Thursday, August 4, 2011

Teach Like A Champion Chapter 4 Analysis:

(This is the fourth of a series of posts on Teach Like A Champion by Doug Lemov, which I am reading and reflecting on for a class for my masters at Cornerstone University)

In his fourth chapter, Lemov describes methods to help structure and deliver your lessons, according to the basic structure of I/We/You. Most lessons will be structured in a distinctive pattern progressing from direct instruction via demonstration (I) to guided practice together (We) to independent practice.

#22. Cold Call
Cold call is a tool that promotes an atmosphere of preparedness by setting the expectation that the teacher can and will ask any student to answer a question, not just the students that have their hands raised. It forces students to always be prepared. Many important things should be kept in mind when making Cold Call a part of your lesson plans:

  • Cold call is predictable. It loses is power to keep everyone answering questions if it is only seldom used.
  • Cold call is systematic. It is how things are done. It is not a tool used to “get” students
  • Cold Call is positive. The atmosphere should be one where students are ready “to shine”
  • Cold Call is scaffolded. Give students the best opportunity to get a question right and shine.

#23. Call and Response
Call in response is a question answering technique where the teacher asks a question and the whole class responds as one. It allows for review and reinforcement, introduces high energy fun, and promotes responsiveness and unity. Call and response is best when:

  • Used to repeat, report, reinforce, review, or solve
  • Used with a specific signal, such as “Class…”, a count-down, a prompt, a nonverbal gesture, a shift in tone and volume, or patterned response to a specific phrase

#24. Pepper
A round of fast-paced questioning where the teacher asks many rapid-fire simple review questions to a group of students. It is a game with many possible variations:

  • Picking specific students, by choice or by pick-sticks
  • Head to head competition, where the correct answer faces a new challenger
  • Sit-down: where all students start up (or down) and sit (or stand) when a question is answered correctly.

#25. Wait Time
On average, teachers wait a second or less before answering questions, which creates a habit of cheap thinking. Try waiting at least five seconds, and be sure to make students aware that they have the time and should have high quality answers.

#26. Everybody Writes
Simply put, great teachers will ask all students to prepare for more ambitious thinking and discussion by first reflecting in writing for a short time.

#27. Vegas
Every lesson needs a little Vegas—a little pizzazz or song and dance that is upbeat, short and sweet. It’s a little piece of flair, emphasizing some key part of the lesson. Try two snaps whenever force is mentioned, or simply a fun voice accent, or lighting or music that you can use to make the lesson more fun, yet remain in control and on task.

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