Monday, 13 February 2012

WBT & Manitoba's "Towards Inclusion" Document Part 2

     Yesterday I started blogging on how WBT strategies might fit in with the criteria set out by the Manitoba government. I found the Towards Inclusion: Supporting Positive Behaviours in Manitoba Classrooms document and decided to focus on Section 6: Positive Reinforcement (pg. 53) and Section 7: Fair & Predictable Consequences (pg. 58). I quickly realized, however, that this was not a one-post topic and decided to split it into two parts by covering Section 6 yesterday and covering Section 7 today.

The document summarizes that a teacher must establish consequences for inappropriate behaviour BEFORE the behaviour takes place so that our students know exactly what to expect. For example, it may our classroom policy that if a student(s) misses time in class because they are not paying attention or are late, they will owe that time during recess. This would be something we would discuss as a class at the start of the year and at the beginning of class to ensure that our student's are being treated fairly. 
The document goes on to explain that for a consequence to be effective it must be immediate (but not intensive), reasonable, well-planned (but flexible) and practical. I think that, for the most part, my use of "The Scoreboard" fit into this criteria. By using this strategy, a consequence would be to receive a teacher-point on the scoreboard as opposed to a student-point. If there were not a positive number of student-points near the end of class the students would not earn a privilege that they were working towards (such as the opportunity to work on an assignment in partners). By using "The Scoreboard" I could put up a point immediately and it was our class-schedule so it was well-planned into our daily routines. We would begin each day by speaking about it as a class, however, which also allowed it to be tailored to ensure that it was both reasonable and practical for what we were doing that day. 

The next 8 pages cover various strategies to effectively respond to inappropriate behaviours in our classrooms and how to establish appropriate consequences. For this post, I am choosing three to discuss based on the fact that they also fit in with the classroom management model project I am currently working on. Get the Activity Moving discusses the importance of well-planned transitions in our classrooms to assist in eliminating down-time where students may get off-task  because redirection at this time is often misguided. One of the WBT strategies that I think would work perfect for transitions is "Teach-Ok" because it allows students to review what was just taught with their neighbour and can be utilized in-between different lesson components. Redirecting is the idea that sometimes you just need to grab the student's attention away from whatever is distracting them in order to redirect their behaviour. This fits the strategy of "Class-Yes" to a T! "Class-Yes" is an attention grabber you can use to gain your student's attention quickly and easily. If one or more of our students are off-task or needing clarification we can use "Class-Yes" to gain their attention and give any needed instructions or comments. Lastly, Gestures, is all about a certain movement communicating a message to our class. I wanted to include this one because of the kinesthetic component of WBT which students often enjoy. WBT uses a lot of gestures to symbolize different aspects of a lesson plan and to just get our students moving and engaged during a lesson. For example, a teacher may have a list of supplies that students need to have ready at the start of a lesson (these may include their notebook, a pencil and an eraser) so as student's are preparing for class she can hold up three fingers that symbolizes that students should have those three different supplies out. 
     If you were able to read Part 1 of this post, you know that I thought WBT fit in quite well with Section 6 of the Towards Inclusion document. After summarizing Section 7 as well, I found this to remain true. I realize that each teacher is an individual and will utilize different strategies differently but I am confident in saying that I will be able to utilize WBT strategies and follow the guidelines set out in this document as well!


  1. I am especially interested in the classroom behavior management portions of Whole Brain Teaching, since I have trouble with this! At least in student teaching, I seem to be too gentle with the kids and others have commented on it! :(

  2. That's why I was interested in WBT too! During my first student teaching placement it was one of the things that I really wanted to work on because I had seemed to have the organization and lesson planning down well. In regards to being too gentle, remember that we need to apply consequences if needed but try to stay away from punishment:

    - Consequence, to be used to create an impact or effect beyond a simple intervention (such as moving closer to a child who is easily distracted)
    - Punishment, to cause discomfort for a fault or offense

    You can still be gentle with students while administering a consequence. If you are utilizing an appropriate consequence students will be able to tell if they are being treated fairly or not and will usually agree with a fair consequence.


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