Please join fellow WBT educators in a lively discussion of Chris Biffle's latest book, "Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids"!
Earn WBT Certification points in the Official WBT Book Club! Points will be awarded to Whole Brainers who regularly post thoughtful, energetic posts, 700 points possible during the summer session!

Book Club Guidelines
1. Become a member of this site. Scroll down on the right and click "Join this site". Only members are able to post.
2. Enter your email address in the box on the right (just below the Members section). This will allow you to receive messages from Coach B regarding new discussion topics and important info.
3. Click on the Chapter links on the right to see questions related to each chapter of the book and post a comment with a thoughtful reply. Try not to exceed 250 words.
4. Feel free to ask questions and answer others' questions using the "Questions Page" on the right. Don't hold back! But dress appropriately; the weather in Teacher Heaven is electrified with funtricity so it can sizzle.
5. Please sign all of your posts with your real first and last name. 
6. Big Important Note! Please use college level literacy in your assignments. Avoid spelling errors, typos, awkward sentences, incomplete answers. Sorry, no rewrites!


Whole Brain Teaching Certification Points (CP) will generally be awarded as follows:
Perfect, fully developed, assignment: 25 CP
1 error: 20 CP
2 errors: 10 CP
3 or more errors, 0 CP.
An outstanding, insightful assignment will earn (gasp!) a 5 POINT BONUS!
Awarding of points may vary from the above, at the discretion of WBT staff members.



Chapters 1&2: Intro and Origin

Coach B says... "You've just been made principal of a charter school and you're about to address your staff for the first time. Select three points from chapters 1 and 2 that you are going to talk about describing key aspects of Whole Brain Teaching. Include one story about your teaching experience."

Pages 1-8
25 Certification Points possible.

Reminder: Please sign your post with your real first and last name. 

205 comments:

  1. As we start the new school year, I’m sure your minds are on students. Some of you have seen class lists and are either celebrating or biting fingernails over familiar names. Perhaps the last thing on your mind is fun.
    What if I told you it was possible to engage 100% of your students 100% of the time? What if I told you this technique will work regardless of age, behavior, or home situation?
    The answer is Whole Brain Teaching, and the secret is “orderly fun.” This method, created by Chris Biffle, engages the whole brain of each student. When a teacher is using these methods, they enable students to become emotionally, physically, and mentally involved with each lesson, leaving no room for challenging behavior! Lessons are fast-paced and short. As Mr. Biffle points out, “the longer we talk, the more students we lose.”
    Whole Brain Teaching allows students (and teachers!) to laugh while learning, known as “orderly fun.” Every aspect of the classroom, from management techniques to Common Core curriculum, is packed with student engagement. As a third year teacher, I began implementing Whole Brain techniques. The transformation was incredible! Student scores skyrocketed, but what surprised me most was how much I looked forward to class. I had always enjoyed my job, but this was different. Everything was entertaining! Students were learning and I was able to enjoy them free from frustration.
    As we begin this school year, I hope you will join us in implementing these techniques. Book studies and webcasts will be provided for your use. Join me as we enjoy our students and enhance learning!
    Madeline Mahan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madeline,
      You chose one of the most important points in WBT, "the longer we talk, the more students we lose"! Here are 25 certification points. Save these in a word document to submit later. Welcome to the book club!

      Delete
  2. Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    Good Morning Staff,

    Today we will embark on a journey together through Whole Brain Teaching. As we begin our journey, it is important to recognize we are not in this alone. We all share similar challenges and soon we will experience similar successes. No matter what grade you are starting your journey in, the WBT learning system has been tested for over a decade and proven to be effective in kindergarten all the way through the 14th grade. This is remarkable flexibility!

    In Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, Chris Biffle writes, “There are no shortcuts to being an excellent teacher. The truth is we have most likely or will likely have experiences when we know we didn’t take any shortcuts. We know we worked hard preparing and implementing a lesson. However, at the end of class we knew our best intentions were not enough. They were not enough to eliminate distractions from challenging kids. They were not enough to engage 100% of our students. This isn’t because we didn’t try but simply the result of our lessons not being brain friendly. We had left room for students to challenge us. We had left room for students to zone in and out.

    After 15 years of teaching, I had built a strong repertoire of strategies and tricks to teach and manage most of my students. I loved teaching. Then one year my 7th grade students challenged me every day. Every day I had to try something else. Worse, what worked one day did not work on another. It was the most exhausting year of my career. At the end of each day I felt defeated. This class had exceptional challenges in their home lives and with their academic skills. I knew it was time to change my approach. I knew that I needed an approach for my future classes that would nourish the student’s need to be a part of the classroom community, encourage happiness and motivate them to capitalize on the their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses. This needed to happen on day 1. I knew I wanted to enjoy teaching again and this joy would translate into student success. WBT was the answer. WBT is the answer.

    Biffle writes “We found our students were completely engaged in class when they are emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving.” Your WB lessons will generate and include this type of learning. Your students and you will be focused because your brains will by busy learning and working. The good news is that you will find this new focus causes time to fly by.

    So, in closing, I want you to remember the famous expression; time flies when you’re having a good time! WBT is a good time.

    Thank you and enjoy.
    Rebecca Murphy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca,
      Fantastic job! Your passion shows, and you are right, WBT will motivate those students! Here are 25 certification points. Save these in a word document to submit later. Welcome to the book club!

      Delete
  3. Welcome back!

    As a teacher of fifteen years, I have sat through many welcome back to school speeches. During these speeches I have day dreamed, doodled, fidgeted, used the bathroom, and had silly behavior during many hour long lectures. I always knew I was active as a child, but never realized how short my attention span was until I became an adult. Three years ago, I discovered a new way of teaching that renewed my enthusiasm and made me thoroughly enjoy my job as a teacher. It also made the lectures I sat through at the beginning of the school year and during staff meetings even more dreadful!

    This method of teaching is called Whole Brain Teaching and was created by Chris Biffle. I found teaching lessons that allowed my kids and I to physically move and learn from one another transformed my classroom. My students were no longer sitting and staring. They were teaching and laughing. We incorporated gestures with our learning to keep our brains active. The first law of Whole Brain Teaching is “the longer we talk, the more students we lose.” When implementing WBT in my classroom I began to teach small chunks of information that they in turn taught each other. We cheered each other on and supported each other when we made mistakes.

    My hope is that our school can be one where students and teachers are all completely engaged in our learning and teaching by “seeing, hearing and physically moving.” My hope is that we can support each other in our learning and teaching like my classes did these past three years. My hope is that we become a school that teaches in a way that is “brain friendly.” I want you to enjoy each day at our school and I believe Whole Brain Teaching is an amazing approach to teaching and an amazing way to love what you do!

    Suzanne St. Laurent

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suzanne,
      Nice job! WBT really can renew enthusiasm and help you enjoy your job! Here are 25 certification points. Save them in a document to submit later. Welcome to the book club!

      Delete
  4. Debby Parker
    Whole Brain Training
    Assignment 1

    I would like to welcome everyone to our new school year. I am so very excited to be your new principal and I look forward to working with each and every one of you. We will be learning and implementing Whole Brain Training in our school this year. I know from my experience as a classroom teacher that it can be very challenging to reach some of the students in your classroom. We all know that we cannot teach students that won’t listen. Whole Brain Training will help us reach even the most challenging of students. Whole Brain teaching allows you to create a classroom environment that your students will want to be a part of. It engages the student’s whole brain so there is mental area left to be off task or disruptive. Whole Brain Teaching suggests that classroom teachers try to make their most challenging students a big part of the classroom environment. Give them leadership roles and involve them as much as possible to help keep them on task. Whole Brain teaching does this for all of our students. I am so excited about implementing this system for our students and I know it will be a wonderful experience for you as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Debby,
    WBT does make teaching a wonderful experience! Watch out for those minor editing errors "It engages the student’s whole brain so there is mental area left to be off task or disruptive" (no area left). You did not address the complete prompt this time (3 points from the book and a story from your teaching experience). Here are 10 certification points for your effort. Welcome to the book club!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Welcome back to the beginning of a new school year! We have a good deal of “news” to share: new principal, new faculty members, a new crop of students, and a not-so-new teaching system we will be embarking on together this year, Whole Brain Teaching.
    As the 2002 Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Rafe Esquith, so succinctly stated, “There are no shortcuts to excellence.” My own journey in education has taken me over twenty years to be here with you today. My first job in education was working at the Child Care Center at Rowan University, where I learned a good deal from working with toddlers and preschoolers.
    Whole Brain Teaching tells us, “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” There was no “lecture” with preschoolers—there was circle time, there were learning centers, there was free play. Did they learn? Yes, because they were having fun and they were engaged: their little brains were filled with motion and songs, finger plays, rhyme, and repetition. When we think about it, isn’t that what all of our students want—to have fun?
    As you will soon learn, beginning with our introductory seminar this afternoon, “If a student’s brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental room left for challenging behavior.” With Whole Brain Teaching, when practiced daily, you will find your students completely engaged in class, and emotionally invested in lessons that have them seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving. Will our hallways be filled with noise? Yes. But more important, they will be permeated with the echoes of students learning.

    Jacqueline Nessuno

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jacqueline,
    Nice WBT intro to your new staff. I like your comment about the echoes of students learning. Add in WBT and you've got Funtricity! Here are 25 points for you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Welcome back everyone, I am so happy to meet you all this year. I am sure you are all thinking about how you are going to make this year the best yet. We are all looking forward to using new lessons and making sure every one of our students has a successful and productive learning experience this year. I am going to share with you a way that you can make this happen!

    This remarkable system is called Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. There are several things that great teachers do that just do not work. First, lecture is an extremely ineffective method of teaching that causes students to lose interest and not attend to lessons. Face it, lectures are boring! Another problem is discussions. Although you might design a fantastic discussion topic and have 5-6 students deeply engaging in the lesson, developing truly meaningful ideas, what about the other 20 students? If only 20% of your students are engaging in the discussion, this lesson is a failure.

    The key to Whole Brain Teaching is engaging the entire brain in the learning process. If student’s entire brain is engaged, they do not have time to misbehave. This method also ensures that all the students in the class are engaged, thus ensuring all the students are benefiting from the instruction. When I was in school, I was often distracted with the myriad of other things that happen in a child/teenager’s life so I would write notes, talk to my peers, day dream or just stare into space, and I was one of the good students. You all know the things that the challenging students can do when they are not truly engaged in lessons. This new technique we will be using this year, Whole Brain Teaching, will overcome the obstacles you face in your classroom and allow you to become more effective teachers. I can’t wait to jump in! Let’s have a great year!

    Amanda Blum

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amanda,
      Well stated! You hit on two major areas, lecture and limited student engagement, that WBT addresses! I hope you're having a great WBT year! Here are 25 points for you!

      Delete
  10. Good Morning. It never fails that every year around this time I have the same feelings. Those feelings are that of nervousness, sleeplessness, anxiousness, but most importantly excitement! I am thrilled with the opportunity to work with every single one of you talented teachers this year. I have big expectations for this year but I know without a doubt that you will rise to meet them.
    I want you to picture the most difficult students you have encountered thus far in education. Is it a he? Is it a she? I am reminded of a particular child as I stand before you today. This child was the one that without fail my administrator would comment on every observation was off task. This was the students that without a doubt would be the child my administrator would approach during a walkthrough. I tried everything from carpet squares to sticker charts and never seemed to make gains.
    During my interim as an educator I read book after book looking for answers about how I could “fix” this kind of child. Then I realized the problem was not that child, the problem was my teaching. I learned quickly that “You can work really hard using the wrong techniques, and get nowhere” (p.4). Then I discovered whole brain teaching; one of the fastest growing educational reforms sweeping the nation. It is a way of teaching that will transform your student engagement. I challenge you to try it this year in your own classrooms. It will turn your followers into leaders and you into an even happier teacher because you will not have to find a solution any longer for those “difficult students”. Instead your “challenging kids [won’t] be challenging because their entire brains [will be] too busy learning.”(p.8)
    Will you join me this year in transforming your classroom and challenging every student’s entire brain?

    Candice Phipps

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Candice,
      Nice job! It is amazing when we realize that we need to change our approach to teaching rather than change the child isn't it? In the future, make sure you watch out for those pesky editing errors such as "This was the students that". Here are 20 certification points! Save these in a word document to submit later. Welcome to the book club!

      Delete
  11. January 12, 2014
    Good Morning Staff,

    As we begin a new school year I hope you are as excited as I am to meet the challenges of our students and provide the best possible education we can for them! This year we are introducing a new to us teaching technique called Whole Brain Teaching. Whole Brain Teaching was founded by Chris Biffle, and is a learning system that has been tested for over a decade and proven to be effective and successful in all grades from kindergarten to college. To ensure success for all of our students we will be incorporating elements from Whole Brain Teaching in all of our classrooms and will experience our success in providing an outstanding learning and educational experience for all of our students!

    One of the most important points Chris Biffle makes is that the longer we talk to our class, the more students we lose. Students tune out and are not engaged in the learning process. Whole Brain Teaching however keeps students involved and engaged in the learning process, regardless of instructional level. Because Whole Brain Teaching keeps students involved physically, mentally, and emotionally students do not tune out, it leaves no room for distractions or challenging behavior. This system makes learning fun for both teacher and students making everyone a winner!

    I have enjoyed over 10 years of teaching. However, year after year I found myself struggling to engage all of my students all of the time in lessons. Because of differing learning levels, personalities, and classroom dynamics each year I attempted to incorporate different strategies to reach all of my students. For me this took the fun out of teaching, it became a struggle to ensure I was reaching every student in my class. However, after integrating just a few of Chris Biffle’s Whole Brain Teaching techniques I could see a major increase in student involvement which led to better learning. Whole Brain Teaching made teaching for me more fun and learning for my students more fun!

    I hope you are as excited as am about this wonderful teaching system. I believe you will all see an increase in learning in all of your students, as well as elevating much stress on yourselves making teaching and learning fun again!

    Angela Marin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angela,
      Very nice staff presentation about WBT! Be careful editing future posts. 'I hope you are as excited as am about this wonderful teaching system.' Here are 20 points for you. Please save this post and awarded points in a word document.

      Delete
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  13. Good Morning!
    Being a math educator for the public school system for over 10 years, I overcame many struggles. By implementing Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) invented by Chris Biffle, I found myself in “teacher heaven.” When I stumbled across his YouTube videos, I was overwhelmed with excitement because now I have found the key to establishing a culture of learning, classroom management and procedures, delivery of instruction, engagement, assessment in instruction and flexibility and responsiveness to students’ needs. I was able to apply 3 key aspect of WBT.

    The first aspect of WBT I applied was The First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching “The longer you talk the more students you lose.” Another key aspect of WBT is the secret "If a child's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior. The last key aspect of WBT I applied was to make sure I practice the WBT strategies daily. By implementing the strategies daily, my students were finally learning algebra because I would teach concepts in 20-30 seconds increments while they mirrored my words. Then they had to teach it to their partner using big gestures. This made my lessons lively, engaging and easily to learn. So this year we will be learning how to use WBT in addition to our personal strategies. I look forward to a great year filled with learning and laughter

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Taylor,
      You chose 3 very important points to share with the staff! Watch out for those pesky editing errors "apply 3 key aspect of WBT" (aspects). Here are 20 certification points to save in a word document to submit later. Welcome to the book club- I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

      Delete
  14. Welcome teachers and staff!

    Do you remember the your first year of teaching and the week of preplanning? You were scared, anxious, and excited. You had your color chart hanging and a treasure box full of toys to give as rewards. Your classroom was neat and organized. When those sweet little faces greeted you on Monday you knew you had it all together. Then reality hit. The strategies you learned in college didn’t work for every student. You knew what you were supposed to be doing, but couldn’t manage your students well enough to get it all done. Well this year we are going to explore a new teaching reform that will make you feel like you are in the first week of preplanning all year!

    Raise your hand if you like yelling and punishing students? As Chris Biffle states, “No sane adult wants to punish kids; we punish because we don’t know what else to do.”

    Over the seven years that I have been a teacher, I have never had an entire class that I felt really “listened”. I have been the dreaded teacher that repeated, “This is important. Please listen. Sit down.” As if those comments were really going to work. One night when I went home I was so exhausted from trying different behavior programs that I stumbled upon a YouTube video of a teacher using Whole Brain Strategies. I was hooked. I kept watching these teachers, especially the ones with young children, manage and monitor their entire class. So, our first activity today is to watch a teacher using Whole Brain Teaching. (Watch video….teachers are in awe)

    Megan Gunter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Megan,
      I can tell you are excited about WBT! In the future, make sure you address the entire prompt ( 3 points from chapters 1 and 2 in addition to the story). Here are 20 certification points for you! Welcome to the book club! Save this in a word document to submit later.

      Delete
  15. Good morning and welcome back!

    I am very excited for the new school year! I have seen many of you looking over your class rosters. I have seen smiles as well as faces of concern. Whether we like to admit it or not we can't help but think of the horror stories we have heard from the teachers of our upcoming students. Well, this year you can leave all that behind. When you greet those little faces on our first day of school it will be different than any other year, you will have a special tool that you never had before. What is this tool you ask...Whole Brain Teaching! Whole brain teaching gives you the tools you need to create a fun, engaging atmosphere for all students but also meet the needs of your challenging students. Whole brain teaching engages multiple parts of the brain simultaneously which keep students actively participating in learning and leaves no time for disruptive, rebellious behavior.
    I have spent time reading the “Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids” book and implementing each piece as I learn. Each time I learn about one of the Whole Brain Teaching skills I think it is my favorite part…and then I learn a new one. I notices that each piece has a strength all its own but the combination of together has had a wonderful effect on my students behaviors, class environment, and overall engagement. Prior to using the Whole Brain Teaching strategies my class was split down in thirds. I had one third that was always doing the right thing, one third that was almost always goofing off/ disengaged, and one third that could go either way depending on the day and activity. Since using Whole Brain Teaching my class has shifted and the majority of them have rallied behind me and my leadership!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nichole,
      Your staff will definitely reap the rewards of your WBT experiences! Be careful editing future posts: " I notices that each piece..." "...effect on my students behaviors,..." "Whole brain teaching gives you the tools you need to create a fun, engaging atmosphere for all students but also meet the needs..." Unfortunately, I can award no points for your post.

      Delete
  16. As the head of a new charter school there would be several points I would discuss with staff at the start of the school year. The three main points would be challenges for students in difficult family situations, attention span, and funding. These three areas affect every school and every student so it is important for us to know how it affects the classroom.
    First of all, every student comes to school with a series of difficulties in their lives that prevent them from concentrating on learning. Some students face family problems like divorce, absent parents or abuse. Other students live surrounded by drugs, alcohol, and gang violence. They might be thinking more about what is going on at home than about what they are supposed to be learning. How can teachers help students forget, even if momentarily, about the problems outside of school? Teachers can engage students completely in every lesson so they do not have time to think about anything else.
    A second point is that you will find that students´ attention spans are short. Adults maintain attention for up to 20 minutes. Our classes last from between 45 minutes to an hour and a half. How can we maintain their attention? We can engage them in a novel classroom environment that requires them to use their whole brains.
    Finally, funding is a huge issue for most schools. Without many high-tech or even low-tech, basic materials, teachers are still expected to teach students content. Many teachers might ask how they can be expected to engage students with little or no resources. They can be engaged by using whole brain teaching techniques no matter what the content is or what the resources are.
    Adrienne Maxwell

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    Replies
    1. Adrienne,
      Nice, strong staff presentation to get the year going with WBT! Here are 25 points for you!

