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Monday, June 3, 2013

Chapter 32: Bonus Chapter: The 11 Day Writing Lesson Plan

Describe the difference between one of these lesson plans and how the lesson might be taught in a traditional (non-WBT) classroom.

Pages: 229-255

Full credit: 25 WBT Certification Points
Partial credit: 10 WBT Certification Points


  1. In a traditional (non-WBT) classroom, the teacher might tell the class the lesson objective is to learn about sentences then tell the students the definition of a sentence. In a WBT classroom, the teacher poses the question, “What is a sentence?”, to ensure the students know the objective for the lesson then provides a kid-friendly definition accompanied by a gesture. Students are given the opportunity to repeat the definition and gesture multiple times during the lesson and also review it in subsequent lessons.

    Next, in the WBT classroom, students are both taught and entertained with the Midnight Phone Call Test. Students are given the opportunity to discuss sentences and fragments with a partner and use the “Because Clapper” to explain why a group of words is either a sentence or fragment. In a traditional classroom, after the teacher tells the students about sentences, they may then read a list of random sentences and fragments from an English book with the teacher calling on one student at a time to provide their answer. In a WBT classroom, the teacher goes on to explain that students are expected to speak using complete sentences in class and models examples and non-examples of what is expected. Finally, the WBT teacher allows the students to practice what they have just learned and interact with literature (not just random sentences in a book).

    In a traditional classroom the next step would be to test the students understanding with either a worksheet or more random sentences in an English book which might be graded that night. In the WBT classroom, students engage in a lively game of Yes/No Way and then QT (quick test). Both are designed to give the teacher an immediate picture of student understanding in a safe environment in which students are not afraid to make mistakes. The WBT teacher is able to make immediate adjustments to the lesson based on these fun assessments.

    Whole Brain Teaching goes a step further to include a critical thinking piece, which, of course, is fun.

    Finally, a Power Pix is added to the classroom wall which will be used to review what was learned throughout the year. In a traditional classroom, the lesson typically ends with the chapter test.

    Jamie Rickman

  2. Jamie,
    WBT really gives us tools for every aspect of a great lesson! Don't you love the on-spot assessment with Yes/No Way and QT? Watch out for small punctuation errors "test the students understanding" (students'). Here are 25 certification points!

  3. Chapter 32: Bonus- 11 Day Writing Lesson

    If I had to describe the difference between a Whole Brain Teaching lesson and a lesson taught in a traditional classroom in one word, I would say “FUN.” To elaborate, I will describe a lesson given on sentences in a traditional classroom versus one in a Whole Brain classroom.
    In a traditional classroom, a teacher would probably open the lesson by asking students what a sentence means to them. Students would give replies. Some of these answers would be correct and others would be incorrect. In a Whole Brain Teaching lesson, the teacher immediately engages students by asking them and providing the answer with gestures. Students will remember the answer and will not be distracted by any incorrect responses.
    Next, in a traditional classroom, the teacher would probably provide some sort of memory device for a sentence. I used to teach students a jingle from the Shurley Method. (“A sentence, sentence, sentence, is complete, complete, complete, when five simple rules it meets, meets, meets…”) Students were then asked to memorize these rules to determine whether or not a statement was a sentence. In a Whole Brain sentence lesson, students are given the opportunity to participate in the Midnight Phone Call Test, an exciting method used to distinguish sentences from fragments. Students are given several opportunities to practice, acting and gesturing the entire time. The Whole Brain Method is more engaging, more realistic, and more applicable to real life.
    In a traditional classroom, the next step would be to have the students complete a worksheet. The teacher might complete the first few problems with students and then ask students to complete the rest individually to assess progress. In the Whole Brain method, students are given a QT (Quick Test) and a Yes/No way assessment. Students are more engaged during this type of assessment as they get to gesture. Teachers are able to assess students more quickly and accurately than a worksheet. Worksheets have to be graded, which takes time. With the QT and Yes/No way assessments, teachers are able to immediately redirect instruction as needed.
    The biggest difference between Whole Brain Teaching and the traditional lesson is the final piece: critical thinking. Critical thinking activities are varied according to student need. This might include oral writing, writing on paper, performing teach-ok with a partner, or applying knowledge with a brain toy. All of these Whole Brain methods are fun and allow students to apply their learning.
    Students leave the Whole Brain lesson with gestures and real experience with the subject at hand. Since the lesson is so applicable, the teacher is able to refer to it throughout the days and weeks to come. For example, with the sentence lesson, teachers require students to speak in complete sentences. No matter what subject is being taught, teachers and students can refer to the sentence gesture, reiterating the complete message definition. Doing so will further cement the learning into student’s brains and allow them to see learning as universal instead of compartmentalized. In a traditional classroom, the learning usually ends with a unit test and is not revisited again.

    Madeline Mahan

    1. Madeline,
      Nice post comparing the lesson plans. Creating and using gestures really maximizes the lesson potential! Here are 25 certification points!

  4. Julia Berry / Chapter 32 / April Assignment

    I chose the lesson on sentences, to show the differences between how a regular classroom lesson might be taught versus a Whole Brain Teaching lesson.

    A non-WBT lesson might start off by the teacher explaining to the students what a sentence is in a lengthy manner. A WBT lesson would start off by asking the question, what is a sentence? The WBT teacher is chunking information into fifty to thirty seconds of information at a time. Mirroring would be used along with Teach-Ok, to get the students actively engaged.
    The non-WBT class might have difficulty comprehending all the information given at the introduction of the lesson.

    In the non-WBT class the atmosphere could be tense, as the teacher tries another way to explain sentences. The students once again, are not engaged.
    The WBT class practices complete sentences using a fun technique called Oral Writing, using examples to deepen student involvement. The non-WBT class watches their teacher write examples on the board.
    Now, the WBT class could move on to Teach-Ok for students to review and summarize the points the teacher had made, and then bring out the Smart Cards for a quick/fun assessment. The teacher could kick it up another notch, and instruct the students to justify their answers by using Because Clappers and Adders.

    In the non-WBT class the students are given a worksheet to complete and turn in. After the non-WBT teacher grades the worksheets, she may become frustrated, because so many students had difficulty with her lesson! The WBT class moves right along with the Q.T. test, using The Midnight Phone Call Test. This is quick, and the teacher knows if the students understand the lesson about complete sentences.

    In the non-WBT class many students have to be retaught, and then the class will take the unit test. WBT class is probably ready for some fun using critical thinking activities such as Brain Toys, Zork, Wacky Star Fun Button, Story Gestures, and Because Clappers and Adders. The advanced students will stay engaged by advancing on to the Genius Ladder.

