Whole Brain Teaching
Whole Brain Teaching gives educators the ability to engage more areas of their children and student's brains. As a result, students have increased attention and retention. The more areas of our brain that we engage, the more neural connections are built. Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids teaches five rules for the classroom, but also includes tons of reinforcement techniques. These are largely focused on helping students view the educator/teacher/instructor as the "good guy."Private tutors that work one-on-one, or with a select few individuals, use Chris Biffle's techniques and adapt the methods from Whole Brain Teaching.
For many home educators, this is one of their most valuable tools. This book is not just for working with challenging children.
What is Whole Brain Teaching?
Three Southern Cal. teachers started Whole Brain Teaching as a grass roots education reform movement in 1999. Since then, it has gained a massive following in the United States and 30 additional countries.
The guiding philosophy behind Whole Brain Teaching is that students will learn the most when they are engaged in all aspects: seeing, hearing, doing, speaking, and feeling. The philosophy's goal is to get children excited about learning. The most basic description of Whole Brain Teaching is that it ties movement and learning together.
Chris Biffle's associated YouTube channel
You may know about Whole Brain Teaching from Chris Biffle's acclaimed YouTube channel. Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids: (and the rest of your class, too!) pulls everything from his website and YouTube channel together into one nice and neat book.
Homeschool review of Whole Brain Teaching
Here are just a few key points that I took away from reading his books.
- Start with one subject at a time.
- Some type of 'group' environment usually work best.
- Gestures can be used to help teach concepts.
- For multiple children, call and response techniques are great ways to get their attentions.
- These are not just a list of techniques; we should study each technique (as educators) before applying it.
Not all students are visual or auditory learners
Not all students are visual or auditory learners and many students need hands-on experiences. This book does an excellent job of explaining the various learning styles and showing the teacher how to build a student community that is inclusive for everyone.
A must-read for homeschool co-ops
As we said earlier, you do not have to be a classroom teacher to benefit from this book. Whole Brain Teaching is an exciting and different way to give students control (and manage them) as they interact and learn. Sometimes Homeschool co-ops are classroom environments and sometimes just social gatherings. Either way, homeschool parents often discover they do not have much experience with group management.
In fact, the nature of home education might make this book all the more important.