Create a five minute video application. The administrator introduces and describe her team. Convince us you have a burning passion for Whole Brain Teaching, lofty educational goals, and an ample supply of Beloved Rascals. Email your video to StephanieMeder@WholeBrainTeaching.com. If accepted, Stephanie will contact you to obtain your school's registration information:
- School Level (Beginner or Intermediate)
- Grade Levels
- Number of Students
- Percent free or reduced lunch
- Total number of teachers
- Total number of WBT teachers
At all levels, Beginner to Semi-Divine, the administrator's role is vital, spending at least an hour per week in classrooms demonstrating WBT strategies and agreeing, within two years, to become a WBT Gold Certified instructor. Once a week, the administrator, using an online form, turns in a short report to the WBT League (see below).
Teachers use WBT strategies to increase student engagement and decrease off-task behaviors. Once a week, all instructors use an online spreadsheet to calculate their Student Engagement Average (SEA, see below), scoring students 0 (least engage) to 5 (most engaged). The spreadsheet calculates the weekly SEA for the school.
Measuring Student EngagementClasses and schools change and improve, but at the pace of a glacier. You, and your colleagues, need a way to convince yourself that you’re getting somewhere! To assess engagement, a WBT teacher enters all pupils' names in an online spreadsheet (we will send you a sample). Every week she scores each kid based on the following scale. (Secondary educators assess an average class, neither their best nor worst.)
- 5 points: Alphas: A model pupil, able to use WBT strategies to deliver lessons, a student teacher, typically takes months to develop.
- 4 points: Betas: Almost always uses good manners, works hard, and follows classroom rules, an Alpha-to-be.
- 3 points: Go-Along: A Go-Along generally follows the lead of Alphas and Betas, usually uses good manners, works hard, and follows classroom rules.
- 2 points: Fence Sitter: A Fence Sitter is wonderful one day and out to lunch the next, infrequently uses good manners, works hard, or follows classroom rules.
- 1 point: Beloved Rascal: A Beloved Rascal almost never uses good manners, works hard, or follows classroom rules, a candidate for individual coaching and small, Super Improver goals.
- 0 points: Amazer: An Amazer is amazingly successful at keeping others from learning, a continuous risk to classroom safety.
- Newbies: New students should be scored as 2s, until they can be accurately placed.
- Tweeners: When in doubt between two scores, enter the mid-point on the spreadsheet. For example, if in doubt between scoring a student a 3 or 4, enter 3.5..
Increasing EngagementInstead of trying to increase the engagement of all your WBT kids, use your SEA numbers to target students who are easiest to move up ... 4s to 5s and tweeners up one level. Eventually, meld a few 0s, 1s and 2s into your group. Coach three to five students per week, giving them a behavior to polish: following directions quickly, energetically teaching a neighbor, using good manners, responding with lightning speed to Scoreboard points. The only way small group coaching can fail is that you didn't meet with your kids often enough or you set too high a target. Increase coaching frequency and/or lower your targets. Week by week, as SEA climbs, you'll catch dazzling glimpses of Teaching Heaven.
Summing upMeasure student engagement by scoring your kids’ weekly, from 5 to 0 with our online spreadsheet. The spreadsheet totals the scores and divides by the number of kids on your roll; this produces your Student Engagement Average (SEA). Increase student engagement by coaching small groups of pupils, initially your top students and tweeners. Meet with your group frequently, targeting easy to improve behaviors.
Measuring off-task behavior
- In addition to monitoring student engagement, we need to track kids' off-task behavior. We want more actively engaged pupils and fewer resistant learners.
- When WBT principals visit classrooms, they sit in the back and count the number of off-task students. Off-task behavior includes, but is not limited to, creating disruptions, looking around the room, chatting with a neighbor, slouching, making weird noises, sleeping. Once the principal's count is completed, she rolls up her sleeves, goes to the front, and uses our strategies to create compelling lessons that rouse reluctant learners.
- At the end of the week, the principal compares her observations with data the teacher enters weekly in our online spreadsheet.
Decreasing off-task behaviorWhole Brain Teaching's three most powerful strategies for decreasing off-task behaviors are the Scoreboard, Super Improvers, and, as mentioned above, coaching small groups of kids identified by weekly SEA.
Measuring a school's efficiency
- Typically, a school's efficiency is measured by yearly test scores ... but there are two obvious problems. First, the scores arrive too late to fix the problems they reveal; information in August about what should have been happening in the previous September is unhelpful. Second, the tests change with each new political administration. About the time your test preps are successful, you're told to prep for a new test. Message to politicians: If you want us to hit a target, hold it still.
- Obviously, a measure of a school's efficiency must be far more frequent than the current yearly evaluations and more stable than each incoming administration's new vision.
- As a solution, a WBT campus' efficiency is measured weekly and is based on unchanging standards, increasing student engagement, and decreasing off-task behavior.
- Every week, our spreadsheet totals all teachers' Student Engagement Averages (SEA) and divides by the number of teachers reporting. This creates the school's engagement average. For example, in Wigglesworth's school, the total of 10 classes' engagement average is 30. Thus, her school's engagement average is 3 (30/10).
- In addition, the spreadsheet calculates the number of Beloved Rascals, kids scored 0 or 1. The number of Beloved Rascals is factored in to the schools SEA to create a weekly score. This score determines a school's ranking in the WBT League (see below).
Increasing a school's efficiencyAs before, employ Whole Brain Teaching's three most powerful strategies, the Scoreboard, Super Improvers, and coaching small groups of kids identified by weekly SEA.
- Every week, all WBT Schools, headed by lead teachers or principals, compete in the WBT League. Motivating admins, instructors, and students alike, League standings are published Saturdays on our Facebook page, 80,000 Likes. Your games are big news.
- A school's score is the school score described above. Every week, the online spreadsheet automatically calculates Student Engagement Averages and factors in the WBT school's number of Beloved Rascals.. Submit that score in our online form (coming soon) and you, and the rest of the nation, will see where you stand.
- In place of test results, federal and state data, forms required by the district, shifting political winds, focus on your WBT League score. One number summarizes the WBT school's educational vitality, the evolving relationship across the entire campus between engaged kids and resistant learners.
- Lift a campus' League score and disruptions decline, teacher morale ascends, and test scores climb (at least in the WBT school within a school!). Improving your standing against other WBT campuses is the rising tide that lifts all boats.