A few years ago,Someone introduced me to whole brain teaching, used in many classrooms around the world. It is a great interactive way to run your classroom. I moved to a new school this year and as I introduce my class rules, I was pleased to have the kids say, “those are the same rules our classroom teacher has!”

The are several parts to using whole brain teaching.

The first part – Class: Yes

As an attention getter, the teacher says, “Class, class.” The students echo “Yes! Yes!” I have modified this to singing the phrases. Whatever you sing, they model it. If I sing “Classity class”. They sing “Yesity! Yes!” If I sing it in sol mi, they copy in sol mi. If I sing it loudly, they sing it loudly. If I sing in octaves, they sing in octaves. Kids love this.

5 Class Rules + an added one

I introduce these rules at the beginning of the year and point to my wall charts when the student need to be reminded.

  1. Follow Directions quickly
  2. Raise your hand for permission to speak
  3. Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.
  4. Make smart choices!
  5. Keep your dear teacher happy!
  6. Be kind! (I added this one)

Hands and Eyes

When you have something really important to teach or you are losing focus, you can say, “Hands and eyes!” Students look at you and put their hands in their laps, even leaning in to focus on what you’re saying. I like to say “Eyeballs”. The kids find it humorous and it gets their attention.

Teach! Okay! And Switch!

What you teach enthusiastically sticks. Also, you’ve always heard that when you teach something, you learn the most. You remember what you teach better. This is the collaborative learning we all want in our classes.

Once you’ve taught something, have students find a partner and teach it to each other. It is a great way to review and to have your students show they know the information.

After you teach a concept. Tell the students to teach each other with the words, “Teach!” Students say, “Okay!”

Be sure to switch partners so each student gets a turn by saying, “switch”.


When you teach a new idea, ask students to mirror what you have taught exactly. They will then do or say exactly what you said in volume, excitement, and gestures.

There are more parts to Whole Brain teaching, such as games. I only use the ones above. To find out more about using this method, go to the whole brain teaching site. http://wholebrainteaching.com/

Find other resources to make your teaching easier at floatindowntherivertpt.com


Linda Seamons, Floating Down the River


Linda Seamons

Linda has over 30 years’ experience teaching early childhood and elementary music, as well as Jr high and high school band. She is also a teacher-author and blogger for Floating Down the River. She is fully certified in Kodály concept and also has enjoyed Orff and World Drumming certification.