Thursday, August 2, 2012

Implementation of WBT: Year One: The Five Rules

After many tries of using Classroom Management strategies of various kinds, and with the encouragement of my principal, I reluctantly tried Whole Brain Teaching last school year.  It was January, and clearly what I had been doing wasn't working with my students.  I am a structured person and like my classroom to be structured and predictable.  It wasn't happening.  I do believe that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Clearly I needed a different approach. 

I had researched WBT over Christmas break deciding on what I could implement within the classroom structure that I had already created.  First I decided to implement "The Five Rules":
    1. Follow directions quickly
    2. Raise your hand for permission to speak
    3. Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat
    4. Make smart choices
    5. Keep your dear teacher happy
I loved these rules.  They encompassed every classroom behavior that was occurring and those behaviors could be corrected by the help of classmates.  My favorite rule is #5 of course.  When nothing else works it's my default :)

I began by posting the rules on the wall and they remained there for the rest of the year.  I taught my students the actions and reciting them became a part of our morning routine.  In the beginning, I also practiced after lunch. Any time we came back from a break we practiced them twice a day until I felt routines were established.

Anytime a student broke a rule, I would simply say the rule and students would follow along with me and recite the rule.  I would go back to teaching and continue the lesson.  No calling out kids names, turning cards, bringing extra attention and time to the situation. 

Using these five rules was liberating.  I finally felt that I had control over the behaviors. I  felt that helping them correct unwanted behaviors with rule reciting was a positive way to remind ALL students of the expectations. 

By far I noticed the biggest difference in my classroom environment just by implementing The Five Rules. 

If you are trying out WBT for the first time, The Five Rules will change your classroom.  

How have The Five Rules helped you?


  1. Hi, I'm new to WBT too this year, and hope to have a class of my own again soon to implement the rules. I made some Superhero themed posters which will be live on my blog this week.

    I'm your newest follower.

    Mrs.D Reading with Mrs. D

  2. Hi Mrs. D! Thanks for stopping by my blog. By the weekend I will have pictures up of the WBT boards in my room, so check back! Best wishes for a great year!!
    Mrs. Horne