Create a five minute video application. The lead teacher 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 the link to your video. 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 of WBT Schools, the lead teacher's role is vital, conferring with colleagues, guiding the way in certification, maintaining a positive relationship with the administration. Once a week, the lead teacher, using an online form, turns in a short report to the WBT League (see below).
Instructors use Whole Brain Teaching strategies to increase student engagement and decrease off-task behaviors. Once a week, all WBT teachers use our online spreadsheet to compute their Student Engagement Average (SEA, see below) and submit it to the lead teacher.
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, chose the mid-point. For example, if you're uncertain whether to score a student 3 or 4, enter 3.5 in our online spreadsheet..
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 with our online spreadsheet, scoring your kids’ weekly, from 5 to 0. The spreadsheet calculates the average of each week's scores, the 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. Several times a week, the lead teacher must ask a principal or other administrator to count the number of off-task kids in WBT classrooms. Off-task behavior includes, but is not limited to, creating disruptions, looking around the room, chatting with a neighbor, slouching, making weird noises, sleeping.
- At the end of the week, the principal submits her off-task count to the lead teacher, who uses this information to guide her WBT colleagues into the next week. For example, Principal Wigglesworth notes 10 off-task kids in five WBT classrooms, for an average of 2 per class (10/5). Wigglesworth, by the end of school on Friday, sends this number to Sandy Smart, the WBT lead teacher. Smart and her colleagues use this data to refine their instructional techniques in the next week.
Decreasing off-task behaviorThe WBT lead teacher assists colleagues in using Whole Brain Teaching's three most powerful strategies for decreasing off-task behaviors. Weekly meetings are held to discuss deeper implementation of 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 school's 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 Sandy Smart'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.