Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Whole Brain Teaching - The First Hour

Ahhh... I have now survived day 2 of the new school year!  I was super exhausted yesterday, but today wasn't quite as bad.  I am using Whole Brain Teaching for the second year now, and I love it!
If you have been wanting to give it a try, but aren't quite sure what to do, here are a few tips for starting with your class.  By the way, you don't have to wait until the beginning of a new year to try it out, you can really start anytime.

Anyway, here is a video from Chris Biffle explaining the first ten minutes of implementing Whole Brain Teaching along with a few of my own implementations.

Chris Biffle suggests that the first lesson be conducted in the hallway before entering the room.  At my school, our students come straight to our room from recess (or are brought in early by their parents) so we are not able to do this. 

I had morning work placed at each student’s desk (with their nametag).  On the Smart Board were the following directions:

I want them to get in the routine of what will be expected in class every day.  They will come in and get started right away.  This fits with the Whole Brain Teaching idea of creating urgency – we don’t have one minute to waste in the morning.  I also have incorporated his idea of letting the students know that I am happy to see them, and I have used the word please as Biffle suggests.
Once I was ready to begin teaching (when all of the students had filtered in and the morning announcements and pledge were over). I started the lesson suggested by Chris Biffle for the first 10 minutes of class.  You can download a copy of the script I used this year here.  Feel free to make it your own and practice, practice, practice until it feels natural.
The agenda was posted on the board and looked like this:

Do you use Whole Brain Teaching in your class?  Do you have any questions or concerns about using Whole Brain Teaching?


  1. I'm glad I found your post. I want to start using Whole Brain Teaching with my fourth graders. I am excited to see how you did this with your fourth graders. We don't start back until September 4, but I can't wait to try it out.

  2. This is a great post! I do use some components of Whole Brain Teaching but want to learn more! Thanks for sharing!
    Creative Lesson Cafe


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