Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Club - Chapters 3 and 4

I'm following along with the book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids (I bought the Kindle version).  There is a book study page over at the blog http://wbtbookclub.blogspot.com.  This site is mostly for people who want to become WBT certified, so I am sharing my thoughts here, too, in case you are more interested in just learning about what WBT is!

To see my thoughts on chapters 1 & 2, read this post over on my other blog, Teaching With Style.

Chapter 3
This chapter is all about the common mistakes that teachers make.  The author and creator of WBT, Chris Biffle, highlights these seven:

  1. Losing your temper and yelling at kids
  2. Confronting misbehaving children in front of their peers
  3. Having a disorganized space
  4. Being unhappy in your job
  5. Being unwilling to take work home or putting in more time than your contract indicates
  6. Assuming that all children love school or want to follow directions intrinsically
  7. Refusing to change or grow as a professional
Chris believes that until we get our classroom under control, we cannot begin to dive into our curriculum and standards.  When students do not know the expectations and are unable to follow directions, how can we expect them to do the hard work of learning?  Whole Brain Teaching techniques will help us as teachers get a handle on our classroom and enable students to really start learning.

Chapter 4
This chapter focuses on charting your OWN behavior.  Weird concept, I know!  And when I started reading the chapter, I honestly didn't understand why someone would take the time to write down how they reacted or behaved, because it's about the kids, right?  Well, Chris says that "you cannot manage student behavior if you cannot manage your own behavior."  Powerful words.

Out of the ideas in this chapter, I especially liked the idea of putting students into behavior categories.  I always know which kids are my leaders and which ones are my challenges.  But what about those middle kids?  Chris came up with these categories:

  • Leaders - the very best students
  • Alphas - model students
  • Go-Alongs - sometimes fell short of being a model student
  • Fence Sitters - Could go either way (maybe a bit like a loose cannon?? ;)
  • Challenging Students - we all know who these are!
In the scenario in the book, Biffle talks about rating the students each week on whatever measures you want.  The example was 1) following directions quickly, 2) raising hand for permission to speak, 3) staying on task, 4) turning in neat work.  The goal is to move each student up one level by the end of the year.  Eliminating problem behaviors seems like a daunting and hard task to fulfill  but when you break it down into reasonable and actionable goals, it is do-able!  I loved this method of behavior charting and felt that it would be beneficial for myself and the students! 

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The beginning of chapter 6 starts teaching us all about the actual strategies that make up Whole Brain Teaching.  I will be back with my commentary on those chapters in a few days.  But I would like to leave you with a fun freebie that I whipped up in the car on the way to visit my parents on the Oregon Coast.  I hope you love it and can use it in your classroom! {Click the photos to download}





I'm linking up with TBA!
Freebie Fridays

17 comments:

  1. I am very interested in this WBT concept. I may be buying this book to read on the way to vacation in PA this week. I just wanted to let you know though, that there is no rule #3 in your signs. You have 2 #2's. :) Thanks for the freebie, looking forward to the update!

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    1. I just updated, so go re-download! Thanks for letting me know :)

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  2. Thank-you for picking this UP! I wanted a friendly conversation about the WBT methodology but didn't want to do the point thing. I used WBT for the first time this last year. I Love it! The classroom rules worked. I love rule 5-- keep your dear teacher happy covers a lot of ground! :D

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad to have you following along!

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  3. I want to keep up with WBT this year...I'll definitely be following this blog closely. Thank you so much for the adorable freebie! Love it! :)

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    1. Gladys, your new 3rd graders are going to love WBT! :)

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  4. I am going to do WBT full force this year and I have an owl theme so these are perfect for my room. They are adorable! Thank you so much!!!
    Lisa

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    1. You are so welcome, Lisa! We can cheer each other on this year!

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  5. Tried WBT some last year... this year is full force... hopefully I will get to watch more videos and I'm going to purchase the Kindle book too! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You are welcome, Melanie! I'm the same way - ready to go full force! :)

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  6. I was alway interested in WBT. Found your blog from your other one!! Can't wait to read more ideas about it.

    Andrea
    Cheers To School

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    1. I now follow you, too, Andrea! Good luck in China!!! :)

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  7. I'm reading the new WBT book this summer and blogging about it as well. Tomorrow I talk about chapter 3. Would love for you to stop by and check it out!

    Brandi
    Success in Second Grade

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    1. Headed over there now, Brandi! Thanks for letting me know!

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  8. Nicole,
    I'm assuming you have an owl themed classroom? I love your posters! My whole classroom is ladybug themed so it was very difficult for me to determine how I was going to set up my SIT wall. Have you started the SIT yet? I have not and am so excited about incorporating this into my classroom in the fall. How is your book study going? I am on Chapter 11 and can't put it down!
    Laken
    http://wholebrainteachingintheladybugclub.blogspot.com/

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    1. I actually don't! Sounds crazy, but I got those adorable owls from Graphics From the Pond and I just had to make something with them! I have always loved owls and thought it would be fun for the WBT posters! My classroom has a tropical theme, so I'm working on those ones right now and will post soon! :) I haven't tried the SIT yet, I only did the rules and Class Yes last year. I'm excited to learn more about WBT this summer and do the entire program next year!

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  9. Another great post! I have a page on my blog called "Where to Start". For each technique I encourage people to read the chapter in the book, watch the webcast, read the forum posts, read other people's blog posts, and watch some classroom videos. The page on my blog has some great resources for each technique. I'm going to read some more of your blog, and I may link to one of your blog posts! If you have any questions, let me know, and keep up the great work!

    Sarah Meador
    Whole Brain Teaching in Middle School: Where to Start

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