Sunday, August 12, 2012

My First Day of Whole Brain Teaching!

It's over.  We all ate lunch and made it home.  That's a successful first day in my book.  This year I have 15 little darlings excited about being a big kid.  They are a sweet little bunch and I am looking forward to experimenting trying out some new things on these kids... :)  Over the summer I discovered Whole Brain Teaching.  If you are not familiar with it, please check out their website {HERE} or some of my previous blog posts on it {HERE}.  Our first day was all about procedures.  We went over everything you can imagine.  How to sit at a desk (they sat at tables in K), how to go to carpet, how to line up, go to the bathroom, and unpack their things.  How to do morning work, turn it in, and what to do when finished.  How to walk in the hall, where to sit in the cafeteria, and playground rules.  I am familiar with all of these procedures.  I am comfortable with them and know what they look like.  What I was unfamiliar with was teaching Whole Brain Teaching Rules and setting a foundation for learning the Whole Brain way.

I watched Coach B's webcast on the first hour of WBT, but adapted it to fit my needs.  It was not possible for me to start the day with it.  I waited until mid-morning to begin.  I started with the rules.  I am using the 5 classroom rules from WBT.  I taught the rules with the gestures.  We went over them a hundred times.  We talked about what each one means and what it covers. The rules are:
1.  Follow directions quickly.
2.  Raise your hand to speak.
3.  Raise your hand to leave your seat.
4.  Make smart choices.
5.  Make your teacher happy.
I had one or two who didn't really want to do the gestures with us.  I am hoping that after a few more days and them seeing everyone else doing it, that they will come around.  Has anyone else had trouble with a child refusing to participate? If so, how did you handle it?
I also introduced Class-Yes and Hands & Eyes.  They absolutely loved Class-Yes!  We had a lot of fun using different voices and tones.  I am just thankful that no one walked in and heard me!  I guess I just have to get over it.  My principal is in and out all day so I know it's going to happen, it's only a matter of time...
About half way through the day, I introduced the Scoreboard.  We practiced the Mighty Groan and the Mighty Oh Yeah.  We worked on being prompt- I told them as soon as they see my marker make the mark they were to start, and we worked on unison.  I explained that the Mighty Oh Yeah was a one second celebration in their table talk volume because we didn't want to disturb the class next door.  (Our rooms are connected without a door or wall.)  The day ended with 8 Smilies and 9 Frownies, which is exactly how I wanted it- There's no way I could have let them win on the first day!  I've got to give them a reason to come back on Monday and try even harder!

So tomorrow is Monday.  Day 2 of Whole Brain Teaching training for my little dolls.  I will let you know how it goes!


  1. I went to the conference this summer and I am nervous to implement it! I hope it goes well!

    Ginger Snaps

  2. I started using WBT on Friday as well. I only got through the five rules and the class yes. My kids loved using the different voices for the rules as well. Tomorrow I hope to start the scoreboard. Good luck this year!

    1. Good luck to both of us!! My kids also loved the voices. I taught them Teach-Okay today. They also loved it.

  3. Keep blogging about your new experiences as we try WBT along with you. I'm planning to give it a whirl in K5 beginning next Monday. I'm going to take it slower though and try to add a new component each day.

    Donna W.

    1. I will keep you all posted. So far so good. Today was Teach- Okay and they did great. All of the encouragement here has me excited to continue!

  4. We are so inspired and excited after reading your post! We started using a few ideas at the end of last year when we came across it and are so excited to start the year off with it this year! Any words of wisdom or do's & don'ts?

    Hugs from us for having to start back already! Hope you had a restful weekend and are geared up for tomorrow. We are down to our final days, but also eager to head back in and try out all that we have found blog stalking!

    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

    1. I don't think I am qualified yet to give do's and don't's! All I can say, after 2 days of it, is to PRACTICE each thing over and over!

  5. Thanks for sharing about how WBT teaching went on your first day! I am excited to try it out on day #1 this year!

    PS: Sorry about the delete... my link was wonky!

    EduKate and Inspire

  6. Me too, me too! I don't start until next Monday, so keep us posted how WBT continues to go with your class, as I am definitely looking forward to implementing it for the first time too! :)

    Maestra Bilingue

    1. It really is fun! The kids love it and are doing great with it!

  7. Glad your first day went well. I love reading about how others implement it there classrooms. It inspires me :) What a great class size you have. Only 15. That must be so fun. I love small classes :)

    My (Not So) Elementary Life
    Check out my Classroom Decor Pack of Your Choice Giveaway at my blog.

    1. 15 is amazing! I am blessed to be at such a small school!

  8. I love the rules and will definitely check out the hand signals! I'm jealous that you only have 15 students! Good for you and good for them:-)

  9. Hi! We started school today too! I also introduced the 5 rules, class/yes, hands and eyes, and the scoreboard. Great minds think alike! I let them win the scoreboard, hmmmm. I like your idea of making them try harder tomorrow. Maybe the rest of the week I'll have to be harder on them. Good luck with the rest of the week!

  10. Yay, I am so excited to read this. I too found whole brain teaching this summer and can't WAIT to try it on my new kiddos this year. Excited to hear how things are going for you with this!


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