May 18, 2015

Getting Started with Whole Brain Teaching

Have you heard of Whole Brain Teaching? To keep it simple, I'll just say it's an exciting method of delivering instruction that keeps students actively engaged in the learning process. Because students are moving, talking, writing, reading, and THINKING, they are using all parts of their brains.

These lessons could easily become chaotic, but the WBT approach includes management strategies to keep instruction on track. Right away, students learn the 5 "classroom-transforming" rules shown on the right. Last summer, Chris Biffle, the founder of the Whole Brain Teaching movement, offered to write a series of guest blog articles on Corkboard Connections introducing these rules. Chris wrote about each rule individually, explaining WHY it's important and exactly HOW to teach that rule to your students. If that sounds boring, you don't know Chris! (Click here for the first article in the series.)

Newly Updated WBT Classroom Rules Posters
I love to create teacher resources, so I offered to design a set of free classroom rules posters to go along with Chris's blog series. That set featured clipart of young children, so I frequently get requests for a set that has older students. Today I created a brand new set of posters using the adorable characters from Whimsy Workshop Teaching. These children look a little older so the set should be perfect for upper elementary classrooms. Both the original set and this new one are included in the Whole Brain Teaching Rules Posters freebie in my TpT store.

Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids
If you are brand new to Whole Brain Teaching, the easiest way to get started is to read Chris's best-selling book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. His writing style is very entertaining and will have you laughing out loud, but there's a lot of meat in the book, too. Be sure to get a pack of sticky notes so you can mark important pages and return to them as you implement the strategies. You'll also find free information and videos on the Whole Brain Teaching website, but be forewarned - there's so much on the site that it can be a bit overwhelming on your first visit!

If you haven't heard about Whole Brain Teaching before, you might not want to start using the entire system this school year. However, if you're game for it, there are many easy-to-use strategies you can try out with your current class to get a feel for the techniques now. Then take your time reading about Whole Brain Teaching and checking out the free resources on the website so you'll be ready to go in the fall.

I wish I had learned about Whole Brain Teaching when I was still teaching because it sounds truly transformative! If you've had a tough school year, WBT might be just what you need to turn things around next year!

Disclaimer: Affiliate link included in this post. 


  1. I discovered WBT right before my first year and love it!!! I've been *slowly* integrating concepts but am ready to jump in full force this fall for my third year. I saw another teacher at my school using it and was just amazed.

  2. Thank you for introducing me to WBT. I am excited to try it especially rule #1 follow directions quickly. I think this is something my new first graders would enjoy doing. I agree that transition times are magnets for behavior issues. Hopefully they will take to this and have fun!


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