      Delete
  17. Good morning ladies and gentlemen! We are gathered here today to witness the beginning of a new year full of new chances, new children, and new opportunities. You may be thinking about your class roster, your room organization, or the long list of standards you are required to teach. Please give me a few moments of your time this morning because I am about to share with you the secret to a year filled with fun, laughter, and learning. What’s the trick? It is called Whole Brain Teaching.
    Whole Brain Teaching is a technique that will solve all of your classroom management problems, provide a fun learning environment, and engage all of your students. How is that possible you may ask? Well, as you may know. Kids love to play games. Whole Brain Teaching incorporates games and whole brain fun.
    Now, I know you may be feeling skeptical, thinking there is no way you can teach everything by using a game. It’s possible and true. I have used it myself with great success. Four years ago, I had quite a rambunctious class. There were students who were not able to sit, pay attention, or remember. It was chaos! Students were running around the room, calling out, turning in messy papers or not turning in papers at all. Then I discovered Whole Brain Teaching. It all started with the scoreboard. As soon as I told my students that we would be having a little class vs. teacher competition, they cheered and paid attention. In the years following I incorporated more Whole Brain Teaching techniques into my little bag of tricks including Class-Yes, Teach-Okay, and Power Pix!
    These techniques and more are in Chris Biffle’s Book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. In the book Chris Biffle writes, “the more we talk the more students we lose.” As I think about that statement I cannot help but agree. Students learn by doing. They learn by using all of their senses. When they are able to interact with and respond to information they learn it, remember it, and use it. Biffle also writes “students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving.” Now that is what a classroom should look like and that is Whole Brain Teaching.
    As you prepare your rooms for the students arriving in a few days, I challenge you to think about Whole Brain Teaching.

    Amber Hartzler

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    Replies
    1. Amber,
      Great presentation to your staff! Have a great WBT year!! Here's 25 points for your Certification Journey!

      Delete
  18. Good Morning Teachers and Staff!

    Each year, you sit through “Welcome Back” meetings, and probably drift off creating an internal monologue of things you need to do, places you have to go, and the burning question: when will this meeting be over? That is where both students and teachers share common ground. While teaching a lesson, have you ever scanned the room? What do you see? A handful paying attention, a few looking at you (but you know they are thinking about 30 other things other than what you are teaching!) a couple talking to each other? Maybe even someone with their head down? That will all end this year. This year we are introducing a teaching method to the school called Whole Brain Teaching.
    Whole Brain Teaching focuses on giving the student’s brain the activity it demands that the traditional classroom does not apply. Whole brain teaching integrates physical, verbal, and visual actions to engage the student’s whole brain. “If the student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” This is one of the big ideas in whole brain teaching.
    It is obvious what every student wants. They want to laugh, have fun, and play games. Why do you think they look forward to gym and recess? That gives them an opportunity to stand up, run around, laugh, play games, and most importantly HAVE FUN. Why are students not having fun in the classroom? Whole Brain Teaching makes it difficult to “zone out” because the hard work is very entertaining.
    When using Whole Brain Teaching, you will find that your challenging students are not challenging anymore because their whole brain is involved! They do not have the opportunity to push your buttons because their entire brain was too busy learning. You will also find that your classroom is more enjoyable to be in.
    Once you start whole brain teaching, I want you to scan the room another time. Do you see anyone drifting off? Do you see students talking to each other? Do you see any inner monologues? I guarantee you will see students smiling, laughing, creating, and most importantly, having fun and ENJOYING being in school.

    Lastly, Chris Biffle explains in “Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids”, “The more we talk the more students we lose” So with that being said, I hope I didn’t lose you today, and I am excited to integrate this revolutionary teaching system in our school!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caroline,
      Nice staff presentation! Here are 25 points for you! Keep a copy of this post and awarded points in a document on your computer. Welcome to the WBT Book Club and the journey to WBT Certification!

      Delete
  19. I wanted to attach my teaching experience separately because it is a little different than everyone posting here. I am a long- term substitute for a first grade class. I discovered whole brain teaching while I was looking at YouTube one night. I really enjoyed it so I did some research. I ordered the book, and have collected resources from Pinterest, TeachersPayTeachers, as well as other sites. I hope to utilize this teaching method when I have my first classroom (hopefully next year!). I also hope that this certification is looked at as a plus to principals, and superintendents who may hire me. This will be a nice addition to my resume and portfolio!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Caroline,
    Good luck on your job search!! I look forward to hearing about your WBT experiences!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Good morning everybody!

    First of all, I wish you a happy and successful academic year full of fun and power. What do I mean by “Power”? Let me start with a famous cartoon series – ‘He-Man’. Do you remember him? His famous saying when he puts the sword into the air was ‘By the power of Grayskull; I have the power!’

    He-Man has the power in his world. What about you? Who has got the power in your classroom? You or the challenging students? Now, I’ll introduce you an education reform movement, Powerteaching, founded by Chris Biffle, which will help you engage every single student in the lesson creating classrooms full of fun.

    The secret of power in teaching is obviously having fun. Whenever you ask children to tell you what they want to do next their answer will be ‘to play a game’. Imagine that you fulfil this desire throughout the lesson. When the rules and the instructions are fun to follow kids, even the most challenging ones, will be engaged in the class miraculously and enjoy the process which can be boring in traditional teaching. When I first introduced whole brain teaching to my students I told them we were going to start a power game in which they will be very powerful till the end of the school year and they will be playing teachers. You can’t believe how it worked soon after we started. They realised how much fun they were having in the lessons.

    Not only the kids have fun while learning with whole brain teaching, but also their whole brain is involved in learning. Many researches show that engaging the brain’s visual, auditory, verbal and kinaesthetic parts at the same time enhances learning effectively. Whole brain teaching methods involve many brain activities simultaneously appealing to different learning styles and different needs of students. Thus, the students whose all needs are met don’t put on your buttons any more.

    In other words, whole brain involvement means teacher talk less, students talk more. Whole brain teaching hates lecturing which causes students to tune the teacher out. Long lecturing is doomed to lose most of the students because it lessens the meaning and impact of the words. Instead, with whole brain teaching, we give them a chance to get out of their shells and learn to talk and listen in turns with the strategies which stimulate the kids positively and let them take part in the teaching-learning process actively. The result is ‘the less we talk and the more students we win’.

    Now, are you ready to start this power game in our school to make our teaching more effective and have more engaged students? If you say ‘Yes’ repeat after me: “By the power of Grayskull; I have the power!”

    ReplyDelete
  22. Pinar,
    That is a fun staff presentation! Welcome to the WBT book club! Keep a copy of all of your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later. Here are 25 certification points!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Welcome Staff!
    I am excited to start this school year as your new principal. I am also excited to introduce a new teaching system that promotes 100% student engagement and orderly fun, while teaching common core standards and managing challenging behaviors. This amazing system is called Whole Brain Teaching.

    As we know from our own experiences, traditional teaching loses students. As Chris Biffle, Whole Brain Teaching’s creator, points out, “the more we talk, the more students we lose.” This can lead to boredom, which can create challenging behaviors and hinder our students’ academic progress.

    Whole Brain Teaching uses the student’s whole brain to engage in learning new information. This system uses gestures, short phrases, and a form of pair-share to engage students in learning classroom material. This combination leaves no room for challenging behavior because the student’s entire brain is involved in learning!

    Whole Brain Teaching also creates a structured environment of orderly fun. In my own experience, my students have enjoyed using their hands and teaching their peers. I have enjoyed teaching “Whole Brain” style because it brings the fun back into teaching! I get to be silly with my students and I am not spending all of my time trying to get them back on track! We’re always on track but WE ARE HAVING A BLAST!

    This year, I look forward to working with you as we use Whole Brain Teaching to reach new levels of success in our school. Get ready for a fun, exciting new school year and start practicing talking with those hands! You’re going to be using them a lot!

    Happy Teaching!
    Erin Berkley

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    Replies
    1. Erin,
      Welcome to the book club! Nice job! Save all of your posts and the points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification. Here are 25 certification points!

      Delete
  24. Good Morning Everyone,

    I am thrilled to share an exciting new teaching system with you.This past fall, as I was looking through the internet for classroom ideas, I came across an engaging style of teaching – Whole Brain Teaching. Chris Biffle, known as ‘Coach B’, is the founder. He runs weekly webinars on helpful classroom techniques. These include lessons as well as classroom management. Coach claims that Whole Brain Teaching will give you 100% student engagement – teacher heaven! Coach often repeats – “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” I think we all know this to be true. Whole Brain Teaching involves activating different areas of the brain, thereby bringing about deeper learning/understanding.

    We all know that we can’t teach students that won’t listen, and Chris Biffle knows it too. The secret, in his book, ‘Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids’, is: “If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” The Whole Brain system works because it produces rooms that are “full of orderly fun.”

    From watching the videos and reading the book, I became very excited to try Whole Brain Teaching in my own class. The year was already underway, so I wasn’t sure how a change in our rules and routines would affect the class. The Coach said to start at any time during the year, so I dove in! My grade 2/3 class fell in love with it immediately. They didn’t even blink at a change in the rules. I have been teaching for 12 years, and I can honestly say that this has been my best teaching year in so many ways. I have had the fewest classroom management issues that I can remember. In fact, I really don’t have any issues. I have the highest level of active engagement I have ever had in a class. And, I think I can say my students are very happy and love coming to school to find out what exciting thing we are going to learn next. How can it get better than that?!

    I look forward to sharing more about this wonderful teaching system with all of you.

    Bonnie Marvin

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    Replies
    1. Bonnie,
      Nice job! I'm glad to read about all the positive results you have experienced in your classroom after initiating WBT! Yes...Teacher Heaven! Here are 25 points for you! Keep this post and awarded points in a Word Document for later. Welcome to the book club!

      Delete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  26. Hi staff. I am so excited to begin this new adventure with you as you prepare for your class. I want to share some thoughts with you about teaching. First, students, no matter their age, want to part of the classroom. Even the most challenging children want this and they will go to any lengths to get attention - positive or negative but if we involve their whole brains in learning, they will be too busy learning to cause trouble.
    One thing that we have learned is that the longer we talk, the more students tune us out - just like some of you - which is why I will keep this short. If you teach using all parts of the brain and have fun in your classrooms, you will have fully engaged students. Whole Brain Teaching will give you the techniques to achieve this and I am looking forward to sharing this with you.
    When I was a teacher, I started teaching my students the genius ladder (from Whole Brain Teaching) and all of a sudden, all my 2nd graders were excited about writing - even the very reluctant writers who had to be pushed to even write more than one or two sentences at a time! Wow, teacher heaven! I can't wait to share with you Whole Brain Teaching because it will help not only your rebels but your fantastic students as well and you will be in teacher heaven!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Mary,
    You made a great point about keeping things brief, this is the WBT way. But with brevity comes a challenge to create thinkers. The more you ask the students open ended questions and allow them to think deeply about topics the more they will not need the long lessons. Here are your 25 certification points. Welcome to the book study!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Welcome teachers and staff. I’m sure many of you were not too thrilled with learning you had new management this year and I’m sure when I assigned the book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, several of you groaned. But I am happy to see a lot of smiling faces before me this morning. I hope you will join me in this revolutionary teaching movement. I am a firm believer that we need to bring the fun back into the classroom. I know we have to follow the Common Core with a challenging number of children in our rooms, lack of supplies, language barriers, and sundries of other impediments. I think we have been coming at education the wrong way in the past several years. We are working too hard and getting nowhere. Let’s have the kids do most of the work and make them independent learners in fun- filled classrooms. Let’s keep lecture time down to 10 minutes or less. Let’s have kids repeat and rephrase using gestures to help them remember all the things we need them to know. Let’s have our most challenging students so busy learning they don’t have time to act out. I have tried it in my own class and have found that even my lowest kids remember better this way. The best part of this movement is that there is such great support online! My 10 minutes is up so join me and let’s get started!
    Liz Howard

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  29. Liz,
    I noticed how you projected that the staff would groan and not want to jump on the WBT wagon; you will have students who do this as well. I have found to always make it out as a challenge and make them beg you to tell them all the great things about WBT. It becomes a game and everyone loves to play games. Keep those kids begging you for more! Welcome to the book study! Here are your 25 certification points. Keep your posts in a document for proof of certification points.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I would like to welcome our new staff, I am sure you are wondering how things will turn out on the new schoolyear, and let me answer with : it will be fun!
    We have always worked hard to accomplish our goals as educators , and as much as we love our jobs , sometimes one comes head and nose directly to a wall of indifference from the students. Fear no more, because with the new techniques that Whole Brain Teaching bring, we can have a whole new viewpoint to eliminate those walls of indifference and misconduct.
    It is so rewarding to see light at the end of the students´eyes when they finally get on board with rules and structures that can also make class fun , dynamic , engaging and that they actually learn things that will register in a long term memory, knowledge that will be useful and will be applied and not forgotten, adding to that memory the fun they had acquiring it; having order at the same time, having the students not only accept order but embrace it in an exciting way , finally it gives purpose to my planning and final goal of teaching with pleasure .
    I am sure you will be as delighted as I am to implement this system throughout the school year.
    Fabiola Macias

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    1. Fabiola,
      Welcome to the book club! You are right, WBT can eliminate indifference and misconduct! You may want to revise your 3 paragraph (run on sentence). In the future, make sure you address the entire prompt (3 points from chapters 1 and 2 and a story about your teaching experience). Here are 10 points to get you started on your road to certification! Save all of your posts/points in a word document to turn in later.

      Delete
  31. Good morning and welcome back. I know that everyone here is ready for a new school year. This year our focus is on student engagement. It’s important that ALL of your students are engaged in learning in the classroom. I know we all have students that seem impossible to engage in our lessons, even when we work hard to make them creative. Most teachers have accepted that there’s always going to be students that are unmotivated and just aren’t going to pay attention no matter what they do.
    Well, I have a solution that will engage every student in your class. It is a new way of teaching called Whole Brain Teaching. Whole Brain Teaching was developed by Chris Biffle, an educator with over 25 years of experience in the classroom. As Chris went through his teaching career, he noticed that his students were tuning him out. He was losing them within minutes of beginning his lectures. Sound familiar? Chris states, “ The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” This quote makes me cringe because I am a talker! I love talking to my students and before I know it, many of them have moved on to more interesting things.
    Children become bored quickly and easily. Their brains are demanding activity that we are not providing and we lose them. They start entertaining themselves and seeking attention. This isn’t possible with Chris’ program. Whole Brain Teaching is a fun, energetic technique that involves the whole brain in the learning experience. The students are hearing, seeing, speaking, and physically moving around with Whole Brain Teaching. They don’t have time to be difficult or unfocused. Instead, they are having fun “mirroring” words and “teaching” their peers.
    During my first year of teaching, I was lucky enough to attend a Whole Brain Teaching workshop led by Chris Biffle. It was unlike any workshop I’d ever attended. I went into this workshop thinking it was going to be like most of the other workshops I had attended, interesting, but long and drawn out. I decided to take some class papers to check and get two things done at once. I always try to multitask whenever possible. Well, it was NOT possible for one minute! Chris led a workshop that had everyone involved at all times. We were busy trying to learn the hand motions that he was teaching and trying to teach it to each other. We were up and down and in and out of our seats. It was great! I could visualize myself doing these things with my students. I left that workshop completely exhausted! Yet, I couldn’t wait to try this with my class. They fell in love with it immediately! They wanted to do it all the time.
    If I haven’t convinced you yet, let me share one more thing with you. I taught 4th grade my first year teaching and had quite a few ESE students in my class. One of my ESE boys was 12 years old and read on a first grade level. He had major attention problems and couldn’t read well enough to pass most of his tests. He, as well as the other students, loved doing “mirror words.” On only our second day of learning our vocabulary words with “mirror words,” he raised his hand and waved it wildly. He wanted to teach the class the definition to the word he knew. He did a fantastic job! It was the first time that he knew the actual definition of one of his vocabulary words. I called on another student to do the next word and my ESE student got upset and started to pout. I asked him what was wrong and he announced that he knew that word, too, and wanted to teach it to the class, also. I let him and I knew at that moment that I had found something that would forever change my students’ lives and mine. I know that as you experience Whole Brain Teaching this year, you will feel the same way.

    Jackie Rabin

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    1. Jackie,
      I can tell you are passionate about WBT! I'm so glad you were able to attend a conference and share what you learned with your students! Here are 25 certification points! Save your posts and points earned on a word document to turn in later for certification. Welcome to the book club!

      Delete
  32. Good Morning!

    I am sure that everyone is anxious about the changes that are inevitable when someone new joins the team. I do not want to come in and tell you what you have to change. I want to invite you to join a teaching revolution.

    Before I go into details about this revolution, I want to ask you to reflect on your teaching. Think of a lesson that you taught and you knew the students were engaged and would ace the assessment. You were eager to write an A with your favorite smelly marker, but became disappointed that your students did not score well. I have a question for you to ponder. Did you stand up and teach this lesson in front of the class with minimal student participation?

    As teachers, we have all had that scenario. So what is this revolution that I mentioned? A few years ago, I attended a Whole Brain Teaching conference led by Chris Biffle. He shared the same scenario and I wanted to stand up and yell GUILTY!! Biffle stated, “the longer we talk, the more students we lose.” Take a moment and digest that. Whole Brain Teaching engages students because they are seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving throughout the lesson.

    During this conference, I was blown away by the energy that Chris Biffle and his team brought to a gym full of teachers on summer vacation. I was a new teacher who became worn out by challenging students. After attending the conference, I discovered that I wasn’t giving my students an outlet for their energy. I learned how to incorporate stimulating lessons that engaged even the most challenging students. The students were teaching each other and were motivated to learn. Students wanted to participate in my lessons. Classroom management became fun!

    Now it is your choice to join the revolution. If you accept, give me a mighty Oh Yeah!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ashley,
      This is a perfect way to introduce WBT to your staff! You are so right, classroom management CAN be fun! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points earned on a word document to submit later for certification. Welcome to the book club!

      Delete
  33. If I were to introduce Whole Brain Teaching to a new charter school I would chose the following phrases from the text to introduce the energetic method of teaching. The most important point that I would introduce to my new faculty is “The longer we talk the more students we lose.” This has been the most eye opening point that has been presented in regards to Whole Brain Teaching. I would address the faculty with a story about my teaching in regards to how we long we usually talk. During my first years of teaching I was one to over explain the directions of my assignments. I would get the dreaded question from my students “what are we doing again?” I would repeat the directions and inevitably not all my students would have found success with the assignment. I would demonstrated to the new faculty using whole brain teaching structures mirror words how to speak to students in short phrases.
    The second situation that would be presented to my imaginary school would connect well with the first statement. “We punish because we don’t know what to do”. All too often teachers punish their students as a last resort. Very rarely does this technique succeed in eliminating this behavior from the classroom. Often students are behavior problems in class because they do not know what is expected of them. When the students are unsure of their role in the class and what is expected of them, they will act out. This goes along with the saying if the students does not know how to multiply we teach them, but if the student does not know how to behave we discipline. With whole brain teaching we should teach the proper behavior and no longer discipline like we used to. To demonstrate this to the faculty I would use the whole brain teaching strategy scoreboard.
    The last and overarching point connects with both of the previous statements made in this article. “If a student’s whole brain is involved in the learning process there isn’t any mental area left for challenging behavior”. Overall controlled engagement allows students to be learning positive behaviors and expend their extra energy. There will be no time for any type of behavior issues. At this point I would introduce the rest of the big seven structures for the faculty to experience.

