Teach, Okay is a strategy in which you clap your hands and say "Teach!" and your students respond "Okay!" The students then turn to each other and begin discussing whatever prompt you told them to discuss. An important part of the strategy is the quickness at which they turn to discuss with their neighbor. You can use The Scoreboard to encourage quick turns. They also need to be fully turned to face their neighbor. When introducing Teach, Okay at the beginning of the year I tell my students "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and they say "Knees and Toes" This acts as a reminder of how their bodies should be facing prior to their discussion.
1. Teach students information in CHUNKS. Have the students then reteach their neighbor the information. You can start with them repeating what you said, but then gradually have them teach the information in their own words. Remember, we're trying to get them to the highest percentage of retention we can!
2. Have the students use GESTURES. As before, students can occasionally use gestures that you provide for them, but also give them the opportunity to create their own gestures. When they create their own gestures then they are making meaning of their learning and it will stick better!
3. Use MIRRORS! When one person is speaking the other student should mirror the gestures the speaker is using. This will help them to pay attention and activate another part of their brain.
4. Allow time for both students to speak, by using the SWITCH. Sometimes within a pairing you have one student that is always a talker. Both students need the opportunity to teach or they both aren't having access to that 90% retention rate. Allow one student to speak and then enforce a switch in which the listener now becomes the teacher.
Good luck with Teach, Okay! It engages 100% of the students in your class and encourages learning retention. What more could you ask for?
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