Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Welcome to this week's edition of WBT Wednesdays!

This week we are talking about my FAVORITE WBT strategy....  TEACH/OKAY!

I have a display window in my classroom where I post the WBT Strategies & of course I have to change them out with the season/holidays!  

I just have to add the November edition and then these will be available for FREE on my Google Drive page!

Okay so let's get to it!  Teach/Okay is one of the most POWERFUL WBT strategies you can use!  When I first started using this, I quickly realized how much I was talking and how little the students were retaining!  Since I have been using this, it has made such a difference in the knowledge & retention of information in ALL of my students (including special ed & struggling students)!

So, how does it work?

Well, I use Teach Okay along with CLASS YES and MIRROR WORDS.  So if I am teaching about Verbs, it will go like this...

Me:"Class Class!"
Students:"Yes Yes!"
Me: "Mirror Words!" (mirror hands up)
Students: "Mirror Words!" (mirror hands up)
Me: "A verb"
Students: "A verb"
Me: "is an action word." (gesture for verb)
Students: "is an action word." (gesture for verb)
Me: "Teach!"
Students: "Okay!"

Then my students will do FULL BODY TURNS to their neighbor and repeat, "A verb is an action word!" using the gestures.  They will say it over and over again until I call, "Class Class!".

The repetition of the students saying it, not just hearing it, is amazingly effective!  The gestures are also a huge part of retaining the information so don't forget those!

Here is a short clip of one of my students (in September!) using Class Yes, Mirror Words, and Teach Okay to teach the class about sentences.

You can see more videos on my Facebook Page and my WBT Page!

That is how I use Teach Okay when I am introducing a topic or skill.  It is amazing for reviewing key information & practicing new concepts.

As we get more into it, I will use Teach Okay for things like...

"When I say Teach, turn and talk to your neighbor about more verbs.  What are some action words (or things you can do)?"

Then I will say "Teach!"
Students will say "Okay!" and do a full body turn and start talking to their neighbor giving examples of verbs.

Teach Okay is a GREAT tool for promoting critical thinking.  You can use it the same as "turn and tell your neighbor" or "think, pair, share".  

The SWITCH is an adaption to Teach Okay.  Using the Switch, one partner talks at a time.  

So to start using Switch, I will usually start off by telling the partner groups to choose 1 person to be peanut butter and the other person to be jelly.

I then tell the students that the peanut butters are going to teach first.  When I say, "TEACH!" everyone says, "OKAY!" but then only the peanut butters teach.  The jellies should still gesture along with the peanut butters but only PB's talk!  When I say, "SWITCH!", the jellies teach while PB's gesture along.

When first starting this, I usually have the person teaching stand up to help them get used to who is teaching and this way I can also clearly see if they are doing this correctly!

In this picture, one student is asking a question and the other is giving the answer.  When I call SWITCH, they will change roles.

There are variations of switch.  I usually use "high 5 switch" where I say, "high 5 switch", students repeat that, then they high 5 their partner and switch teaching/listening roles.

The switch is amazing for assessments!  It is also ideal for using critical thinking skills and having partners discuss ideas rather than just repeat what you say!

So, that wraps up this week's edition of WBT Wednesdays!  Don't forget to check out our WBT Blab Show tonight at 6pm CST!  If you cannot make the live show, you can always watch the replay!  Just click here and search Whole Brain Teaching OR WBT!

Thanks for checking out my blog and feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions!

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