Thursday, March 14, 2013

I love it, I love it, I love it!

These are the words I heard during a mathematics lesson today.

This week our focus has been on money. In Australia we have two gold coloured coins. The smaller one is the $2 and the larger one is the $1. Most of our activities have used these two coins. This has opened up a lot of opportunities to talk about counting in ones and twos, addition and subtraction. It has given us the opportunity to review and build on concepts already covered in previous lessons. We have reviewed a number of power pix from previous lessons.

The children were excited to learn about our new topic and told their knee buddies they were excited. I created our own power pix question and answer with gestures. We started with mirror and asked our question. "What is money?" The answer I chose was, "Money is for spending, money is for saving and money is for giving." You can use your imagination for the gestures. We progressed onto teach /o.k. and the children were totally engaged in teaching each other.

We used looking and feeling to investigate our gold coins and now the children are getting good at describing them. The children are using their whole brains. They are using their prefrontal cortex to decide to participate, their visual cortex to look, their motor cortex to feel and move, their wernickes area to listen, their brocas area to speak, and their limbic system is being used, as they enjoy the novel activities we are doing.

We have used some cute A4 laminated pink pigs, value cards and coins for a bank for saving and doing addition. Then we used the same piggy, coins, value and spending cards to help us with subtraction. We have used a variety of songs, acting and recording to explore money. Tomorrow we have Crazy Hair day and will bring in a gold coin for our compassion sponsor child. Our activities have been real, relevant, relational and rousing.

Towards the end of today's lesson I said we were going to play yes/no way and that was when one dear child called out, I love it, I love it, I love it! I do not ever recall being that happy when a teacher asked me to do a revision activity. We followed this up with a QT game and the children were thrilled to learn another new game. I was thrilled to find another assessment tool that was easy to use and so accurate.

I would like to join the young girl from my class in saying, "I love it, I love it, I love it!"  Whole Brain Teaching is like a breath of fresh air that has blown out the old way of doing things and is bringing in the new.