The phrase "Whole Brain Teaching" means a few different things to me as an educator. One thing you will see me mention countless times in my writing is that I strongly believe that anything we do in our classrooms (content, management, or otherwise) has to be tailored to meet the specific needs, personalities and interests of the students in our classroom. This may mean that we are planning with multiple intelligences in mind or differentiating our instruction. Essentially "Whole Brain Teaching", to me, means that my teaching strategies are consciously chosen in a way that meets the various needs of my students in one concise lesson. In other words, I am hoping that my lessons engage different areas of my student's brains in a way that each student is presented with information in a way that best suits their learning style(s) and needs.
I do not believe that just because I am a teacher who has a focus in High School History that I have to deliver stereotypical, lecture-based lessons that require my students to be writing notes for 45 minute periods every day. Do I have my students take notes? Yes. There is content that is important that my students write down for future reference and notes are a great method to meet the needs of my linguistic learners. If you were to visit me in a classroom, however, you would also see us physically acting out important battles in history, participating in debates on world changing topics, interviewing other students or members of the community on their thoughts or reflecting to truly understand our own viewpoints and biases. These lessons are 100% driven by the needs of my students and it is my personal goal to ensure that my teaching always reflects this... not what is easiest for me to prepare... not to fit in with what the other teachers around me are doing... but to meet the needs of the students in my room and ensure that they are provided with an opportunity to learn.
Whole Brain Teaching Management & Teaching Strategies
I am by no means an expert on Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) strategies and it is not my intention for this blog to be used as a promotion of WBT for your specific classroom. This blog is a means for me to reflect on my experiences as an education student and gain feedback from other people in the education community.
I find that some WBT strategies allow for me to easily differentiate instruction and meet the multiple intelligences of my students while also providing effective classroom management. If you would like to see more information on how WBT strategies meet my teaching goals please view the posts of this blog.
For full information on Whole Brain Teaching I recommend you check out the official website at www.wholebrainteaching.com. Their website provides informational videos, downloadable e-books, forums and much more.
Check out a few of the videos demonstrating the Whole Brain Teaching strategy by Chris Biffle, a director of WBT. He has many more on his YouTube Channel as well.
** Please note that the teaching styles that are represented in the videos showcasing WBT are not a representation of my personal teaching style. While I do incorporate certain WBT strategies into my lessons, they are NOT the focus of my classroom and everything is always modified to best meet the needs of my specific students. Remember, if students are engaged in the content, management is not an issue!