As a sixth grade teacher in an elementary school I teach ELA and Social Studies. In each of my classes every day I have a specific skill I want my students to master. One of the strategies I use to focus on these skills is Whole Brain Teaching. It is an engaging approach that uses kinesthetic learning to help students remember a concept. Whole Brain Teaching has been around for a good number of years and they have a complete system dedicated to the Whole Brain Teaching way. Click the video below!
I must say upfront that I do not follow Whole Brain Teaching religiously. I take pieces of this method for my teaching style and my students. I started by researching youtube videos online of other classrooms and how they implement Whole Brain Teaching. Once I finished my research, I implemented it in my classroom and made it work! What I took from this method is the use of hand motions, repetition, and students teaching each other.
What is the benefit of this strategy?
We move fast in my classroom. Whole Brain Teaching keeps my students engaged, keeps them on their toes, and allows them to critically think through a concept by teaching someone else. Teaching someone else in an authentic way is one of the highest levels of showing understanding. I force my students to teach each other every day.
Even if they fumble through the process the first day, by the end of our week they are masters. I also have many inclusion and learning support students in my class. The use of motions is extremely helpful for these students. If they are working in guided practice or independent practice and find themselves stuck, I can simply show a motion and they are back on track.
Where does this take place?
When I teach a specific skill we always go to the back carpet. You might be thinking that sixth graders do not belong on a carpet. Oh, but they do! Every 15 minutes we change locations in the room to keep our energy levels up. By creating this space at the back carpet, I am closer to them, can see everything that is going on, and it makes for a special time where they expect what I’m saying is important.
If you’re interested in learning the basics of Whole Brain Teaching, check out the following post that will lay out the verbal and physical cues I use with my students!