Whole Brain Teaching Anyone?

Happy Sunday.

I'm furiously working on one of my Summer Bucket List items:

I'm recovering these pool lounge chairs.  I'm using Sumbrella fabric to "recover" them from oblivion.  We've had these chairs for about five years.  They eventually wore through...meaning, we fell right through them.  Since they are pricy, I got crafty last year and sewed new inserts for them.  They turned out nice.  Unfortunately, they only lasted a year.  So, I'm going through this whole process one more time.

Next year, hubby has agreed to build the nice "Pottery Barn-like" lounge chairs.  No more sewing for me!

Until then, I'm sweating the day away.  {Not literally, just sewing furiously so that I can have these ready before SUMMER officially begins}.

T-minus 8, people!

I've completed one full chair...which means I can stop for now.  I'm really only worried about having a spot for my rear end come June 1st. Plus, I'm out of thread. 

But, I guess if I want family or friends to join me, I should get head out and get more thread.

I'm taking a break to share this with you before heading to the store.

Whole Brain Teaching

Is this a new concept to you?  If so, let me give you a little background.
This year, I've learned so much from so many teacher-bloggers that it is mind boggling at times.  On the other hand, it's so refreshing and my teaching has improved {I think}.   

I think I first read about this concept on Angie's blog: Time Out and Tootsie Rolls. Cute blog, by the way, you should check it out.  After watching a video over on her blog, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more.

So, I started researching.  I asked my boyfriend, Google, all about it.  He was so informative (right Kristen?).

 I found the the idea behind Whole Brain Teaching (also referred to quite a bit as Power Teaching) is this website:
The concept is simple, really.  Basically, we want to teach to the whole brain (remember learning-styles...tactile, kinesthetic, etc.?).  It's simple, really.  There are a few easy little things we can do as teachers to make this a success. I started watching some of the videos on the WBT website.  Chris Biffle has many videos that help you visualize how it works.  Here's lesson 1:

If you are interested in what you see, you should head over the WBT and become a member (it's FREE) and watch the other videos.  There's a series and they are so informative.  

During the last several weeks of school, I've used my students as guinea pigs, folks.  At first, I was afraid they would find it hokey.  They are fourth graders {ie biggies}, after all.  But, they love it :)

Let me tell you, it's working.

I started with the "Class-Yes" and "Mirror".  Both are very effective ways of making sure you have your students' attention.  

Next year, I'm going "full-on" WBT. 

Stephanie over at 3rd Grade Thoughts has a great post of how to introduce the rules.  Head on over to her blog for the scoop of how to introduce rules with motions (essential to WBT).

Intrigued yet?

If this is new to you, leave me a comment letting me know.  If it is not new to you, please leave me a comment telling me how you use WBT in your classroom.  I really want this to be one of my goals this summer to research and then implement next year.  

OK- off to buy that thread.


  1. I think whole brain teaching is an awesome idea for any classroom. I haven't gotten into it fully yet in my classroom, but have implemented some of the techniques into my classroom. Learning more about it this summer is on my high priority list. Did you know that there is a conference at Walsh University in Ohio in July for Whole Brain Teaching and it's free. (Not sure where you live so I didn't know if you would be able to go or not.)

    My (Not So) Elementary Life

    1. I wish I weren't so far away, Heidi! That would be something I'd like to go to for sure!

  2. Hi! I love Whole Brain Teaching!! Although I have not implemented everything in the program as of yet. I have used the rules, motions, and class-yes for the last 2 years, I started using other aspects of the program this year. My principal liked it so well that all of my 2nd grade team will be suing it next year! We are all going to watch the videos together! I am a follower of your blog.


    2nd Grade Pig Pen

  3. Thanks for the shout-out! I looooove WBT! It's so easy, so tranformative, and best of all, so much fun! Plus, there are tons of resources out there, especially on YouTube, so it's easy to see in action and put into practice the very next day.

    Heidi, I am heading to the conference in Ohio & I am sooooo excited!

