50 thoughts on “Whole Brain Teaching: The Basics”

  1. I have used Biffle's methods and adapted them to fit my personality and my students'. I work in a low income public school with 8th graders. This works WONDERS for classroom management and for note taking! Their retention on the subject matter is amazing! I also incorporate Pear Deck so that I get student feedback and check for understanding, it's been a powerful transformation in the classroom. I highly recommend Chris Biffle's book and easing your way into some of his methods- it just may surprise you.

  2. Look at how engaged the students are.  Remember its not what you TAUGHT its what the students LEARNED.  I think this is fun and a great way to learn.

  3. Anyone degrading the value of whole brain teaching should sit in a classroom that uses it and compare it to a classroom that doesn't use it. I can say from experience that teachers who do use it have WAY more involvement in the classroom during the instruction and the students are WAY more excited about learning. They love the interaction, the talking, the gestures and what have you. This technique really works and helps a lot of students who are normally quiet become more verbal.

  4. Not this guy again! Can anyone suggest someone else that teaches whole brain learning, I watched a different tape of his. I was no impressed, nor will this be helpful to anyone who doesn't have someone teaching this way. I know that I don't like this type of learning, it feel very military to me. I am looking for a way to strengthen my brain with out, following the lead of someone. What I noticed in the other class, that I watched, the kids had to discuss with another kid what they learned, they did it so fast, that no one could really explain what they learned nor could the other person have a chance to hear it with all those people talking. I won't say that he doesn't have maybe some good ideas, but to me there is just too much junk to go through to find the diamonds in here, if there are any diamonds at all for an individual to use.

  5. I can't follow this at all, its complex like a dance routine, is my brain broken?
    Seems great for kinesthetic learners though! I do like it, its just super challenging.
    I might be able to incorporate it into homeschool teaching for my physically active younger kids… Great concept.

  6. this seems bit odd, as a college student on track to be a teacher we are being taught about how to use our objectives to get the students to use critical thinking… how does this get them any thing but memorization ? feel like this is more of a K-6 type of thing to get the attention of the class but as subjects get more complex and take more thought, how does this play in to that?

  7. This is awesome! I like so much! Thanks for sharing!
    -cheers from Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

  8. This is fascism, communism, master vs. puppet, brainwashing, indoctrination…etc. Corporate education reform is here and these psychopaths are bringing this shit into our schools. The intent is to destroy our public schools via the Common Core (Funded and created by corporations such as the Bill Gates Foundation). These billionaires claiming to be "education reformers" are also making major profits from these corporate charters in the form of tax credits (see the 2001 Appropriations Act), and their goal is to foster obedient students who will eventually become obedient little workers who won't question their exploitation. This is textbook operant conditioning which is a form of mind control. These billionaires investing in these schools don't care about individuality, free will, and critical thinking…they are infiltrating education to turn our students into commodities whom they can profit off. They are targeting major urban areas with high poverty rates because they are the most vulnerable. Beware people. Wal Mart, the Koch brothers, Dell Computers, Teach for America, and others are funding this insidious agenda to profit off the backs of our students/kids under the guise of "school reform," "accountability," "school choice," and they are using the Common Core standards and the test makers (McGraw Hill, Pearson) as their main vehicles to achieve this.

  9. This is effective for classroom management. If you have a rowdy class, this WILL get them aligned with you. This isn't a lesson; this is teaching their brain how to focus on you and the lesson. Don't you go over procedures and rules during the first several weeks of school? Don't you practice those rules throughout the year? I'd rather have an energetic class answering questions and participating than a class of talkers and sleepers. I'd also rather have my behavior kids engaged in the lesson than engaged in arguing and fighting with each other.

    Students still get to be themselves and grow. They still have their shiny personalities. The worst thing we can do as educators is fall victim to the same thing as our students. They will think how something WON'T work and they end up not trying. They bought the belief that they "can't get it" or "It won't work". They end up not trying and fail fail for the simple belief that even trying was too hard. Failing without trying leaves no stress.

