Tuesday, January 26, 2010

WBT and Other Things

I am a few weeks into the Whole Brain Teaching, and it's going pretty well. I am not using the scoreboard / Mighty Groan / Mighty Oh Yeah like I need to. The class is pretty responsive in the Ok, Teach area, though. I have a few that only teach their neighbor when I walk by, but most of them are having fun with it.

I am getting ready to teach AP Art History, hopefully this fall. It is an incredible amount of work. Just getting the syllabus ready was very time consuming.

I also have set up a new website for my students. I am trying to collect good links on the art of various world cultures. If you know of any, please drop me a comment! The page is here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Whole Brain Teaching, Day 2

After being off for basically four days (snow, in Alabama!) the kids were very slow with the Class!/Yes! - but they jumped on board after I gave myself a point on the scoreboard. I still need to do better with the Mighty Oh Yeah! / Mighty Groan! bit.

I can see I will need to separate the independents sometime soon. Many were reluctant to participate - I had a few in my 4th period that would not play along at all. My fifth period started out worse, but by the end of class most were at least half-heartedly teaching their neighbor.

Today's lesson was on reasons artists create (personal, social, spiritual, physical, and educational). The students learned signs for each. Tomorrow is 'where do artists get ideas?' There will be seven elements to remember instead of just five, plus some extra definitions. I am not sure how to handle that. Probably just do signs for the seven items and let them write the definitions for the terms (landscape, portrait, etc.).

I am still trying to decide how to pair the students in a seating chart. Once I rank them by GPA, should I pair the lowest to the highest and meet in the middle? So A's sit with F's, and so forth? Or should I divide them into the 'high' and 'low' groups and pair the top from the first group to the top of the second group? So A's sit with high C's, B's with D's, and low C's with F's? I am waiting on some info on accommodations for some students, so I probably have a few days before I am ready to implement a seating plan.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Whole Brain Teaching, Day 1

Well, it went better than I anticipated. Many of the kids were hesitant to participate, but some were obviously having fun. Some of them were suggesting scoreboard rewards before class was over. And I had several students say, "Bye, Mrs. Bachuss!" as they left - a first, especially before I even get to know them. Today we discussed the syllabus, procedures, lockdown/tornado/fire drills, and how we learn (auditory/visual/kinesthetic). Tomorrow is the first art content, so I am curious how well it will work. My goal for tomorrow is to keep the energy levels high, encourage participation, and work on the Mighty Oh Yeah! / Mighty Groan when scoreboard points are awarded.

Oh, my PBS focus group is about to start, so I have to go. I will post how everything goes the rest of the week if we don't get closed for snow!

Wish Me Luck!

I start teaching new Art Appreciation classes today. I will be using the Whole Brain Teaching method for high school for the first time today. I am also going to step up my use at the elementary level. Wish me luck!