    3rd Grade Thoughts

    1. You are welcome, Stephanie. I've loved seeing all of your signs you've been making, too!

  4. I've been eyeballing this program for awhile; I just haven't had time to really do anything with it. Maybe I'll add this to my list for the summer-especially since it looks like I'll have a pretty small class next year that I can test it out on!

    Will Grade For Coffee

  5. I love it - I've only used a few things: Mirror My Words, & Gestures, Class-Yes, the clap-clap-Teach! They've worked beautifully. I want to look over it some more this summer to thikn about how to integrate even more of the ideas next year. Love it.

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  6. I have been integrating bits of Whole Brain Teaching into lessons. Just a little bit at a time and tweaking it to fit different activities. I like the concept, but wasn't comfortable jumping right into it all at once. The more I do, the more I love!

  7. I looooooooooove whole brain teaching! I try to steal as many ideas as I can from Chris Biffle and all of their YouTube videos :)

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class Blog is Having a Giveaway!
    My TpT Store

  8. I've used bits and pieces but there is a free WBT conference in my state this summer, and I so want to go! I'm hoping my bubs lets me use some of his hotel points, as it's three hours away!
    Stories From Second

  9. My cooperating teacher I interned with this spring introduced me to Power Teaching. Thanks for the website! I intend to learn more about it. The "class-yes" worked great, and she used a lot of "gestures" or "mirroring". It got me really interested! The few videos I've watched have shown me that if we keep this up the kids will stay engaged. Another part she used that I want to use that was kind of shown on the video was "teach-ok". When you want them to "teach" a partner, you say teach in a way you might say class, example: "teach teach" clap clap, "ok ok" clap clap. Then they turn to someone and teach them what you wanted them to, then once your satisfied with their teaching (it's usually only about 30 seconds long or you'll lose them) you call them back with the "class-yes." Such a great way to teach!


  10. I know of this (thanks to our guy!!) but now I am super intrigued to learn more. I just added this to my summer list--thank you Elizabeth, you always share the best things (even better than Google, but don't tell him, he's sensitive)!

  11. I love WBT! I started using it (well power teaching then) during my second year of teaching. It just made so much sense and made my management so much better. I use to sometimes accidently start talking without getting all of their attention. What a mistake that was! I would have to repeat directions 3,000 times! :)

    One of my favorite items I think that I found on youtube. Students whisper their answer in their hand and then the teacher counts down. "3, 2, 1!" Then all students shout out the answer.

    I don't use everything. The scoreboard did not work with my class this year. I do use modified rules and definitely class- yes as well as teach-okay. :)

    Thanks for the reminder- I need to go back and research some of the other components. :)

  12. I want to read A LOT more about Whole Brain Teaching this summer ... hopefully while relaxing on a fabulous pool lounge chair (or my hammock). ;) Good luck on the chairs - I LOVE a good DIY project!

    Runde's Room

    1. Finally just finished the chairs, Jen....come on down south to try them out :)

  13. Thanks for the shout-out! I am so excited that you will be giving WBT a try. I love using it. I am going to try to hit one of the free conferences this summer - probably the one in Missouri! Best of luck - ((I hear a book is in the works ? ! ? Wouldn't that be great!))

    :D Angie
    Timeouts and Tootsie Rolls

  14. I love it! I'm new and only got into it a bit last year, even though I started just after school began! I hope to be ready to dive in all the way this coming year!!

  15. I have just recently started to see bits and pieces about WBT while blog hopping. Has anyone used it with middle school students? I feel like a lot of the info I've seen about it relates more to elementary kids. I'd really like to give it a try, but I'm not sure how my 6th graders will take to it. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks :)

  16. I just found your blog via Katie, Queen of the Jungle! I am a Carolina girl myself (I live right ouside of Summerville) and I teach first grade. I found WBT after school started last year and immediately fell in love with it. I shared it with some of my fist grade teachers and they got hooked as well! I just started a new blog anappleadayinfirstgrade.blogspot.com. I know I'm just a "firstie", but I would love for you to stop by sometime!


  17. I've heard a little about this...but now I'm intrigued. I'll let you know how it works.