    -Jason Thomashefsky

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    1. Jason,
      Welcome to the book club! You made a good point in your statement "Overall controlled engagement allows students to be learning positive behaviors and expend their extra energy." WBT does just that! "In future posts, watch out for those minor editing errors I would demonstrated to the new faculty using whole brain teaching structures mirror words how to speak to students in short phrases.", and "This goes along with the saying if the students does not know how...". Here are 20 certification points. Save each post and the points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  34. Welcome, staff, to the Amazingly Intense and Funtricity Charged Charter School! I am so glad that we have so many dedicated and caring teachers here. At this school we will emphasize student learning and growth and we will use every tool at our disposal to facilitate those two things.
    Allow me to tell you about some techniques that I have found to raise student engagement, raise student achievement, and lower teacher stress! Tell your colleagues next to you how excited you are to learn about how to raise student engagement, raise student achievement, and lower teacher stress!
    Raise your hand if you have been teaching for more than 20 years. Raise your hand if you have been teaching more than 10 years. Raise your hand if you have been teaching less than 10 years. Raise your hand if you are a brand new teacher.
    Even if you are a brand new teacher you have had experience with students and teachers at some point in your life. Think about how teachers and students interact. Teachers have tried for years to control students using punishment. Has it worked?
    What if we made learning a game? What if we made learning a game so much fun that students clamored to be included? What if students were begging teachers to be able to learn more and more?
    Ta-Da! Whole Brain Teaching gives us the tools that can make learning fun. WBT makes learning a big game with rewards and penalties – but even the penalties are fun.
    Using WBT techniques we also engage as many parts of a student’s brain as we can: moving, speaking, listening, reading, writing, and engaging emotions. As Chris Biffle states in his book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, “If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.”
    Research has shown that the longer the teacher talks, the more students drift away. The brain craves stimulation and will seek it out elsewhere, if the teacher lectures on and on.
    Whole Brain Teaching was developed by Chris Biffle (college), Chris Rekstad (4th grade), and Jay Vanderfin (Kindergarten) over many hours of experimentation and trial and error.
    When I first tried Whole Brain Teaching in a classroom, I found out how much hard work it was. But it was worth it. I was teaching symbolism and metaphor to sixth graders. Using the Whole Brain Teaching Techniques allowed me to really connect with them. Later I had them write papers dissecting a Simon and Garfunkel song, “I am a Rock”, and I found many of the papers to be very illuminating.
    Using Whole Brain Teaching techniques, such as Class/Yes, mirror words, Teach/OK, scoreboard, and many others, you can make your classroom a learning environment powered by funtricity. Remember, the main reason Whole Brain Teaching works is because it is brain friendly.
    Carl Rust

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    1. Carl,
      Welcome to the WBT Book Club! You're off to a great start with this post. Here are 25 certification points. Save these points and your post in a Word document for submitting later for Certification.

      Delete
  35. Chapters 1 & 2

    The first thing that I would point out to my new staff is in chapter one. I would tell them the fact that Whole Brain Teaching touches every child in a fun and exciting new way. This should intrigue them to listen and want to learn the technique. I like that it is geared to attract both your loyal, great students and those who might want to be rebellious.

    The second point that I would say to my new staff about whole brain teaching is a sentence from chapter one. It says that if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior. I love this statement. I am at a school with very challenging students and any idea or trick that is available to help keep control of my class is welcomed.

    The third point that I would say to my new staff is located in chapter two. The first great law of Whole Brain Teaching: The longer we talk the more students we lose. This is so true. This is the reason that I like teach-okay. There have been many studies done and it is proven that students that teach retain information better. If you as the teacher are lecturing, you are losing the majority, if not all, of your students after only 10 minutes.

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    1. Karen,
      Great job! Welcome to the book club! Here are 25 certification points. Save every one of your posts and the points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  36. Good morning staff. I am very excited to be your instructional leader. I would like to begin our meeting with a dream that I have, which I believe that each of you share as well. I have a dream that kids would be excited about coming to school. When parents ask them how their day went, their response would include the word fun. I have a dream that all students would be on task and fully engaged at all times. Glazed over looks would become a thing of the past, and enthusiasm for learning would become the new normal. I have a dream that students would retain what they have been taught, and that test scores would sky rocket. At one time I thought that this was just a fantasy that could never really happen, but thanks to Chris Biffle and Whole Brain Teaching, this fantasy has become a reality. My goal is for it to become our reality.

    Whole Brain teaching is a movement that is quickly sweeping the nation and the world. It was started by Chris Biffle. He is an educator, who has had over 25 years of classroom teaching experience. He saw what we all see as educators: lecturing doesn't work, and students quickly tune us out. Think about it. How many times have you taught what you thought was a great lesson, given an assignment, and then had a student raise his/her hand and ask, "What is a __________." If you are like me you have wanted to pull your hair out and say to the child, "What do you think we have been talking about for the last twenty minutes?" With Whole Brain Teaching a scenario like this will never happen again.

    The key to Whole Brain Teaching is that it creates a fun structured environment. Through speaking and gesturing the students' brains are 100% engaged, so there is nothing left over for off task behavior. One of the main ways that this is accomplished is through something known as "teach, okay". The teacher models a gesture along with accompanying dialogue, and on cue students teach it to their partners. Think about it. The students do not just listen to you teach. Instead, they teach each other! Research shows that students retain information better when they are able to teach it to others. I have used this approach with my students, and the results were amazing. Once students know what is expected of them, they do it, and they have fun in the process. I've found the my students prefer to be called "peanut butter" and "jelly" instead of "A" and "B" I have also discovered that they love "uh, oh, switch!" There is something about pulling down an imaginary light switch that really gets them excited. I will be talking more about these techniques later, but it does bring me to my next point.

    There is never a boring day in a Whole Brain classroom. As an educator I have always believed that learning should be fun, but this is something that can be very difficult to accomplish throughout every day of the school year. With Whole Brain Teaching, however, the fun factor is built right in. Every lesson, every activity, and even every procedure is designed to be fun.

    I am looking forward to taking this Whole Brain Teaching adventure with each of you.

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    1. Joyce,
      I love your enthusiasm! Welcome to the book club! You are so right, when students are engaged with WBT, there is nothing left over for off task behavior! Here are 25 certification points. Save all of your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  38. Good Afternoon Faculty & Staff,

    I'd like to start our day reflecting on the year we've just had and the year that is going to follow. We have just finished a wonderful school year. We've seen amazing growth in our students and we want that to continue. I'd like to introduce a new teaching reform, Whole Brain Teaching (WBT), and several key points that describe it.

    WBT can diminish behavior problems because students' brains are using up all the energy put forth while learning. As you recall from the first couple of months of school, we had an increase in behavior problems in and out of the classrooms. Yes, behavior problems stemmed from several sources. But, if we can get our students to start using ALL parts of their brain, then what will be left? Nothing! Because WBT engages, motivates, and creates a positive learning environment with classroom management and the brain in mind.

    The next key point is the longer we talk the more students we lose. I know from my own experiences, I can stand in a classroom full of students and talk all day. But what good is that doing any of us, if half or 3/4 of our students are not listening? Because WBT is so engaging and energetic, students won't be bored. They will be moving through gestures and teaching each other new concepts all while working together to make learning possible.

    The last point I'd like to share with you is "consistency". WBT only works if you are consistent in the strategies presented. There may be instances where you feel it is not working, but I can assure you with enough time you will see it does work and will make your life easier.

    Take a brief moment to reflect on our conversation today. If you have any questions, please ask. Thank you and have a great start to a great year!

    Ellen Vaught

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    1. Ellen,
      Welcome to the book club! This is a great post to kick off your book study! Save all of your posts and the points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification. Here are 25 certification points!

      Delete
    2. Thank you! I'm super excited to begin this journey. I'm having a hard time putting Coach B's book down. It's great!

      Delete
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  40. Good morning teachers,

    Welcome to you all to this wonderful new school year. I hope you are as excited as I am to meet the upcoming challenges. You all know that our students find it hard to sit and concentrate. We have already experienced that yelling and scolding doesn’t help. I know we all have students that seem impossible to engage in our lessons, even when we work hard to make them creative.

    Since last year I have tried to find a new teaching method which would enlighten my enthusiasm and help me in enjoying my job as a teacher. Well, now I have a solution which engages everyone in our class. It is a wonderful teaching method called Whole Brain Teaching. This Whole brain teaching was developed by Mr. Chris Biffle, an educator with over 25 years of experience in classrooms. He noticed that he was not able to hold the attention of the students within minutes of beginning his lectures. Are we not facing the same problem? Yes, we are. Mr. Chris states, “The longer we talk, the more students we lose”. Really I felt very embarrassed when I read this line in WBT book. He is absolutely right.

    Children’s brains demand activities which we are not providing and hence losing them. They start entertaining themselves in some other things which disturbs the whole class too. But whole brain teaching is a funny and effective technique which engages the child’s whole brain in class. Here they don’t have to be difficult or feel ignored. Instead they have fun doing “mirror words” and teaching words.
    I was lucky enough to attend the online training led by Mrs. Nancy Stoltenberg. This was a totally different training session from those that I have attended. I have already started using these techniques in my classes. My children fell in love with this method of teaching. This helped me to make my lesson lively, engaged and easy to learn. I could see a major involvement in my classes now.

    So, we have to change our teaching procedures to make our teaching interesting. Mr. Chris tells, “As you’ll soon learn, Whole Brain Teaching techniques work superbly, if you practice them daily”. Let us join together to transform our classrooms and to help our students in engaging their whole brain in learning. Have a great year ahead.


    Netra.H

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    1. Netra,
      Welcome to the Book Club! Oh, my! Don't feel embarrassed - we have all fallen into the trap of talking too much and losing students! That's why WBT is such a lifesaver! I'm so glad you were able to attend Nancy's training - she is wonderful! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
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  42. Good morning staff! My name is Mrs. Heidi Baird and I am your new principal. As we begin a new school year I want you to take a moment to reflect on your best practices of behavior management and instruction delivery during your teaching career. Have they worked? Are you satisfied? Do you struggle with challenging students? Do you want to improve your craft and have a year filled with funtricity? Listen closely as I tell you three points about a program that I would like our staff to implement during this new school year called Whole Brain Teaching.

    1. Whole brain teaching is a lot like a game and kids love games. It makes classrooms fun and orderly. The students follow the program because they have fun doing it. Students teach each other (play teacher), work hard to gain free time, and the hard work is more entertaining than zoning out.

    2. In Whole Brain Teaching the whole brain is involved. Coach B designed this program with the following in mind: "If a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior".

    3. Whole Brain Teaching is designed so students don't "tune out". Students tend to tune out after just 15 minutes of an exciting lesson or lecture. Coach B knew this had to be changed. After years of trying strange and new teaching strategies he finally discovered something. "The students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, hearing, and physical moving." From here a core method was developed involving many brain activities simultaneously - Whole Brain Teaching!

    Staff, in my experience, we are seeing more and more behavior challenges and unfocused students in our classrooms. My own behavior management and teaching styles had always worked pretty successfully in the past, but I decided to give Whole Brain Teaching a one year trial after attending one of Coach B's three day trainings. My one year trial has changed my life and I will never return to my old methods. I think Whole Brain Teaching will change your life too!

    Heidi Baird

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    1. Heidi,
      Welcome to the book club! You did a great job on your first assignment! I am so happy to hear that WBT worked so well in your classroom! Here are 25 certification points. Save all of your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification!

      Delete
  43. I would like to welcome all of you back to school! I am blessed beyond measure to begin this school year as your new principal. I hope you all had a wonderful summer break, are well rested, and ready to ROCK the best year of your teaching career. Whether this is your first year or thirty-first year of teaching, it is safe to say that with any new school year, we all have the opportunity for a new beginning.

    My friends, today I would like to personally invite you to hop on the “chartered” WBT party bus with me. Together we will be celebrating exemplary behavior and academic success for the next 180 days! You may be wondering who all will be experiencing this celebration, and I would like to inform you that it will be ALL of us…our administration, our faculty and staff, but most importantly our fabulous students! Once you climb aboard this WBT “chartered” bus, I can guarantee you a hole in a donut that you will no longer go home feeling disgruntled, physically and mentally exhausted, ready to throw your towel in, or want to seek a new profession. No longer will you be searching high and low for strategies to assist you in handling some of your most challenging and rebellious students.

    According to Whole Brain Teaching Director, Chris Biffle, “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.”. Although your students may initially appear to be “tuned in” to your lecture, after about ten minutes, some of your students are going to zone out. You may think you are delivering your “top shelf” lesson packed full of grade level standards, but your students will only be using a portion of their brain. It is then that other areas of the brain are open, and some of your most challenging students are in the ready position to concoct some of the most knuckle-brained ideas. We must be sure that our students are using their “WHOLE BRAIN”, hence the name of this new education reform, Whole Brain Teaching. As educators, we should strive to make sure every part of the brain is active at all times. If we do, then there is no space available for those hair-brained ideas to develop. Your students will be completely engaged in your lessons if they are emotionally involved. When your students are emotionally involved, they are required to see, say, hear, and move; therefore, the brain is busy. As a result of this, challenging kids can no longer be challenging because their entire brain is functioning simultaneously.

    For most of my teaching career, I have taught very similar to the way my elementary teachers taught me. While the teacher was teaching, the students were quiet and listening, or at least they appeared to be listening. One of the biggest obstacles I have tried to overcome is letting go of complete control in my classroom. I have always felt like if I was teaching, then my students were learning what they needed to be successful on their assessments. Because their performance has always been a determining factor in my evaluation, I have always felt that I should present the material. However, after attending the WBT National Conference last week, my mindset has completely changed, and I have come to realize that students learn best from each other. I cannot wait to put the strategies I have learned in this conference in place next year.

    Kelly Avery
    WBT 2014 Intern

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    1. Kelly,
      Welcome to the WBT Book Club! Congrats on becoming an intern this year as well! You hit the nail on the head, less teacher talk and more student interaction! Here are 25 certification points! Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  44. Me: When I say "class" you say "yes"! Class!
    Teachers: Yes!
    Me: Class!
    Teachers: Yes!
    Me: However, I say "class" you say "yes"! Class oh class!
    Teachers: Yes oh yes.
    Me: Classity class!
    Teachers: Yessity yes!
    Me: With a variation of one simple word, “class”, I have instantly gained your attention and made you smile. This, my sweet teachers, is just the beginning of the “Big 7” techniques we will be implementing school wide.
    Seven years ago, after a half a year of using Whole Brain strategies in my second grade classroom, I was once again memorized by its power. It was the craziest, most energetic day of the school year. Yes, I’m talking about field day. While I watched countless students running around completely uncontrolled and my colleagues hectically trying to gain their attention, I simply called out ONE, simple, yet powerful word, “class!” I instantly had 18 students reply with a “yes” and I had their attention. There was no yelling, no stress, just one word. Say “oooh, ahhhh.”
    Teachers: “Oooh, ahhhhh.”
    Me: As we embark on a new school year and begin our journey in making this a Whole Brain Teaching school, there are some things I need you to remember.
    First, “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” Students that are not actively engaged in the learning process will use their brain power for something other than learning. Perhaps, they would focus their untapped mental resources to make your life miserable!
    Second, “there are no shortcuts to excellence.” Consistency, hard-work, and practice will reap great rewards in a Whole Brain classroom. Successful implementation is contingent on a motivated, positive, and consistent educator.
    Lastly, “the longer we talk, the more students we lose.” Teachers are natural talk-a-holics. I urge you to deviate from your natural tendencies and you will surely be amazed with how much more your students learn even though you are speaking less! Give me an “oh yeah!”
    Teachers: “Oh, yeah!”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shila,
      I can feel your enthusiasm! Welcome to the Book Club! Here are 25 certification points. Save each post and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  45. Happy New Year! Welcome back to our veterans and welcome to our new staff members.
    I have a couple of rhetorical questions for you. How long do you estimate that you will continue listening to me? I bet it won’t be for long. So, I’m going to keep this short.
    Here are a couple more questions. What classes do you remember best from your student days? What was special about those classes?
    Are you thinking about classes where you were a passive seat warmer or classes where you had fun learning?
    This year we will be looking at a classroom management program called Whole Brain Teaching. It is one of the fastest growing management / learning programs in the world. Many teachers credit Whole Brain Teaching with renewing their love for teaching. The founder Chris Biffle promotes engagement, organized fun, and a high level of learning and communication.
    At each staff meeting, we’ll be looking an aspect of the program. Today we’ll start by looking at the class / yes response. It will teach you a technique to quickly gain students’ attention in a way students will enjoy and will stress free for you.

    Now turn to a neighbor and practice the class / yes response.

    That's just a taste of a "teacher's heaven" where students are too engaged in positive behaviors that don't leave time for misbehavior.



    Sheryl Larson (aka teacher sd)

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    Replies
    1. Sheryl,
      I could feel your new staff sit up and take notice with your specific, and right to the point, questions! Yes, WBT does bring "teacher heaven" to a classroom! Here are 25 points for you. Save your post and points to a word document file on your computer to submit later. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

      Delete
  46. Welcome Back, I’m your new principal and I’m very excited to be part of this wonderful team of educators. This is going to be a great year filled with powerful secrets to reignite your passion for teaching!!
    As we all know, class management is paramount in fostering a peaceful, yet fun, and engaging learning environment. After, attending a seminar called Whole Brain Teaching, I’ve gleaned three main points that I’d like to share with you.
    I. We can’t teach classes that won’t listen, yelling and scolding doesn’t work.
    2. The longer we talk the more students we lose.
    3. If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.
    Now these points may seem basic and obvious but using the Whole Brain Teaching Method to address these points is the amazing part! After watching several videos of whole brain teachers in action, I was hooked. I was mesmerized by the students’ participation and enthusiasm and by the teacher’s ability to remain calm and in control while still smiling and having fun. I knew I had to try it out!
    The very next day, I started using the “Teach Okay Method.” This is when students are paired with a buddy and each person takes turns being the teacher and then the student. This was an immediate hit in my class! Not only were the students completely engaged and having fun, but they were learning valuable information without having to listen to a long drawn out lecture!
    I look forward to sharing more powerful Whole Brain Teaching secrets with you! Power to the Teachers!
    Arlene Snyder

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arlene,
      Great staff presentation! You are off to a great start on your certification journey! Here are 25 points for you! Save your post and points to a word document file on your computer to submit later. Welcome to the Book Clib!

      Delete
  47. Research shows me that I will lose many of you in less than 10 minutes. So my goal is get you excited about Whole Brain Teaching in less than 7 minutes.

    I would like to welcome you to an exciting and fun year as we begin exploring Whole Brain Teaching. How many of you have ever had a challenging student or class? I know that I have had a few of them. One year very clearly comes to mind. I had quite a few challenging scholars and they all fed off each other. My classroom was run like a traditional classroom and nothing I tried to do was working. I became desperate to find something that would work not only with these students but for the whole class. I found an amazing system called Whole Brain Teaching. By implementing these techniques, I began to see an improvement. More of my students were engaged in what we were doing and I started to see smiles come back to their faces. They were learning and having fun, and I was enjoying teaching them.

    Then all of a sudden, I noticed it was not working as well. It took me a while to figure out why. I was not consistently using the techniques. As Rafe Esquith, 2002 National teacher of the year said, “There are no shortcuts to excellence.” When I began using the techniques consistently every day, not only did the system work, it worked far beyond my expectations.
    “The longer we talk, the more students we lose. This is the “First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching.”” This principle was both easy and hard for me to learn. I love to talk and when I get excited about the topic being presented, I tend to talk more. The hard part was that I had to learn to quit talking and get the kids talking and moving more. As a kindergarten teacher, this concept is easy to understand. Have you ever tried to lecture a five year old? How well did that work for you? They need key information presented in a short amount of time. Five year old scholars need time to talk about key concepts and explore their learning. The same is true for all age levels.

