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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Study Part 8: Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids

We are finishing up the main chapters this week and next week will be wrapping up our book study on Whole Brain Teaching.  If you are checking out this book study for the first time, 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.  Click on any of the links below to see past posts!

Chapter 27: Whole Brain Teaching Review

I have absorbed so much information over the past 6 weeks about Whole Brain Teaching that I was very happy to review this chapter and think about how all the pieces work together.  I am someone who has to read everything I can about a subject and let things absorb before going back and reading again before I am ready to try it out.  I have definitely got some good ideas from this book and have been talking with colleagues in real life as well as on my Facebook page and blog about how to bring Whole Brain Teaching ideas into my classroom.  It is not something I am ready to do this year but I will be thinking about using some of these ideas in the classroom next year.

Chapter 28: Whole Brain Teaching and Learning Research

This chapter has some great points about the benefits of WBT.  I really like how they connected Whole Brain Teaching to being part direct instruction and part cooperative learning.  I have had a lot of professional development in these two areas and appreciate the connection between the two.  They both have their advantages and WBT seems to swing from using direct instruction to using cooperative learning.

For the first time, I saw the word constructivisim  used in this chapter.  Since this is at the heart of my teaching style, it was nice to read about how Whole Brain Teaching is linked to students constructing their own knowledge and being in the zone of proximal development.  I still do have some reservations about how much lecturing can be involved in Whole Brain Teaching because I tend to do much less lecturing than other teachers.  I have to think more about how the WBT strategies can be used in a a more student driven environment.  I have watched several videos of Whole Brain Teaching being used in math class and they seem to be based on lecture.  I guess what I am still struggling with most is what does student individual practice and extended small group time look like with Whole Brain Teaching?  How about guided math time?

Chapter 29: Additional Research

I love numbers, statistics and percentages so I was excited to see some numbers on Whole Brain Teaching especially the percentage of educators who give it high ratings.  I think the biggest power in WBT is that students are more engaged.  This is the biggest issue I see in classrooms today.  Students are not engaged in the lesson, interested or paying attention.  No matter what great teaching you do, you can't be a great teacher unless your students are engaged.

What are your feelings about the research behind Whole Brain Teaching?  What is your favorite Whole Brain Teaching strategy?  Please respond in the comments below.

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