    The non-WBT class rewards each child individually for grades received. Some will not be able to go to the prize box, and feel singled out, in front of their peers. The WBT class creates a warm, positive environment, where students are not afraid to have a wrong answer. Participating is valued as a reward. Using Scoreboards and Might Oh Yeah Cheers is rewarding enough, and Power Pick Questions can still be used throughout the day.
    The non-WBT teacher has to spend her planning time, reassessing her lesson, thinking of news ways to teach a group of students who are still having trouble and need another assessment.
    The WBT class will end their lesson with a Triple Whammy activity!
    The WBT class is still given another reward for their hard work. They are told they have advanced to “College Talk” by using complete sentences. Some students are looking forward to advancing to “College Graduate Talk”, “Advance Level Graduate Talk” and end up with a “Genius Triple Whammy” before the end of the week!
    Sentence is now added to the Power Pix wall, which will continue to be reviewed.

    WBT gets every student actively engaged by using The Big Seven, Smart Cards, Oral Writing, and Brain Toys (just to name a few) that can provide a year long critical thinking curriculum to make learning exciting!

    Well, this is my last chapter. Thank you Coach “B” and all of you who had to read my assignments this year. I’ve really enjoyed the WBT Book Club!

    1. Julia,
      Thank YOU for doing such a great job in the book club! It is such a wonderful resource - make sure you come back often and read the fabulous posts by other WBT teachers - it really helps as a refresher! You had just a couple of tiny error "Might Oh Yeah" and "thinking of news ways to teach", but this was a great post! Here are 25 certification points!

  5. The differences in ANY WBT lesson and traditional teaching lessons are the engagement, motivation, critical thinking, and…FUN. I am going to compare a traditional lesson on paragraphs and the WBT model.

    A traditional lesson on paragraphs, the teacher would begin the lesson with direct instruction of paragraphs and paragraph structure. The teacher would show examples of paragraphs and have the students identify the topic sentence and then the supporting sentences. Gradually release of control to the students with guided practice is then assigned. The students would use graphic organizers to take a topic sentence and make supporting sentences. Then the teacher would look over the student’s topic and supporting sentences and ask them to write a paragraph. Students would then create examples independently.
    Even with the most engaging topics, the main difference with this lesson as compared to a WBT writing lesson is the energy. Even while writing this, I lacked the energy to find ‘fun’ ways to write up this sequential lesson plan.

    The WBT lesson on writing paragraphs begins with excitement! The teacher is an actor; the students sit on the edge of their seats with anticipation because they know their world is about to be energized! The teacher will lead in with an excited voice and the ‘hook’ of student engagement!
    “Who is ready for a new lesson, oh wait, I don’t know if you are ready for this lesson. Turn to your partner and tell them how eager you are to learn this NEW lesson!” Since students are always excited to learn a new WBT lesson, they exclaim to the heavens above their excitement!
    The Big Question: “What is a Paragraph?”
    The Big Answer: “A paragraph is a group of sentences about a topic sentence.” Students gesture by bringing three fingers on one hand, representing sentences, toward the upraised, index finger on the other hand, representing a topic sentence. Repetition with the answer, and repeated practice with the gesture, gives students a fun way to represent a paragraph.
    The Expansion Pack: When expanding on the answer, student are given five sentences on the board not written in any certain order, three of the sentences are a part of a central topic, one is the topic sentence, and the last is an unrelated sentence.

    The sentences are read aloud. The teacher asks the students to discuss the topic sentence, supporting detail sentences, order of sentences, and unrelated sentences. All of this discussion creates deeper meaning to the students. Since they are discussing with their partner, everyone is engaged and learning. Each time the teacher asks a question the students answer in complete messages with supporting messages from the sentences. This creates deep understanding that all sentences in a paragraph must be about the central message. Adder sentences allow student to expand from a topic sentence and speak in complete paragraphs.

  6. Continued:
    The Hairy Test:
    First, the teacher reviews the lesson with a simple Yes-No Way questioning, reviewing the previous lessons on sentences, topic sentences, and the paragraph lesson. This serves as another layer of teaching.
    Students used to dislike tests, but in the WBT way of testing, students only have to show what they know. Teachers find that they need to either expand more on their teaching or move on because their students ‘get it’. Five to ten questions are asked to review what a paragraph is, the gestures, review of sentences and sentence structure. Students answer with a thumb up or thumb down.

    Critical thinking: As the final step to the paragraph lesson the teacher uses sentence frames (OH, how the students love sentence frames) to show student correct ways to create adder sentences onto a topic sentences. The students fill in words within a sentence and expand the sentences to create fun paragraphs that vary since they choose the different nouns for the paragraph. These paragraphs are very entertaining and creative! Using partner and class discussion teachers add an additional level of understanding.
    Since the teacher is able to judge the level of comprehension of this lesson for each of their students they are easily able to separate students into groups to further guide practice for lower students and challenge those who have a strong foundation of paragraphs. Each component is individually tailored to fit the needs of the students.
    As I shout to the heavens above…Lets hear it for another AMAZING WBT lesson!! “Oh, YEAH!”

    1. Krystal,
      Nice job on the paragraph lesson! Comparing the two types of lessons really makes it evident why WBT is so effective doesn't it? Here are 25 certification points!

  7. Kay Spencer
    Chapter 32

    First Grade Guided Reading Lesson:

    This assignment is a great culminating assignment because I can so clearly see how my former methods compare to Whole Brain Teaching.

    Traditionally I would begin a guided reading lesson with word work. Typically, students complete a word sort. Students would individually determine the proper category of a word. The WBT system encourages students to not only sort the word, but I can use the Teach-Okay to reinforce the sound/spelling. I can also lead the students to invent a gesture that stands for the sound/spelling card. It’s very engaging. You should hear the laughter. After the word sort, I traditionally lead in sentence dictation. I say a sentence and students write the sentence. Now, students invent gestures for the sentence. The sentence comes to life. I also do Mirror Words as we say the sentence. My students also enjoy the capitalization and end mark WBT gestures.

    After dictation I traditionally introduce vocabulary for the text that we will read. I would tell the vocabulary words and give definitions. The WBT way includes Teach-Okay and big gestures using vocabulary words.

    After the vocabulary portion of the lesson, I would traditionally do a brief introduction of the text. I would talk about the key ideas in the selection. The WBT way includes students browsing the book together using story gestures.

    Now it’s time to read the story and ask questions for a comprehension check. Instead of the boring reading and asking questions to illicit a single student response, the WBT way includes Sockless Hand Puppets as students retell the story. It’s so much fun!

    My students have experienced 100% engagement using WBT.

    1. Kay,
      Yes! Yes! Yes! You just illustrated how to take a great 1st grade program and make it even greater with WBT! Here are 25 points for you!

