Sunday, April 19, 2015

WBT and Critical Vocabulary

First off, Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) is the work of Chris Biffle and, in essence, is a teaching method that lends itself heavily to engaging students while learning.
“Here is the First Great Law of Whole Brain Teaching: The longer we talk, the more students we lose.”
Biffle, Chris (2013-05-13). Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids (and the rest of your class, too!) (p. 6). Whole Brain Teaching, LLC. Kindle Edition. 

WBT utilizes gestures and short stints of teaching along with having students reteach each other--all within just a few minutes a session! For more information and free awesome videos and eBooks, go to 

 Secondly, critical vocabulary is the phrase now used to identify a list of words that may be found in achievement testing and CCSS. So, in essence, if you teach you need to be using these words often in your classroom (Sprenger, 2013):

Kindergarten: compare/contrast, describe, distinguish, identify, retell
1st: demonstrate, determine, draw, explain, locate, suggest, support

Add to this list the following words: classify/categorize, explicitly, recognize, recount

So, how do we make these words meaningful and useable to first graders?

WBT Power Pix is one place to start but I've yet to find the majority of these words to teach with gestures. Click on the power pix below to go to the downloadable file. These power pix are close to the end of each file.

This one is from Whole Brain Teaching in the Ladybug Club. Click the pix below to find a link.

Off to a good start, but if the other power pix cannot be found they will need to be made. Let me know if you have located any for the remaining critical vocabulary for kindergarten and first grade.

Source:  Sprenger, M. (2013). Teaching the critical vocabulary of the common core 55 words that make or break student understanding. Alexandria, Virginia: ASCD.


  1. Hey there! I am excited to find another WBT Blogger! And just so you know, Compare and Contrast are available in the BRAINIES on the WBT website! They have gestures and you could combine the brainy posters with your power pix! I am your newest follower and I hope you check out my WBT journey at!

    1. "Ten-finger woo" to you, Heidi! Glad you found my blog. I've been away on hiatus but I'm back now working on WBT certification. I do have those power pix for compare and contrast! I do use them all the time, but no others I've found. Off to check out your blog!

  2. Hi! Thanks for joining myWBT Linky Party ! I look forward to reading your blog! Please let me know if you have any WBT questions!