Sunday, March 3, 2013

Teach – OK

Using the Teach/OK strategy was one of the first transitions that I made towards being a WBT teacher.  I watched several videos about the strategy to see it in action.  I read the page on the fabulous WBT website about Teach/OK to make sure that I was employing the strategy correctly.  Then, I tried it out and was impressed right away.

            I was impressed with Teach/OK for several reasons.  One of the biggest reasons is because (clapJ) it took my Differentiated Instruction strategy of having a clear learning goal to the next level.  Now, not only does every lesson have a clear learning goal, but the children are teaching that goal to each other!  Another reason that I was so impressed is because (clapJ)the strategy is so effective at ensuring that my Kindergarteners retain the information taught!  Not just a few students, either.  Every student, even my strugglers.  Why are they able to retain the information?  because (clapJ)they are using their Whole Brain when they learn it.  I have found that it is imperative to ensure that they not only mirror hands and words and use gestures, but that they also teach each other as many times as possible back and forth.  The repetition is key for retention! Teach/Okay is also impressive because it can be tweaked so that students know what comprehension skill they are practicing.  Here are some ways  tweak it during reading comprehension: Predict/Okay, Infer/Okay, Connect/Okay, Prove It/Okay!

Of course, I use Teach/OK in all content areas, so I wanted to make sure that it was actually working for my kiddos.  I assessed this in two ways.  The first was by observing them during successive lessons to see if they were able to build upon previously taught objectives.  They were!  I also assessed them by observing them during academic conversations and calling them over to “quiz” them.  I have yet to be disappointed! 

A few tips for teachers who are just starting out:

- watch a few different videos first to see it in action!

- start off simple and grow from there.  It takes a little practice to become comfortable, but soon it will be second nature!

- collaborate with a friend or two or three J to come up with new gestures that will work for you!

- have fun with it, of course!  Remember one of the key reasons that Teach/OK works is because (clapJ) it attaches a pleasant emotion with learning…so always remember to SMILE!!