    2. Chapter 32: Bonus Chapter: The 11 Day Writing Lesson Plan

      “I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” The words belong to Albert Einstein, however, the sentiments are consistent with those who embrace the Whole Brain Teaching system.

      The first difference I notice between these lesson plans and writing lesson plans in a traditional (non WBT) classroom is that this set of plans is mapped out in a concise eleven-day plan! Even though the plan might take more than eleven days to fully implement, a concrete plan is designed to take our students from writing a basic sentence (the simplest skill), to writing multi-paragraph essays comprised of complex sentences. In the traditional classroom, the scope and sequence of writing lessons are mapped out over weeks and months during the course of the school year.

      The writing lessons here require “… large quantities of careful reading and critical thinking…” Writing lessons in the traditional classroom would typically begin with the objective being stated by the instructor, and, hopefully, displayed on the chalkboard, or other prominent place. The lessons presented in the 11 Day Writing Lesson Plan all begin with a question; the objective is presented in the form of a question followed by the answer. All of the lessons are in the Five Step Lesson Plan format.

      The Five Step Lesson Plan allows shoulder partners to teach each other (using emphatic gestures to answer the question), whereas, in the traditional classroom, students are sitting, like sponges, expected to absorb what the instructor is teaching (Yawn!), as if by osmosis. The traditional lesson may have a guided activity (Ugh! Worksheet) to check for student understanding. The lessons presented here employ the Midnight Phone Call test, Yes/No Way, and the QT: Quick Test as a means for assessing students in a fun way that provides immediate feedback to the instructor. In addition, each lesson has a variety of critical thinking activities to assess the students’ ability to demonstrate skill proficiency. Again, in a traditional classroom, the lesson might end with a worksheet that has students filling in the blanks.

      Further, the lessons presented here allow for small-group work; the writing tasks can be individualized for high, middle, and low groups. Higher and middle groups may be able to complete activities independently, which affords the teacher the precious time needed to review and reteach concepts to the low group. In a traditional classroom, writing tends to be a whole-group activity, with a teacher conference occurring at (or near) the conclusion of the writing task.

      The greatest difference between the lessons presented here in the 11 Day Writing Lesson Plan and traditional lessons is the element of fun this plan brings not only to the classroom, but to the students! Instead of putting our students to sleep with boring writing lessons, we present them with the conditions in which they can learn. It doesn't take an Einstein; it requires a bit of “funtricity,” with our arsenal of Whole Brain Teaching techniques right there in our back pocket.

      Jacqueline Nessuno

    3. Jacqueline,
      Very good comparison! 10 finger whooo! All of the WBT writing strategies work together to form a fun, creative and very effective writing lesson! Teacher Heaven! Here are 25 certification points and a 5 point bonus!

  8. Each of the lessons created in Chapter 32 begin with a review of what has already been learned. This review is then extended during Step 4- the testing part of the lesson. The scaffolding is transparent. Every new concept is supported by many examples and non- examples. The children are given many chances to identify each concept orally before being asked to demonstrate knowledge of it in written form. Each of these factors separates these lessons from traditional ones. The most cogent difference is in Step 5- Critical Thinking. In typical lessons, children are given worksheets where that need to find each type of sentence. In Whole Brain Teaching, the children are expected to create their own sentences. This is a much stronger way of exhibiting knowledge of the concept. Knowing that this is a difficult task, the critical thinking part of the lesson is scaffolded, taken one step at a time. This breaks a complex task into manageable parts.
    The other noticeable difference between Whole Brain Teaching lessons and traditions lessons is the amount of fun that can be had by both the teacher and the students. Instead of drab sentences that are spoon- fed to the children, the class is able to create their own vibrant sentences that will have much more meaning for them. Activating the limbic system will definitely help our children remember the more complex concepts that need to be learned. Funtricity at its best!
    Liz Howard

    1. Liz,
      Great comparison! Funtricity is the defining element isn't it!! Here are 25 certification points!

  9. Chapter 32 Bethany Kirkland

    In the past, I have taught sentence writing by explaining that a sentence is, “a group of words that makes sense”. “Every sentence begins with a capital letter, makes sense, and ends with a mark”. I have used “No Glamour Sentence Writing” with visual prompts to encourage my special needs students to formulate sentences.

    Using the WBT method, I would begin with the question, “what is a sentence?”, proceed with the answer, and have the students teach each other. Giving examples of sentences and non sentences, along with requiring my students to speak in complete sentences will help improve their understanding of what a sentence is.

    Next a quick QT will provide me with the information I need to know to guide progression with the lesson or reteaching of the lesson. A critical thinking segment will be introduced next to enhance the student’s learning, provide hands on learning, and grow more dendrites! Oh Teacher Heaven! I can see sentence writing improving already!

    1. Bethany,
      This will be perfect to use with your special needs students! ALL students thrive using this method! Adding the power pix after your sentence lesson will be a constant reminder as well. Here are 25 certification points!

  10. Some traditional classrooms may have less hands on or gestures and more of where the teacher is talking majority of the time. The essential question is asked from the very beginning and the students know what is going to be answered and taught in the lesson right from the get go. WBT lesson plans seem more simplistic than a traditional classroom would. You are teaching small chunks at a time and slightly elaborating on it with examples. WBT also allows students several times to show what they know and have the teacher visually assess if they are learning the new concept. A traditional classroom would probably not have group activities in writing either like WBT does. In WBT, if less than 90% of students do not pass the yes/no test, then you cannot go on to the quick test. This is where you would need to go back and reteach or approach the lesson differently until 90% or more have attained this percentage of understanding.

    Liz Cheney

    1. Liz,
      You chose some good points to compare/contrast. Students really do thrive when they are part of WBT lessons! Here are 25 certification points!

