Friday, July 27, 2012

WBT: Teach-Okay (Superhero Included)

Hands up if you're guilty of relying on worksheets.
Is your hand up? Mine is...
Tell me I'm not the only one to use them more than just as a review...
"The medium is the message"- Marshall McLuhan.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our students could be involved in their learning? Hopefully after learning more about Whole Brain Teaching, I'll be better prepared to make my students the medium of their learning instead of endless worksheets. One of the foundational methods of using WBT in the classroom is Teach-Okay, and I believe this is one way that can do just that. It enables the students to use the four learning modes recognized by WBT- seeing, saying, hearing and doing. Having these four learning modes activated simultaneously should prove to be the way to make students be the message they are learning. In other words, they are completely involved in their learning.

But how does Teach-Okay do this? Students are directed through the teachers double clap to turn to their partner and teach their partner exactly what the teacher just taught the class in words and action, and then have their partner teach them in return.

Seeing- they see the actions performed by their partner
Saying- they repeat the lesson (message) verbally
Hearing- they hear their partner say the words
Doing- they perform the teachers actions for the lesson (message)

     By breaking up my own teaching of concepts, and by having the information repeated so many times and ways simultaneously, students become more able to hold onto new knowledge in their short term memories. Why is this important? That is because traditionally teachers talk for long periods of time in front of their class, and students are unable to hold onto concepts because we would too quickly move onto the next without adequately checking for understanding. With teach-okay students are given many chances to repeat their new knowledge before switching concepts.

     In my future classroom using teach-okay will help my students critical thinking skills because they will have immediate review. There will be no waiting until homework or a test to see if they've held onto it; they'll know for themselves immediately by whether they can or cannot teach their partner. How will they know? Either they will completely blank on the concept, or their partner will kindly inform them that they missed something, and will teach it to them again. While I walk around the room observing teach-okay, I will be able to see who isn't comprehending, and will know that I need to teach again, or that I can continue onward to the next mini concept. It's much better to find out when I'm initially teaching something that my student doesn't get it, that way I'm not trying to build on a foundation that's not strongly built.


To obtain my Superhero poster, simply click on the image to go to the Google document.

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