    If you try and fail, at least you can learn from it. Will every class benefit from it? No. I don't know any class that has been the same to date. They all have a unique culture every year. It is easier to critique something than it is to just try it out and have a proven belief for or against it.

    If you give it a real effort and it doesn't really work, then you can critique it and have the conviction behind it. Think about how much critique Harry Wong must have gotten when he first tried his methods and preached his beliefs. What happened next? People actually tried it and it worked. He's highly successful and now it has been proven by others who've tried it and found success.

    Again….techniques for learning.

  10. I like the energy, variety, and engagement, but not this particular method of achieving it. If you're teaching to memorize, that's one thing, but if you're teaching ideas and spending the extra time with all this anyway, you might as well do some form of socratic teaching imo.

  11. It's more like puppet teaching. I don't get it. Where are the opportunities for the students to ask questions?
    TEACH! time is just noise!!

  12. I can see where it would have its place in the classroom.  I love the interaction and "teach" command.  I can see using the concept for the introduction of terms and opening a lesson, just not sure how it will cross over to written activities.

  13. This is so horrifying that it borders on dystopian. This is what I imagine teaching looks like in North Korea.

  14. I'm not sold; I'm having to attend this in a seminar, but it just doesn't fit me. It seems to take away individualism in students, to replace it with group conformity. Where's the higher order thinking? Repeating the same stuff over and over and over….I want my students' personality to shine through. Perhaps this is good for some situations, but I'm very, very skeptical.

  15. I'm a trainee teacher at a school that has rote learning ingrained. To have a new teaching and learning approach would be sacrilege. I feel this would be a great, innovative, fresh, and new approach. 

  16. I use whole brain teaching methods from Chris in my classroom and they work AMAZINGLY! My students are engaged, on task, and there scores are up.  They LOVE this! At first, yes I felt iffy about it but they truly do LOVE IT and they do so much better! I would say that if you are one against this method it's simply because you don't want to take the time, get your students engaged, and help them! I hate to say it but it's true, most people I have seen that are against or make fun of this or call it crap are those that don't like stepping out and trying new things! I am able to get my lesson covered like I have always been able to and actually it goes faster because I have all students engaged and on task, I am not having to teach and re-teach! It's called PLANNING AHEAD and it works!  I used to only be able to cover one reading lesson in 90 minutes now I complete one plus half of another.  Whole brain teaching has taken my personal teaching to another level because I have all students engaged and learning! 

  17. The methods themselves seem very time consuming. You could get across very little material using these methods.

  18. I'm going to try this in teaching English as a Foreign Language. ¬†As a supplementary tool, obviously, to the main lesson plan. ¬†This is pure class management, not the lesson itself. ¬†Younger kids in Thailand–this should work well keeping their attention focused (a primary issue in language classes). ¬†For adult students? ¬†Well, we'll see.

  19. This is useful for children who have ADHD. & for children with hearing problems as it's very visual / guesture based.

  20. Many parts of this "whole brain teaching" are the key components behind Direct Instruction programmes, first developed by Seigfreid Engelmann:
    Choral responding, active student responding, short lessons, repetitions. 

    Not too sure of the purpose behind the "class-yes" and "teach-ok" type bits though. Or of students simply repeating to peers what the teacher says. Hmm. 

  21. I wonder if the energy level is so high that it cannot be sustained after leaving the class. Are students depleted when they attend other classes? And the teacher must get tired doing this more than once per day!

  22. I wonder how much more I would have retained from my college courses had my professors used micro lecturing.

  23. My only concern with this type of teaching is how students will adjust to classes that don't use this style. Will they simply reject a classic teaching setting (such as those found in higher learning) because they are used to a high energy class or will they excel because they are used to having to focus and retain information?

  24. I have used this for two years with 6th graders (11 and 12 years of age) and it is very effective. It allows students to explain to their partners the concept that they have just learned. If they can't, then we need to go over it again. As for independent thinking, we do that as well with this process. "Class, when I say teach, discuss with your partner two other ways that John could have handled this situation." Then the groups share their discussions with the class. My kids love it.

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