    One of my favorite quotes from Coach B’s book is “if a student’s whole brain in involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” This year, you will be creating a classroom environment that resembles a lively game full of structure and orderly fun. Whole Brain Teaching engages students because they are seeing, talking, rephrasing, and physically moving throughout the lesson. They will be having fun and they will be fully engaged. When all students in your classroom are engaged, then all students will benefit from the classroom instruction and challenging behaviors will stop. TEACHER HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!! Who could ask for more than that?

    Who is ready for Teacher Heaven? I am so excited we get to explore this together.

    Kim Kirkpatrick

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    1. Kim,
      You have picked some of the best quotes for your post! I am happy that you see the importance of keeping the students engaged in their learning. Using this system, you will see what a great difference you will make in your students education. Here are your 25 certification points. Keep this post and your future posts in a document, along with your points, for certification. Keep up the great posts!

      Delete
  48. Good morning to everyone. I'm going to discuss with you three important concepts that will change the way you think about teaching.

    First of all, we can't teach classes that won't listen. How many times have you observed a class in which the students are paying attention to everything except the teacher? We've all had one or two in our classroom. Whole Brain Teaching has a solution to this problem.

    Secondly, if a student's whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior. Once a student is engaged in the lesson, he or she forgets about disrupting the class. Again, Whole Brain Teaching will set you up for success. Wait, there's more!

    The longer we talk, the more students we lose. You probably had a teacher like Charlie Brown. The only thing that your brain was able to process is, "Whomp, whomp, whomp." Does this sound familiar to anyone? Whole Brain Teaching does the opposite and will have other students begging to be in your class.

    My first year of teaching was a disaster. The students were all over the place, and I had no control over them unless there was an observer in the room. Then I was introduced to Whole Brain Teaching. I implemented several strategies that took little effort on my part. I was able to get everyone's attention in less than 5 seconds, students were teaching each other vocabulary words with gestures, and everyone that came to observe me were so impressed with 100% student engagement. You see, with Whole Brain teaching, students are having fun while learning, and we all reap the benefits! With that being said, there will be upcoming meetings in regard to this phenomenon created by Mr. Chris Biffle. I urge you to come aboard, and as Coach B would say, "Don't stop the train!"


    Sherry Thompson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherry,
      Welcome to the book club! This is a great presentation for your staff! Here are 25 certification points. Save each post and the points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification!

      Delete
  49. Good morning teachers! I am your new principal this year and very excited to see what this year has in store for us. How many of you sat through a lecture and had no idea what the teacher is talking about? How many of you fell asleep during a lesson because you were not engaged in that lesson? Exactly! Everybody! This year I am proud to announce that you will not be that teacher or have a classroom with only a few participants. Whole Brain Teaching has entered the building! Whole Brain Teaching is a wonderful and engaging new classroom management technique created by Chris Biffle. I began using whole brain in my second grade classroom several years ago. I spent years trying different techniques to keep my students engaged in my lessons as well as trying new behavior management systems that would work for every student in my class. I began hours of searching the internet for a solution. That is when I came across Chris Biffle’s Whole Brain Teaching. Chris Biffle stated that “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” All of my veteran teachers can vouch to that! I am hoping that each of you take time to join me in learning about Whole Brain Teaching. Your classrooms will be full of “orderly fun!” It will be a fun learning environment where your students will want to come and learn each day. Chris Biffle also states that “If your student’s entire brain is engaged, there will not be any time for them to misbehave.” Sounds great, right? Let’s get started and have a wonderful and exciting year as we become whole brain experts!

    Elizabeth Ivy

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Elizabeth,
      The positive energy in your letter will excite your coworkers! WBT can transform a school while adding the element of fun! Here are 25 certification points! Welcome to the book club! Save all of your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  50. “Staff, staff, staff!” As I look out at my new staff and call out this chant, blank stares face me. As I’m Canadian, I’m not sure how a Charter School is different from the public schools I have worked at. However, I have faced some challenging students and I’m sure this school is no different. The staff seem beaten down and jaded – ready to throw in the towel. I’m also sure this staff have learned many teaching techniques over the years to grab their students’ attention and keep behaviour in line. As Chapter one says, “We can’t teach classes that won’t listen.” I know these classes. Where students turn a deaf ear, or talk over each other, or simply fidget and “drum” to tune out whatever “exciting” lesson the teacher has planned.
    So I tell my new staff, “Isn’t it obvious what every pupil wants? Kids want to laugh and play games. WBT produces classrooms that are full of orderly fun.” (Chapter 1, pg. 2). The students want to play because “even the penalties are entertaining.”
    But the real no-brainer of Whole Brain Teaching (pun intended) is that “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” (Chapter 2, pg. 6). The worst part of this, is that most teachers (myself included) have talked and talked and talked – entertaining or not, talking TO students is not engaging.

    Lisa Rebecca Goldberg

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Lisa,
      The quotes you chose are great, these are all perfect representations of the Whole Brain Model. I would have liked to hear more of what you planned to say to the staff in order to get them excited about Whole Brain Teaching, as well as an example of how you have used this with students in your class. Here are 15 certification points. Please keep this post and your points in a document for certification purposes. Welcome to the book club!

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Krystal. I thought the post was to be kept to 250 words, and my word document had me in just under 250 so I stopped my post.

      Delete
  51. Good Morning, welcome to our first year of Whole Brain Teaching (WBT). I can’t wait to watch your students take ownership for their learning and have a blast doing it! Chris Biffle, the founder of WBT, repeatedly reminds us “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior”. It is easy for the best teacher to lose students in instruction. We have all designed beautiful lessons simply to look around the room and realize that the longer we talk, the more students we lose. This year, we will turn our classrooms into zones of active learning through the use of gestures, movement, and repetition. There will be noise, laughter, and dendrites will be growing like never before.
    If I had learned about WBT earlier, I would have had a much larger impact on my students, one in particular. Joshua joined our class in late September. He was rough around the edges, a natural born leader and students either flocked to him or feared him. He turned in very few assignments, challenged every directive, and let out a string of profanity that would make a sailor blush. Unfortunately, Joshua isn't the exception in our classrooms he is becoming the norm.
    WBT will provide you the tools to shift that paradigm. Our students will love learning, you will enjoy teaching again and as that happens, the community of our school will become a positive place for all of us to live in.

    Denise Ramirez

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Denise,
      Your post is full of energy and truth. I could feel the staff getting excited about your new program and how they too were going to reach happiness in the classroom. Here are your 25 certification points. Please keep these in a document with your post for certification purposes. Welcome to Teacher Heaven!

      Delete
  52. "We can't teach classes that won't listen." (Biffle, 2013) Excellent classroom management is the key to an organized and productive classroom. Far too often, as I walk through the halls, I can hear those teachers who are "yellers". More times than not, it doesn't work and these teachers are still frustrated. Children will mimic their learning environment. If it is a conflictory and aggressively driven classroom, then the students become what is modeled. Children today require an element of mutual respect and a quality model of expected behavior.

    Many times the simple solution is based on the preparedness of the teacher and the her ability to emotionally invest in each child. When you do not give the students time to be distracted and the children know you really care, they will work to please you and strive to meet any expectation you set. The Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) philosophy actively engages every student in an interactive and exciting way. Their techniques model and reinforce positive behavior and learning choices, effectively extinguishing those disruptive attention seekers in your classroom.

    Chris Biffle, the founder of WBT, realized after "25 years of failure," that there was something "dreadfully wrong with the lecture model." He knew that his college students needed more and that in order to avoid having them zone out, he needed a way to engage them. He began trying different approaches and admits to some failing. However, Biffle also describes his amazement when he realized his discovery, "I had a technique that worked no matter whether I was teaching Aristotle or the art of zone defense." At this point, he reached out to two former students who were elementary school teachers and asked them to try it out. After several weeks of noticeable improvement, Biffle and his partners had discovered a system that works for all grade levels ranging from Kindergarten through college. Since 1999, Biffle and his team have been meeting with teachers, holding conferences, providing webinars and free resources for thousands of educators looking for something to revolutionize their classroom management.

    I am one of those teachers. In 2012, I was mentoring a brand new kindergarten teacher who was having some behavior management issues within her classroom. I would like to say it was me who led her down the the path to the wonder of WBT, but I cannot. I gave her the typical advice: color chart, positive reinforcement, and be stern. For most of her students, my techniques worked but it didn't reach everyone. She didn't give up; and being an eager teacher, she went to YouTube to find new and interesting ways to access the attention of all her students. I remember the day we sat next to each other planning for the following week. She looked at me and asked if I had ever heard of WBT. Having no idea what it was, I asked her to tell me about it. She responded that she isn't quite sure what it is but that this video showed a teacher using gestures that the kids copied and then paired and retaught to each other. "Interesting," I replied, "send me the link." It took one video and I was hooked. For three hours, I scoured YouTube for videos. Seeing the fun and enjoyment both the teachers and students had, I felt a new energy and excitement about teaching. The very next day, I began implementing the rules of the classroom and then slowly over that week, I began to implement different elements like, Class-Yes, Teach-OK, Mirror-Gestures, and the Scoreboard. And, like Chris Biffle, I thought to myself, "Eureeka, this is it!"

    Today, I am a different kind of teacher and I now have all of my student's attention. Behavior problems are rare. Learning is fun...for both of us. Most importantly, I am teaching students that listen!

    Amanda Dierking

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Amanda,
      I am so happy your collaborative efforts created a learning opportunity for you and your student teacher! You two stumbled upon the BEST teaching model I have ever seen used. Here are 25 certification points. Keep these points and your posts in a document for certification purposes. Welcome!

      Delete
  53. Good morning & welcome back to another exciting year of teaching! I am Amy Gilmer and I am thrilled to be your new principal. This year is going to be an amazing journey into the best teaching year of your life!
    This year I invite you to teaching paradise and the name of this magical land is called Whole Brain Teaching. Whole Brain Teaching is more than just a classroom management plan. It is more than a lesson plan. It is a way to embrace the fun in your classrooms and energize each and every student to become lifelong learners! Whole Brain Teaching is exactly that: it is getting all of the brain engaged in the learning process. It is physical, it is mental, it is emotional. They hear the lesson, they teach the lesson, they do the lesson, they feel the lesson. Their WHOLE brain is involved in the learning process and the memory retention of the concept. And guess what? If their entire brain is working on learning and teaching the lesson, they don’t have any brain power left to think of ways to drive you crazy!
    How many of us have had a lesson that seemed perfect – great introduction into the topic, wonderful PowerPoint, even a great anchor chart (borrowed from Pinterest – LOL) – but yet five minutes into the lesson with the kids they are tuned out? Well, I am here to tell you that it is not your fault. You are not boring. You are a wonderful teacher. And, guess what? It’s not their fault either. They are good students. They want to be successful. Then what’s the issue?( tell us please!) IT’S THE BRAIN! Our brain, even our adult brains, can’t focus for longer than 10 minutes. Brain research has shown that after 10 minutes, even adults need to do a “reset” to remain focused. CLASS-YES! Raise your hand if you have ever talked for longer than 10 minutes…(make sure I raise my hand too). We all have. CLASS-YES! Raise your hand if you have ever sat in a meeting and found yourself exhibiting one of those behaviors that your students do that drive you nuts? Talk to your neighbor, check your phone…(make sure I raise my hand here too).
    So how do we counter this? By keeping our lessons short. After learning about Whole Brain Teaching, I realized that I had been in a cycle of defeat. Teach the whole lesson, hope they get it, check for understanding by doing a worksheet, re-teach, check again, re-teach, Uh-oh…time to test. No more! (that doesn’t work) WBT gets the students involved with their learning. With WBT the students teach each lesson with you. They do and say and feel it through fun actions and wacky gestures. They have fun, their whole brain is engaged, and no one is off task. (say oh yeah!) I have even had parents come and ask me what this new teaching technique is because their kids love it! The kids were doing the gestures at home and explaining their learning to their parents! I also saw the impact it made on their test scores – I have even seen kids doing the gestures at their desk during the test!
    Over the next few days, you will learn how to engage each student in short, ENERGIZED lessons. You will learn how to keep them on task with one key class management tool – by the way – it’s free! You will learn that you can get even the most resistant kids on “your side” – or at least not actively fighting against you. You will have several short ‘training sessions’ where you will learn how we are going to transform our classrooms into places of orderly fun where kids love to come learn and are excited about each day’s lessons. Our school will evolve into the best, most fun place to work and grow. It will be teaching bliss! Are you ready for teaching bliss? (oh yeah!)
    Have a great day! I am always here if you need me. I will see you tomorrow for our first session!
    Amy Gilmer

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    1. Amy,
      I can tell, through your post, that you are very passionate about this! Welcome to the CLUB! You have all the right ideas. Here are your 25 certification points. Keep these points and your posts in a document for certification purposes.

      Delete
  54. Good morning staff, I welcome you to this new year. I know it has been tough the past couple of years, but I am here to help you bring this school under control. Together with Whole Brain Teaching strategies we will turn this school around. Today I will share with you a few important points to remember about Whole Brain Teaching.
    Punishment doesn’t work!- We all have had that one student who has pushed every button we have. You punish this student for his bad behavior, but the punishment never works. What you will learn about Whole Brain is that it does not use punishment. It makes following rules a game and this invites even the most challenging student to become part of the class.
    Stop Talking- Students are not engaged by you talking, talking, and talking. We lose them quickly with lectures. We need to make learning fun and keep our students 100% engaged 100% of the time. With Whole Brain techniques that keep students focused, we will have more engaged learners.
    It’s Free!- Most of the instructional materials for Whole Brain are free! As teachers, we spend a lot of money on our classrooms year after year. We really don’t have the money to implement something else. With Whole Brain the materials are on their website, along with e-books and videos. The only upfront cost will be the book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, and that is your key to teacher heaven.
    Many years I struggled in my classroom with management and engagement. Whole Brain saved my teaching career, and gave me back my love of educating students. Using these techniques and strategies I was able to engage my classes and eliminate challenging behaviors. I know you will have the same experience after you have implemented Whole Brain in your classrooms.
    Meredith Benthall

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    1. Meredith,
      Welcome to the club! I am so happy your found Teaching Heaven and I hope that it is all you have dreamed of. You picked some of the best points in your speech. I know that if you use these in your classroom that your students will reap the benefits of a 100% engaged classroom! Here are 25 certification points. Keep these points and your posts in a document for certification purposes. Welcome!

      Delete
  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Welcome back to what promises to be an amazing year for both you and the students. I'm going to reveal the secret to making that statement come true everyday. It's called "orderly fun".

    Everything you do should bring out the passion in you, the reason you turned to teaching in the first place. Make laughter part of your lesson plan. Turn that feeling of defeat into motivation. Encourage engagement using Whole Brain Teaching.

    Chris Biffle is the Master Mind behind Whole Brain. The most basic principle is when you involve both your students and yourself in lessons that require saying, seeing, hearing and physically moving, then you have transformed your classroom into an arena for learning. Even your most challenging students; those rip your hair out, make you want to quit at least 5 times a day, fingers crossed they're home sick kids are actually going to be teaching. Yes I said teaching!

    I've been a Pre-K/Junior Kindergarten Teacher for over 15 years. Reflecting back on my teaching practices I'm surprised I never looked into WBT before. My lessons were jam packed with moving and exploring. Being a kinesthetic learner myself I just couldn't conceive of doing it any other way. WB teaches that "overall controlled engagement allows students to be learning positive behaviors and expend their extra energy." And boy did that work! Our 20 minute quiet time was riddled with snoring children not because they were physically tired but because they were being challenged mentally as well. And we all know what a day of mental exhaustion feels like.

    Coach B also said, "the longer we talk the more students we lose." I believe that includes teachers as well. So I'll leave you with this final question, Are you ready to rock this year out? Can I get an "Oh yeah!"

    Jannelle Davila

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    1. Jannelle,
      Welcome to the book club! You will love this adventure! Isn't it wonderful to find a program that will allow you to focus on teaching rather than all of the behavior issues! Here are 25 certification points. Save all of your posts and points awarded to submit later for certification.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Michelle. I've spent many a year focusing on how to "fix" those behavior issues. Even though I changed my approach, my tactics were all wrong. Thank goodness for WBT. I am so excited to throw out those pre-planned rules and lessons and roll out the red carpet for WB.

      Delete
  57. Good morning, I’m so excited about the upcoming amazing year. Those of you I have met let me hear a mighty “Oh Yeah!” Those of you I have not yet met, you may be wondering ‘what is going on”.
    I am a “Whole Brain” enthusiast. Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) is a revolutionary teaching system, based on cutting edge learning research. WBT is used by instructors around the world. There are FREE conferences, certifications, videos, eBooks and a website.
    The WBT system produces classrooms full of orderly fun! Students follow WBT rules because rules are fun to follow. Students teach students because they get to play teacher. Students work hard for free time, because working hard will be more entertaining than zoning out. Their whole brain is involved so there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior. WBT allows us to reach and teach our most challenging students!
    It works! I taught 23 rising 3rd graders summer school, (who preferred to be at the pool). Once they learned the class rules, the score board, class-yes and teach-ok, their parents were shocked, students couldn't wait to come to school (only partial implementation).
    Now everybody say “Oh Yeah!”

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Valerie,
      I love that you included information about the free resources available! Welcome to the book club! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  58. Good Morning everyone! I’m delighted to begin an educational journey with you this year. As a new charter school, we are looking “outside of the box” to bring you quality teacher training you will actually WANT to use. You will be astonished and overjoyed at what you can do and TEACH with ANY challenging student…and the rest of your class too!
    There was actually a time, not so long ago, when I was ready to quit teaching altogether! I wasn't getting through to my students, I had several challenging students who took away from others’ learning, and I worked too hard for only satisfactory results. It was a depressing, dark time for me. I longed to do better. I remember the night I scoured the internet for answers and found a page titled, “Whole Brain Teaching.” I had found THE Whole Brain Teaching website. I learned three important things that evening.
    First, the longer we talk in a lecture, the more students we lose! This made perfect sense to me because I loved to talk, thought I planned well for each class, delivered my instruction, and then most of my student’s failed tests! Second, a student’s brain requires it to be constantly active and emotionally connected to what is being taught. Keeping a brain engaged curtails any challenging student's behavior because he simply does not have time to be challenging anymore. Last, students want and need to have fun, while teachers want and need to have order. Ladies and gentlemen, techniques from Whole Brain Teaching allow YOU to have a fun and orderly classroom. Imagine how much your students will learn by being entirely engaged in your lesson and having fun at the same time. I guarantee they will look FORWARD to your class and you will look FORWARD to teaching them. I am SO excited to bring the Whole Brain Teaching techniques to our new school!

    Erika Roper

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    1. Erika,
      I am so happy that WBT has saved your teaching and brought you to the best form of student engagement and skill retention. WBT is so much more than a behavioral model. It encompasses the whole child's learning! AND IT'S FUN for everyone! Here are your 25 certification points! Keep these and your points in a document for certification. Great post!

      Delete
  59. Good morning staff! I am so glad to see everyone here this morning and I am looking forward to a funtricity school year! I have spent the last year putting into motion, mentoring with other Whole Brain Teachers, and training for this school year to be the best year ever! I understand this campus is very similar to campuses across our nation that educates students with various challenges. I know how frustrating these challenges can affect how we deliver our classroom instruction and I am here to provide relief! The system I want to introduce to the staff is Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) which produces classrooms that are full of orderly fun! Chris Biffle is the author and mastermind behind the book and classroom techniques, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids used by thousands of teachers. Today, each of our staff members will receive his book to use as a guide and as our manual for teaching challenging kids.

