Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Whole Brain Wednesday: High Five Switch

Today's Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday will be quick. I will be discussing using "Switch" during "Teach, Okay." If you're unfamiliar with "Teach, Okay" read up on it in this post from last year.

Switch is used to help your talkers (you know the kiddos who do ALL the talking in their group and always have an answer without doing much thinking) practice listening and have your listeners (the kiddos who always let the other group members do all the talking) practice talking.

I did a post about "switch" last year. In that post I describe the all-class switch. This switch involves the teacher deciding when partners should switch listening and speaking turns. The teacher reaches up like she is pulling a giant light switch and says "switch" the students copy the gesture, say "switch" then rotate listener/talker. To read more about this switch, check out last year's post.

During the WBT National Conference, we learned about the high five switch. During this type of switching, partners have a very specific question to answer, something to teach their partner, etc. When they are done teaching, answering the question, etc. they high five each other and switch roles. You can make this even more involved by having the speaker act as the teacher, getting their partner's attention using class, yes as well as using gestures which the listener mirrors. When the partners high five the new speaker now uses class, yes and gestures while the listener mirrors the gestures. Having the kiddos take the role of the teacher as well as using gestures makes it very easy for the teacher to see who is engaged while she walks around listening into students' conversations.

Check out this video from the WBT Conference with 2 of the trainers modeling the high five switch...

I plan to use both types of switch in my room this year. While the students are getting used to teach, okay and gestures, we will probably do the whole-class switch but as the students get more comfortable, I will teach the high five switch, giving students more independence and control of their learning.

Be sure to tune in next week for another Whole Brain Wednesday!

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