Originally published-February 2, 2013
Action Research Question “Does the consistent use of Whole Brain Teaching's CoreFour and Five Classroom Rules produce increased enthusiasm and improved learning outcomes for all students?”
Week One-Data Collection; Assessment
Week Two-Implementation of Consistent Use of Five Classroom Rules--Many students continued to break rules, especially Rules 2 and 3.
Week Three-Review Rules Two and Three by purposefully breaking Rules 2 and 3.--Fewer students broke rules.
Week Four-Using Behavior Assessment for Seating Chart; Implementing Scoreboard-Scoreboard talk minute difficult to implement at the end of class
This week I used my WBT Behavior Assessment to create a new seating chart. I paired model and leader students with challenging, fence sitter, and go along students. By doing so, I expected pairs of students to exhibit better behavior. Students needing to improve would see model/leader students behaving. Using WBT Rules, Teach/Ok, and regular day to day activities, student pairs had a peer to look to when needed. The students were expected to work in pairs (1s and2s) whenever we used "Teach/Ok" and were to give friendly reminders using rule number 'sign language' whenever needed. I watched as I placed students with their new partners and explained the importance of this. Even though students (as most middle school kids would) did not always like the partner I placed them with, they did much better than they would have had I not used the WBT Behavior Assessment to group students. WBTs Teach/Ok has encouraged me to think more when I pair students. Several groups need adjusting though. Two of these groups even informed me they would 'talk to much because they were good friends." I will continue rearranging student groups periodically.
Last weekend, I viewed Chris Biffle's WBT Scoreboard YouTube video several times. Students were reintroduced to the Scoreboard. I made certain students understood the +/-3 rule, how I would be observing even the smallest positive and negative behaviors, and how they could earn one free minute at the end of class if they beat my score. I was very consistent this week with awarding points. I watched students reminding others not to break Rules 2 and 3, I noticed student enthusiasm increase, and I counted fewer times I had to speak to individual students. As a result of the 'combined use and focus' of the Five Classroom Rules, purposeful seating, and the Scoreboard, students are behaving better and participating more, ultimately because they want those Scoreboard points. As a result, more challenging students are breaking the rules less frequently. Individual students, many of those challenging and fence sitters, are 'without words' telling others what rule not to break. Results also indicated, I have complete control over the scoreboard score. The first two days, I allowed students to win, to earn a minute of talk time at the end of class. By doing so, it built student enthusiasm for earning points and a free minute. Time at the end of class did not always allow for one full minute of 'talk time' though. The action research plan was adjusted by switching the minute to the beginning of class. (Note: I have tried the minute at the end of class before. A minute at the end of class seems so much better than at the beginning, but even trying it with a conscious effort for three days this week, it did not work. Thanks to Melissa Bonk for suggesting I try this at the beginning of class! The idea had not even crossed my mind.)