Sunday, August 7, 2011

Teach Like A Champion Chapter 5 Analysis:

(This is the fifth 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 chapter five, Lemov describes five principles of classroom culture, which are all necessary and work to build on each other.
  • Discipline: Lemov describes discipline not as punishment, but as teaching students to do what’s right and successful for learning.
  • Management: the system and process of reinforcing behavior by consequences and reward
  • Control: the capacity to cause someone to choose to do what you ask, regardless of consequences.
  • Influence: the ability to get a student to want to internalize the things you suggest
  • Engagement: students should be positively engaged not just so that they are too busy to misbehave, but also because after a while, those positive engaging habits become internalized.
Then, specifically Lemov describes several techniques that help create a strong classroom culture by hitting on the principles above:

#28. Entry Routine
Make a habit out of starting class in an efficient, productive, and scholarly manner. Lemov suggests having students pick up a packet of materials from a small table inside the room, that contains everything they might need, and a Do Now.

#29. Do Now
A “Do Now” is a quick three to five minute activity that students can do on their own, usually at the beginning of class.

#30. Tight Transitions
Taking time to practice transitions is an investment that pays off through the year as students switch places and tasks quickly, uniformly, and with minimal prompting. This can when students are moving, or when materials are being distributed or collected.

#31. Binder Control
Teach your students to be organized by requiring them to store all papers and notes in an organized binder. Number each paper that goes in and refer to them in a table of contents, and when reviewing for quizzes and tests.

#32. SLANT
Slant is an acronym for five attention behaviors that all students should be practicing:
• Sit up
• Listen
• Ask questions
• Nod your head
• Track the speaker

#33. On Your Mark
Every student should start class with the appropriate materials. Be sure to list what is required, as well as have a specified time when materials should be out and ready.

#34. Seat Signals
It is worth describing a set of nonverbal signals that students can use for the most interruptive actions, such as
• Bathroom: raise a hand with two fingers crossed
• Pencil Sharpen: hold pencil in air and wait for a replacement preferably from a container of pre-sharpened pencils
• Tissue: Left hand pinching nose

#35. Props
Props, shout-outs, or ups, are public praise routines for exemplary work or answers. These should be quick, fun, non-verbal ways of making your students feel good, like:
• Two claps for David
• Two stomps
• The Hitter: students pretend to toss a ball and swing a bat and watch the homerun
• The Heisman:
• The Lawnmower: pull on the cord twice and make mowing noises,
• The Rollercoaster
• The Hot Pepper: pretend to take a bite out of pepper and make sizzle noise

The one that I would like to work on the most this year is Entry Routine with Do Now.  I think starting off class in a consistent productive manner is a norm that I would like to have. It would not take much additional effort on my part to arrange for something for them to do and prepare for it every day, and I could use those first minutes at the beginning of class for the important attendance and student mini-conferences that I so often need to do, while students are using the time to open up their minds and prepare for the lessons of the day.

I also am excited to develop an atmosphere of praise, and hope to implement a couple fun Props throughout the year, and let the students develop some as well.

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