    Familiar with the multitude of challenges in the classroom of challenging students, I was a teacher in one of the poorest school districts in my state. I was frustrated, tired, mentally stressed, and no matter how much professional development trainings I attended I had the same problems in the classroom. Chris Biffle describes one of the challenges in the classroom is disruptive students break the rules, rebel, and become verbal combatants by resisting the teachers best of intentions and classroom norms. Thus, who is learning? - NO ONE! My class was chaos on a high sugar! When I began to read WBT techniques I learned that the brain does not have an off switch and students are constantly learning but need additional active stimulation such as movement. I began to organize my classroom differently, deliver my instruction with funtricity and ten finger wooo’s, and supplemental activities involved moving, saying, or moving the classroom outdoors. I saw


    results and I witnessed fun in learning. I have more techniques to
    learn and master, and I am on this journey with you!
    As we progress through our book study of Whole Brain Teaching, we will learn together and collaborate together on how to get our challenging students to perform to their full potential. We will work hard to get our students emotionally involved in our lessons that require hearing, seeing, saying, and physically moving in their environment exposing the brain’s full potential of learning!

    Linda D . Upshaw

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    1. Linda,
      What a great idea to distribute the books to your entire staff! This hands on approach will hook even more teachers! Welcome to the book club! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  60. Welcome to a new school year! I'm excited to share with you a way of managing your classroom that will be fun for you and your students called Whole Brain Teaching. When I first started teaching, I found teaching and disciplining exhausting and could see that my students were not very focused on what I was teaching them. I tried telling and repeating, but it wasn't enough. I searched for many years and tried tons of different classroom management techniques, but none of them worked. Then last year, I started hearing about Whole Brain Teaching on some of my favorite teaching blogs. I was intrigued by the concept of teaching so that students whole brains were involved. I watched many YouTube videos of students who were rehearsing simple rules and following directions quickly. They were hearing small amounts of information from the teacher and then teaching each other that same information. On top of all of that, the students were very excited to be learning and teaching. Wow! I thought, this would be wonderful! At the beginning of the last school year, I used Whole Brain Teaching with my students and they were more attentive and excited about learning. On my evaluation, my students scored higher in the area of being engaged learners.

    I'd like to share with you a few key aspects of Whole Brain Teaching. First, the longer you talk, the more students you will lose. If teachers present large amounts of information to their students at once, more and more students will tune out the longer they speak. However, if you, as a teacher present the information in small amounts and have the students teach each other the same information, they will retain the new concepts.

    Another key aspect that the founder of Whole Brain Teaching, Coach Biffle found was that the "students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving." It is hard for challenging kids to be challenging because their entire brains are too busy learning. They have no extra brain power to come up with other problematic activities because their minds are full of learning.

    A final key aspect is that much of the training is freely given. There is a small cost for the book, but there is an enormous amount of free eBooks and videos from which to receive training. We will be having further professional development opportunities throughout the year on this topic at staff meetings. I will be purchasing "Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids" books for all staff members so that everyone can continue learning more about how to become great While Brain Teachers. I'm looking forward to working with all of you this year.

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    1. Hannah,
      Welcome to the book club! I love that you pointed out "It is hard for challenging kids to be challenging because their entire brains are too busy learning." That is what WBT is all about - helping these kiddos get the most out of their day! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  61. Good morning Eagles staff and welcome to a new and exciting school year. If you are also excited about our new beginning can I hear a "clap clap"? I am going to give you some background about myself so you can understand that I have been through the struggle and come out with a smile on my face. I have only taught in schools that are Title 1 Schools. Many of the students come from homes of poverty, lack structure in their households and it is difficult to hold student attention.

    I could not let this stop me from delivering all of the amazing lessons that I had planned. I decided to find a way and that way is called Whole Brian Teaching. The founder, Chris Biffle has done extensive research on this method and as we continue through the school year we will learn and practice various techniques that are proven to work. Chris tried many things. Some did not work, but through trail and error he found that the things that did work involved seeing, moving, saying, and hearing the information. The students were continually engaged because they had to think and say and move.

    We will go through detailed lessons both online and through continued specific practice. With continue practice and consistency throughout the school, our behavior referrals will decrease and student engagement and learning will soar beyond our wildest dreams.

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    1. Mitzi,
      Welcome to the book club! Isn't it wonderful to finally have a program that helps our kids with total engagement and fantastic behavior? Oops watch for those tiny errors "trail and error" (trial). Here are 25 certification points to get you started. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Michelle! I am starting the book talk a little late. I see that points should be emailed at the beginning of August. Is there a deadline or do I have as much time as I need?
      I have been using WBT loosely in my classroom for 2 years. I look forward to diving into the book and being more structured with it this year!

      Delete
    3. Mitzi,
      Just take your time and enjoy the process!

      Delete
  62. Good Morning and welcome back!

    My name is Patricia Flores and I am honored to have been selected as yet another member of this school’s exceptional staff. I have heard outstanding things about your campus and hope only to measure up to your level of greatness.

    Let me give you a quick insight into what constitutes my schema. I have taught for 6 years as a Kindergarten, and 4th grade Teacher and 6 additional years as a Reading Coach. I have had the pleasure of failing oh so many times (mighty groan) but learning (mighty oh-yeah) from my mistakes. I was the teacher that enthusiastically went to training, questioned at times, but eventually applied the learning and wondered, what else can I do with this? Quickly I learned to synthesis my learning experiences and create new learning to apply in my classroom. (oh-yeah) Surprisingly, my students were consistently outperforming other students. Unlike many of my coworkers, I had learned the hard way that, in order to allow for this new learning to flourish, I had to attend to my individual student’s social and emotional needs. The times in the morning, after lunch and before the end of school in which we reflected on our contribution to our community of learners, mattered. The time we reflected on our behavior, what worked, what didn’t and finally, the times where praise and suggestions were heard and valued, really did make a difference…all of this happened within the walls of a Kindergarten classroom situated only couple of miles away from the border that separates two cultures and two worlds. I was there, providing the service that their parents had entrusted me with, and by administering to my students, I learned and grew with them.

    As your administrator, I plan to take on the same approach, learn and grow with you. I recognize that our two worlds must merge to provide a service to our students beyond what we now know. It is going to take some learning (oh-yeah), and tears (mighty groan) on both parts, but in the end we will succeed.

    If you wondering why I animate my experiences through cheers and groans, well you have just acquired a taste of what active participation in the WBT approach sounds like. We are very blessed to have come across these techniques that will contribute to our goal as we begin our journey as a community of learners. Now, when I say Staff!, you say Yes!

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    1. Patricia,
      Welcome to the book club! What a great way to get your staff excited for a new school year. In the future, if you will be a little more explicit with your topics you are choosing to explain, that will make your post really stand out. I was a little confused as to what 3 points from chapters 1 and 2 you were telling your staff about. Here are 20 points to get you started.

      Delete
  63. Welcome back to a new and exciting school year!

    I want to talk with you about possibilities and promises. What if I told you that, this year, there is the possibility of “Teacher Heaven?” Take a second to let that sink in. Could it be possible to engage all students in active learning that is also fun? Could it be possible to wrangle those disruptive behaviors to your advantage and at the same time promote core concepts and the personal growth of each and every child? I’m here to tell you, no promise you, my dear staff, that this is possible!

    In my 15 years of teaching, I have many challenging students. They come in different costumes: unruly students, disengaged students, and students who, despite their efforts, “just don’t get it.” Five years ago, I discovered Whole Brain Teaching. The stars aligned and my students were simultaneously learning and having fun. How is that possible?

    WBT uses countless hours of teaching experience combined with brain research to create classrooms that are full of orderly fun. Rub your hands together, please, and beg for secrets of Whole Brain Teaching. I promise you will not be disappointed. I can also promise that this year:

    You will talk less, and your students will learn more. You see, WBT is based on the golden rule, “the longer you talk, the more you lose them.”

    Your students’ challenging behaviors will melt away. How is this possible, you ask? “If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.”

    Your students will “follow your rules, because your rules are fun to follow.” Your classroom will look and sound like a “large and lively game” because what student doesn’t like a good game?

    Welcome to Whole Brain Teaching, the “Teacher Heaven” of possibilities and promises.
    Cheryl McCarty

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    1. Cheryl,
      Welcome to the book club! Isn't it wonderful to have our students so fully engaged that "there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior"? Nice job- here are 25 certification points to get you started. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  64. Welcome to an exciting year of adventure. This year we will be implementing a system that will eliminate poor classroom behavior and increase learning. Do you find yourself yelling or spending money buying rewards to bribe your children to behave or learn important skills, only leaves you broke and still dealing with behavioral issues and children who have not learned basic skills? Have you repeated yourself a million times only to discover that what you taught was forgotten by the time your students returned to their seats? This revolutionary system of teaching will address classroom behavior and learning, while creating an engaging classroom.
    Having been an educator for 32 years now, I have taught hundreds of children who struggled with learning or behavior issues. One year, my class of 25 students consisted of 15 special needs students, 4 gifted students, and 6 “average” students.This classroom was full of behavior and learning challenges. Had I known the WBT way of learning, it would have revolutionized my classroom and would have kept me from leaving the school system due to burn out. Training our staff in WBT will help eliminate teacher burn out. Our school will not be a quiet school, however; it will be one filled with the laughter and learning.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Melissa,
    Isn't it wonderful to finally find a program that can help teachers avoid burnout? Nice job! Here are 25 certification points to get you started. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Good day and welcome! Let’s cut to the chase! I have recently discovered the most amazingly simple way to engage your classroom with a few steps. Mr. Chris Biffle and whole brain teaching has started a movement that should directly impact the way you are teaching and the way students are learning and retaining. He states, "If the whole brain is involved in the learning there isn't any mental area left over for challenging behavior." This is absolutely the truth, I have observed it in my own classroom. The students are so engaged and want to be involved, there is little time for mischief! Can students repeat what they just heard in a typical classroom "lecture"? The answer is most definitely no, even with my most engaging lectures. This is what completely convinced me to study and try Mr. Biffle's methods. In our district “learning targets” are the latest teacher evaluation focus. I would go over my daily goal with the students daily. They were even posted in my room. Every single time an administrator would come into my room I was shocked that no one could repeat the daily goal. What? It’s what we’ve been doing all week? Then, I decided to use whole brain teaching to teach the goal, we use big gestures and tie it to the overall unit goal. It was amazing, the next time my administrator came in I looked in the back of the room and I see two students doing the big gestures of our learning target. My rubric was marked all YES!!!!
    Now I want to share the wonderful things I’ve learned with you!

    Becky Loftus
    Oberon Middle School
    CCFLT President Elect

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    1. Becky,
      I love your enthusiasm! This is a great way to introduce your staff to WBT! Welcome to the book club - here are 25 certification points to get you started. Save a copy of each post and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  67. Good Morning Staff! I am very excited to be here with you today in my new role as principal. I want to start off by stating that I love all realms of education. I am a lifelong learner and I expect the same from my teachers and staff members. Today, I want to expand your learning by introducing to you a teaching system that is based on children’s processing systems that will greatly affect your teaching ability and classroom management. This advance way to learning is called Whole Brain Teaching. The author of the book that you will be reading as professional development is by a man named Chris Biffle. There are a few points that I want to present to you today prior to you reading the first few chapters of the book. The first point is that I don’t want any of you to leave. I believe that you are all fantastic teachers and have a strong desire to grow in your abilities. However, “Good teachers leave the profession every year because of the warring behaviors of kids (and we also know that good teachers leave because of the parents as well)” (pg1). With Whole Brain teaching, you all will gain control over your students (and parents) by setting clear boundaries and expectations so that you don’t leave at the end of the day never wanting to come back. The way that you will set these expectations up is by giving students what they need . . . activity! As Biffle points out, the human brain does not have an on and off switch rather it continues to take in information whether it is good or bad (pg. 2). Teachers that utilize Whole Brain strategies learn how to set up and follow through with their expectations as well as respond to situations in a manner that allows the other persons brain to be active during the learning.
    Whole Brain teaching is based off of many years of failure and success experiences of professionals like yourselves. With all of the research found, there was one item that was concluded through it all. “The longer we (the teachers) talk, the more students we lose” (pg. 6.) Teachers, in general, love to talk. We think that we are helping the students when we give them all of our experiences, insight and solid instruction. The fact is just the opposite. I was once told by a past principal of mine that, “the person doing the task is the person doing the learning”. This message resurfaced again as I learned about Whole Brain teaching. The Whole Brain practice of instruction allows the students to become active in their own learning which in turn releases the teacher from always standing in the front of the classroom giving speeches. To assist in your already great teaching practices, I want you all to read Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Students and begin to reflect upon it. We will discuss various chapters and then apply them to our teaching practices. Happy reading!!! Laurisa Fling

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    1. Laurisa,
      Welcome o the book club! You are right, the students do learn more as they actively take control of their own learning! WBT is a great model to help teachers learn to give up some of that control and allow our students to shine! Here are 25 certification points - save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification. **Make sure to post your full name with each post to make sure you get credited.

      Delete
  68. Welcome back! I hope you are rested, refreshed, and ready for another amazing year! I know that you are excited to prepare for your new students. What would you say if I told you that there is a way to keep your students completely engaged, always on task, and every second of your teaching time will be fully utilized? Does it sound like a dream? I am thrilled to share a tried and true teaching system that will revolutionize our school.
    I’d like to start by telling you how Whole Brain Teaching changed my life. Several years ago I had an extremely challenging student enter my classroom. The moment he walked in the door, with an attitude the size of Mt. Everest, I knew I had a challenge ahead. It felt like he lived to disrupt the class as much as possible those first few months. None of my bag of tricks worked with this kid. He didn’t care about positive rewards. Negative consequences didn’t faze him in the least. How could I reach this kid? I stumbled across Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. I figured I had nothing to lose. I began slowly implementing the five classroom rules:
    Follow directions quickly.
    Raise your hand for permission to speak.
    Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.
    Make smart choices.
    Keep your dear teacher happy.
    Each of these rules has an accompanying gesture. I taught them to the class and also implemented the scoreboard. In the scoreboard the class earns marks on a positive side or negative side. If they had more positive marks at the end of the day, they earned a few minute reward. If they had more negative marks, they had to sit silently and I got the reward. The disruptive student began trying to comply because the class wanted the points. With Whole Brain Teaching I found a way to reach my student.

    One major thing that WBT teaches is that challenging kids cannot be challenging when their entire brain is busy learning. What if we could spend our time focusing on teaching instead of disciplining? What if there is a proven, easier way? I can’t wait for us to dive into Whole Brain Teaching as a school. I look forward to hearing how WBT changed your life for the better.

    Amy Ehmann

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    1. Amy,
      Welcome to the Book Club! Doesn't it sound wonderful to have the opportunity to focus on teaching rather than on disciplining? WBT will provide the tools for you to make this a reality! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  69. Welcome back. When I entered the teaching profession almost 20 years ago, I was bright eyed, eager to teach, excited, and …clueless. My college courses had taught me all I needed to know about educational theory, but very little about how to actually manage a class of 20 students. I thought I would come in and wow my students with my amazing teaching ability. I learned that they had much more to teach me, than I them. I began to understand that kids come to school with a lot of baggage and, while they truly want to be part of the classroom, yelling and scolding isn’t the way to achieve engagement. I felt frustrated and contemplated leaving the job I had worked so hard to get. Have any of you felt this way? What if I told you there is an answer? There is a way to engage both the rebels and loyalists of your classroom. The key is to involve the students’ whole brains in peaceable learning so they don’t have time for the dark entertainments of being disruptive. When our classrooms are full of orderly fun, students buy in and learning happens, whether they know it or not! If we practice the principles of Whole Brain Teaching daily, our students will not have time to disrupt, because they will be so engaged in learning, there won’t be time for anything else. There are no shortcuts to being an excellent teacher, but Whole Brain Teaching can make it easier. I look forward to taking this journey with you!

    Elisabeth Thompson

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    1. Welcome to the WBT "Journey", Elisabeth! Great staff presentation! Here are 25 points for you! Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification. So glad to have you in our Book club!

      Delete
  70. Good Morning, Faculty!

    Happy New Year! I am so excited for this adventure we have the opportunity to embark on together this year. Before we dive into the deep end of the pool, I want to begin this morning with a story.

    Once there was a teacher who grew weary and frustrated. Every day the teacher would wake up and drive to school praying that something would be different. Sadly, teaching was not fun anymore. The stress and pressure of testing had stolen the joy that once was alive in the classroom. Then, the teacher was invited by a friend to go to a conference and reluctantly, the teacher went to Louisiana. (To be honest, the teacher really just wanted to go see the Duck Dynasty factory.) The teacher entered the first day of the conference and immediately realized that this was going to be different. Laughter, movement, and activities that made the time fly by were being thrown at them at a pace that didn’t allow any time for the ADD teacher’s mind to wander. The teacher learned how to make the classroom feel as though the students were in a video game. Successes and even failures were chances to learn. Improvement was rewarded. The teacher was relieved that they would no longer need to invest in Willy Wonka Candy stock to motivate students and captivate the challenging children.

    The teacher came back energized and realized that everything they learned was true and it worked! The teacher didn’t feel defeated any longer. The days and the year flew by faster than ever before because for the first time, in a very long time, the teacher enjoyed teaching. The students sensed this love and passion and were inspired and loved learning because they had a teacher who loved teaching. The students would beg to come to class and learn and sigh when the bell rang! The teacher recognized “The longer we talk, the more students we lose” and shortened the lectures to 10 minutes with opportunities to be “emotionally involved in lessons and incorporated seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving to each thing they did in class.” The teacher saw that the students were completely engaged because their “whole brain was involved in learning and there was no mental area left over for challenging behavior.” The teacher was never the same and neither were the students.

    How many of your figured out the teacher was me? Starting today, we are going to create a future for this new school that is built on research. This brain research proves we can have fun teaching, engage students in their learning, and make gains on those end of the year tests! I’m going to pretend I am Oprah and give you one of my favorite things. This book contains ideas that will revolutionize the way each of you teach. This approach was created by Chris Biffle and is called Whole Brain Teaching. This is not a business interested in making money. This is a movement created by teachers and is constantly being perfected by teachers that are in the trenches. Whole Brain Teaching has a heart to equip others to impact students. I know each of you are passionate about being a champion for your students and have a desire to see them thrive this year. I invite you to dive into the deep end of the pool as we take this exciting Whole Brain Teaching adventure together!

    Angie Tisdale

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    1. Angie,
      Oh my! I love your style of writing, you made me smile throughout! I also love your enthusiasm about WBT (and Duck Dynasty)! Welcome to the book club! Here are 25 certification points to get you started. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to turn in later for certification.

      Delete
  71. Welcome back for another exciting year! I hope you feel renewed after a wonderful summer break! In preparation for the new year, I have decided to let you all in a little secret. This secret is called Whole Brain Teaching and it is going to completely change the way your classroom operates this year! Chris Biffle, the creator of Whole Brain Teaching, created this program to give teachers strategies that engage students through seeing, hearing, doing, speaking, and feeling. Let’s begin.

