This works. It is efficient, it is effective, and the children love it.
We had a huge amount of fun today when we practised the “Class-Yes“. Everyone ended up smiling and it has to be amongst the most positive of methods of bringing attention back to the teacher. The children responded instinctively, with enthusiasm and – by the end of the day – as though they have been responding to “class” with “yes” since their first days in reception.
In brief, the teacher says “class” and the children say “yes”. It sounds simple and it is. But it is absolutely powerful in shifting their focus from work to the teacher. There is none of the resentment that some children have when asked to finish their work – possibly out of perfectionism or initial lack of momentum. They want to comply; in fact, it happens involuntarily after about three or four practice runs.
I can feel it becoming part of my teaching DNA and I cannot wait to demonstrate it to colleagues as part of a series of model lessons I am teaching this term. It was impossible not to share the technique with others today and I envisage some of them using the idea in their own classrooms. Also, I really cannot imagine a primary school situation where it would not work on some level.
“Teach-OK” was slower to embed, but I can see how it will become a powerful part of my teaching toolkit, especially when allied to the concept of micro-lectures (30-60 seconds of precise, focused input, which the children then teach each other). I am, it has to be said, impressed!