Friday, August 3, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching and Australia Zoo

On Wednesday the 25th of July our Prep, Year One and Year Two class went to Australia Zoo. Before we headed up to catch the bus, we made time to review the Power Pix for prediction.  We used mirror words and actions to recall the question and answer. Students then responded to Teach ok and told their knee buddies what they thought they would see. Critical thinking was happening right at the start of the day. Students were then given the opportunity to draw what they thought they would see. Making decisions to participate, enjoying what they were doing, looking, listening, talking and moving, all in the first 40 minutes of the day.

We had a spectacular day out. The students and I arrived at school the next day tired, but ready for more learning. Again, we reviewed the Power Pix for prediction. The use of mirror words, actions and teach okay all helped focus the students back to our lesson from the previous day. Students went back to their desks to check their predictions and mark yes next to something they did see and no next to something they did not see. A very practical example of the use of prediction.

Next on our daily plan was writing time. We used a poster on Recounts to help us focus for mirror words and actions, question and answer. What is a recount? The strategy of teach oaky was then used to teach their knee buddy what a recount was. We then used our airboard braintoy to help us review the three parts of a recount. After more use of teach okay to discuss the sequence of events, it was time to write. The children worked well getting their ideas on paper and then conference their writing.

At the end of the day we used cotton buds to help us paint something we saw at the Zoo. In conclusion the students used critical thinking throught the day as they made decisions about their work and how to communicate their understanding of our Australia Zoo excursion. Expressing their opinions about their experiences revealed some interesting facts. It is so simple and effective to use Whole Brain Teaching techniques to enhance student engagement and learning outcomes.

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