    “The longer we talk the more students we lose,” Chris Biffle, Whole Brain Teaching.
    Wow. What powerful words! Chris Biffle nailed it right on the head when he said this. As teachers, we spend many hours of our day talking at students instead of talking to students. We get so wrapped up in a lesson we took hours and hours planning and want to get all of the information out to them that we possibly can! When we do this, however, we create a classroom environment that isn’t conducive to collaborative learning. Once we start doing this, our classroom becomes negative, unmanageable, and stressful for both the teacher and the students.

    Students just want to have fun (much like the infamous song), and we need to allow them to do so! Whole Brain Teaching not only allows students to have fun, but it also gets their bodies and minds moving! Kids want to discuss and be heard. Kids want to feel comfortable and collaborate with others. Kids want to talk and think deeply. These are all things that, as teachers, we can do in the classroom! In the book, Chris writes, “…[it] worked because it was brain friendly.” How often do we say to ourselves, “Oh my goodness, I am so tired of standing at the front of the classroom and only having a few students listen to me!” We have all been there, done that. With WBT, we can say goodbye to these negative thoughts and say hello to engaged students!

    Three strategies I would like to briefly go over today are: establish and review the five rules, mirror, and class yes.

    Let’s start with establishing and reviewing the five rules. In WBT, the five rules are:
    follow directions quickly, raise your hand for permission to speak, raise your hand for permission to leave your seat, make smart choices, and keep your dear teacher happy. With each rule, there is a hand gesture. The hand gesture will be something that students can associate with the rule so that they can remember it. When these rules are enforced multiple times a day, they stick!

    Next, we will discuss mirror. You say “mirror” and your students respond with “mirror.” As they say this, they pick up their hands to mirror what you are doing and saying. This can be a powerful tool for remembering important information, dates, and vocabulary. This can also be a powerful tool when reviewing the five rules.

    Lastly, we will discuss class yes. Class yes is one of the simplest tools and strategies that we can use in the classroom to gain attention! You say “class” and your students say “yes.” You can say “class” however you like: in a low voice, in a high voice, singing, moving, whispering, etc. and your students have to mimic how you say it. When you do this over and over, your students expect it and know that it is time to listen carefully and stop talking.

    Having been a classroom teacher for many years, I have tried countless classroom management strategies and engaging techniques that have not been beneficial. In my last few years of teaching, I began using Whole Brain Teaching and saw a total transformation. Not only did my challenge students show me that they can have positive attitudes and follow the expectations, but my overall classroom was happier, better at communicating, orderly, and an exciting place to learn. I gave my students ample opportunities throughout the day to teach one another, rather than me stand at the front and teach, and have intellectual discussions on topics we are learning about. It allowed me to develop a positive classroom environment and make all of my students feel accepted and cared for.

    Let's have a great year!!

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    1. Hannah,
      Welcome to the book club! Your coworkers will appreciate the ideas you have shared here! I love your comment "With WBT, we can say goodbye to these negative thoughts and say hello to engaged students! " Here are 25 certification points ~ save your posts and points awarded in a word document to turn in later for certification.

      Delete
  72. Good morning and welcome to a brand new school year! As we begin this new year, I know many of you are feeling anxiety, nervousness, and pure excitement. Those feelings are normal as I experienced those as a classroom teacher, and now as your new principal. We all look forward to new lessons and strategies that provide productive learning, enthusiasm for the content, and 100% student engagement. I want to share with you a way we can accomplish those three things with every lesson.

    Early in my teaching career I was introduce to the Whole Brain Teaching system. I knew it was the perfect solution for my classroom in a high poverty school. Whole Brain Teaching brought classroom management using a scoreboard, super improvers wall, and five important rules. Also the student engagement was very visible with "teach-okay" and "mirror and words.” The students enjoyed learning new content with the Whole Brain Powerpix and Speed games.

    Now your probably asking yourself, what makes it work? The answer is simple according to Chris Biffle, “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” I experienced this first hand in my own classroom. When I started using Whole Brain teaching, I went from having 50% student engagement and “Little Johnny” disrupting everyone in the room, to having 100% student engagement, and “Little Johnny” was no longer disrupting everyone because he was trying to earn a star on the Super Improver wall.

    I’m encouraged with you as my staff that we can change the atmosphere of learning in our school. I’m encouraged by the sounds of teachers practicing “teach-okay” in the classrooms. I’m encouraged by the enthusiasm our students will have towards learning. I’m encouraged by the number of students we will empower with knowledge. I am encouraged by you, and I want you to be encouraged by the change Whole Brain Teaching will bring to our school.

    Let me leave you with these last words as I hope I have not done this to you. Chirs Biffle says the First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching is “the longer we talk, the more students we lose.”

    Megan Sowers

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    1. Welcome to the WBT Book Club, Megan! Great response to the first chapter assignment! I look forward to reading your next post! Here are 25 points for you! Please save your posts and points awarded in a word document to turn in later for certification.

      Delete
  73. I’ve been dreaming of this day for so very long…a Whole Brain Teaching charter school in Ohio! This movement, spear-headed by Chris Biffle and his amazing team, has become the revolutionary teaching method for engaging students in a fun yet very effective way. Finally, modern education has caught up with what we’ve known--in theory and now reality--that teaching should be student-centered.

    I taught middle school for 11 years and had mixed feeling when I was elected to go to first grade, though I was excited to see where the end of my certification would take me. My first year was…awful. I was floundering with 25 students who looked to me to not only teach them but reign in the first grade bully. To this day I consider this student the most challenging student I ever had in my teaching career, which led me to question my ability to teach effectively. I was becoming unhappy.

    During that year I started searching online for a better way to teach and I discovered the 5 rules on the WBT website. That led me to Class-Yes, Teach-OK, hands and eyes, mirrors, switch, the scoreboard and the super improver wall! I was beyond ecstatic as others noticed the drastic, positive change in my classroom; students were playing the game of learning! All of you have your own stories about how you came to WBT and now to our new charter school! Now, let’s do what we came here to do (clap, clap) “Teach”…(clap, clap) “OK!”

    Melissa Williams

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    Replies
    1. Melissa,
      Welcome to the WBT Book Club! Wow! Moving to first grade must have been quite a culture shock after teaching in middle school for so long! This is a great letter to begin your certification journey! Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification. Here are 25 certification points to get you started!

      Delete
  74. Good morning and welcome back! My name is Megan Copeland and I have been teaching and working in education for many years. As we begin our journey together, I would like to introduce you to a new teaching technique that has proven to be very effective. Before I do, let me give you some background into how I came to discover it. Three years ago I went in search of a new way of teaching and learning which has breathed new life into my career and life in general. Whole Brain Teaching is a way of accessing all parts of the brain of a student, leaving no time or room for distraction. According to Chris Biffle (Coach B.), the creator of Whole Brain Teaching, I may have already lost your attention and you haven’t heard a word that I’ve said. The same is true for our students, the more we talk, the more we lose them. A few years ago, I found myself telling my students over and over again to “pay attention” and “focus” on the lesson, but I couldn’t hold their attention for more than a few minutes. Then I attended a conference about math practices that was delivered in strict lecture format. I couldn’t recall one thing from the morning except for the dinner recipes ideas and cleaning to-do list that my mind had wandered to. I had an epiphany that I was subjecting my students to the same boring delivery. They can't pay attention to something that they were never really engaged in to begin with. That’s when I began searching for a new way and discovered Whole Brain Teaching. This technique is based on brain studies that have found that the brain tunes out after only 10 minutes of stand and deliver instruction. Students who are tuned out often become off task and then become a disruption. This is the result of poor instruction, not bad kids. We are causing our own biggest headaches. Whole Brain Teaching activates and exercises all parts of a student’s brain and targets all types learners: auditory, visual, kinesthetic, etc. Using Whole Brain Teaching techniques will guarantee 100 % engagement and engagement which makes the life of a teacher much easier and makes learning stick. We will start at the beginning and explore some of the basic practices and then you can begin to implement them in baby steps. We will meet to share about successes, challenges, and next steps. I don’t want to tell you all about the successes of the techniques; I want you to experience it yourself.

    Megan Vescio Copeland
    Goldfarb Elementary School
    Las Vegas, NV

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Megan,
      I agree, teachers do tend to cause many of our own biggest headaches by lecturing way too long! Welcome to the book club! Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification. Here are 25 points to get you started!

      Delete
  75. Craig Mutton

    (I previously posted this without realizing that my wife had signed me out of Google, so I am reposting signed in.)

    As I welcome you back to a new school year marked by a new approach to education in our school, I'd like to share a little personal history with you.

    Years ago, I contracted with Berlitz School of Languages to teach Spanish to a group of public school teachers and administrators. The school's teaching method required total involvement by the teacher to creatively engage students individually and as a group. Humor and exaggerated activity made the class feel more like a game than a language course. My students learned Spanish and had a good time doing it.

    Later, I also taught in an A.C.E. school that used a self-paced, self-teaching curriculum. This required highly structured procedures executed in a thoughtfully constructed environment. That combination worked so well that it freed me up to spend my time helping individual students with their specific academic needs.

    Still later, I taught in a traditional school classroom. I entered with optimism and big plans. From the first day, however, I fought for control of my class. This was no inner city school, either. The children of doctors, small business owners, instructors and a dean at the local college, and other respectable, educated individuals used every opportunity to disobey, show disrespect in their speech and actions, and to turn my classroom to chaos. The first quarter, I managed to cover two whole pages of the textbook with my seniors.

    Whole Brain Teaching has enabled me to analyze my moderate successes and my epic fail. Like Berlitz, Whole Brain Teaching stresses student engagement and introduces an element of fun into the learning process, but, like A.C.E., it does so in a highly structured manner wherein the teacher takes and retains the initiative. It also constantly recruits multiple areas of each student's brain which creates associations that deepen learning. When this happens the students have no idle brains with which to conceive trouble, as I experienced in the traditional classroom.

    As you incorporate the Whole Brain approach into your teaching, remember that your students' brains demand activity. If you don't direct them into positive activities, they will devise their own negative ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Craig,
      It sounds like you have a wealth of experience! Using Whole Brain Teaching methods can be effective with a diverse set of learners as you have seen! Nice job, here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids
    Chapters 1 & 2: Intro and Origin (pages 1--‐8) Coach B says... "You've just been made principal of a charter school and you’re about to address your staff for the first time. Select three points from chapters 1 and 2 that you are going to talk about describing key aspects of Whole Brain Teaching. Include one story about your teaching experience."

    As we approach a new school year and new mindset we must first address how we expect our students learn from us. If we look at our classrooms full of students in frustration that they don’t listen, don’t hear us, or don’t understand what we are telling them, we must approach what we do for a living with a new idea, a new focus, and a new plan. It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We definitely need different results! Yelling at our kids will not make them listen to us or hear us. (They’ve been yelled at enough at home, thank you, very much.) We need to do something VERY differently. Our new course of action will be Whole Brain Teaching.
    Teachers using the Whole Brain Teaching techniques will find that even challenging students will become engaged and active learners. This has never been truer than in the case of, student, Avont I. Avont was a hyper active child that had a history of taking over lessons, classrooms, hallways, and on more than one occasions, schools. He was a… not small fourth grader. His size and his drive to control and disturb others was overwhelming, at best. He was a “challenging learner” poster-child. Avont had an office referral “rap-sheet” unrivaled by even the toughest sixth grader on our low performing, low-income elementary school campus. It was to be my very first year using Whole Brain Teaching in my classroom. I had read the book, cover-to-cover. I had attended National Conference in Louisiana. I was ready and willing to approach my teaching (and Avont’s learning) in a new and exciting way. If I told you the changes in Avont after just a few days of WBT you would think I was exaggerating. No one knew Avont was an A student. No one knew he was inventive, creative, funny, and hard working. No one knew that Avont was a leader just waiting to happen! But, he was! This rambunctious boy who, by all accounts, was on his way to an alternative education system, would try to wait (as patiently as he could) for opportunities to teach his peers, to demonstrate for administration, and to model WBT strategies for the Texas Education Agency representative that frequented our campus! He was a natural. More importantly, Avont was happy! His teachers and administrators were happy and his parents were elated to not be on a first name basis with his fourth grade teacher. Whole Brain Teaching did that for my classroom, it did that for my Avont. I will forever be grateful. Who knew all you had to do was have fun and make kids forget that they wanted to be disruptive and keep them too busy to even remember to get into trouble.
    (Sad side note- Avont’s family relocated to another part of the state In late December. We had just begun creating a testimonial video, at Coach’s request. He was one of our favorite characters and we missed him sorely.)


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    Replies
    1. Michelle,
      What a great story! I'm sure most teacher will have an "Avont" at least a few times in their careers. Isn't it wonderful to have such a great set of tools to help these children see success? Here are 25 certification points, save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
    2. Michelle,
      What a great story! I'm sure most teacher will have an "Avont" at least a few times in their careers. Isn't it wonderful to have such a great set of tools to help these children see success? Here are 25 certification points, save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  78. Good morning and welcome to a year of fun for both teachers and students. According to Chris Biffle, founder of Whole Brain Teaching, “we enter teaching because we want students to be successful and we are daily beaten down by the kids who most need our help.”

    My first year of teaching, I entered ready to change the world. As Coach B described, “I was beaten down by the kids who most needed my help”. Year after year, my classroom management improved but there were still times I felt defeated and didn’t know what to do next.

    As one of the attributes of an exemplary educator is lifelong learning, I searched for a way to take away my feelings of defeat. Today I am excited to introduce you to Coach B’s Whole Brain Teaching or WBT for short. WBT keeps your classroom management system fresh and exciting by introducing new challenges to students, celebrating personal improvements, and providing games to make learning engaging.

    WBT produces classrooms that are full of “orderly fun”. Students follow rules because they are introduced and rehearsed in a fun way. They are teaching their neighbor and racing to beat the teacher to earn extra review games.

    Students are engaging the whole brain. The secret to Whole Brain Teaching is this, “if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.”

    I am pleased to introduce you to the man himself, Chris Biffle, who is going to get you even more fired up and ready to implement WBT even on the first day of school!



    -Kara Christensen

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    1. Kara,
      Welcome to the book club! Your staff will love this introduction to WBT, and will appreciate receiving the tools to help avoid that defeated feeling you described! Here are 25 certification points, save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  79. Good Morning Staff,

    As hard as you tried not to think about school this summer, I am sure you have spent hours analyzing what worked and did not work with your last class, and have been frantically searching online for student engagement and/or classroom management strategies to implement with your new class. Well, look no further. This school year, we will transform every classroom by partaking in a revolutionary teaching system that will knock your socks off! We will do this through Whole Brain Teaching.

    A couple of years ago, after having taught primary grades for 3 years, I was given an unruly group of 5th grade students. Not only were most of them behavioral problems, but also they were 2-3 grades below grade-level. The only way to get them to behave was to have them copy notes from the board, while I lectured. During the note taking, my students were engaged (so I thought), and classroom behavior began to improve. However, the majority of my students failed most of my tests, even though they were allowed to use their notes. I was definitely keeping them busy, but they were not fully engaged and I was not allowing them to use their time in a productive manner. I began to research classroom management and engagement strategies and I came across Whole Brain Teaching. Chris Biffle states in his book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Students, “You can work really hard, using the wrong techniques, and get nowhere.” Everything began to make sense. My students were not failing; I was failing them. I began implementing lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving to emotionally involve them into my lessons. As Chris Biffle states, “Challenging students couldn’t be challenging because their entire brains were too busy LEARNING.”

    How did I know Whole Brain Teaching worked? My students drastically improved their academic grades, they improved by 2-3 reading levels, and they scored Proficient and Advanced in their State Science Test. Not only that, but class attendance considerably improved. My students wanted to come to school and genuinely wanted to learn. As time went by, other teachers on campus began to notice the change in my students and began asking me what I was doing with them. One teacher approached me and said, “Whatever you are doing in your class, you NEED to teach me.”

    If you are ready to see what 100% participation looks like in your own classroom, rekindle your passion for teaching, and want to transform your class the way I transformed mine, be ready to work hard while having fun doing it. Let’s get off on the right foot this school year! Who is ready to get started?

    Gricelda Pelayo

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    1. Gricelda,
      What a wonderful success story! My favorite line was "My students wanted to come to school and genuinely wanted to learn"! WBT really does make a difference! Welcome to the book club! Here are 25 certification points. Save you posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  80. Good morning fellow professionals!
    I am proud to be your new principal. We will work together as a team moving all of our students forward. I am also delighted that we are a charter school ready to implement new ideas and proven techniques that may be somewhat different. I would like to tell you about the Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) Program that we will be implementing school-wide. Soon, you will each share amazing excitement about this program. Before I continue, I must tell you this story.
    Two years ago, I was walking down the halls of my previous school when I saw this gigantic pirate ship mural outside a classroom. It was so intriguing that it tempted me to peak in. Inside the room, the pirate theme continued with vines hanging but it was so neat and organized. I heard this teacher say “Claaasssssss!” The class responded, “AAARRRGGGHH!” all in one accord with hand movements thrusting down. I was shocked. I continued watching. After they said that, there were smiles and an unusual happiness I had not witnessed before. The students became like statues awaiting the Captain’s instructions. They did it again, a different way. “Classity class-class-class!!!” “AAAArggity-argh-argh-argh!!!” The teacher was the captain and the students were captivated by her as much as I was. The laughter was orderly. Then…. there was complete silence….silence….
    This is how I was introduced to Whole Brain Teaching (WBT). It is a program that puts you in what is known as Teacher Heaven. The teacher, Captain Boudreaux, was a great success story because she used the WBT program incorporating seven super-wonderful steps to engage 100 percent of her students with orderly learning and fun. The great proven and world success of WBT is why I have chosen it. Lessons taught will involve “seeing, saying, hearing, and physical movements” to incorporate into your own teaching style. We will enjoy our students as they enjoy achieving. Challenging students will be less perplexing because their brains will be too busy learning. Small increments of instruction will be followed by students teaching each other.
    At today’s staff meetings our team leaders will be introducing the first seven steps of the program to you. Be prepared! Yes! Be prepared for the fun your students will also be having all year long! The WBT program, a core method involving many brain activities, was created by Chris Biffle. The literature is free. The website and learning videos are free. Our teacher heaven is free to us! This will be our first year together and our best year ever! Thank you!

    Regina-Champagne Babin

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    1. Regina,
      How wonderful that you were able to witness an example of WBT right in your own building! Isn't it amazing how happy those students are when the class is running smoothly and filled with fun? Welcome to the book club! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  81. What is most of your students’ favorite thing to do at home? Most of the time when we ask this question a great percentage will shout out video games. What if we could turn our classroom into a place where students are engaged like they are when playing a video game? We can do this by engaging the whole brain in the learning process. WBT is an organized approach to orderly fun in the classroom where kids can laugh, play games, move, and learn more than they ever have before. I want to share some points of this program with you today.
    The first point I want to make is that kids want to have fun. In WBT students are finally engaged and having fun while learning. I know most of you want to have a fun classroom environment but maybe you struggle with organizing and managing it. The second point is that every student wants to learn. No matter how a student acts in class, they all desire to learn and be the student you want them to be. The third point is the foundation of the program, the longer we talk, the more children we lose. The longer a teacher talks about a concept, the more students she loses.
    My first year of teaching, I realized that I had a gap in my rules that was driving me crazy. My kids were constantly getting out of their seats and talking out of turn. I knew I needed to find something to solve this for the next year. That is when I discovered WBT. My second year I tried implementing the rules, the scoreboard, and parts of the oral writing. It changed my classroom environment from fun and chaotic to fun, organized learning. I hope that all of you will attend the conference this summer so we can get as many people in our school on the WBT train.

