After a two full weeks back at work, I’m finally awake enough past 6pm to post. Miracles do happen. I thought I would post about one of the things that has kept me from not going completely insane just yet.
I have a very interesting crew this year. They come from all different schools (can you say “rezoning chaos?”), which means they come from places with all different rules, procedures, and expectations. Getting a class full of preteens on the same page as far as all of that goes is by far, the hardest task I’ve experienced in teaching.
Over the summer, I did some research on Whole Brain Teaching. I don’t like all of it. Some of it seems like forced memorization vs. actual comprehension. So naturally, I took the parts I liked, and made them work for me.
The parts I have implemented so far are the callbacks of “Class, Yes”, “Teach, Ok”, “Switch, Ok,” and “Mirror, Mirror”. My group of kids NEED constant engagement, or chaos breaks loose very quickly. I have already found that using “Teach, Ok” as often as possible saves everyone a bit of sanity. Using the “Class” callback is far from perfected just yet, but it DOES get their attention, and it does give them a chance to be loud, if even for a brief few seconds.
As far as “Teach, Ok” goes, I do not do it the way WBT normally does. Instead, I pose a question, have students ponder quietly on their own, and then “teach” their shoulder partner what they know or what they think. I also use “Teach, Ok” to have students summarize a concept or lesson. But having them yell exactly what I’ve said at the top of their lungs at each other, at the same time? No thanks, WBT.
In any case, here is the freebie of the posters depicting the four callbacks I use, and have hanging in my room right now!
Click here: whole brain teaching
So, in between all of the WBT, I found a few minutes to snap pictures of my kids in their favorite spots to read.
Under a table.
At the computer.
In my chair, and under desks.
Under all of the backpacks.
And in the spot they will all claw each other’s eyes out to be…the Reading Zone. (It’s okay, it’s my favorite too!)
Time to get ready to tackle yet another day. Second Friday in, though! It can only get better from here…I hope! 😉