Whole Brain Teaching Teach Okay

Whole Brain Teaching: Teach! Okay! and Switch!

Okay I want to share another cue/callback from whole brain teaching. This one is called Teach! Okay! I’m also going to add in Switch! because they go hand in hand.

Teach! Okay! is a fabulous way to reinforce concepts and ideas throughout the lesson. This practice combines seeing, saying, hearing, and doing. It gets students involved and talking. One thing I’ve noticed is that teachers TALK A LOT! If we can transfer some of that speech to our students, they can take more control of their learning. Plus, it sticks in their little brains better.

What I did was put students in pairs with who they were sitting by. Student A was #1 and Student B was #2. (If someone’s partner was absent, they just joined in the nearest group and made a group of three. My kids also got really good at noticing if another persons partner was missing and would quickly get together with them.) During a lesson (math, LA, science, writing etc.), I would teach a key point or concept. Then, I would look at the class, clap twice and say “Teach!”. The class would clap back twice and say “Okay!”. Then, partner #1 would start teaching partner #2 what we had just learned. They would use the vocabulary and any gestures I did during the lesson. It was fun to see that they even mimicked my tone and emotion in my voice.

This is something that happens very quickly. My lesson was not 20 minutes long that I wanted them to teach their partner, it was 1-3 minutes, sometimes less. It was key concepts or vocabulary that I wanted to reinforce before I had the kids teach each other. For example. if I was teaching perimeter, I would say something like “Perimeter is… the distance around an object, add the length of the sides!” while drawing an imaginary picture frame in the air. Then I would clap twice and say “Teach!”. My kiddos would clap twice and say “Okay!” and then I would hear “Perimeter is… the distance around an object, add the length of the sides!”. Then partner two would repeat and gesture the same thing back to them. This all happens within a minute and then we move on.

Here’s an example:

You can see that this teacher does more than just clap twice. When your kids get comfortable with the Teach! Okay! cue, you can start to have some more fun with it. Here is a great video that explains some key points about this cue:

The idea of Switch! is pretty self-explanatory. When you have a longer concept or just want to make sure both partners are talking, you call out “Switch!”. This is a cue to the students that the partners switch off.

If you haven’t downloaded my free WBT Cues and Callbacks posters you can click on the link or the picture below! Teach! Okay! will change your teaching I promise. Let me know how it goes!


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Cassie Tabrizi
Cassie Tabrizi
After being in elementary education for 14 years, and as founder of Create-Abilities, Cassie is passionate about helping fellow educators empower their teaching.
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