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these techniques
Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov
SETTING HIGH ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS
TECHNIQUE DEFINITION HOW TO IMPLEMENT IT
NO OPT OUT • A sequence that • Strategy 1: You provide the answer; the student repeats the answer
begins with a • Strategy 2: Another student provides the answer; the initial student
student unable to repeats the answer
answer a question • Strategy 3: You provide a cue; your student uses it to find the answer
should end with the • Strategy 4: Another student provides a cue; the initial student uses it
student answering to find the answer
that question as
often as possible
RIGHT IS RIGHT • Set and defend a • Tip 1: Hold out for all the way: Great teachers praise students for
high standard of their effort but never confuse effort with mastery”
correctness in your o Teacher Example 1: “I like what you’ve done. Can you get
classroom. us the rest of the way?”
o Teacher Example 2: “We’re almost there. Can you find the
last piece?”
• Tip 2: Answer the question: Insist that the student answer the
question you asked, not the one she wished you asked or confused it
for.
• Tip 3: Right answer, right time: Avoid jumping ahead to engage an
exciting “right” answer at the wrong time.
o Teacher Example 1: “My question wasn’t about the
solution to the problem. It was about what we do next.
What do we do next?”
• Tip 4: Use Technical Vocabulary: Great teachers get students to
develop effective right answers using precise technical vocabulary
o Teacher Example 1: “Volume is the cubic units of space an
object occupies” is much better than “Volume is the
amount of space something takes up.”
STRETCH IT • Reward right • Strategy 1: Ask how or why
answers with follow- • Strategy 2: Ask for another way to answer
up questions that • Strategy 3: Ask for a better/another word
extend knowledge • Strategy 4: Ask for evidence
and test for reliability • Strategy 5: Ask for students to integrate a related skill
o Teacher Example: “Now what was the present tense verb
in that sentence?...Now can you put that sentence in the
past tense?”
• Strategy 6: Ask students to apply the same skill in a new setting
o Example:
 Teacher: “So what’s the setting of our story?”
 Student: “The setting is in a town called Sangerville
in the recent past.”
 Teacher: “Good. I notice that you remembered both
parts of the setting. Can you remember the setting
of Fantastic Mr. Fox then?”

FORMAT • To succeed, • Tip 1: Correct slang, syntax, usage, and grammar


MATTERS students must take o Identify the Error: When a student makes a grammatical
their knowledge and error, merely repeat the error in an interrogative tone:
express it in the  English Example: “We was walking down the
language of street?”
opportunity  Spanish Example: “Yo prefiere la hamburguesa?”
o Begin the Correction: When a student makes a
grammatical error, begin to rephrase the answer as it
would sound if grammatically correct and then allow the
student to complete it.
 English Example: “We were…”
 Spanish Exmaple: “Yo prefiero…”
• Tip 2: Encourage complete sentence format. Do so by providing
students the first words of the sentence so they gain a sense of how
to set it up or cueing the student to answer in this format
o Teacher Example: “Who can tell me like a scholar…”)
• Tip 3: Encourage audible format with a quick, crisp reminder that
creates the minimum distraction from the business of class
o Teacher Example 1: “Loud and proud, Marcel!”
o Teacher Example 2: “Voice….”