  11. This culminating assignment has proved to very personal and eye-opening to me because it so clearly illustrates how my traditional methods for teaching Sentence Writing fall short of the Whole Brain Teaching’s Five Step Lesson for Writing Sentences.
    In a traditional, non-WBT classroom, my “OLD” classroom, I would use “Journal Writing” to give a brief introduction of sentences to my new crop of five-year-olds. For some reason, it was very important for me to have a Writing “entry” for each day starting with the first day of school. Hindsight tells me that this was not only ludicrous but it may have done more harm than good. I was encouraging and expecting students to WRITE a sentence before they even knew what a sentence was. I met with each child every day, explaining sentence structure and conventions one by one. This took forever! During our “Guided Writing” lessons I would address the class as a whole. Marker in hand, we would sound out words and “write” sentences “together”. In other words, they sat and provided information that I, in turn, wrote on the board. I stressed that all sentences must begin with capital letters and end with punctuation marks, and yet, I had still never asked them, “What is a sentence?” As the year progressed my children continued to write daily. I managed to conference with each child every day, and it still took forever. I guided lesson after lesson in Writing as the children watched and I wrote. We discussed capitalization, punctuation, adding details, boring and exciting words. I wrote list after list of synonyms to try and encourage my young writers to branch out. I still didn’t know if they knew WHAT a sentence was because it didn’t cross my mind to ask. With all of its fallacies, this method worked to a point. I produced some students who could write glorious, well organized sentences and even combine those sentences into paragraphs. Lucky for me, many of these children were gifted and learned despite of me, not because of me. My main problem was satisfaction with status quo. I had decided that things were going along just fine and that I didn’t need to learn or try anything new. I was wrong. Thankfully Jamie Rickman introduced me to Whole Brain Teaching.
    In a WBT classroom, my “NEW” classroom, I will introduce sentences by using the Five Step Lesson Plan. I will begin with Step 1 by ASKING the children “What is a sentence?” After listening to their responses, I will move on to Step 2 and answer my own question energetically with fun gestures. “A sentence is a complete message.” Progressing to Step 3, I will speak examples of complete sentences and fragments and explain the “Midnight Phone Call Test”. The students will think this is hilarious and they will be hooked. They will be able to identify sentences and fragments by using this test and they will achieve an understanding through the use of Teach-Okay and other WBT methods. I will test knowledge in Step 4 using the Yes/No Way gestures and Quick Test methods. If students do not know WHAT a sentence is, then I will not expect them to write one. In fact, I will not expect them to actually WRITE sentences for a while. I will require that all questions asked in the classroom be answered using complete sentences and we will strengthen language and writing skills by using gestures, repetition, Teach-Okay and “oral punctuation”, including the “because clapper”, on a daily basis. Involving all areas of the brain will teach my children the skills that they need to move on to Step 5. At this point my students will write. They will write brilliantly using different techniques to improve Critical Thinking skills. During small group instruction I will further solidify sentence writing skills by providing differentiated instruction based upon ability level. This approach will lay the groundwork and build the foundation for my students to become confident, effective writers.

    1. Julia,
      10 finger whooo to Jamie for introducing you to WBT! That "Midnight Phone Call" is far more effective that I could have imagined. I see my students holding a pretend phone up to their ear constantly (and they are 5th graders!!). Make sure you take advantage of the ebooks on the website that will guide you through this process - it makes it so much easier! The PDFs that Coach B. has made on sentences and oral writing are truly life savers as well! Here are 25 certification points!

  12. The traditional classroom lesson might not be taught at all, since correcting poor student behavior takes the majority of the instructional time! Students in the traditional classroom will be sitting in rows of desks as they daydream of being somewhere else. The teacher will give a long monotone lecture. The lecture will be followed by an attempt to get students to get out their traditional textbook, open their textbook to the correct page, and follow the long passage as the teacher reads it to them. A quick check of comprehension by a show of hands leads the teacher to believe she taught the lesson well. Then, the dreaded worksheets will come out. Students will make paper airplanes out of them, they won’t pass them back to the people behind them, and they will not have any sharpened pencils. The few worksheets that are turned in will not have names on them and will not be done properly because students did not understand the lesson.

    In contrast, the lesson in the WBT classroom will start with the 5 rules led by an enthusiastic student leader. Students partner up so they can teach each other. The chunk of material with lots of big hand gestures and Mirror Words makes the lesson much more understandable. If there is a textbook to open, the teacher uses the “threepeat” method to get students on the correct page quickly. The procedure for passing out any papers is streamlined and points on the Scoreboard are either earned or a mighty groan is heard! Games and the Scoreboard make the lesson fun and understandable These students will show their understanding by using their Smart Cards. When 90 percent of the students understand the lesson, students will go on to show what they know by playing student created games and making authentic products. The students are engaged and enjoying learning in the fun classroom!

    Krissa White

    1. Krissa,
      Nice comparison! WBT takes a blah day and turns it into one filled with FUNtricity! Here are 25 certification points!

  13. Chapter 31: The 11 Day Writing Lesson Plans

    In a traditional classroom a writing lesson would beginning with an essential question which is the same in a WBT lesson. Then in a traditional lesson the teacher would stand in front of the room teach the students the concept for the day in a lecture style and then give the students an assignment. In a WBT classroom with the 11 day writing lesson plan you start simple and move to more complex lessons, teaching in small chunks with hand motions, allowing the students to teach each other, check for understanding using yes/no way, and moving to the Quick Test. The WBT classroom also naturally incorporates critical thinking strategies into the lesson. The plan may take longer than 11 days depending on if 90% pass the yes/no way test. Most traditional lessons do not have a built in assessment to check if your students understand. In a traditional classroom you would just wait to the test, but in whole brain you know if your students understand what you are teaching. WBT teaching is more fun and engaging for both the students and teachers. The lesson also ensure the students understand a concept before you teach more complex skills. Sounds like a win, win situation to me.

    1. Tonya,
      You are right! It is a win-win situation! Be careful when editing: "In a traditional classroom a writing lesson would beginning with an essential question" (begin), and "the teacher would stand in front of the room teach the students the concept for the day..." (needs a comma or "and" to make the sentence read more smoothly). The sentence following that is a run on sentence. Also, "The lesson also ensure the students understand..." (lessons). Here are 10 certification points.

  14. Chapter 32

    In the Whole Brain classroom students will not only receive the writing curriculum, they will experience it. Instead of reading about it or hearing about a concept, they are surrounded by the concept. Students hear it, see it, describe it, teach it, act it out, and practice the concept. The Whole Brain classroom attempts to reach each learner in multiple ways, that doesn’t always happen in the traditional classroom. The WBT writing program offers the teacher flexibility to spend as much time on a concept as needed. The class only progresses when 90% of the class mastered the concept.

    Steve Sublett

    1. Steve,
      Your first sentence really sums up why WBT is so wonderful! Try to expand upon your thoughts a little more in future posts. Here are 20 certification points!

  15. The difference between the Whole Brain lesson plan and a traditional lesson plan is the level of engagement that is required of the students. In the Whole Brain lesson plan students are given ample opportunities to be physically and mentally engaged in learning. Students are not only encouraged to work together but are encouraged to use critical thinking skills. The traditional lesson plan often requires the use of “I do,” “we do,” and “you do,” with the student learning skills independently rather than with the class. Traditional lesson plans almost always used a worksheet that complemented the lesson instead of having students create illustrations to show what they have learned or demonstrate learning through physical activity.
    Irish Brown

    1. Irish,
      You are right! In WBT the level of engagement is off the charts! Here are 25 certification points!

  16. Chapter 31: Bonus Chapter: The WBT Five Step Lesson Template

    Following the models in this chapter, write your own Five Step Lesson Plan.

    1. (Question) What is a synonym?

