Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The ULTIMATE Attention Getter: CLASS- YES!


Teacher:         When I say "Class", you say "Yes", and    
                        immediately fold your hands and look at             
                       me.  Class!
Class:             Yes!
Teacher:         However I say "Class", you say "Yes"!  Classity!
Class:             Yessity!

How many times have you found yourself frustrated, straining your voice, trying to speak over your students?  How many times have you counted down from 10, having to go EEEXXTRRA slow on the last few numbers, to make sure you get ALL of your students attention?  The basic question is, how many times a day do you WASTE TIME and energy gaining  the focus of all twenty- something (dare I say thirty something!) of your students at once?  Waste time no more, as Class-Yes is the ultimate teacher companion.

Introducing Class-Yes is really as simple as I laid out in the beginning of this post!  I started it the first day of school in the hallway. Whether it is your second week or second month of school, it isn't too late to begin incorporating WBT into your classroom.  In fact, think SOONER rather than later. 

The first key to Class-Yes is making it FUN!  Voice variation is important, as students are to mimick the way you say 'Class'.  Sometimes I say it quickly and loudly, while other times I stretch it out very slowly and quietly. I present it in the way I'd like to set the tone for my classroom at that moment. In the beginning of the week, I used "Class-a-doodle-doo," while picking up my 5th grade students in the yard in the morning.  My intent was to WAKE them up.  They enthusiastically responded, "Yes-a-doodle-doo!"  It was all butterflies and roses, until a parent from another grade gushed, "Oh my goodness, how CUUUTE!"  By the looks on their faces I IMMEDIATELY decided to hold off on any more rooster variations for quite a while.  Fifth graders DO NOT like to be called "cute", especially in front of ALL the other classes.  Gee, thanks mom. 

The second key to Class-Yes Success, is the Scoreboard. You will witness the magic when you can get students attention immediately during ANY task, with all eyes on you and hands folded.  The Scoreboard is the enforcer.  If students aren't crisp enough, give a Frownie.  If they respond immediately, award with a Smiley. Ping pong points back and forth until Class- Yes is the best it can get! I will elaborate on The Scoreboard in one of my next posts.  

The third key to success happens automatically!  Whole Brain Teaching is called just that for a reason; every WBT technique activates a useful part or parts of the brain.  The Neo- cortex, located behind the forehead, acts as the CEO of the brain.  When we say "Class", the decision making part of the brain turns on, and instantly students won't be able to help saying "Yes!" 

You can go beyond the basics once you are comfortable, and start using review questions to get attention!  Practice makes permanent, so eventually gnarlie questions will get correct answers!   Once Class-Yes is  firmly in place in your classroom, you can also easily add in other WBT goodies such as "Teach-Okay" and "Mirror" (other topics I will blog about).  Last week I started having student leaders use Class-Yes to get the attention of the class for rule practice.  So many students wanted to lead every morning and afternoon that I had to choose a job stick each time in order to assign a leader.  WBT isn't just exciting for teachers, students love it too!

 I always like to include a video because I am a visual learner and NEED to see something being modeled before I can model it myself!  This is a 6th grade teacher introducing Class- Yes, once the school year has already started.   I really like his version  because it's a reminder that is it YOUR classroom, and you can be as creative as you want to be!  It also serves as proof that Class- Yes Success can be achieved at ALL grade levels, even in the middle of the year. 

If you want to learn more about Class- Yes from Coach B. himself, watch webcast 514 on WholeBrainTeaching.com!


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