Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another thought occurred to me just recently as I was still absorbing everything I gained at the conference I attended in Missouri.  That thought was if I could use WBT with my second job.  In addition to my regular teaching job, I also teach English to children and adults in Asia via SKYPE.  It is an extremely interesting and enjoyable job and I love working with and learning from them all. 

Although, many of the lessons that I am to teach are quite structured, I do have the opportunity to be somewhat creative at times.  This, is where WBT will come in handy!  I can definitely use gestures and "mirror" to supplement the curriculum.  Although this might be difficult for many of my English Language Learners to feel comfortable with at first, I know they will do as asked and will gain further in the concepts they are learning.  And who knows, they may even have fun!

WBT in Ireland

It was somewhere in Dublin while on vacation that I discovered two other teachers were on the tour as well.  So, over dinner one night I brought up the discussion of Whole Brain Teaching.  These two teachers from Connecticut had never heard of WBT and I was more than delighted to share everything I knew and the impact it had on my classroom management and instruction.

My roommate and I also had the opportunity several times during our 15 days together to talk about WBT.  Since I brought my laptop along, she even was interested enough to check out the lessons on YouTube one evening when we chose to stay in and relax.

They all seemed genuinely interested and asked many questions.  I shared the website and told them all the "goodies" they could get for free.  I hope to see them blogging with me very soon!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Missouri Conference

Recently, I returned from an incredible Whole Brain Teaching Conference hosted by the wonderful people in White Plains, MO.  Not only did I have the opportunity as an intern to meet others in the same position as well as the creators, but as a teacher my skill and confidence in using WBT with my students was enhanced as well!

I also learned a great deal of new information which will be enthusiastically used beginning the very first day of school!  One of the best elements of this conference for me was learning about the "Five Step Lesson Plan." The format is to begin the lesson with a question, then provide the answer, expand the answer with gestures, check for comprehension and end with a critical thinking skill.  So simple yet so powerful! Every one of my lessons from now on will be presented in this format.

A second really powerful tool I learned while at the conference was the use of "Help Me" if a student is struggling to find an answer.  The struggling student can ask his/her peers for help and they will use "Mirror" and gestures to help get the question answered.  I like this idea for team as well as confidence building and it will become a common feature in my classroom this next school year.

If at all possible, I would strongly encourage everyone interested in WBT to attend one of these fascinating conferences.  Check wholebrainteaching.com regularly for information on upcoming conferences. 

Call me crazy, but I cannot wait until school starts!

Friday, June 3, 2011

WBT Intern

I am so very excited to be able to introduce myself as a new WBT intern.  I welcome the opportunity to become part of the WBT program and family as a potential trainer to fellow teachers on the path toward greater student involvement, deeper level of learning and providing a fun and warm classroom environment.

I have been a classroom teacher for twelve years and my primary responsibility for the past seven has been teaching social studies to students in fifth through eighth grade.  I love teaching and working with children, however classroom management was a weakness for me.  I had read books, discussed the problem with my peers and attended professional development classes.  Nothing seemed to work for me.

Two years ago I was introduced to Whole Brain Teaching by a fellow staff member who shared with me the very tip of the iceberg of what WBT is.  I began to use "Class-Yes" immediately and was amazed at the response from my students. My interest was piqued and I began to research more fully WBT. 

During the past two years I have utilized the strategies of WBT in my classroom and have found my students to be more cooperative, eager to learn in a fun and interactive atmosphere and actually more encouraging to each other.  I now go home each day more relaxed, energized and confident!

For more information, check out: www.wholebrainteaching.com