Sunday, August 7, 2011

Teach Like A Champion Chapter 6 Analysis:

(This is the sixth 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 six, Lemov describes strategies that help set and maintain high behavioral expectations in the classroom.

#36. 100 Percent
Demand 100% compliance when giving directions in your classroom.  If you don’t achieve this, you make your authority subject to interpretation, situation, and motivation. Specifically, there are three principles that are required to ensure consistent compliance
  • Use the Least invasive form of intervention possible, for example
    • Nonverbal interventions
    • Positive group correction
    • Anonymous individual correction
    • Private individual correction
    • Lightning quick public corrections
    • Consequence
  • Rely on Firm and Calm Finesse
  • Emphasize compliance you can see by inventing ways to maximize the visibility of actions, as well as make it clear you are watching

#37. What To Do
Specify what students are to do, rather than what they are not to do.  Be sure your directions are specific, concrete, sequential, and observable. A large proportion of noncompliance is caused by incompetence rather than defiance – because students misunderstand a direction. You must response to incompetence with teaching, and defiance with consequence.

#38. Strong Voice
Several keys are useful for commanding control:
  • Use fewer words, rather than more
  • Do not talk over students.
  • Do not engage in student responses such as, “but I wasn’t …”
  • Square up and stand still
  • Speak slower and quieter rather than raising your voice.

#39. Do It Again
When students fail to successfully complete a basic task that you have shown them how to do, ask them to do it right, better, faster, perfectly, etc. It is often the best consequence to misbehavior or noncompliance.

#40. Sweat the Details
Make a big deal about the little things, because the minor details signal the expectations for conduct and behavior. Erasing graffiti and fixing broken windows helps keep a city orderly and safe. Likewise, desks in neat rows, organized binders, and silent line-ups help set the tone of excellence in the classroom.

#41. Threshold
Greet your students with a positive handshake and air of professionality and formality.

#42. No Warnings
Giving a warning is not taking action – it is threatening that you might take an action, and is counterproductive. Have an ascending list of “consequences” that you can use to correct behavior: repeat an action, apologize, removal of privilege, etc. 
I agree with Lemov when argued that the majority of what teachers identify as misbehavior is due to students not knowing what to do, either from unclear or misheard directions. Specifying What To Do, in a clear manner, seems like such an obvious thing, but is difficult to pull off without planning.

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