TAGteaching is a Variation of Canine Clicker Training That Works With Humans!
TAGteaching is a Variation of Canine Clicker Training That Works With Humans!

Teaching (Video Link): TAGteaching - An Effective Technique for Teaching Sport Skills

Shelly Sharp, St. John Bosco School

If you have dogs, you might recognize clicker training as an effective method for teaching canines. TAGteaching is a similar technique, but applied to humans. It's basically clicker training for people and is a powerful tool for perfecting physical education skills.

What is TAGteaching?
“Tag” stands for “Teaching With Acoustical Guidance.”  Basically, we identify the “tag point,” the behavior we wish to elicit, and observe the students performing the skill.

On the instant they demonstrate the desired behaviour, we tag - “click” - which lets them know they got it right.The philosophy of TAGteaching is that it identifies correct behavior and makes it stronger while ignoring mistakes so that they eventually disappear.

One method students can use to keep track of their success is to use “tagulators.”  Ten tags indicates 10 correct demonstrations of technique and results in a marble in their marble jar.  When they have accumulated 100 marbles, they earn a reward.
    The rewards can be anything that is of value to the student. Rewards for younger students might include beads, stickers, printed awards or other prizes. Older students often don't need a tangible reward since they're reinforced just by receiving the immediate, positive feedback from the tag.

Why It's Effective
The click is really powerful because it bypasses the language and interpretation areas of the brain and communicates directly with the reward system of the brain stem.

Yesterday, in teaching a tap-dance routine to a grade three class, we tagged for straight arms and bent knees. Today we saw the straight arms and bent knees that we tagged for, so we moved on to tagging foot brushes three inches from the floor.

This teaching technique can totally change the dynamic from a battle to a very positive and focused class.  I find it such a helpful, positive tool, I feel compelled to pass it on!

Video Example
    You can see more information on the TAGteach.com website, including a video showing children learning the Fosbury Flop high jumping technique in only 15 minutes using the TAGteach method. The Fosbury Flop video is at:
Teaching the Fosbury Flop Using TAGteaching

Contributor: Shelly Sharp, PE Teacher, Saint John Bosco Elementary School, Montreal, Quebec, Spring 2010.

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