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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Study Part 2: Whole Brain Teaching For Challenging Kids

Welcome to the second installation of our new book study on Whole Brain Teaching For Challenging Kids.   I enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on last week's post.  It is not to late to join in!  If you want to catch up, just grab a copy of the book and pick up where we are or go back and comment on past posts.  Here is the posting schedule.

Chapter 4: Charting Progress

    Mrs. Maestra sounds like a genius!  I love the idea of a teacher working on her own management by giving herself a grade!  What a fantastic idea.  By focusing on her own behavior she can chart her progress and evaluate how she is doing separate from how the kids are doing.  Ultimately good management starts with managing one's own behavior before tackling that of students.  Her idea of ranking her students by behavior and making it her goal to move them forward one category is also very interesting. Is there anyone who has tried either of these ideas in their own classroom that can tell us more?

Chapter 5: Brain Science

     I am fascinated with brain science but have not yet seemed to get much of what I read about it into long term memory.  I think it is all the terminology and the fact that I am usually just reading it.  The exercise at the beginning of the chapter where you use your hands to represent the brain really helped me visualize the different parts of the brain and how they work together to control emotions and learning.  

     I think the downfall of many teachers' management systems is habituation.  "Habituation occurs when an individual's response to a stimulus decreases after repeated stimulation." I find that teachers will be very excited about a new management system, will introduce it to kids, the kids will do well for a few days or weeks and then it stops working.   As kids get used to something, the response is not the same.  That is why I am very curious to learn more about the different levels of scoreboard.  I can't wait to see how this will help combat habituation. 

Chapter 6: Class-Yes

Easy, fast and effective.  Love!

Chapter 7: Five Powerful Classroom Rules

In my school district, we use responsive classroom and one of the elements of responsive classroom is to have kids come up with the rules.  As well as this can work, I also think it becomes less and less effective as kids get older.  By sixth grade, they have already participated in writing the classroom rules 6 other times and frankly are usually tired of it.  Especially because the rules always turn out to be so similar.   

I love the idea of laying down the rules with the class and all the fun rehearsing that can go into these rules.  I was also excited to read about having the class vote the rules in because this seems to help with the buy in and ownership without seeming like a labor intensive task that kids have already done repeatedly in the past. 

What are your thoughts on this week's chapters?  If you are already using whole brain teaching, what can you tell us about how the classroom rules work for you?

1 comment:

  1. Book studies are great! I should do them more often--they always give me good ideas. Hope your school year is off to a great start!
    Kids Math Teacher