Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Back to WBT Basics

Back to WBT Basics

I realised my posts have been very general and all very big picture type posts, so today sees a change of direction.

Class, yes
I just love using class yes to get instant student engagement. I say class and the children say yes. What could be better than students smiling at you and waiting for the next thing to be said.  Yes, it really is that easy. To avoid wearing this out, vary how you say class, and the children respond with the appropriate variation of yes. For example, you could say classroo and the children would respond yesaroo. I hope you all noticed the Aussie nod to the kangaroo. 

To hear a teacher blow a whistle at children really hurts my ears and makes me cringe. Hearing a teacher plead and repeat the plead with children to be quiet, also makes me feel sad for the teacher and the children. Just this week I heard someone call out freeze frame and the children all jumped into strange shapes and wiggled and jiggled and giggled around. There may be a place for different ways to get attention but I am sticking with class yes. 

You get to use one syllable and get a one syllable response. The students have activated their prefrontal cortex and are focused on you. Another great thing is that it is easy to teach and use. So easy and effective that when other teachers see how easily you can get student engagement they will all want to use it. The children even realise how effective it is and I have caught them using it during small group activities. 

We all love playing with class yes in my class and use different voices, actions etc and end up laughing at each other. Ah, teacher heaven with two simple words. It is wonderful to make time to have fun with the children you are teaching. So for me and my class, is it class yes all the way. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

WBT Spotfires in Australia

I can't believe it has been so long since I visited and added to this blog. Where does time go? Today I promised some very special teachers that I would post a new blog entry. Here goes the latest update on WBT in Australia.

WBT spotfires spreading in Australia

My daughter told me a story about a very early morning drive down the highway to Brisbane. On the way past the pine forests she noticed many spotfires burning the undergrowth and the glow was lighting up the trees above. Being a visual learner, I created my own picture of what this must have looked like. She told me that it looked beautiful. 

This story reminds me of all the beautiful spot fires that are being lit by Australian Teachers for Whole Brain Teaching. Last week my Mentor Nancy Stoltenberg and I had a blitz on growing' likes' for the Whole Brain Teaching Australian Certification FB page. The number one goal was to reach 100 'likes'.  We are currently up to 92 'likes'. SO CLOSE! Each 'like' represents a spotfire for Whole Brain Teaching. 

Looking at the 'likes' it is easy to see that some teachers across Queensland and New South Wales have discovered Whole Brain Teaching and are loving it. I also know that there are teachers in Victoria and Western Australia using it as well. 

Today I had the opportunity to share an Introduction to WBT workshop with about 30 teachers, who are attending the Christian Schools Conference in Queensland. Everyone participated with great enthusiasm and the questions asked were really worthwhile and helpful to the whole group. Everyone left with new understanding and very practical strategies to take back to their schools. My hope and dream is that each one of these lovely teachers will go back to their school and start another WBT spotfire.

Finally some special news is that we now have two teachers from Australia who are participating in the WBT Intern program for 2014/15. Whole  Brain Teaching is definitely burning bright in Australia.