I had a chance to visit another school out of my district this past Friday. Munford Elementary and Munford High School in Talladega County. WOW! They are a model school for Alabama in several different areas. What I saw was phenomenal!!!!!!!!!!!! So of course I went in my classroom today and tried out some stuff. 🙂
This is what I tried with both of my 5th grade classes. They are some of the whole brain teaching techniques.
1. Class class-yes yes
3. Using gestures while learning and teaching
Here’s a link to some information on whole brain teaching:
I am taking baby steps with this, but I loved what we did today. The kids were SO engaged! I do have to say that I have watched several whole brain teaching video clips from classrooms, and even though my kids are loud they don’t sound as loud as some on the videos. 🙂
The other thing that I introduced to my kids today that I “borrowed” from this wonderful school visit was how to be a good communicator. There are 4 steps that we learned and practiced.
1. Firm handshake 2. Eye contact 3. Clear voice 4. Know content
You know this seems so simple, and it’s never been a part of our standards, but the new ELA common core has several standards on speaking/listening/collaborating. This seems to tie right into that.
The reason that Munford High School has TRAINED all of their students on these 4 things is because they have an ambassador program. Since they are a model school they get A LOT of visitors. These ambassadors are the ones who give the tours (with an administrator of course!) and present the information. It was so neat to see this in action!! Even a 1st grader at the elementary school got up when we entered the classroom, shook all of our hands, introduced himself, and welcomed us to the classroom!!!!!! AWESOME!!
I had told my students that Munford High School has a goal of all students being authentically engaged-being part of the lesson/teaching and that if a student sleeps in class they are suspended. They were shocked at this! I told them I didn’t see ANYONE even close to sleeping when we visited. After we had practiced, practiced, and practiced some more one boy said, “Mrs. Shannon, I know why nobody was sleeping. How could they when they are using all these gestures?” LOL! 🙂 Mission accomplished!
Do you use any of the whole brain teaching methods?