Friday, August 23, 2013

Class Yes and Fire Alarms-a Whole School Idea

This year, all the teachers in our school (both of us) are trying to implement whole brain methods in our classroom. Of course, one of the first things we implemented was Class/Yes. The lower grades, K-3, love doing it, while my older students were a little more reluctant. Still, we have practiced, and practiced and...well, you get the picture. I didn't know how wonderful having an all-school participation element was going to work until yesterday.

The alarm went off with the help of my aide. Our school has only two classrooms and, though we are getting one, we do not have an automatic alarm. As it buzzed, the kids lined up, crossed the alley and formed two lines, one for each class. Each teacher went down her row, verifying that all of the students were present. They were. 

Since this was the first fire alarm of the year, I always talk to the kids about what was great about their exit and to let them know if they needed to change something. It is also a good time to tell them why we do what we do and what we need from them. 

The kids were excited and talking among themselves while the teachers exchanged the information we needed to write down; then I was ready to talk. I needed everyone's attention and the thought came to me, "Class!." In unison, every child in the room responded, "Yes!" With a smile on my face, I completed my little talk. What a wonderful way to attention without having to talk over the voices of two classrooms.

The great thing about this is, as I thought of how well having the kids ready to respond was, I realized that, in a time of danger or during an experience where time was of the essence, "Class/Yes!" could save the day. Have you used "Class/Yes!" outside of your classroom?


  1. That's great, Joan! Again, the power of Class-Yes stands out!

  2. How wonderful! A great tool that is helpful in so many varied situations!

  3. Nancy and Michelle-it is such a wonderful tool-more uses than I ever imagined!