Saturday, December 28, 2013

Whole Brain Teaching - Part Two

In my last post about Whole Brain Teaching I talked about the routines and signals that I use. So far my students have really enjoyed it. And because we practiced the routines so thoroughly at the beginning of the year the rest of the year I've had far fewer behavior problems and I've been able to stay in the target language more often, even reaching that 90% goal. Part of the equation are the rules.

The rules: There are 5 simple rules in WBT -
  1. Follow directions quickly. 
  2. Raise your hand for permission to speak 
  3. Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat. 
  4. Make smart choices.
  5. Keep your dear teacher happy.
¿Qué es la regla más favorita de Ms. Kennedy? ¡Regla 5!
We go through the rules EVERY SINGLE CLASS PERIOD. Yes, twice a week, every time I walk in the room we go over the rules. All I have to do is ask students "¿Qué es regla 3?" and they know to sit back down and raise their hands. If they are yelling out "Recuerdan regla 2 por favor" and they know to raise their hands. They say the rules in English but because they know them so well I don't have to switch to English during class when they break the rules. That helps me maintain my 90% TL goal.

At the beginning of the year we learned our signals - quiet signal, espejo, enseña, and cambia using the rules.  Students did gestures with me for each rule, then they taught each other the rules, switched and listened to a partner teach them the rules and then they got quiet at the signal. If they were able to learn quickly they were rewarded with a short dance party at the end of class.

Here is the link to Chris Biffle's explanation of each rule and how to do the gesture.

So those are the rules. Next up, is the scoreboard.

See Part One - Routines and Part Three - the Scoreboard

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