Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jumping In

Holidays were a mix of fun, family, friends, relaxation, study and preparation. Having made the decision to jump into Whole Brain Teaching, I knew I had some work to do. A hot topic in the forum has been ’ how to get started’.  At our school we started Term Three on July 12th. With over a week of school completed, I can share what has been happening in my classroom as we all jumped into a new term.

When you jump into a river it is best to check the depth and plan how you will jump in and where to jump in.  Being well planned and deliberate were keys to jumping into this term well. During the first five days I kept a record of every technique or tool that I used. We have used class yes, scoreboard, mirror, teach ok, switch, blow and release, hands and eyes, power pixs, red green writing, yes no smart cards, the rules, practice cards, threepeat, purple reward cards, UHM(3 star homework), Superspeed rhyming, 100 and grammar, Super Improvers Wall and classroom leaders. I made a discovery I really am a Whole Brain Teacher. I am no longer dabbling on the edge, I really have jumped in.

The 18th of July was our 100th day of year one. To celebrate we made a post it note collection of the 100 things we like about year one. To my delight Whole Brain Teaching techniques and tools featured highly on the list. I am currently gathering permission slips for our first video as we continue to jump deeper into that river of Whole brain Teaching. In conclusion the decision to jump on in, has been a good one. If you are reading this and you are not sure what some of these things mentioned are, why not check out wholebrainteaching.com and see if you would like to jump in.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Joy of Sharing Whole Brain Teaching

Today I attended the 2012 Christian Schools Australia Conference with 816 other delegates from Christian Schools across Queensland.  In the afternoon we had the choice of 71 different sessions to attend. Whole Brain Teaching was a session that was presented at two different times in the afternoon.  Over the last two weeks I have worked on this presentation for many hours. I developed a Power Point and asked Coach B and Tony Ryan to give me feedback. The slides were reduced, some videos added and the Power Point was transferred to a Prezi for extra pizaz.

Forty five teachers selected the Whole Brain Teaching sessions. Teachers represented every year level from Prep to year 12.  My knowledge and experience is very much as a Primary Teacher but I think the strategies of using brain facts with direct instruction and cooperative learning could also be applied in high school.  Every Teacher fully participated in the session with many taking notes and commenting that they will be looking at the website and incorporating Whole Brain Teaching in their classroom. It was great to see the joy on the teachers faces as they experienced Whole Brain Teaching and the Big Seven.

At four different times throughout the session Teachers were asked to share their knowledge about Whole Brain Teaching with their knee buddy.  Questions asked demonstrated that they were using critical thinking when deciding how they could use these strategies in their classroom. This could have been extended by asking all the Teachers to think deeper about their next steps.  More direct questioning could have been used to help develop this deep thinking.  A closing Game of Mind Soccer could have been used to add to the fun of learning about Whole Brain Teaching. In conclusion it was a joy to share Whole Brain Teaching with other passionate Teachers. You can view the Whole Brain Teaching Prezi at Prezi.com.

To the Stars
Lynette Rudduck 245 cps, 5 followers
Webcast (3) 150 cp, Facebook (2) 20 cp, Bonus points(2) 50cp, You tube video(1) 25cp

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Fresh Start with Whole Brain Teaching

The holidays are drawing to a close and it is time to start the preparations for a new term. Today I visited the newsagent and purchased cardboard, stickers, rulers and pencils to start making classroom signs. First on the list is our Three star Homework chart. Next I will be making our Genius ladder. Then I will make a new Super Improvers Wall Chart. These are all items that will be used regularly in our classroom. Linda Conway states that "It's not what is poured into a student that counts but what is planted."(ntlf.com) These charts help to work on planting positive concepts about learning in the minds of our students.

The Three Star Homework chart encourages effort and individual progress. Students in my grade one class are challenged to read, practice sight words and complete a spelling task each night, Monday through Thursday. If they can complete each task, each night, they get three stars at the end of the week. Each star counts toward the amount of Mind Soccer we get to play on Friday afternoon. Much to my amazement I have been asked how they can get four stars. A little effort each day helps prepare students to build good habits for future learning and plants positive concepts in their minds about learning.

The Genuis Ladder is something the students really have taken to and use the terms on the ladder in their own conversations about sentences. My goal with the new chart is to use it more regularly each week. My plan is to link it with Green and Red Writing System and the Grammar PP. Writing is such an important skill to develop and help students improve at their own level and pace. By using these Whole Brain Teaching strategies students will be encouraged to work to their personal best, no matter what that is. These consistently used techniques will help to plant more positive concepts about learning.

The Super Improvers Wall has so many wider reaching uses with the main focus on individual progress. Children love to be acknowledged for the effort they put in. Building in solid, regular feedback for children on their progress is essential in developing a childs love of learning. Each star or progression on the chart helps plant more positive concepts about learning.

In conclusion prepartion is key to Whole Brain Teaching success for the children and for their teacher. Any one ready to plant good things this term? The best thing about planting is that you eventually see a beautiful plant. I look forward to having lots of beautiful learning being planted and growing this term.