    2. (Answer) A synonym is a word that has a meaning similar or like another word. For example, cool and cold are synonyms.

    3. (Expand the examples) Some other examples of synonyms include above/over, auto/car, large/big, small/tiny stop/cease, exit/leave, rest/relax, garbage/trash
    woman/lady infant/baby shut/close own/possess false/untrue ill/sick hard/difficult, and shout/yell.
    Mirrors with words… synonyms are words that mean about the same thing.
    Teach/Okay children teach what a synonym is… Mirrors off.

    Now I want you to turn and talk to your partner creating as many synonym pairs as possible. You may write your synonyms on your whiteboards.

    Give the students time to create and write synonym pairs.

    Select a synonym pair from various students’ white board and have the students teach the synonyms to the class using the compare and connect gesture.

    4. (Test) I will have premade synonym pairs, and I will use red and green cards to test the student understandings.

    5. (Critical Thinking) At this point, I will give examples and nonexamples of synonyms and ask the children to explain how and why the words relate in meaning, or explain how and why the words do not relate in meaning. This is another great way to add compare/contrast and connect. My word selections will be purposeful and require the students to work with partners and to determine how the words are related. This is a way to include prefixes and suffixes as well as Latin and Greek roots.

    The final step will be to use chart paper and let teams create synonym word lists to post as anchor charts.

    1. Dian,
      hmmmm it looks like you posted this on the wrong page. I scored this post on the previous chapter. Revisit this one and I'll check back with you.

  17. Chapter 32: Bonus Chapter: The 11 Day Writing Lesson Plan

    In a traditional classroom, writing is taught in various different ways. As a newer teacher, I can honestly say that I have struggled with teaching writing over the last few years. I couldn’t understand why my students couldn’t just write! I teach 4th grade in the state of Florida, which means a huge chunk of my year is dedicated to teaching my students writing so that they can pass the writing FCAT. Until this year, I’ve not had a step by step way of teaching writing until this year. This year, I took various steps and approaches to expanding my students’ writing skills as the year went on. I also saw much success with this. If I were to begin using a WBT writing lesson plan next year, I think I would have similar success. If we start very small, and build upon the skills as we go, I think my students will truly understand what writing is and how to put it together, no matter what their given prompt would be.
    My students come to me barely able to write a sentence, so using the WBT writing lesson I could easily start right there. We can build on our foundation and continue until my students have the confidence and ability to write a successful paper.

    Kasey Wicker

    1. Kasey,
      Beginning with Oral Writing, the Genius Ladder, Einstein's Triangle, and Brainies will rock your world! You will see a major difference in your students next year! Here are 25 certification points!

  18. Chapter 32-Anne Corrigan

    The first big difference between traditional classrooms and WBT is how concisely sequential the 11 Day Writing Lesson Plan is. Most traditional classrooms teach writing in a sequential manner but not in such small steps. The students make the jump from simple sentences to writing paragraphs quickly without checking for 90% mastery. Most of the time the teacher moves on to the next lesson whether the students are ready or not. The use of sentence and paragraph frames break down the lessons even more.
    Another big difference between traditional classrooms and WBT classrooms is the level of engagement the students have. Most classes just explain what a sentence is but WBT’s 5 step lesson allows for examples as well as non examples and a quick fun check for mastery by using QT or Yes/NoWay. Throughout the WBT lesson there is ample opportunity for the students to teach each other as oppose to traditional classes where the teacher is doing most of the talking and teaching.
    Finally the most important difference between WBT and traditional classrooms is the ability to teach critical thinking to all students, not just the higher performing ones. WBT uses fun and engaging methods to help the students think and write critically and deeper.

    1. Anne,
      Thinking deeper is really our goal isn't it! Nice job! Here are 25 certification points!

  19. Brandi Young Ch. 32 Writing Lesson
    When I first started teaching I might have used worksheets and I might have shown a couple of examples. As a class we would have done a couple of sentences together and then the students would be able to practice on their own. A formal assessment would be given after a day or so of practice. There might be an activity here of there.
    Wow, how boring. I was bored and I know the students had to be bored too.
    That’s one of the best things about WBT! In a WBT lesson the students will clearly know what they are striving to learn. The majority of the students participate, they are actively engaged! Students that participate have better recall and retain knowledge better than those not participating. In WBT, the lessons activate the student’s brains. Another great opportunity that the students have when teachers use WBT is that they are able to be creative. My students seem to enjoy their work so much more when they are able to tell something about themselves or add a little something extra. They can write their own story or their own sentences. They are able to share their experiences and ask for help and opinions if they have questions or concerns. Go, go critical thinkers!
    When it is time for an assessment, I prefer to keep it super simple. Therefore, I appreciate the QT. It allows me to quickly identify the students that are struggling with the concept. I can then pull those students in a small group setting to review with them with some re-teach activities. I can also use this method as a green light, to go on to the next lesson or a red light, to back track or re-teach in whole group. It’s a win-win for us all.
    Brandi Young

    1. Brandi,
      Yes! It is a win-win for everyone! You had one small error "activate the student’s brains" (students'). Here are 20 certification points!

  20. Ch. 32: The 11 Day Writing Lesson Plans

    Both the traditional and WBT classroom would start the same way. An essential questions would be asked and then…

    A traditional classroom would have the teacher at the front of the classroom, lecture style, going over the hamburger writing method. The teacher would start out by saying “you need an opening statement, three supporting paragraphs and conclusion.” All of which are true, but a WBT classroom would slowly and simply, moving to more complex lessons throughout the days and teaching the writing concept in small chunks. This will allow the students’ time to teach each other and giving them the opportunity to make up gestures for each step. The teacher would be circulating around the room listening and checking to understanding. She would then use a yes/no test and if all is going well move on to a QT.

    1. Karen,
      It really does make a difference when the lesson is student based rather than teacher based doesn't it? Oops, you had a couple of tiny editing errors " An essential questions would...", and "allow the students’ time" (students). Here are 10 certification points.

  21. In a traditional classroom the objective would be stated at the beginning of the lesson. Then the teacher would provide the class with a definition for a sentence. In a WBT classroom the teacher would ask, "What is a sentence?" The teacher would then answer the question and provide students with a gesture. In the WBT classroom students would learn about the Midnight Phone Call Test. This provides students with a "hook" upon which they can hang their memory of what a sentence is. This memory "hook" is often missing in the traditional classroom.

    In both a traditional and a WBT classroom the teacher might provide the students with examples and non-examples of sentences, but the methods of delivery would vary greatly. In a traditional classroom it would be done through lecture, with individual students being called on periodically to answer questions. In a WBT classroom all of the students would be engaged through the use of "Teach Okay". Students would be working with their partners to decide which examples were sentences, and they would be using the "Because Clapper" to explain their thinking.

