On Saturday I attended an EduCon conversation about the students in our classes who may be introverted and how we can best address their needs in our classrooms. Ever since then, I have been trying to brainstorm some ideas on how I may use whole brain teaching strategies and have them be a positive experience for these students.
Tony Baldasaro mentioned a few times throughout the conversation that students who are introverted need time to think and reflect silently on a subject before sharing their ideas with others. He used the example that a student who is introverted may not be able to provide a response in class but will think of a wonderful response in their next class after they have had time to think things through. One of the things I thought that may assist this issue is to provide our students with a "schedule" of what the next day is going to look like. This could be a physical handout, an agenda on the board or a note that we have our students copy down. It would outline the different topics that we are going to cover and what type of activity(ies) we would be doing (group discussion, reading, handout, project, etc). By providing this schedule, our students who are introverted would have a full 24 hours to think about what information is going to be introduced in class and what will be required of them in regards to participation. I think that this may assist in achieving a positive classroom experience because our student's already have a basic introduction to the class and can be more prepared to participate. Bonus, it will keep us more organized as well! :)
Geography: First Nations and the Treaty Process
- Definition of First Nations (Teach-Ok with partners)
- Group discussion about prominent First Nations individuals
- Definition of treaty (Teach-Ok with partners)
- Do you know of any treaties in Canada?
- History of treaties
One thing that people are quick to notice is that whole brain teaching classrooms are not always quiet environments! While being structured and on-task, they require high levels of student involvement which often asks students to participate verbally. How would this work if one, or more, of our students requires silent time in order to process information? One of the things that we could incorporate is silent "Teach-Ok". It would function the same as regular "Teach-Ok" but we would have our students mouth the review silently while they do the gestures as opposed to verbally reviewing. This is something that I would use to switch up the classroom if I noticed that one, or more, of my students were needing a bit of a break. Playing off this same idea, we could also use a noise-meter in the classroom to indicate to our students what level of noise is appropriate during a specific time. If I felt that one, or more, of my students needed a break I could "crank down" the noise meter to have students whisper during "Teach-Ok".
I know that this isn't a long list but it is a start! I would love any suggestions that you can offer on other ways that we could adapt whole brain teaching strategies.
(These are just some ideas that I came up with that are specifically related to whole brain teaching strategies that I have used. I understand that every student is unique and I would ensure that I had full comprehension of my student to guarantee that my student's needs are being addressed in the most appropriate manner.)