WITHOUT • Avoid assuming • Some alternatives to apology…


APOLOGY something will be o “Lots of people don’t understand this until they get to
boring (this college, but you’ll know it now.”
becomes a self- o “This gets more and more excited as you come to
fulfilling prophecy), understand it better.”
blaming the content o “We’re going to have some fun as we do it.”
(e.g., “I don’t like o “A lot of people are afraid of this stuff, so after you’ve
covering this but I mastered it, you’ll know more than most adults.”
have to…”), and o “Don’t be rattled by this. There are a few fancy words, but
making it once you know them, you’ll have this down.”
“accessible” by o “I know you can do this. So I’m going to stick with you on
diluting the content
this question.”
o “It’s okay to be confused the first time through but we’re
going to get it, so let’s take another try.”
STRUCTURING AND DELIVERING YOUR LESSONS
RATIO • Push more and • Tip 1: Unbundle: Break questions into smaller pars to share the
more of the work out to more students and force them to react to one another
cognitive work out to o Example: Instead of “Who can tell me the three dimensions
students as they are of a cylinder?” try a sequence like this:
ready, with the  “How many dimensions to a cylinder, James?”
understanding that  “Good. What’s one dimension, Shayna?”
the cognitive work  “And what’s another, Diamond?”
must be on-task,  “That leaves what, Terrance?”
focused, and
• Tip 2: Half-Statement: Express half of an idea and ask a student to
productive.
finish it.
o Example: “So the next step is to combine sentences with
a…tell me please, John”
• Tip 3: What’s Next? Address both how to solve a step and what step
comes next.
o Example: “Okay, John, what do I do first?”
• Tip 4: Feign Ignorance: Turn the tables, and pretend you don’t
know.
o Example: “So, now I can just add my numerators?”
o Example: “A theme is just a summary of what happens in
the story, right?”
• Tip 5: Repeated examples: Ask students for an example that’s
different form the first.
o Example: “Who gets exploited in Macbeth? Follow-up
question: “Who gets exploited more subtly? Repeatedly?
With or without knowing it?”
• Tip 6: Rephrase or add on
o Teacher Example 1: “You are correct, but rephrase that.”
o Teacher Example 2: “Who can give her a word to use that
will help make her answer better?”
• Tip 7: Ask whys and hows
• Tip 8: Ask for supporting evidence (especially helpful during
reading comp exercises)
• Tip 9: Teach habits of discussion
o The following phrase starters can be helpful to use in
interacting
 I agree with X because…
 I want to say more about what you said…
 That’s true because…
 I understand what you’re saying, but I have a
different opinion [point of view][…
 What evidence can you give to support your
opinion?
CHECK FOR • Effective Check for • Tips for gathering data…
UNDERSTANDING Understanding o Ask yourself: what’s the hit rate or percentage correct? If
equals gathering it’s too high (close to 100%) that means it’s not rigorous
data constantly and enough. If it’s too low (below 67%), then students aren’t
acting on them getting it
immediately. o Take a “statistical sample” of the room (ask a sample of
students from across the spectrum of likely skill…e.g., 2
low-performing students, 2 middle students, and 1 high
performer)
o To ensure reliability, ask follow-up why and how questions
as often as you can.
o Make sure that some of your CFUs are as rigorous as the
exam questions that students will see on their exams
o When writing CFUs onto slates, be sure that students can’t
cheat by observing others’ answers before writing their
own
• Tips for responding to data…
o Tip 1: Respond quickly to misunderstandings
o Tip 2: Reteach by identifying and reteaching the problem
step
o Tip 3: Reteach by identifying and explaining difficult
vocabulary or terms
o Tip 4: Reteach at a slower pace
o Tip 5: Reteach using a different order
o Tip 6: Reteach identifying students of concern
o Tip 7: Reteach using more repetitions
TAKE A STAND • Push students to • Individual Examples
actively engage in o “She said 9 times 9 is 81. That’s not right, is it, Valeria?”
the ideas around o “How could she check her work to see if she’s right,
them by making Alaina?”
judgments about the o Follow-up: “Why is your thumb down, Keisha?”
answers their peers • Class-wide Examples
provide. o “Thumbs up if you agree with Alex’s answer”
o “Stand up if you think Jamie is correct”
o “Show me on your hand which answer choice you think is
correct”
ENGAGING STUDENTS IN YOUR LESSONS
COLD CALL (View • In order to make • Tip 1: Make it predictable: If you cold call for a few minutes of your
the clip “Calling engaged class almost every day, students will come to expect it and change
on students to participation the their behavior in advance.
see an example) expectation, call on • Tip 2: Make it systematic: Signal to students that these calls are
students regardless about your expectations, not about individuals. Communicate that
of whether they they are universal and impersonal through your tone and consistency
have raised their • Tip 3: Keep it positive: Remember that the goal is for students to get
hands. the answer right, not learn a lesson by getting it wrong
• Tip 4: Use the sequence “Question. Pause. Name”: Doing so
ensures that every student hears the question and begins preparing
an answering during the pause that you’ve provided.
• Tip 5: Mix it with other engagement strategies: Cold call is often
most effective when its interspersed with whole-group checks for
understanding
CALL AND • Ask students a • Strategy 1: Repeat—Students repeat what their teacher has said or
RESPONSE question and have complete a familiar phrase that he or she starts
the whole class call • Strategy 2: Report—Students who have already completed
out the answer in problems or questions on their own are asked to report their answers
unison back (e
o Example: “On three, tell me your answer to problem #3”
• Strategy 3: Reinforce—Teacher reinforces new information or a
strong answer by asking the class to repeat it
o Example: “Can anyone tell me what this part of the
expression is called? Yes, Trayvon, that’s the exponent.
Class, what’s this part of the expression called?”
• Strategy 4: Review—Ask students to review answers or information
from earlier
o Example: How do we say “Where are you from” in Spanish
again? Now how would you respond to that question in
Spanish?
• Strategy 5: Jazz it up
o Ask subgroups within the class to respond in unison to
some cues (e.g., boys respond to the question, followed by
the girls, followed by the front half of the room and the
back half of the room, etc.)
o Add a physical gesture: Example—during a lesson on
preterite v. imperfect, have students form a “P” shape with
their hands to signal preterite or an “I” shape with one hand
to signal “Imperfect” while calling out the correct form of
the verb.
PEPPER • Activity where the • Tip 1: Use it as a warm-up activity: it’s a great way to engage
teacher tosses students in fast-paced review of old topics
questions to a group • Tip 2: Keep it fun and unpredictable
of students quickly, o Pick Sticks: Randomize the checks for understanding
and they answer through the use of popsicle sticks or by drawing names out
back. The teacher of a hat
does not slow down o Head-to-head: Have two students stand up to answer a
or engage or question. The student who gets the correct answer first
discuss an answer remains standing to compete against a new challenger
o Sit down: All students begin by standing and the teacher
peppers them with quick questions. Students “earn their
seats” (get to sit down) by answering the question
WAIT TIME • Provide students • Tip 1: Encourage participation by telling students…
with the appropriate o “I’m waiting for more hands”
amount of time to o “I’d like to see at least 15 hands before we hear an
prepare a question answer”
while o “I’m starting to see more hands now. Four, five, seven.
communicating how Great. People are really starting to get comfortable taking a
students should go risk here.”
about maximizing • Tip 2: Tell students how to use wait time wisely
their time before you o “I’m going to give everyone lots of time because this
call on the next question is tricky. Your first answer may not be the best.”
student(s) o “I’m noticing that some people are looking at their vocab
sheets as they come up with their answers. I think this is a
great idea.”
o “I’m seeing people thinking deeply and jotting down
thoughts. I’ll give everyone a few more seconds to do that”
EVERYBODY • Set your students up • Tip 1: Have everyone write out answers on wipe boards or slates and
WRITES for rigorous then hold their answers up on the count of 3
engagement by • Tip 2: Provide students with spaces to respond to your checks for
giving them the understanding in their guided notes and then cold call on them to
opportunity to reflect share out their responses.
first in writing before
discussing.

