Whole Brain Teaching: Yes/No Way! & QTs

One of the many reasons I love Whole Brain Teaching includes their frequent progress monitoring tools.

Throughout a lesson, there are many ways to ensure that students are learning what teachers are teaching.  "Teach-Okay" uses students as teachers and at the end of the lesson is the "Yes/No Way!" and Quick Tests.

Have you been to the WBT website? Go there immediately if you haven't! They have TONS of free resources and ebooks to help you through each step of the process.

One of my favorite ebooks is shown above- Whole Brain Teaching Model Classroom. It is FULL of great descriptions of each of the parts of WBT.

On page 25, there is a fabulous description of Yes/No Way! and Quick Tests (QTs). I am summarizing both below.
Yes/No Way
At the end of your teaching minilesson, you will have kids participate in Yes/No Way. This is a whole-class activity that involves gestures (of course!) and requires yes/no questions about the lesson just taught.

You begin by asking a question, such as, "Is water a liquid?" and they will reply "Yes!" and fist pump (from WBT) or I have them give me two thumbs up and a nod. You could certainly create your own gestures, but don't forget about them- they are an important part to Whole Brain Teaching!

If the answer is wrong, such as, "Is steam a solid?" they will reply "No Way!" with disbelief and a gesture. WBT recommends pointing their fingers to their foreheads and then extending their arms outwards. I had my students shake their heads and move their hands from side to side in front of their body, as if they were refusing something. We say "No Way!" as if what I'm asking is the craziest thing I've ever said :)

Quick Tests
After you have a good sense that the kids understand as a whole group about the concepts through Yes/No Way, there is a more individual assessment called Quick Test, or QT ("Cutie").

Again, this is found on page 25 in the WBT Model Classroom book. When the teacher says "QT" the students reply "Cutie" and cover their eyes with one hand, while getting ready to answer questions with the other.

The teacher will ask true/false questions and as the kids answer, they will give a thumbs-up for true and thumbs-down for false. This is a quick gauge on a more individual level. Kids might sometimes try to sneak a peek, but if you have the questions prepared in advance, you can keep up the tempo so they won't have time to do anything else but focus and answer.

I always look at my strugglers during this time to see what they are answering. If you see that less than 90% of your students are getting these answers correct, you will need to go back and reteach those concepts with new material.

I love Yes/No Way and QTs because they are quick, easy, and familiarizes your students with assessment-type questions from the very beginning in a non-threatening format.

Be sure to check out the WBT Model Classroom book from their website and let me know if you have any questions!



23 comments

  1. Love this! I'm going to try it next year.

    Just found your blog through Pinterest! Looking forward to reading more of your posts.
    - Elizabeth
    http://firstyearinthe3rdgrade.blogspot.com/

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    1. You will love it, Elizabeth- can't wait to hear how it goes :)

      ~Stephanie

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  2. I am trying WBT with my class next year. Thanks for the post.

    April
    Wolfelicious

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    1. I know you will love it- it's so easy, motivating and best of all, it works :)

      ~Stephanie

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  3. This has been very helpful Stephanie! I've read a lot about these techniques, but you really have me convinced to try some out. Did you start small and then work your way into more? Like the ones you mentioned above, I could easily start with those (I think!). Thanks! :)

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    1. Hi Kristen,

      Yes! Totally start small and go from there- I feel I have only scratched the surface myself!

      I started off with Class-Yes and the Scoreboard. I wanted to see if my kids even liked it or responded to it before I did more. The results were instant and I was so motivated to keep doing more. But, I could have stayed with Class-Yes and the Scoreboard all year and still had success. It's a great program and so easy, which is nice. There's a whole lesson delivery part and a whole bunch of other activities I still am reading and learning about :)

      Let me know how it goes and have fun!!

      ~Stephanie

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  4. I'm going to the conference in July and am really looking forward to learning more about it!

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    1. Hi Kim,

      That's awesome! I am so excited to go, especially to learn more about the many programs they have, like Mind Soccer and the like. I have read about them, but can't wait to talk to other teachers who have tried it and also to hear about it straight from the source!

      Thanks for stopping by :)

      ~Stephanie

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  5. Wish I could make it to that conference, too. Thanks, Stephanie for another great post about WBT :)

    Elizabeth
    Fun in Room 4B

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  6. Just attended the conference in Louisiana and can't wait to implement in my classroom this year.

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  7. This post is case and point why I LOVE whole brain teaching! This is a technique I haven't tried yet... and is very valuable. Thank you soooo much for posting it. Going to have to reread the ebook you posted for sure! :)

    Amanda
    Reaching for the TOP!

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  8. Great job, Stephanie! So great you are able to attend a WBT conference this summer! Be ready to have the best conference experience ever!! Nancy

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  9. Love WBT! Two of my colleagues just attended the conference in Louisiana. Looking forward to them sharing all of the great resources and strategies they gathered.

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  10. Tiffany & Mrs. Shepherd- Let me know all about the LA conference! I bet it was amazing and so inspiring to be with all of the other WBT Teachers :)

    ~Stephanie

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  11. Thanks so much for posting this. I went to the WBT website last night and checked it out. I read it and many more of the free downloads. I am so excited. I've never done Whole Brain Teaching but I will this school year. I am so excited to get started. Thanks again.

    Carolyn from Third Grade Adventures
    http://thirdgradeadventuresinelbert.blogspot.com/

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  12. I don't understand how an action to a basic question tells you anything about a child's higher level thinking. I find that children often give a confident yes or no answer and yet when asked to think about "why" they don't understand. I think that repetition and regurgitation are the ways that many people grew up learning but these methods do not lend itself to thinking critically or being reflective.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I would never use this activity as a higher-level thinking assessment, just a quick assessment at the end of the lesson- one that would "take the temperature" of the class to see where we stand and where we should go next. That's why the quickness is important. The real meat & potatoes of learning and assessment comes when we leave the carpet and do our independent work.

      If you are interested in higher level thinking, there are some fun, action-based activities that Whole Brain offers- you should definitely go to their website and check it out :)

      ~Stephanie

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  13. I used the scoreboard and Class-Yes at the end of the year and my kids LOVED it. We had been doing Dr. Jean's cheers and brain breaks already and they really got into the interaction. Looking forward to using more WBT with my upcoming class. =)

    Emily @ Second Grade Silliness 

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  14. I'm going to do this this fall! I'm really excited about it. I think it will be an awesome help with behavior. We do brain breaks as well. This will just complement that.
    Thanks, Paula
    pstein774@yahoo.com

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Thank you so much for your comments! :)
~Stephanie

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