After 1 week, I am in L-O-V-E with Whole Brain Teaching (WBT). So far I have taught my students Class-Yes, Scoreboard, and Mirror. I started off on Tuesday by introducing Class-Yes. That was easy, especially since I had already been using “1,2,3 Eyes on Me” and “Freeze-Frozen” with my students since day 1. We practiced all day on Tuesday, and on Wednesday I introduced the Scoreboard. I explained to them that our Scoreboard would be tied into extra recess time. Of course they were all excited to collect points. Throughout the day I called “Class” and they quickly responded with “Yes!” I followed with a point on the Scoreboard under the happy face column and in unison they answered with “Oh Yea!” and a cha-ching hand gesture. However, don’t think this was perfect all day through. We did score a few points on the sad face column which was followed with an “Oh No!”. This same day I introduced Mirror and Mirror (w/words) this is where the smarty pants in my class stepped up to the plate. This is also the point in time that I realized I was going to have to add a few ground rules of my own. During science class I began introducing Mirror. With both hands in front of me the students began to Mirror my actions. So I began… Step 1 Problem (Question) and I raised my shoulders as if questioning… they repeated my actions. Perfect… Step 2 I Think (pointing to my head) or Hypothesis… they mirrored Step 3… and so on and so forth. Perfect I thought! Let’s try Mirror w/words. I introduced the concept and began running through the steps again, this time with gestures AND words. Then in the middle of a gesture I call on a student to get his attention because he was distracted. That’s when the smarty pants decided it would be funny to repeat the students name and what I had said.
STOP THE PRESSES!
I knew this was a turning point for me… either I nipped this in the bud right now, or my Mirror with words would be a joke for the rest of the year. I addressed the class and we set a few ground rules. Rule #1 What we were doing was serious business, not a joke, and needed to be treated as such. Rule #2 Disrespect would NOT be tolerated. Rule #3 I was ready and willing to have FUN with them in an effort to help them learn as long as they COOPERATED! All on board with those three rules say Yea… YEA! … and so after clearing things up we continued with our Mirror with words. Throughout the next few days we reviewed the 6 steps and I began to see that the gestures were really helping my kiddos retain the information. It was amazing to see the students remember the gestures FIRST and THEN come up with the words. We also used the Mirror technique in grammar class while creating statements and questions. Oh what fun to Beep at periods and Doo doo dup beep for question marks. Another aspect of the Mirror technique that I really enjoyed was that the students helped me come up with the gestures. I asked for their input and they had great ideas. So it was not just a lesson of me teaching them motions to imitate, but rather ALL of us working together as TEAM!
We were a TEAM helping each other out!
… so if you’d like to continue with me on my WBT journey then stay tuned for next week as I introduce my students to Teach-Okay! …. Oh and with my WBT excitement I almost forgot to share with you all about my less than stellar morning. I woke up this morning to a half shut, gunk filled eye! I know it sounds gross, but trust me it’s even grosser in person. So needless to say I went to my Doc and I HAVE PINK EYE!!!! I’ve NEVER had pink eye and my kids have NEVER had pink eye. To top it all off NONE of my students have pink eye… at least not that I know of. Boo hoo hoo! So needless to say I am Germ X-ing my hands constantly and kind of in quarantine… help!!!!!! So with those ending remarks… Stay safe and enjoy the rest of your weekend! XOXO,