Learning More About WBT, Book Study Chapters 1 and 2

Now that I am in summer mode, I loaded up my kindle with some must read teacher books.  First on my list is Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle.  I chose this book first because it's only $7.99 as a kindle download, and also because I dabbled in WBT this year and wanted to learn more.  There is a summer book club going on over at http://wbtbookclub.blogspot.com/.


I love that all of the materials for WBT are free over at their website, www.wholebrainteaching.com.  Materials that other teachers create are also free over at Teachers Pay Teachers.  You might remember that I created a set of the rules to reflect my multicultural classroom back in this blog post in November.



On to the Book Study!

Chapter 1 of the book was all about who created WBT and who uses WBT.  Not only is this good management for your entire classroom, but it is a great way to diffuse those power struggles with your challenging kids.  I used to work at a pretty rough school and sometimes I would come home so angry.  Angry for not receiving enough support from admin, angry for not being able to do everything that was mandated each day, angry that I couldn't reach each and every one of my 33 students.  I was exhausted and fed up.  Instead of leaving the teaching profession, my family and I moved to Hawaii (well, some other reasons factored in, as well).  At my new school, I could start over and try new things to become a better teacher.  One of these new things was Whole Brain Teaching.  I loved that it is focused on fun.  I loved that it was quick paced and got every student involved.  After going a year of dabbling in the techniques and trying it out as I also learned a new grade level, new standards, new curriculum, and a new school system, I am ready to go full out next year.  I am so excited to learn more about WBT and to see it translate into good teaching and learning in the classroom!

In chapter 2, Biffle tells us the First Great law of Whole Brian Teaching: "The longer we talk, the more students we lose."  I am GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) certified and the GLAD model of sheltered instruction says that students need 2 minutes of processing for every 10 minutes of instruction.  They call this a 10/2.  After 10 minutes, have students turn and talk about what they just learned to a neighbor.  WBT uses this same approach, it just creates a much more structured routine for doing this, a routine that every student can follow and know the expectation to.

Another technique of WBT that crosses over with GLAD is the use of TPR (Total Physical Response). TPR is the idea that by assigning movement to learning new vocabulary or language  students will remember the term better.  Since WBT assigns movement with the different rules and routines, I knew that my students would be engaged and learning much more than if I were to just tell them my expectations and leave it at that.

Have you ever felt like me?  Angry and beaten down?  If so, WBT might be the boost your classroom needs!  Join me as I read the book and follow the book study!

{EDIT}
To continue following along with the book study, I have created a WBT-only blog at Whole Brain Teaching With Style, and all other WBT posts will be over there! :)


10 comments

  1. I totally agree with your thoughts! I love how hands on WBT is. I can see my students' eyes glaze over after about 6 minutes of me talking. When I involve them, they are awake the whole time. There is no option but to pay attention when they are required to move along with the rest of the class.
    Thanks for sharing your readings!
    Maribel

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    1. I love how you said "There is no option but to pay attention"! Ain't that the truth?

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  2. Lots of information. Great post. :) Thanks so much for sharing with us as you go. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

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  3. I too will be doing the WBT book study this summer. I have 5 more days with the kiddos and then I will be starting. I dabbled in WBT this year with my challenging class and I could see immediate results. Can't wait to fully implement this next year!

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    1. I am in the same boat - dabbled, but am ready to go full-out! We'll be good support for each other! :)

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  4. I love your TPT products, and will have to read more on WBT! Laura
    Read-Write-Create

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  5. Great to see someone else is involved in the book study. I found the WBT videos on YouTube towards the end of this past school year. They piqued my interest. I've been reading through the site and downloaded the book to read. I am moving up with my Pre-K kids this year to Kindergarten and I think it will be a great new way to involve them this next year. Looking forward to reading more posts on your blog! Aloha :)

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    1. Thanks Brenda! Looping is amazing and will make implementing something new a little bit easier, since you know the kids so well already! Good luck!

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  6. I just received my book, and I read a few chapters last night. I didn't want to put it down! Years ago, when I started my first teaching job, the school was into brain based research. I remember reading and discussing brain research with colleagues. When I moved to another school district, they were not at all into brain based research. When I heard about WBT, I had to check it out. After reading chapters 1 & 2, I have a basic understanding of the "Whys" behind this approach and a basic review of the brain (it's parts, how these parts work and work together). It brought back some of what I used to know! I look forward to reading more. By the way, I LOVE your posters!!! I teach in a multicultural setting as well, and I thought I"d have to make new ones. Thanks for saving me some time!
    -Jen
    That First Grade Blog

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