    Next, in the traditional classroom students would usually be asked to complete some kind of worksheet to assess their knowledge. In a WBT classroom the students would participate in a lively round of "Yes, No Way", followed by a little "QT".

    Most likely in a traditional room the lesson would end with the students' completion of the assigned worksheet. However, in a WBT classroom no lesson is complete without the critical thinking piece. Students may be asked to write their own sentences or to use sockless hand puppets to explain what a sentence is.

    The bottom line is that lessons in a WBT room are always fun and engaging, while lessons in a more traditional room are often boring and much less engaging.

    1. Joyce,
      This is a great comparison! When looking at the two differing options side by side, it is very easy to see why WBT works so well! Here are 25 certification points!

  22. The difference between a Whole Brain Teaching lesson and a traditional lesson is fun, repetition, and immediate feedback. I will be discussing the lesson on sentences to provide examples.

    School can be fun in a traditional format. However, Whole Brain Teaching is filled with fun activities. In a traditional lesson on sentences I could see the teacher giving an example of a sentence, having a short discussion about what makes up the sentence and then providing the students with a page to write or identify sentences. With Whole Brain teaching students get the opportunity to talk with a friend during each step of a lesson. They get to talk? Yes! All students love talking to their friends! During Whole Brain Teaching lessons students talk and work with a partner often! They get to use motions, make their own sentences, and then talk with a partner again to discuss types of sentences and non-sentences.

    Traditional teaching also provides some repetition but not the amount of repetition that Whole Brain Teaching provides. During Whole Brain Teaching lessons, students are only listening to short teacher talking periods and then they get to repeat what they heard to their partner. Not only do they repeat what the teacher said they get to use motions to help them remember. These motions will be reused throughout the rest of the year as the teacher encourages students to review the Power Pix board. Students also get to create examples and non-examples with their partners. Then they get to hear examples through the QT! They finally get to make their own examples through the Critical Thinking section of the lesson. The repetition in Whole Brain Teaching lessons helps students to remember key information.

    In a traditional format I think the teacher would write a list of sentences or sentence fragments on the board. He or she would ask the students to circle the correct sentences or identify it with little or no discussion. This type of performance only gives the teacher information on the thinking of one student and only a few students will actually participate in the discussion or activity. With the Whole Brain Teaching technique the students are interacting and speaking multiple times throughout the lesson. The teacher can walk around and listen to students to make sure they know and understand the concept. The teacher also gets a chance to hear students make examples and non-examples. Teachers further evaluate understanding during the QT part of the lesson and during the Critical Thinking section. Unlike the traditional format, Whole Brain Teaching gives teachers multiple opportunities to evaluate student comprehension and understanding.

    Whole Brain Teaching provides a highly entertaining and repetitive classroom environment and lesson format. Since students are talking to friends frequently during a Whole Brain Teaching lesson, teachers can regularly evaluate student comprehension. Whole Brain Teaching is the way to go!

    Amber Hartzler

    1. Amber,
      You made some strong comparisons that really highlight how effective WBT is in reaching a variety of learning styles! Here are 25 certification points!

  23. Traditional sentence writing is usually done by explaining that a sentence is, “a group of words that makes sense”. “Every sentence begins with a capital letter, makes sense, and ends with a mark”. A worksheet is then given for students to “practice.” If they do not master the worksheet, then another worksheet is then giving for even more practice. BORING!

    Using the WBT method, teachers would begin with the question, “what is a sentence?’. Then, they will proceed with an answer with gestures. At that point, the students will teach each other. Using the Midnight Phone Call Test, students will see why it is important for a sentence to have a complete thought. The teacher will proceed by giving examples of sentences and non-sentences. Oral writing will require students to speak in complete sentences. All of these strategies will help improve their understanding of what a sentence is.

    Next, a quick QT will provide the teacher with feedback of the student’s comprehension. Depending on this data, the teacher will know if she needs to proceed to critical thinking or to re-teach the concept.
    Critical thinking is the biggest difference that I see between Whole Brain Teaching and traditional sentence writing. Using Oral Writing, writing on paper, critical thinking activities, teach-ok, Brain Toys, students are given a variety of critical thinking activities to choose from. If all of the Whole Brain teaching methods are utilized, then students will have more fun applying their learning. FUNTRICITY!

    Kim Kirkpatrick

    1. Kim,
      Yes! Adding critical thinking will help them really understand what a sentence is. Too often, what they "think" makes sense, really doesn't. The WBT method helps them break it down and build a solid understanding. Here are 25 certification points!

  24. I like how the writing lessons spiral, building upon the previous lessons in a constructionist manner. The traditional English textbook usually does not do this. Also, the lessons are very engaging. It can be very difficult to keep students focused on the concept at hand in Language Arts class.

    The compound sentence lesson begins with a review of sentences, adjectives, conjunctions, and parts of an essay. Prior knowledge is activated, providing the foundation for new learning. In an “old” lesson, little or no review would happen.

    Next, several examples are given and students practice making compound sentences. In the traditional English book, students might practice by identifying a few examples, but not construct them. The gesture engages the motor cortex (never done in a straight textbook lesson). This can be done with a partner, making it more engaging and fun.

    In an “old” lesson, the students would now be given an assignment where they identify compound sentences and maybe edit them. The teacher wouldn’t know if the students understood the concept until the assignment was corrected. In this model, the teacher has two informal assessments to gauge understanding. If it appears that students are not mastering the concept, reteaching happens right way.

    Now students are ready to write original sentences. This is a higher order of thinking then identifying or copying sentences from a book. Plus, students are practicing handwriting and composition skills at the same time. The assignment can be differentiated to meet the needs of students.

    Finally, students are sharing their sentences and discussing why they are compound sentences. They are learning from each other and developing further critical thinking skills by proving their sentences are compound.

    The lesson includes the big learning theories that are the foundation of WBT: Social Learning Theory, Community of Practice, Direct Instruction, and Cooperative Learning. The traditional lesson is mostly direct instruction. The whole brain is engaged in WBT, leading to quicker and long lasting mastery.

    Sheryl Larson

    1. Sheryl,
      The writing lessons are so much more engaging then traditional lesson. Great job at breaking these down! Here are your 25 certification points.

  25. There are a number of differences between a writing lesson plan in a WBT classroom and a traditional classroom. The differences involve engagement, feedback and fun.

    Engagement is the most obvious difference in one of the WBT writing lessons. In a traditional lesson, the teacher would do most of the thinking and talking. In both types of lessons. In the traditional lesson, some students would be engaged as they answered the teacher, but in WBT, all students would be engaged as they taught each other.

