Thursday, October 10, 2013

#WholeBrainTeaching the Teach Okay

This video shows a quick introduction on the Teach Okay with a group of 6th graders. Before this lesson, students were asked to do various activities to get them ready to do a teach okay.

Here is an example of some things that I asked students to do in class to get them ready to do a teach okay.

  1. Tell your neighbor, "Take out your folder!"
  2. Tell your neighbor, "You're amazing!"
  3. Turn and tell your neighbor, "Open to page 5 and take out a pencil!"
  4. Turn and tell your neighbor everything you just learned from reading that paragraph!
  5. Turn and tell your neighbor what the directions are, and use some gestures to explain it to them!
We worked our way through these 5 steps over the course of a few days. When students were ready, meaning they were used to talking and moving with their partner, then I introduced the structure of the Teach Okay. When I clap twice and say, "Teach!" the students clap twice and say, "Okay!" Then they do a full turn to their partner, raise their arms up ready to gesture, and immediately start teaching their partner everything they've learned. 

Remember, that the teach-okay leads way to Switch. Switch is where you have students take turns teaching each other, which is where they practice their listening and speaking skills separately. To help them be ready to do that, I ask that they both teach at the same time during a teach okay. They talk and gesture while also listening and watching their partner. This helps my kiddos to not feel like everybody's watching them, and helps them to step outside of their comfort zone.

When they feel comfortable doing this, then I pull out Switch and give them the stage to teach their partner. The teaching partner stands, the sitting partner sits and mirrors the "teacher's" gestures. When the teacher has said everything they possibly can about the subject, they high five their partner, and switch places. 

Here's what it looked like when I introduce it to my kiddos:


  1. Always love watching you with your kiddos! Give them (and yourself) a big 10 finger woo! Kate

  2. It was hard to believe that my ELA 6 kids would ever look anything close to the video but...... they do! Love your blog and all of your great advice, tips, tricks and info! Thanks!

    Joanne M
    Come visit and follow me at Traveling Though Sixth

    1. Thanks Joanna! Hope you had a great year!

  3. Thanks for this great video. I have started teaching using WBT this year with my Year 5/6 class. So far, so good and it's only been 3 days. This video helped me refine my skills with this method.

    1. Awesome Imogen! How did the rest of your year go?