Somewhere around April of last school year, I stumbled upon WBT videos. I had punched in “brain based learning” into the Google search bar, because I have a lot of interest in how the brain works during learning. I clicked on a whole brain teaching link and was soon watching video after video. The first was of a 6th grade math teacher introducing the rules of order of operations. Coincidentally, I was also teaching 6th grade math. I was a little taken a back by the choral responses at first… didn’t know if I liked that. But I immediately loved how this math classroom was buzzing with discussion over each step of PEMDAS. She taught one step at a time, using creative gestures, and then shouted the magic word: “TEACH!” And in amazing unison, students responded, “OKAY!” Then the craziest thing happened. They enthusiastically began throwing their arms into the gestures and teaching one another. It was loud! But it was productive!
At the time, I had recently noticed so many of my students — the usually enthusiastic ones even — had gone into this sort of March funk. They had slowly begun to drop off the effort wagon. Watching (and drooling over) the symphony of student involvement in the video, I knew this WBT stuff was golden. These kids were having a blast in math class — gasp!
So over the last 6 or 7 weeks of summer, I have prepared to try WBT in my classroom this year. I’ll be moving up to 7th grade math, so I’ll see many familiar faces from last year. It’ll be fun to see their faces when they realize class will not be anything like it was last year! Also, I love to have fun in the classroom. I like how WBT gives me some specific places to channel my humor while still running a “tight ship.”