    The feedback provided to the teacher about student learning in one of these lessons is typically missing from a traditional lesson. To be fair, the teacher would seek feedback from students in a good traditional lesson. In a WBT lesson, however, the teacher could gain feedback from every student with the QT. Thumbs are either up or down, giving the teacher an instant sense of who still needs more support.

    Finally, the Yes/No Way test adds another component missing from the traditional lesson: fun. Using gestures and enthusiastic voices not only facilitates learning among the class, but the specific use of Yes/No way has a sense of humor to it, especially when kids say “No Way!” This activates the limbic system, brining another region of the brain on board to maximize learning.

    Signed Jim Hobley, Wholebrainer

    1. Jim,
      You are right, many traditional lessons run very short on the element of fun. The second paragraph has a small error (fragment) - oops! Here are 20 certification points!

  26. Rats! I was doing so well proofreading. I guess I'll do some work on rule 4 and double check. :)

  27. The differences between a non-WBT and WBT classroom are stark. Three differences that are very apparent include the use of movement and gestures, collaboration, and formative assessment strategies. OH WAIT…I can’t forget engagement and FUN!

    Usually, in a non-WBT, there is a LOT of lecturing and very little movement. Students are often required to sit and listen. They are not engaged and active participants in the learning process. Instruction is monotonous and dull and doesn’t motivate students to participate. With a WBT classroom, movement is integrated with gestures such as shaking one finger to represent a topic sentence (page 232).
    Each developing idea is taught and reinforced with collaborative instruction using the teach/ok strategy in WBT. Although, “think, pair, share” may be used in a non-WBT classroom, its frequency pales in comparison to the frequency of teach/ok in a WBT classroom. Students are able to share their thinking and reinforce concepts with repetition. Interestingly, I recently had a discussion with my special education collaborative teaching partner about how effective WBT is with students with disabilities *BECAUSE* of the repetition of direct instruction. Many times, students with disabilities need to be exposed to a new topic or word upwards of 20-40 times before they internalize the concept of word.

    The teacher in a non-WBT classroom may formatively assess through question and answer discussions with students; however, this is typically done one-on-one and only assesses a few students. Using the five-step lesson plan format, students are formatively assessed many times throughout the lesson. The teacher can quickly assess as he/she is walking around during a teach/ok. Additionally, step 4 of the lesson plan format integrates two tests (yes/no way and QT). Most importantly, using the Whole Brain method, the teacher is able to assess ALL students and not merely the ones that are participating or are called on.

    1. Shila,
      Yes! When using WBT, both the teacher and the students are actively involved all day long! Assessment is continual and the room is filled with Funtricity! Here are 25 certification points and a 5 point bonus!

  28. In a non-WBT classroom, this type of lesson will be much different. The first way it will be different is that students will not be engaged. The reason WBT teaching is so effective is because students are using both their minds and bodies to learn something. In a non-WBT classroom, the students would be sitting at their desks, listening to a lecture, bored out of the minds. Using the big seven during a lesson will not only allow more learning to happen, but it will also keep students from misbehaving and from not paying attention. When students are using both their minds and bodies, they are more likely to retain information. Teach-Okay and Switch will make it easy to assess comprehension because you can have Teach-Okay partners ask Yes-No Way questions to one another and can listen in on the conversations your students are having about the lesson.

    Using the five step WBT lesson template will make for more involvement from the students, and they will be less squirmy. The fact that this particular lesson plan in the story is writing, makes me so excited. This is a lesson that I can easily implement in my room. I want to work on writing as often as I can in my language arts classroom. This lesson is so detailed and there is little time for students to get off task and not listen. When you involve kids in the learning process, they will remember more!

    I enjoyed reading about the small groups during the day one lesson plan. I teach inclusion and have so many different levels of students in my classroom. I have to be able to accommodate their every need so that they get the best education. I would have one high group, one middle group, and two low groups.

    Thank you for the opportunity to post throughout the past few months. I have enjoyed it very much!

    1. Hannah,
      Nice assessment! WBT keeps them on their toes, and also adds that element of fun that they long for! You had a minor error "bored out of the minds" (their). Here are 20 certification points!

  29. As I read these lessons, I couldn’t help but reflect upon writing lessons that I have taught in a traditional (non-WBT) classroom. Typically, I introduce the topic for that day’s lesson and read the Essential Questions that are posted on my board. These are unit-based questions and provided to us by the district. I use the Promethean board to teach the subject and use various examples. Most days, I will accompany my lesson with a read aloud and have my students complete independent practice. Although I try to make my lessons as fun and engaging as possible, I can’t wait to integrate WBT this year. I can see some major differences in the lessons in the book and a typical lesson in my classroom, before fully implementing WBT. The lessons are introduced with a question and directly answered. This question is very specific to today’s content, whereas our Essential Questions are broad and cover the entire unit. As mandated by my district, I will still use and post EQs, however I want to include the specific question at the beginning. The lessons in the book include gestures throughout. Students are held accountable for these gestures as they teach their peers. For assessment, I will give an exit slip, use Promethean clickers, or give a quiz. With WBT lessons, I can use “Yes/No Way” and “Quick Test” to quickly assess my students. A very important section of the lessons is step 5, the Critical Thinking portion. So often, this is the step that isn’t present in traditional classrooms. The lesson ends at the assessment and the teacher moves on to the next subject or topic. There are a variety of ways to use critical thinking activities in the classroom. I definitely want to make sure that that area of my lesson does not disappear.

    -Courtney Wood

    1. Courtney,
      The effectiveness of your lessons will amaze you this year as you use the WBT techniques! There are so many options (involving writing) that you can use in Step 5 that will be effective assessment opportunities! Here are 25 certification points!

  30. In a traditional classroom, the teacher would begin the lesson telling the student what a sentence is, or may just ask the students what they thought it was. If the second approach was used, both correct and incorrect answers would be given. If the first approach was used, the teacher may have the students repeat what a sentence was once all together. Then on to the worksheets!
    In a WBT classroom, the teacher begins by telling them correctly what a sentence is. The teacher will use gestures with the definition. The students will mirror both the definition and gestures. Students will then share with a partner the definition. Now the students are taking some ownership in their learning and using more of their brains to learn.
    To further the lesson in WBT, the teacher gives many examples of complete and incomplete sentences. The teacher asks questions about a story read and has the students practice responding in complete sentences.
    In WBT the teacher has the yes/no way test and QT quick test to assess student understanding. It is only then that students begin to write sentences.
    In the WBT classroom, students are given much more practice outside of worksheet type work, and have a better foundation to actually understand and write a sentence.

    1. Susan,
      Nice comparison! It is easy to see vast differences between the two methods. Students respond well to the high energy learning in WBT! Here are 25 certification points!


