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The Method Of Whole Brain Teaching

If you have a class full of students who are easily bored and struggle to pay attention, whole brain teaching may be the fix you need. This is a powerful solution for any students who may be disruptive. And that’s because this teaching style rarely gives students a chance to be distracted. As you’ll see, this is a high-energy approach to teaching. And it focuses on eliciting responses from students at all times. This means students will keep their attention on your lesson for the entire class period.


What Whole Brain Teaching Is

In a nutshell, whole brain teaching is about grabbing (and keeping) attention using physical gestures and sounds. This is great for getting students into an engaged state of mind. For example, opening the class with a loud motivational phrase can be used to get attention. And in response, you could train them to respond with something like “We’re ready!” This type of thing will be mixed in with short, to-the-point lessons, to create an extremely engaging classroom session. And although this teaching style can be rather intense, the payoff is your students will be completely focused the whole time.

Now, let’s get into the meat of the Whole Brain Teaching Method.


The 4 Ways To Lecture With Whole Brain Teaching

The technique is broken into 4 different parts. All you’ve got to do is follow it in the general order, mixing things up as you see fit, and you’ll end up with a far more engaging lesson than you’ve had before.


#1 Attention-Getter

First things first, open up the class with something to get their attention. The standard is to open up with the simple word “Class.” Then the students are to respond with “Yes.” This is a good way to start as it’s simple and all your students can get on board with it easily. Afterward, they’re to turn, look in your direction, and optionally fold their hands (just for this part of class). The goal here is to create a positive habit to start your class with. And you can adjust any part here so long as the main parts of (1) verbal and (2) physical response are followed by your class.


#2 Brain Engager

A man gesturing the peace sign

Next, you’ll be using something called Mirror Words to prime students for different activities. It’s similar to the attention-getter up above, in that you say something to get attention, but you’ll also add a gesture for students to mimic as well. For example, you could say “Listen Time,” while putting your fingers over your lips. Then they imitate both these actions while preparing to listen intently to what you’re about to say. You can make up more of these depending on the activities your class offers, but the idea is pretty much the same for all of them – match the gesture to the activity.


#3 Direct Instruction

Once you start actually teaching, you’ll want to focus on short lessons (roughly one minute) that focus on a single point. The idea here is the longer you teach, the more likely you are to lose interest. Now, you’ll want to stay on theme by adding a gesture to go with each idea you teach. For example, if you’re teaching about verbs, you could gesture a hand wave, suggesting action. Pretty simple. So essentially, you’ll be breaking lessons up into chunks like this, and adding variance to your speaking as well. That way, students don’t become accustomed to your talking style. This will keep them more engaged. Plus, by having students mimic your gestures and phrases, interest and focus skyrocket as they follow along.


#4 Collaborative Learning

To reinforce lessons, you’ll want to use the Mirror-Word “Teach/Okay.” Basically, once you say “Teach,” they’ll say “Okay,” and paraphrase the lesson to a different student. This will build comprehension and social skills in the process. At this point, you can go around and listen to all the students, making sure what they’re saying is reasonably accurate. If all seems fine, you can move on to your next lesson and restart the process.


Motivate And Entertain With Whole Brain Teaching

Give this method a shot if you find your students daydreaming or distracting other students. You’ll find this approach to be highly engaging and will keep them glued to your lesson from beginning to end.

And if you want another method of keeping your students focused in class, making sure their typing skills are top-notch will help with that. After all, it’s easy to tune out when you’re struggling to do something hard. So why not give them a hand with tools like KeyboardingOnline so they can type easily and be more engaged in class?