Sunday, August 12, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching Key

My last post was about the Core Four. By using the Core Four, one can teach anyone practically anything! But what about critical thinking, you may ask?

This summer at the National conference, Coach B shared the Whole Brain Teaching Key. The key is composed of 3 essential elements: The Core Four, Critical Thinking, and The Super Improver's Wall.

Two easy tools for Critical Thinking are: the Because Clapper and Problem Solver

When a student gives an answer, we want to challenge him/her to give evidence for the answer by using the word because (and giving a big clap). For example: "Julio was brave because he went into the dark forest alone in search of the lost princess." "I will do well on this test because I studied my notes."

The other tool for Critical Thinking is the Problem Solver

Our gesture for Problem Solver is pretending to hold a key in your hand, and twisting your hand as if your are unlocking a chest or a door.  You can use Problem Solver in academic content, as well as for social skills. For example: "What would be another good ending for this story? Problem Solver..." "Both of you want to swing at the same time. How can we work this out? Problem Solver..." "The computers aren't working today. We cannot take our test online. Problem Solver..."

The third component of the key is the Super Improvers Wall (SIW). We have a whole presentation on the Super Improvers Wall, presentation 503, on our website at Check it out!!! It is an individualized motivator for students, where anyone and everyone can succeed! The only thing necessary to advance up the levels on the SIW is to improve!

My friends, unlock a successful, funfilled year with your Whole Brain Teaching Key!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

WBT Sub Sheet, Quick Reference

I am often asked, "What do you do for a sub?"  One of the wonderful things about Whole Brain Teaching is that our students know the procedures so well, they often help the sub!

I just updated my quick reference quick to align with the Core Four, and it will be going in our teacher's sub folders at our school.

Here is what I included in the updated version:

Click here to download the file:
Your sub will beg to return to your class!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Core Four

What is the Core Four? 

Coach B is continually thinking of new ways to present WBT concepts to teachers to help us be successful. At the recent National Conference in Louisiana, we learned about the "Core Four". With the Core Four, we discovered one can teach practically anything to anyone!

So, what is the Core Four?

Does this sound familiar? If you have been using WBT, you recognize these elements as part of the Big 7.  By condensing it to the Core Four, teachers can readily learn components and begin implementation immediately.

We practiced simple lessons, weaving in a variety of intonation, gestures, tempo, and facial expressions.

Give it a try! Line up the floaties in the pool and call them attention with "Class-Yes". 
Give them a smiley or frownie point on your imaginary scoreboard, depending on how quickly they responded to you! 
Have them mirror the pool rules as you teach them. 
Clap twice and say "Teach"! 
Call them back to attention with "Class-Yes", and give another smiley or frownie for how well they taught each other. 

I know this sounds silly, but practicing at home really helps!!! I know some teachers who line up their daughter's stuffed animals on the couch to practice!

Let's make the CORE FOUR our daily teaching routine!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

School's Out!

School is out for the summer! Can you imagine how joyful I felt when I saw labels for the Super Improver's Wall laying on the laminator, to be prepped for returning students? We are continually planning and working to improve our craft. Thanks WBT, for equipping teachers!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

State Testing is Complete!

It's that time of year again...when teachers are hoping and praying that their students apply the skills and strategies that have been taught when taking the high-stakes tests! As I talked with teachers on our campus this week, they relayed how exciting it was observe their students labeling answers "smartie", "trickster", or "doofus", underlining key words, and really taking their time on the tests. The test simulation practice helped build up stamina in the students, and a listing things that demonstrate visible effort assisted them in being specific in their test taking behaviors. (If you haven't already, check out the test prep slide show at I was glad to hear that the teachers felt our test prep was worthwhile!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

First Grade Transitions

Here is my first video, as a WBT intern, (Fall 2010). You will see Class-Yes, The 5 Rules, Teach-Ok,  The Scoreboard, and Switch, all in under 7 minutes. This video was filmed during the first quarter of first grade. We were working hard on procedures. 

First Grader Leads Lesson on Brain Structure

Several friends have asked me to post my WBT videos on my blog. This video features one of my first graders leading her classmates in teaching the parts of the brain. This video was filmed during second quarter of first grade, (December 2010). You will be impressed by the students' engagement and interaction as they learn and practice following their student leader!