    Thank you,
    Mollie Clark

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    1. Mollie,
      Hi! Welcome to the Book Club! It is nice to hear that making those simple changes, adding the rules, scoreboard and oral writing, made such a difference in your classroom! Here are 25 certification points! Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  82. The start of a new academic year is always inspiring for me. Students will flood the hallways with nervous whispers and faces will light up with the promise of a new school year. As a veteran teacher myself, the mere thought of it all seems a bit intimidating. Teachers work harder than anybody else, wear many hats, and juggle school and home responsibilities. We do so because nothing gives us more satisfaction than watching our youngsters learn.

    What if I told you that I can help you teach smarter and not harder? Through the implementation of the Whole Brain Teaching method you can teach 100% of your students, 100% of the time while keeping them actively engaged and having fun. Together we will become a Whole Brain teaching school. Book studies, professional learning communities and webcasts will be provided to help guide us in our efforts.

    My teaching experiences have given me the opportunities to teach across grade levels from K-8 and across curriculum from Spanish, Gifted and Talented, Basic Skills, Technology, Inclusion, and in the traditional classroom. A common thread ran through each setting. All of the children wanted to learn in a fun, positive classroom community that provided boundaries where they were engaged and responsible for their own learning. As professed by Chris Biffle, the architect of Whole Brain Teaching, “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” That is, the more we engage our students in orderly fun; we will do less “refereeing” of our classrooms and more teaching. Whole Brain Teaching engages students visually and physically while encouraging critical thinking with multiple reminders and rewards. From my own personal experience, my learners advanced and teaching became fun again. As we begin this school year, I am excited to embark on this journey of successes with you and our students.

    Thank You!
    Bethann Barneman

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    1. Bethann,
      What an encouraging letter to your staff! I'm sure they will love WBT and the results it provides! Here are 25 certification points! Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete

  83. Good Morning Faculty and Staff,

    Today we begin our journey together, one we will embark on through Whole Brain Teaching. As we begin this journey, it is important to acknowledge that we are not alone. We are all here together because we believe the same things when it comes to our scholars and their education. We all want our scholars to get the most out of their education and the best way to do that is through Whole Brain Teaching formerly known as Power Teaching! For over a decade Whole Brain Teaching has been tests in all grade levels from Kindergarten through college! So no matter what grade level you are teaching or your scholar’s backgrounds others have been through it too and there are plenty of resources available for you at the touch of a button.

    As Chris Biffle wrote in Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” Now if implemented correctly, Whole Brain Teaching creates an environment that has 100 percent engagement and leaves little to no room for negative behaviors.

    After several years of teaching, I continued to find myself in the same situations. A situation with students who lost focus easily and took forever to get back on task, it wasn’t until I found Whole Brain Teaching that I truly felt in control and on top of everything. Whole Brain Teaching gave me the opportunity to create an environment that allows for 100 percent engagement! I watched my students go from off task to excited and eager to learn! Whole Brain Teaching was the answer for me then and it will be the answer for us as we embark on this journey together.

    So, as I wrap this up I want to leave you with one more quote from the great Chris Biffle, “We found our students were completely engaged in class when they are emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving.” So think about how his vision and Whole Brain Teaching will play into your lessons. Think about what you and your scholar will be learning and doing.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Nicole,
      Welcome to the Book Club! I love that you were able to see your students make that leap from "off task to eager to learn"! That's what makes WBT so wonderful! Here are 25 certification points. Save these in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  84. Teachers, I was searching one day for an interesting way to teach compound words. Among the searches that came up was a video of a teacher doing a compound word lesson with her class. I clicked on the video and it changed my teaching for the better. The teacher was using strategies from a wonderful program called Whole Brain Teaching. The program was founded by a man named Chris Biffle or Coach B. He taught the upper grades and then asked two of his elementary school friends to help him develop and try out this new approach. This program worked very well in their classrooms. Chris Biffle tried twenty five years before he found the secret of using the whole brain when you teach. This program will help your most challenging students learn.
    I had a student one year that was a challenge. Her own mother told me, “Good luck!” Her biggest way to act out with me was to go under the table and not obey the rules. I ignored her and then began my lesson using the WBT strategies. Within minutes, she came, on her own, to the carpet to join in the lesson. It’s hard to resist a lesson when it’s so fun and interactive for the children. We will all work together to incorporate these strategies into each classroom this year and my hope is that this school will flourish with learning. I want to leave you with a significant quote from Chris Biffle, “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.”
    Thank you,
    Charisse Norton

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    Replies
    1. Charisse,
      Nice job! Welcome to the Book Club! Isn't it amazing that we can help those challenging students so easily by just offering them a fun and meaningful way to learn? Here are 25 certification points. Save you posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  85. Good morning, faculty and staff! I am so thrilled to begin this school year as your principal. I look forward to learning and growing together as we reach our students each and every day.
    I am excited to begin our study of Whole Brain Teaching as we bring it into our classrooms. As I was reading Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle, I found myself shaking my head in agreement with so many of the statements that he wrote in this book. It reminded me of this past year in my teaching career. I taught two classes a day of around 25 fourth graders each. My teaching partner and I had grouped the two classes by their MAP testing scores so we were presented with a low group and a high group. I did not have a problem keeping the low group engaged but I struggled with my afternoon group. This high group of students wanted to talk to one another, even during the most inappropriate times. I could barely get through my lessons each day because of the chattiness that I was encountering. I had tried Whole Brain Teaching before but I had steered away from it for various reasons. I knew that I had to bring it back into my classroom for the sake of my sanity and the learning of my students. My classroom began to transform almost immediately!
    WBT is orderly fun. It incorporates a game-like atmosphere into your classroom and brings your instruction to life. Students are able to interact with one another and learn at the same time.
    WBT involves the entire brain. Students’ brains are so involved in the process that there is not enough room in the brain for misbehavior. Chris Biffle writes, “We found our students were completely engaged… in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving.” This is why my classroom was transforming before my own eyes. My students were still able to communicate with one another but in a way that I was in control of the situation at all times.
    WBT is for every school, in every city, and in every state. It does not matter where you are teaching. Teachers from all over are using this program and seeing the success that it brings!
    I look forward to speaking with you more about WBT and the success that it will bring our students at our school.

    -Courtney Wood

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    1. Courtney,
      Thanks for joining the Book Club!! I love your comment "...my classroom was transforming before my own eyes." It is truly amazing what WBT can do in our classes! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  86. Good morning! Today is a new day with new staff members and a new administrator. That in itself is a lot of “newness” and a lot of changes! However, I would like to propose one more new thing: a new approach to teaching called Whole Brain Teaching! Actually, Whole Brain Teaching is not new. In fact, it has been around since the late 1990’s. It is simply new to me!
    Last year, I wracked my brain trying to find a better way to teach and reach “those” students in my classroom. You KNOW the ones that I am talking about: the ones who constantly question your authority, who shout out answers instead of waiting their turn, who have decided that being the class clown is their goal in life! As I say that, one student in particular comes to mind: a boy who loved to laugh, and wanted to learn but was constantly distracting those around him. It got to the point that every time I said his name, he would look at me with a guilt-riddled and confused expression. It broke my heart to see that the only time he laughed was when he was off-task! Why could I not elicit that same joy and laughter from him when he was on-task?
    In the course of my quest to solve this issue, I discovered that “disruptive kids break rules, distract classmates, bond with other rebels, retreat into walled silence, are nourished by resisting their instructor’s best intentions … because their brains demand activity which the classroom does not provide.” (Biffle, 2013, p.2). I believe that I have found an approach that addresses these issues; an approach that addresses the needs of ALL students to be heard and understood; an approach that lets kids be kids while at the same time pushes them to learn and grow! That’s right I said “pushes”, not “punishes”! “Challenging kids are rebels; punishment makes them more rebellious” (BiffIe, 2013, p.1).
    And how does WBT do this, you may ask? It pushes kids by engaging more and more of their brain in fun learning activities! For students to be engaged, we as educators must be ready to let go of the reins a bit. We must be ready to have a noisier classroom where students are allowed, nay encouraged, to talk about what they are learning with a partner. Students are also encouraged to move, using gestures to help describe what they are learning! Biffle and his collaborators discovered that “students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing and physically moving” (2013, p.8).
    If what I have said so far intrigues you and makes you want to know more, I would encourage you to embark upon this Whole Brain journey with me. I truly believe that in doing so we will change the futures of our students.
    Christina Morgret

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    1. Christina,
      Fantastic job! Welcome to the book club! You are right, it is so important for teachers to learn to allow a little bit of noise, and a lot of movement to help our students learn in a fun and engaging environment! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification!

      Delete
  87. Good Morning! I am excited about our new school year together! This year will be filled with energy and fun. I have some great news to share with you. We are going to implement Whole Brain Teaching at our school. This program will keep your students engaged, minimize challenging behaviors, and it will be FUN. This will be teacher heaven!

    The creator of Whole Brain Teaching, Chris Biffle, created whole brain teaching to help teachers and give them teaching strategies that use a student’s whole brain. He found, "The students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, hearing, and physical moving.” They will be engaged in each lesson as they use the gestures, mirroring and teaching partners. We will learn more about each of these techniques as we continue. Children want to learn and this will give you the tools to help them.

    In chapter one of Biffle’s book, he says, “If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” What great news! Our students will want to listen and be a part of class. Whole brain teaching will minimize challenging behaviors in our students. This will make a positive impact on our school.

    Whole brain teaching is fun! Your class will look forward to school each day because learning will be fun. When I started WBT it made teaching fun again. I enjoy the interactions with the students and planning the exciting lessons. This program is developed to feel like a game. The students will have so much fun, and they won’t even realize they are learning! This year will be filled with funtricity!


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  88. Melissa,
    Welcome to the book club. You have done a great job at identifying the cornerstones of WBT and how using their entire body and brain do not allow a student to have time or energy to 'misbehave'. Here are 20 certification points ( Include one story about your teaching experience.) Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification. **Make sure to post your full name with each post to make sure you get credited. Happy WBT discussing!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Welcome Back!

    As we settle in this morning I want to give you a little of my background. Six years into my teaching career I discovered Whole Brain Teaching (WBT). It revolutionized the learning environment in my classroom. It was introduced to me by the counselor at my school after sensing my frustration with management issues and following an informal observation by my principal that revealed a low percentage of student engagement. Today I am going to share its three key elements. If you are ready to learn WBT’s three key elements, give me an “Oh yeah!” (staff responds) Very nice!

    1. (show #1 with index finger) The more we talk, the more students we lose.
    2. (show #2 with fingers) Students learn more when having fun.
    3. (show #3 with fingers) In WBT it is more entertaining to work hard than to zone
    out or misbehave.

    On my signal,
    Turn and tell your neighbor point #1: “The more we talk, the more students we lose.” and
    point #2: “Students learn more when having fun.” (clap, clap) Go! (allow time for a brief interaction)

    Staff, for the third point, please echo me: “WBT provides a framework (pause) where it’s more entertaining to work hard (pause) than to zone out or misbehave.” (pause) Great job!

    In WBT these three elements are woven into classroom management as well instruction. It is an outstanding program based on brain research that proves that more efficient learning happens when students see, say, hear, and move while learning material in an engaging way. This is the kind of learning I want to see at 'Success! Charter' and I am committed to helping us get there!

    -Traci Katz

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    Replies
    1. Traci,
      What a fun and effective way to introduce this to your staff! You utilized the gestures, mirrors, and teach/okay! Welcome to the book club! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  90. Good morning! I am Virginia Boney and I am delighted to be your principal. Did everyone grab a book, a hanky and an angel halo on the way in this morning? That is great because you will be weeping tears of joy. Welcome to teacher heaven! We will be implementing Whole Brain Teaching by Chris Biffle this school year. Everybody say "OH YEAH!"

    One technique I need to teach to you before we get started is called teach-ok. I will deliver a brief lesson then will clap twice and say "teach." At that point you will say "ok" then turn to your partner and say the same thing over and over until I say "class" at which point you will say "yes" and fold your hands and look at me. Let's practice that now.

    When I was in the classroom for some 20 years I learned professional renewal kept me energized and excited to return year after year. I learned that I had to grow as a professional teacher - or I would die. Tell your neighbor that teachers must grow or die - "Clap, Clap, TEACH."

    Class, I could stand up here and give you a long lecture on lesson learned in my time in the classroom, but we all know that the more we talk, the more people we lose. This is especially true for our students. They need opportunities to talk and have fun. Turn to your neighbor and say, "the more we talk the more students we lose. "Clap, Clap, TEACH."

    The final point I want to make is that the origin of Whole Brain Teaching is imbedded in brain research. Please tell your neighbor how Whole Brain Teaching is brain friendly, it is tested and it works. "Clap, Clap, TEACH."

    Now, let us all recite in unison "Power to the Teachers - OH YEAH!"


    ReplyDelete
  91. Virginia,
    I love your first paragraph! That will certainly increase the enthusiasm! Welcome to the book club. Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Welcome to the new school year! I am so happy to meet you! I am sure you are all thinking about last minute preparations and how you are going to make this year the best yet! We are all looking forward to being with the students and making sure each child has a successful and productive learning experience this year. I am happy to share with you a way that you can make this happen! This morning I am going to share with you the secret to a year filled with fun, laughter, and learning. It is a new way of teaching called Whole Brain Teaching.

    Whole Brain Teaching was developed by Chris Biffle, an educator with over 25 years of experience in the classroom. It has grown into a grass roots movement, helping educators find a way to better reach their students and therefore have amazing academic success.

    I have taught for over 30 years. For a while, I believed educating children was becoming hopeless. I started to believe we were on a course for failure. Children would come into my first grade classroom with minimal skills and very little ability to focus. They were wiggling all over the place or they were falling asleep! They had almost no self-control and no social skills. On top of this, the academic expectations continued to rise! High stakes testing and data reviews were making every classroom teacher nervous! I tried to stay positive. I worked extra hard but I felt like I just wasn’t as effective as I needed to be.

    In Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, Chris Biffle writes, “There are no shortcuts to being an excellent teacher.” We know teachers work hard! We work hard organizing materials and decorating our classrooms. We work hard preparing and implementing our lessons. However, are we working hard or are we working smart? Were we able to control those challenging kids? Did we engage 100% of our students? Did the lesson sing or did it thud? Bad days in the classroom are not always from lack of trying. Our classroom simply was not brain friendly. We had left room for students to zone out. We had left room for students to challenge us. There are no shortcuts, but we need to work smarter as educators!

    One of the most important points Chris Biffle makes is that the longer we talk to our class, the more students we lose. Even though we may believe that what we are saying is essential or even enlightening, our students simply tune out and are not engaged in the learning process. Right now, how many of you are tuning out because you’ve been sitting in those chairs, listening to me talk this morning?

    Whole Brain Teaching keeps students involved in the learning process by engaging the students physically, mentally and even emotionally. There will be laughter in the classroom! How is that possible you may ask? Kids love to play games. Whole Brain Teaching incorporates games and movement. This system makes learning fun for both teacher and students making everyone a winner!

    You may be wondering, can laughter really have any effect on learning? Chris Biffle writes “We found our students were completely engaged in class when they were emotionally involved in lessons that required seeing, saying, hearing, and physically moving.” I can remember being a student myself. There were classrooms where my mind wandering off for hours! I couldn’t care less about what was being taught. I had no investment, no engagement. But I also remember classrooms that made me excited and happy! I threw myself into my studies! I didn’t want to leave and I couldn’t wait until the next day! How do you want your classroom to be remembered? As you prepare your rooms for the students arriving in a few days, I challenge you to explore Whole Brain Teaching. I know it will make you a happier teacher because your students will be more engaged in your classroom. I am looking forward to a great year filled with learning and laughter!
    Linda Bolotin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda,
      What a motivating letter! Your staff will love the difference WBT makes in their classrooms! Welcome to the book club! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification!

      Delete
  93. Yes the rumor is true! This year we will be implementing Whole Brain Teaching as a building. I am so excited to see your love for this reform movement grow as you see your students become more engaged and excited to learn in your classroom.

    Over my years as a special education teacher, I became desperate for something that would assist me in reaching all of my students. Through much research, I found Whole Brain Teaching. Even with a variety of disabilities and needs, I saw my students become more engaged and wanting to hear what I had to say. The more I bought in, the more my students bought in.

    Below are some of my thoughts on Whole Brain Teaching that I would like to share with you.

    First, Chris Biffle discusses in his book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, that “…if a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” I am charging each of you with the responsibility to keep your students’ whole brain engaged in your lessons to keep your students learning rather than exhibiting that challenging behavior that we are all too familiar with.

    Second, we must be consistent and authentic in practicing Whole Brain Teaching techniques daily. I know that we are all affected by things that we carry into our classroom and it can be easier to become reactive to students challenging behavior rather than proactive. I want you to think about this: would you rather be tired at the end of a long day because of how much information you provided your students, or because you had to spend your day managing challenging behavior? Biffle quoted Rafe Esquith saying “there are no shortcuts to excellence.”

    Finally, and possibly most importantly, the more we talk, the more students we lose. Short, concise “mini-lectures” have the power to keep your students engaged and learning with their whole brain. What more can a teacher want?

    I look forward to a great year as we embark on this learning experience together as a team.

    Jana Greer

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    Replies
    1. Jana,
      Great letter! Those mini-lectures truly do encourage the students to stay on task and to think more critically. Your school will love the change in behavior that they will see! Welcome to the book club, here are 25 certification points! Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  94. Susan Abrahamse August 13, 2015 at 12:33

    Welcome back! It is my pleasure to assure you this will be our best year yet! Please turn to the person next to you and tell them, “This is going to be our best year yet!” Did I see some eye rolling with that? I bet some of you are thinking, “Yeah…he hasn’t seen my class list.” I used to think the same kind of things. I really tried to work with those kids, trying new ways to help those who wouldn’t stay in their seats, talked out of turn constantly, and had problems getting along with others. I tried but often I wasn’t successful. But what if I assure you there is another way…a way to approach and engage the whole brain in students. This way will so completely engage students that their brains will not have time to misbehave…they will be too busy learning! We will do this by teaching in small amounts because the longer we talk the more students we lose. Students will be involved in saying (make talking movement with hand by your mouth), hearing (point to the ear), and physically moving (move arms in circles by your sides). When I say “Teach!” I want you to say “OK” and tell your partner (with gestures) the three things whole brain teaching will involve. “Teach!” You have just experienced whole brain teaching! This year we will work together as a team to engage our students using this technique. Please give me a mighty “Oh Yea!”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan,
      Your school will be excited as they begin this new journey! Welcome to the book club! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification!

      Delete
  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  96. Reflection Entry #1
    Chapters 1/2
    Juliann Caveny

    When asked why I’ve decided to use Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) with my 7th and 8th grade Literature/Language Arts classrooms as a veteran teacher, my answer isn’t, “The kids won’t listen.” I’ve been blessed with good students in a supportive, small school district. There are individuals who struggle, but behavior isn’t our number one concern. Instead, my choice to include WBT has more to do with the ever-changing, diverse learner that enters my room. To reiterate Chris Biffle (Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, p.5): “There is something dreadfully wrong with the lecture model.” At the junior high level, that’s what must change. My students need to be activity engaged more than ever before if I am to succeed in shifting their mindsets from the hours of Minecraft to debating strategies. It is my goal to help them be successful designers of the future and therefore, I need them to be active and engaged in their learning. By using WBT strategies, they build new worlds before my very eyes!

