of Whole Brain Teaching: 
1. Class-Yes
2. Teach-Okay
3. The Five Classroom Rules
4. The Scoreboard
5. Hands and Eyes
6. Switch
7. Mirror

I already use the Class-Yes part of the program and the rules but we tend to slack off somewhere around, oh I don't know.....October?  Once the class is rolling along and everyone is eager to please their teacher there is really no need for any extra incentives.  By January the need is great!

I use Teach-Okay all the time.  It's basically a way to get students talking {in other words engaged} with each other.

The Five Classroom Rules are practiced daily in many different ways.  We have hand motions and everything and today we pulled them back out because we have not been practicing them and even though they "know" the rules, they had forgotten them.   

Today I pulled out the Scoreboard. I'm telling you people...it works!  Students do a lot of responding throughout the day for positive behavior and it reinforces community building. We're all in this together right?  That was my focus today, it's all about teamwork!  We encourage our friends to follow the rules and celebrate when we do.  If we get off track we give a mighty groan (part of the program) and move forward.  My toughest kiddos today stayed on track all day.  They won (they had the most points) which really just means I won in the end.

I've always used Hands & Eyes (you just say it and they are ready to go, hands in lap, eyes on you) but I've slacked on this too.  I'm going to revisit this one tomorrow. 

Switch goes along with Teach-Okay and it just gives everyone a chance to talk.  Some of us talk too much......yes I am talking about myself. 

Mirror deals with mirroring gestures and I do this a lot, but I had forgotten it was part of the program!

If you want to read more about Whole Brain Teaching check out Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle.  I think there was a time when I taught Kindergarten that I stalked Chris Biffle on the web to find out every single new thing he had to say or video he had posted.  He will change your life if you have challenging students in your classroom.  I promise.   I borrowed my FOR FREE because we  have Amazon Prime so you can check it out for free too if you have that.  If you don't it's worth every penny to buy the book. 

Thanks for stopping by.  I just had to share this because I was reborn into WBT today and reminded myself of why I love it so much.  Here is one more sweet moment from today that reminds me of why I love first grade.  This sweetie read the last chapter of Junie B. to the class.  It doesn't get any better than this!
  I hope your Monday was as lovely as mine!

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