Today I am linking up with The Teacher's Desk 6 for Throwback Thursday. I am loving the badge, so purr-fect! This is a post from my WBT blog with my response to the WBT Book Club prompt for Chapters 1 & 2. Remember you can join in at the book club any time at http://wbtbookclub.blogspot.com/ :)
Have you grabbed your copy of Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids yet? I have had the free ebook for years now so I have to admit that I wasn't in a hurry to grab the new Amazon book by WBT co-founder Chris Biffle( Sorry Coach). I figured I should know all of the stuff that would be in it right? I watched all the webcasts, read all the ebooks, have gone to a training so I should know this all. Well when they decided to have a book club for the book I knew I had to grab it and see what was new. Well it is a must have friends! Even if you can just grab the Kindle version you will not be disappointed. This book really does give you the whole picture of what Whole Brain Teaching is today. There have been so many additions over the years that it can be overwhelming to start using Whole Brain Teaching and this book shows you where to start and how to successfully become a Whole Brain Teacher or WBT'er.
You will want to join the book club once you get your book, you are ordering it now right? The best part of the book club is that it is not a summer book study but an ongoing book club you can join at any time! It doesn't matter if you got your book last month or get it next week or in 2015, you can join in. I have had my book for a couple months but am just now ready to share my answers to the book club questions. I will warn you that many of the questions/assignments are hard, especially if you are going for certification points, but all worth at least contemplating for your self.
Click on the image below to read and respond to the Chapter 1-2 assignment and read on for my response :)
Welcome everyone! Today I want to start our year together with a 45 minute lecture and discussion on classroom management systems. I need you all to turn your cell phones into the basket in the middle of the table and give me your full attention. If you can not follow along and fully participate in our discussion you will need to write a one page essay on listening skills during lunch. OK are we ready to begin? Why don't you look excited? Doesn't a 45 minute lecture sound exciting? Don't you respond well to the threat of punishment? No? But we will have discussion time! Well you can relax because really today we are going to talk about classroom management but in a fun and much more engagement friendly way because I am going to be using Whole Brain Teaching.
The First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching is: The longer we talk, the more students we lose. This applies not just to students kindergarten thru college age, but even adults in a staff meeting. I can give you a great lecture on the history of classroom management systems I have tried, complete with a 50 page Power Point but as soon as I have talked more than 15 minutes none of you will be hearing anything but “WahWahWahWah” like in Charlie Brown. Even if I add discussion time few of you will be talking about what I want you to be discussing. When I gave my first technology training to teachers I thought it would be great because I had so much built in discussion time but really I only had the attention of 10% of the teachers and the others were talking about everything but what I was teaching. We are going to make sure we watch how long we talk so we don't lose many students.
Now I could have called out those teachers that were not on task during that technology training and I could make you write that one page essay at lunch but punishing adults is just as ineffective as punishing students. When we are bored we all act out or tune out, no matter the age. So what can we do if punishment doesn't work? Here is the secret I learned from Whole Brain Teaching Challenging Students written by WBT co-founder Chris Biffle, if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior. For our classroom management to work we need to work on engagement of the whole brain. I want you all engaged at staff meetings this year as much as I want our students engaged in every lesson this year so this is as much talking at one time as I will be doing all year.
So we have the First Great Law and the secret of Whole Brain Teaching but why are we talking about using it? What makes it work better than traditional classroom management systems? Orderly Fun! The main thing that makes Whole Brain Teaching work is because it produces classrooms that are full of orderly fun. WBT is more like a large, lively game than a traditional elementary school classroom management system. Just as in all games, there are penalties as well as rewards… but like “going to jail” in Monopoly ®, even the penalties are entertaining. We learn better when we are having fun so we are going to have fun in our classrooms and our staff meetings. Who's ready to really get started with our year now?