  31. WBT is a great way to facilitate your lessons in a new way. I really like the quote by Unknown that encompasses Whole Brain teaching

    I Facilitate Thinking
    I Engage Minds
    I listen to questions
    I encourage risk
    I support struggle
    I cultivate dreams
    I learn everyday
    I teach

    Where as traditional education encompass that Rewards and punishment are the lowest form of education. Zhuangzi

    In a traditional classroom there is a clearly stated objective but it does not allow the student to be engaged in the thinking. In a WBT classroom a question is immediately imposed to allow feedback and interest. Gesters are taught with voice, body and sight intertwined. The Multiple Intelligences are woven throughout the lesson to engage learners particular learning styles and help them appreciate others intelligences as well.
    A traditional classroom would allow for answering questions but they would not necessarily be part of the lesson till the end. In a WBT classroom active engagement and evaluation is given throughout the lesson with the instructor having active questioning throughout with thumbs up and thumbs down approach and students engaged and leading the lesson as they understand the concept. Also students who normally are not leaders would be put in a safe and welcoming situation where they feel comfortable and engaged giving answers to the questions.
    In a regular classroom assessment is given through primarily paper assessment so the instructor is not given immediate feedback on how the student is doing in the lesson. In a WBT classroom the student gives frequent feedback on how he/she is doing with oral responses, thumbs up and thumbs down responses and discussion on task with their partner and also forms of kinesthetic engagement with hands, eyes, bodies and voice.

    Last in a regular classroom many subjects are taught in isolation. In a WBT classroom the subjects are taught integrated with one another using problem solving and orally writing in complete sentences. Grammar and correct punctuation are encouraged in the lesson.

    1. Chris,
      Don't you love that in a WBT classroom teachers have so many tool in their back pockets? There were a few small errors "where as" (whereas), "gesters" (gestures), "others intelligences" (others'), "Last" (Last, ). Here are 20 certification points!

  32. Lesson Plan: Sentences

    Traditional Classroom: In a traditional classroom, the instruction of a new skill is most commonly teacher-led. The students are most likely sitting at their desk as the teacher leads the lesson from the front of the classroom. If the teacher were presenting a lesson on identifying and writing complete sentences, it might follow a lesson plan format like the following:

    1. Anticipatory Set: A short motivating activity is presented to focus the group’s attention on the topic. During this time, questions might be asked to prompt the students to recall prior knowledge as it relates to what a complete sentence is. Often times, the teacher shares a jingle or rhyme to “hook” the students.
    2. Lesson Objective: The teacher shares the purpose for teaching this lesson with the class. The students are informed on what they will be learning, as well as, how they will demonstrate that they have learned how to identify and write a complete sentence.
    3. Instructional Method: The teacher might share a video from YouTube or a Brainpop Jr. video to begin the lesson on what a complete sentence is. After the video, the teacher will model examples of complete and incomplete sentences. The students will then move into a partner activity to give them practice with task cards on identifying complete sentences.
    4. Check for Understanding: The class will reconvene as a whole group, and the teacher will ask multi-leveled questions which have been designed by using Bloom’s Taxonomy. During this time, the teacher will determine if the students have comprehended the skill. If necessary, the teacher will adjust the lesson and reteach based on student responses.
    5. Guided Practice: Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate if they grasp the difference between complete and incomplete sentences. The teacher and class will work some problems together using a variety of “hear, see, do” examples. The teacher will randomly call on some students to share and justify their discovery. (The problem with this method is that the students who are not called on to work examples are not actively engaged; therefore, the teacher is unaware if the class as a whole has grasped the skill.) The teacher will determine at this time if the students are ready to proceed with an independent activity, or if it is necessary for additional guided practice.
    6. Independent Practice: The students will complete a worksheet independently to prove whether they can identify and write a complete sentence.
    7. Assessment: After collecting the worksheets, the teacher will evaluate each student's work; however, feedback will not be provided to the students until the teacher has had a chance to grade their work. Often times, this could be a couple of days.
    8. Homework: The teacher will assign homework for the students to practice the skill.

    (This post is having to be made in two due to the number of characters allowed! The rest of it will continue in another post!)

  33. WBT Classroom: As the lesson begins, the students may either be sitting at their desk or on the class rug; however, all students are actively involved from the start of the lesson as the teacher energetically gets their attention with a “Class, Yes”. At this time, the teacher confirms that 100% of the students are fully engaged and prepared for the lesson.

    First, the teacher uses the WBT technique, Mirror Words, to pose the grammar QUESTION for the day …”What is a sentence?” (Of course, the teacher is emphasizing big gestures and Brainies for the capital letter and question mark.) Next, the teacher provides the correct ANSWER continuing to use big gestures and Brainies. Then, the teacher EXPANDS on the skill by explaining the Midnight Phone Call Test. The students are hooked! Using the Because Clapper, the students explain why each example either is or is not a complete sentence. Then, the students participate in a QUICK TEST as the teacher checks for understanding in a Yes/No Way method. (Unlike the traditional method, the teacher does not have to collect and grade anything before knowing if the students have grasped the skill.) The teacher has immediate feedback to determine if it is necessary to reteach. Finally, the teacher transitions into the last component of the lesson, CRITICAL THINKING. At this time, the teacher allows the students to orally interact with their Teach/Okay partner by using a Brain Toy. Once the lesson has concluded, the teacher will post on the Power Pix Wall the explanation of a complete sentence. The students will then join their differentiated ability group to apply their knowledge with written expression.

    The differences in lesson planning between Whole Brain Teaching and the traditional method are worlds apart! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to clearly see that Whole Brain Teaching lesson planning is more exciting, engaging, and interactive for all students regardless of their ability level. It saddens me when I think about some of my colleagues that are so stuck in a rut/routine and are reluctant to make the switch to WBT. In my opinion, there are some great “old school” TRADITIONS that should never be replaced in the classroom…things such as kindness, etiquette, manners, and morals; however, the method in how we educate our future leaders of tomorrow is one in need of revamping.

    Kelly Avery

    1. Kelly,
      Excellent comparison! Although both methods have some great strategies, the WBT method is far more engaging and full of FunTrIciTY, keeping our students on their toes! Here are 25 certification points and a 5 point bonus!


  34. The biggest difference between a Whole Brain and a tradition writing lesson plan is the amount of engagement required from students. In Whole Brain plans, students are given many opportunities to be mentally and physically engaged in the full learning process. Students discuss with others, work together to understand concepts, and scaffold each other in higher thinking and critical thinking skills. Traditional lesson plans usually use the “I do, we do, you do” method; students work independently of others and use a worksheet that does not stretch thinking into higher forms.

    Geni Ainge

    1. Geni,
      WBT does allow for so much more engagement during lessons! I'd love to hear more about how you'd use it in your lessons (more detail in post)! Here are 20 certification points!