Thursday, August 9, 2012

WBT Mirror and Switch

Are you ready for some more Whole Brain Teaching treats????

This post will cover 2 techniques: Mirror and Switch.

Let's start with Mirror.

Here is the basic script:

Teacher: Class!
Kids: Yes!
Teacher: Mirror
Kids: Mirror
Teacher: Speaks briefly and uses lots of gestures that the students are mirroring
Teacher: Clap and say, "Teach!"
Kids: copy your clap and say, "Ok!"

Coach B says this is great for telling a story, describing a process, teach an important concept, wake up a sleepy class, or anything else you want to use it for during the day.

The great part about mirror is it is all about gestures. I posted about the types of gestures and the importance of using the motor cortex in memory formation is a previous post. Read about it here.

If you want more information, please go to the WBT website, create a login (Free), and download some of the ebooks. They are wonderful resources!

This is a sneak peak into the WBT Seminar 1 Classroom Management ebook. It has 42 pages. Here is one small part about Mirror:

Don't those variation sound like fun? I can't wait to use this with my class. Talk about 100% engagement and participation!

Now let's look at Switch.

Watch live streaming video from wholebrainteaching1 at

Teacher: Switch!
Kids: Uh oh! Switch! (hand gesture is pulling a giant switch)
Teacher: When I say switch I want the ones to teach the twos or vice versa.

Why is this important? It gives all students practice with the concept you are teaching. There will always be students who do most of the talking and students who do most of the listening. This technique encourages the talkers to become listeners and the listeners to become talkers.

We also need to encourage students to speak with gestures. Their partners need to mirror their gestures. That way they are using the motor cortex and that improves their memory.

You can say, "Ones teach the twos!" or "Twos teach the ones!"

I love this variation: The teaching student stands up and the listening student sits down. Don't students always want a reason to stand and move? We are giving them that opportunity inside the lesson. They will have the structure in the classroom that allows them to move and talk to a partner in a productive manner. Isn't that awesome???

Chris Biffle also gives another variation called tag team. I really like this, too! Students might not always be finished with their thoughts or lesson when you ask them to switch. So you instruct students to teach their lesson and when they are finished, they give their partner a high five and that means their partner becomes the teacher. This becomes an individualized version of switch. Love it.

I really think these are techniques that I will teach and use by the end of the first week of school. I am ready for an energized classroom. I am ready for kids who really listen because I am putting in the extra effort to make my lesson more than just sit and get. I am ready to teach.

Are you?


Katrina said...

I have really enjoyed reading your whole brain teaching posts. I had never heard of wbt before. I am going to do more research and sign up for the website. I am definitely interested in implementing some of these techniques in my classroom but it probably won't be at the beginning of the school year. I'm am already planning to implement way too many new strategies/procedures/techniques I don't think I can add one more right now.

Thanks for sharing. I am definitely intrigued.


Amanda Kendall said...

Love mirror and switch, but tag team was new to me. Great idea. They would totally get into the high-five thing and it would allow you get a sense of how much time kids need to talk. Thanks for doing all these refreshers on the strategies. It helps to read them again and again. And, yes...I'm ready to teach...well, almost. Hehe. :)

The Teaching Thief

Unknown said...

I've been reading up on WBT this summer and look forward to implementing it in my classroom this year. I love the Tag Team strategy. I can't wait to see it in practice!

Becca Morris said...

I am so glad these posts are good refreshers! I can't wait to use WBT this year.

Post a Comment