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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tried It Tuesday {Class Yes!}

Happy Tuesday! We are starting the third full week of school and I think I am finally getting into the swing of things. I hope your week is off to a great start!
It's Time for Tried It Tuesday! 
What have you tried at school or home?
If you've never linked up with Tried It Tuesday, just link up any idea school or home related and what worked or didn't work. Simple! 
My Tried It:
Class Yes  
I have heard of "Class Yes" from Whole Brain Teaching for awhile but never tried it until this year. I can't believe how easy it was to implement and how much it REALLY grabs the students' attention!
The website above describes "class yes" so well. Here is their description:

How many times have you started class, called for your class to get quiet, only to have a few kids comply, and several others continue chatting, apparently oblivious to your request? You ask for their attention again, a bit louder. At this point you can feel your blood pressure rising, right? After all by this time they should know how to follow procedures. They have certainly been trained in procedures similar to yours for years by the time they get to you ... well, depending on what age your students are.
Then why don't they listen? Why don't you already have their attention? You have teaching to do. They doggedly hang onto the conversations they are in, even as your voice rises ...
Now you are headed into a bad mood and the darned class is only just beginning. To top it off, some of your lovely moppets are acting as though giving you their attention is a gigantic imposition. Now both you and your students are in a hostile mood, and no one has learned anything yet.
Does any of this sound familiar? If you would like to change, then read on.
Whole Brain Teaching is educational tomfoolery based on brain based learning. The technique to consistently catch the attention of your class is simple. It is so simple, and effective that I kicked myself for not having thought of it myself years ago, and have lamented many times since the instructional time I lost for not having known this.
To get my classes’ attention I simply say ‘Class!’ and then they reply ‘Yes!’. Next is the catch, the hook that makes this fun, and gets them invested in it in a way that has them looking at me and grinning rather than continuing their conversations.
When I say ‘Class!’ and they say ‘Yes!’ they have to say it the way I said it. If I say ‘Classity-class-class!’ they have to say ‘Yessity-yes-yes!’. If I say it loudly, they have to respond loudly. If I whisper, they respond in a whisper. They have to match my tone and intensity.
Simple, huh? It is amazing how effective this approach is. I used to be the teacher I described above. With middle schoolers in particular it was almost impossible to get their attention. Too often, I would find myself frustrated by my students’ behavior.
Whole Brain Teaching uses a very simple and effective approach to overcome this resistance. Whole Brain Teaching injects fun back into the classroom for both you and your class.
Why is the Class-Yes, in terms of brain structure, so effective?  The neo-cortex, the part of your brain behind your forehead, controls, among other things, decision making.  Think of the neo-cortex as an executive, organizing other brain areas for complex tasks.  When the teacher says, "Class!" and students respond "Yes!," you have, in effect focused your students' neo-cortices on what you're going to say next.  In other words, their brain's executives are ready to take directions from your brain's executive.  That's wonderful!  Your neo-cortex is the CEO of all your kids' neo-cortices.  We call that, Teaching Heaven. 
Here is a videoclip and introduction to whole brain teaching. I am looking forward to trying other WBT strategies!


  1. I have tried this before and I think it works well with younger students. Our school has a school-wide signal - the "high five" so I think I had better stick with it. :)


  2. I use the "Class...Yes" method with my fifth graders and it works beautifully! I love it! :) Later in the year, we'll try some other fun attention getters like: "Mac and Cheese...Everybody Freeze!" or "Holy Moley...Guacamole."

    Joy in the Journey

  3. I love "class, yes!" It really gets kids' attention in a way that keeps them smiling.