    Also, I have had a hint of success using WBT. I attempted the basics last year. I noticed a change in peer-to-peer interactions immediately after the first “Teach-Okay.” Even after I let WBT cues go, after a long Christmas, weeks and weeks of snow days, and the endless testing fiasco of 2015, my classes still utilized the powerful mini-discussion strategies we had worked on during the first two quarters! Instruction time changed in the classroom. Time on task changed. This “peek” at the potential for my classes motivates me to continue. I am excited to use WBT year-round and see where the learning takes us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Juliann,
      I'm thrilled that you are going to try it again this year! Jump in with both feet and stay consistent and you will see great results! Nice job! Here are 25 certification points! Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
  97. As teachers enter the room have the song 'Happy' by Pherrel Williams playing. After music is turned off...and I have introduced myself I would say the following....

    This charter school is going to do amazing things. It is going to have children loving school and who are engaged in their learning through brain based learning. It is going to have teachers that facilitate higher order learning with great expectations. It will have test scores that soar and parents that praise the school and the efforts there-in!!! What is this teaching NIRVANA???? It is THIS school and we will reach this goal through WHOLE BRAIN TEACHING ! This is one of the great Wonders of the World!!! After teaching my kinderbabies for 21 years I was getting burnt out. I tried the hot items on the teaching blogs like clip charts, behavior models, motivation charts. I was always let down with the results. I was a good teacher, I had gotten Teacher of the Year in my district. YAY!!! I was praised for excellent management and scores. In my heart, I knew there was more to be done. My AHA moment arrived for me in the shape of a webinar with Chris Biffle. I was hooked instantly. I started with baby steps. I used the 5 Rules, Scoreboard, and Teach Okay. I became rejuvenated in a way that was magic! My kiddos were excited... saying things like, " this is the best day ever" and using WBT was EASY! I was talking less, they were 'doing' more. They were engaged with their entire body in fun learning. I followed up with implementing the Super Improver Wall, Genius Ladder, and Biffytoons. I had many teachers come through and visit my classroom to witness the kids' awesomeness and gold I had struck with WBT. My test scores were higher than ever. My kinders learned over 150 sight words and were writing Genius level sentences , my class was a well oiled FUN machine, and it was the best teaching experience of my life. My class became a family that praised each other and celebrated improvements. Whole Brain Teaching gave me that, and now I want to give that to you by introducing you to Chris Biffle and that first webinar. Let the magic begin!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wee3850,
      I can feel your enthusiasm and I'm sure your staff will too! It sounds like you have been quite successful with WBT so far! Nice job and welcome to the book club! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification. **Please sign your posts with your real name so we can keep track of your points.

      Delete
  98. Please note: There is a glitch in the website for Chapter 3. Please email your responses to MichelleShelton@wholebrainteaching.com for that chapter and I will email you your score. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  99. nuts and bolts I posted it for chapter 3 ... but it didn't show up.. of course I didn't save it.. :)

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  100. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  101. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  102. September 13th, 2015
    Chapters 1&2 Intro
    Welcome to a new school year! I am so excited to work with you on how to make this school year meaningful and fun. I have been using a break-through way of teaching called “Whole Brain Teaching”. Whole Brain Teaching is a researched method created by Chris Biffle, used by many teachers. This way of learning keeps students engaged during highly structured lessons by stimulating all areas of the brain. When all areas of the brain are working, students will stay focused, absorb more information, and most importantly, have fun during learning! It’s OK to be silly and have fun while you are learning! My students loved this way of learning, our scores improved, and challenging behaviors were a thing of the past!
    The Whole Brian method is an incredibly interactive form of teaching. The teacher delivers information to students by breaking it up into manageable “chunks”. Students will then turn to another student near them, and teach what they have just learned using lots of hand-gestures/body movements to help remember specific vocabulary and key ideas. While the students are busy teaching each other, the teacher will observe them and walk around the room to see who comprehends the lesson and who needs further instruction. Research shows that children remember and learn more when they have the chance to put it into their own words and use gestures for emphasis on instructional points they have learned.
    One key point that I have learned from this book is that teaching is repeating. If you don’t like repeating yourself, you are in the wrong profession! You can do this in fun way! I encourage all of you to read the book Whole Brain Teaching by Chris Biffle and watch your teaching transform!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brooke,
      Fantastic introduction! Welcome to the Book Club! You will love the difference WBT makes in your classroom! Here are 25 certification points. Save you posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification. **you can email me your chapter 3 post, there is a glitch in the system on that one (MichelleShelton@wholebrainteaching.com). Thanks!

      Delete
  103. The three key aspects that I would talk to my new charter school about are that yelling and substantial amounts of punishing activities does not work to improve student behaviors, challenging kids really do want to be part of the whole class, and that excellence comes through hard work.
    “Disruptive kids break rules, distract classmates, bond with other rebels, retreat into walled silence, are nourished by resisting their instructor’s best intentions … because their brains demand activity which the classroom does not provide. The brain has no off switch … and is constantly learning either positive or negative behaviors.” (pg. 2) If we are not providing the necessary stimulus for their brains to be full of positive learning opportunities, they will fill with other creative and less desirable ways to keep entertained. Each teacher must be prepared with engaging lesson plans and maintain constant reliable expectations for every student. Students must be given positive behaviors to learn.
    Raised voices, angry words, and incredible amounts of time spent writing sentences or missing recesses is not successful in changing the student’s behavior. The student wants attention from his peers and teachers. “Most challenging kids genuinely want to be part of the classroom environment; this is why they work so hard, and continuously, to get everyone’s attention.” (pg. 1-2) Attempting to correct behaviors in the ways that didn’t work when we were children, is only repeating history. It is not assisting students to learn, grow or improve in necessary life skills. Involving students in the classroom and teaching responsible behaviors assists students in becoming part of a positive community environment.
    Students are not going to be perfect model citizens in your classroom after one lesson on being nice. Repetition is key in Whole Brain Teaching. Students will improve at their own pace, our responsibility is to provide the skills for growth and the structured environment conducive of positive interactions. Through repetition in this positivities, students will achieve excellence … and so will we.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geni,
      You made some excellent points! I agree, writing endless sentences is an enormous waste of time! The alternative choices WBT offers make sense, and they build the child up rather than tear them down! Welcome to the book club! Here are 25 certification points! Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification!

      Delete
  104. Welcome to a new year! I have just three words for you. WHOLE BRAIN TEACHING! I am so excited to embark on the journey of Whole Brain Teaching with you. This concept will creative a magnificent change in classroom management and teaching techniques. I have read the book and learned many new techniques for teaching.

    If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior. When we stimulate all areas of the brain, which Whole Brain Teaching does, the students have no room in their brain to challenge the teacher! The brain has no off switch so we must keep their brain working and thinking the entire day.

    The longer we talk the more students we lose. This couldn’t be truer at any grade level. If I stand up and teach a lesson to kindergartners and they are just sitting in their seats, I lose them in the first five minutes. They glaze over and are no longer tuned in to my teaching. When incorporating the Whole Brain Teaching methods the classroom is transformed. The “mirrors” technique is a great way to get students active in the participation of the lesson. It gets students moving which stimulates the motor cortex and helps with memory. The “mirrors” technique of Whole Brain Teaching is a great way to incorporate movement into different lessons. Mirrors can be used when teaching vocabulary words to students. It can also be used when giving the students directions. You can give the students directions in chucks so there is not too much to remember. The students repeat them back to me with the hand gestures which really gets them engaged.

    Whole Brain Teaching is a valuable tool to use throughout the year and will overcome the obstacles we face each year in our classroom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Britney,
      Welcome to the book club! WBT will be a perfect way to have orderly fun as your kindergartners soar through their year! Here are 25 certification points! Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
    2. **Please note, Chapter 3 has a glitch, please email your response to MichelleShelton@wholebrainteaching.com Thanks!

      Delete
  105. Chapter 3, 7 Mistakes
    Dear self,
    This is your year! You have spent all summer studying Chris Biffle’s Whole Brain Teaching for challenging kids. Last year was probably your most challenging year as a teacher. Let’s face it, you lost your temper a few times which actually made your teaching worse. “Bad teaching breeds challenging students. Teachers, by their teaching choices, create environments that nourish rebel behavior.”
    This letter is to remind you of something a professor once told your class in college which has somehow always stuck with you. “Take a step back, count to ten, and depersonalize the situation. If you take it personal, you are in a power struggle.” This year your goal is to keep calm and smiling no matter what the situation. Remember, “Many of our most disruptive students come from families that are filled with superbly experienced, high volume yellers. If being addressed by screaming, out of control adults made our challenging kids better, then children from crazed families would be our model pupils.”
    Also, always remember to follow the great law that governs life, “Grow or Die”. Continue to be a risk-taker and try new things. Observe teachers you admire, and try it out their way. Even failure is a learning experience.
    This year will be the best year yet with your renewed energy and positive attitude. Make every day count!
    -Brooke Norman

    I was unable to post this on the Chapter 3 page after trying for several days, so I posted it here in hopes that you would see it!
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brook,
      You picked some great quotes from Chris B. These are a great way to change your own mindset so that you can be the teacher they need. Some minor pesky errors with capitalization for the book title, but "it's cool!" Here are your 25 certification points.

      Delete
  106. In my fifth year of teaching (about the time I finally felt like I knew what I was doing), our district implemented a trial kindergarten math program. I was chosen to spearhead the endeavor along with a handful of other teachers in a total of three schools.

    We were sitting in a training one night watching videos of one another when we came across one teacher with a class make up that resembled my own. Approximately 20 low socio-economic, primarily Spanish-speaking kiddos were sitting on her carpet.

    Before my eyes, I witnessed magic. The teacher did a series of quick, practiced movements. The children responded with their own quick, practiced movements. Then, the children turned and talked to each other. Every student was engaged in conversation and motions; no one was rolling on the carpet; no one was yelling. It was beautiful.

    This magic was called Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) and it is an approach I am hoping every teacher will see the value in implementing this year.

    Through WBT, students are continuously engaged in visual, audio, and kinesthetic learning. By engaging all their senses, students are left with no opportunity for divergence from the immediate expectation. Suddenly, they are completely immersed in the lesson and not only willing, but eager to find out what happens next.

    WBT also incorporates collaborative learning as an additional engagement strategy. Coach B, the proprietor of WBT, explains that regardless of how engaging you think your lesson is, “the longer you talk, the more you lose your students.” Giving them the opportunity to talk and problem solve can give students a sense of pride in their learning because they earned it versus heard (or hopefully heard) it.

    Maybe most importantly, WBT and learning is fun. Students want an outlet for their energy; they want something to engage them. Teachers want control of their classroom; they want their students to be engaged. WBT combines all of these desires into a classroom management strategy that has been proven effective in countless classrooms across the globe.

    I can’t wait to see the difference it makes in our school; in our classrooms; in our students.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catherine,
      Welcome to WBT! You will love the difference it makes in your classroom! You (and your students) will love the happy atmosphere and total engagement as they learn while having fun! Here are 25 certification points!

      Delete
  107. Similarly to Brooke, I can't seem to get this to post on the Chapter 3 link. Sorry about any confusion!

    Dear Self,

    You’ve known for years that patience isn’t your strongest virtue. Although you’ve been working on it, it’s still one of your biggest growing points. Because you work in a school with children that have chaotic, unpredictable, and sometimes destructive home lives, it’s crucial to provide your students with patience and understanding. This year, before talking in frustration, take a minute to visualize the following:

    How would you want an adult talking to your child?

    How would you have felt being spoken to the way you spoke?

    What is the exact change you’re hoping to accomplish? What do you need to say and do to make that change for the positive?

    Additionally, at the beginning of the year, you spend hours, days, weeks, even months doing as much prep as possible. When school starts, you feel incredibly prepared and remarkably ready to meet each day. Then comes the day that you only prep the minimum. It turns into prepping the morning of instruction. You detest that feeling. “Lazy teachers create classes that could care less about what is being taught.” Your favorite part about teaching is the “aha” moment that students get. Laziness simply does not beget that moment.

    This year, when laziness starts to kick in, ask yourself if it’s worth the frustration. Frustration leads to impatience. Students can’t learn when presented with frustration and don’t want to learn when presented with laziness. Do yourself a favor and make everyone’s school experience purposeful and enjoyable by prepping the bulk of your plans a week in advance.

    I believe in you,
    Catherine

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    1. Catherine,
      Thanks for posting here, we are still having a glitch in Chapter 3 on the book club. You posed some great questions here that would be beneficial for any educator to revisit during the year. Keeping on top of our own manner of communication with the students is not only a great way to model our expectations, but also helps us be reflective and responsive in our practice. Great job! Here are 25 certification points!

      Delete
  108. As the principal of a new school, the first topic that I would address with my staff is about lecturing. During a lecture, many students zone out and become disengaged with the presentation and the presenter. According to Chris Biffle, “The longer we talk, the more students we lose.” (p, 6). As teachers, it is our responsibility to engage students in the classroom by breaking the traditional classroom mold. We must stretch our limits to ensure all students are able to adequately understand what we are trying to teach them.
    At this point, I would have the faculty divide into groups of about five or six people for 10-15 minutes. I would have them discuss strategies that they can use within the classroom that deviate from the typical classroom lecture style. This will allow the teachers to share strategies and teaching methods that they have already found effective within their own classroom as well as share strategies and teaching methods that have not worked. After the groups have met, each groups will share one strategy that the group found to be the most memorable. By allowing the teachers to meet in small groups, they are taking part in what whole brain teaching is all about. They are given the opportunity to learn from fellow teachers and share their own strategies. I would take this opportunity to talk with the faculty about the need to steer away from the typical lecture model and focus on more than one teaching strategy. This area will be addressed further in the third point.
    The third area that I would touch on would be about the mission of whole brain teaching: using the whole brain for student learning. Biffle says, “We must involve our students’ whole brains in peaceable learning or lose them to their own dark entertainments.” (p, 2). Instead of solely focusing on listening and memory, which is used primarily from lecturing, whole brain teaching aims to use the visual and motor cortex as well as the speaking, listening, emotions and memory parts of the brain. By doing this, students are challenged within the classroom and behavioral problems are reduced to a minimum.
    I would conclude my address to the faculty by sharing my own personal experiences within the classroom. I have had good lessons and bad lessons. Upon reflecting on those lessons, the good lessons had the students moving around and actually enjoying what they were learning about. The students were engaged, they asked questions, they laughed and discovered more about the topic. The bad lessons involved students sitting in their seats, listening to me talk. Because these students were not given the opportunity to move around, talk, and ask questions, they took it upon themselves to move around by getting out of their seats without permission and by speaking out inappropriately in class. Although we cannot excuse poor behavior, we can choose to make every effort to prevent the poor behavior before the students are given an opportunity to partake in it. Maya Angelou once said, “When you know better, you do better.” This should be the mission for every one of us and for our students. Because we know better, we must do better by our students. In return, we will be doing better for ourselves as well.

    Hannah Deel

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    1. Hannah,
      Welcome to the Book Club! You are right! Moving from traditional class lectures to using our WBT techniques will be an exciting change for your staff! Here are 25 certification points~ save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification. **You can email me your post for Chapter 3, there is a glitch in the system for that chapter: MichelleShelton@wholebrainteaching.com. Thanks!

      Delete
  109. Dear Staff,
    Welcome back!
    My name is Nicole Kaufman and I am thrilled and honored to be your new principal. I’m sure you’re all thinking about how to make this school year the best one yet. I am looking forward to sharing this journey with you.
    After teaching for quite some time, my approach to teaching became dry. I found myself raising my voice more often and demanding more control from students who just wanted freedom. I remember one instance specifically. I was teaching a new writing technique. This technique would prepare the students for their weekly written portion of our reading test. This was a brand new strategy that should have been introduced little by little. Instead, I introduced a four step writing technique in one lesson. I did nothing but lecture for an entire hour. My second graders were exchanging glances, notes, drawing pictures and talking. One student even got up in the middle of my lesson to, “stretch his legs!” I would stop my lecture in order to reprimand these kids for…being kids! After this lecture, I was floored when the students couldn’t perform this four step writing process on their own. I felt as though my lecture was crystal clear. There was even a poster of this process on the board. Never once did it cross my mind that, “The more we talk, the more students we lose.” I went home frustrated. That was the moment. I knew I needed to find a new tactic. After some research, I discovered Whole Brain Teaching and I will never look back.
    Whole Brain teaching is an exceptional system that engages every child in the classroom. Think about the term, "whole brain teaching." “If a student’s whole brain is involved in learning, there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior.” I had to accept the fact that my lectures were dull and my discussions were not as engaging as I had thought. My students were just plain bored. In addition, “If students’ behavior could be controlled by angry adults, then kids from troubled families would be exceedingly polite.” To me, that makes perfect sense. Yelling and piling up punishments are not going to help improve behavior.
    After initiating Whole Brain Teaching in my classroom, my students were more engaged and less disruptive. I was stunned by their level of improvement. My classroom had evolved into a much more cheerful environment. The students were encouraging each other to do their personal best. They were no longer in competition with each other; they were in competition with themselves!
    This Whole Brain Teaching approach will help overcome the struggles you face daily in the classroom. It was also allow you to become more effective teachers. Let’s make it the best school year ever!
    Nicole Kaufman

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    Replies
    1. Nicole,
      Welcome to the Book Club! I'm so glad to hear the positive changes WBT has helped you make in your classroom! Here are 25 certification points. Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  110. Nicole Desrosiers ~ 2nd Grade Teacher ~ New Hampshire

    Good morning, excellent teachers! I am so thrilled to be here with you on this educational journey. As our new school year begins, I want to take this opportunity to share with you a cutting edge teaching system, created by Chris Biffle, called Whole Brain Teaching. Over the next few days, we will unwrap the working mechanics of this program that have changed the lives of teachers and students around the world. Allow me to present a few key facts.

    First, Whole Brain Teaching is based on the understanding that students are fully engaged emotionally when the whole brain is involved through seeing, saying, hearing and moving. Students who would normally find ways to defy their own learning, suddenly find that “there isn’t any mental area left over for challenging behavior” because the teacher has kept them engaged throughout the lesson.
    Next, since this method highly involves the student in their own learning, gone are the days of long teacher lectures that only stimulate a student’s hearing. Since they are not being engaged emotionally, they tune out and are not invested in their learning. This is emotionally draining for both teacher and student. Whole Brain Teaching techniques bring life back to the classroom! With a constant flow of energy, both teacher and student feel reinvigorated.
    Finally, Whole Brain Teaching is fun! Chris Biffle calls this kind of classroom enjoyment “orderly fun”. Due to its systematic approach, teachers engage students while practicing these methods many times each day, all the while changing up their approach - students never know what is coming next! This level of enthusiasm maintains a high level of student engagement all day long.

    I have seen dramatic results in my own classroom with these “whole brain” approaches. Students who were once struggling to remain focused are now following my lessons with a renewed vigor and I am able to encourage them and heighten their enthusiasm. As well, students who were struggling to remember basic principles are now reciting and remembering facts that we had learned two months ago because of the added gestures we put in place. My students love using gestures... many we have learned from Whole Brain Teaching and some we have created on our own. Not only are my students learning, but we are having fun! We laugh each day. Students who were once timid are now enjoying their time as peer teacher, leading their class through our Whole Brain routines. These are the kinds of teaching days that I wish for you to experience this year. Let us begin this journey of Whole Brain Teaching together!

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    1. Welcome to the WBT Book Club, Nicole! Excellent post! I agree, WBT encourages a "constant flow of energy" in the classroom! Here are 25 certification points! Save your posts and points awarded in a word document to submit later for certification. Please email me your post for Chapter 3...there is a problem in the system for posting to that chapter: NancyStoltenberg@wholebrainteaching.com.

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    2. Thank you so much, Nancy! I am thrilled to be on this WBT journey...
      Nicole

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