Day one of the conference focused on Reading. We began with the “Core Four” which are, Class-Yes, Teach-Okay, Scoreboard, and Mirror.
The Class-Yes is the attention getter for your class. You use Class-Yes all day every day, but it never gets old. You spice it up by saying “Class” in a variety of ways. Then your student’s respond back by saying “Yes” in the same manner in which you said “Class”. “Class-Yes is used by everyone in the school where I teach. We have adapted it to school wide assemblies by saying “Jackson” to which the entire school responds “Indians”. It works great!!
The Teach-Okay is the activator. After you have their attention with the Class-Yes, you speak briefly, clap twice, and say “teach”. The students clap twice, say “okay”, and then begin to teach whatever you have just said. It keeps everyone on track. While they are teaching, you do comprehension checks by listening and watching the groups. During this time you will quickly prompt or praise before calling the class back and continuing.
The Mirror unifies the class. It has everyone doing the same thing at the same time. You hold up your hands and say “mirror”. The students then mirror your gestures. There are three variations of “Mirror”. They are: Mirror, Mirror-Words, and Magic Mirror. When using “Mirror” the students just mirror your gestures. With “Mirror-Words” the students mirror your gestures and your words. “Magic Mirror” is where the students make up their own gestures to go with your words. All of these variations are powerful.
Coach B uses the Class-Yes along with the Mirror when asking questions. If a student has a question, he/she says “Class” to which the class responds “Yes”. He/she then says “Mirror” and every ones hands are up. Now the whole class is listening to the student’s question instead of messing around. This is a great strategy for keeping everyone focused on the lesson.
The Scoreboard is the motivator for your class. This consists of a T-chart on your board with a smiley above one side and a frowny above the other. Points are given as you determine. When a “smiley” point is given, the class celebrates with a one second party by giving one clap and yelling “Oh, yeah!” When a “frowny” point is given, the class lifts their shoulders and gives a mighty groan. They are playing for very simple things, such as one minute more or less of recess. The trick is to keep the points close, no more than three apart.
You need to make sure you use the core four in your WBT classroom continually.
This is just the beginning of day one. More to come!