COMMUNICATING HIGH BEHAVIORAL EXPECTATIONS


100 PERCENT • There’s one • Tip 1: Pick and Choose Your Battles: Determine whether
acceptable noncompliance is due to incompetence (e.g., students confused
percentage of about instructions or don’t understand content) or defiance and
students following a respond accordingly
direction: 100 o If it’s due to incompetence then provide support as
percent. Less, and opposed to punishment.
your authority is o If it’s due to defiance, then administer negative
subject to consequences.
interpretation, • Tip 2: Ensure that your rules/expectations are clearly rooted in
situation, and actions that will help students achieve: if they are not, then it may
motivation. be a good idea to revise/rethink them.
• Tip 3: Communicate what you want as opposed to what you
don’t want
o “Quentin, I need your eyes. Looking sharp back row!
Thank you, Quentin. Much better.” is better than “Quentin,
why are you staring off into space?”
• Tip 4: Emphasize compliance you can see and be seen looking
o Example: Asking for eyes on you is better than asking for
attention, because you can see it when you have it.
DO IT AGAIN • Asking students to • Why you should use it…
(View the video do it again and do it o There is group accountability
“Setting High right, or better, or o It ends with success
Expectations”) perfect is often the o It establishes an expectation of excellence, not just
best consequence compliance
• Ways to communicate it…
o “That was good, but I want great”
o “In this class, we do everything as well as we can,
including lining up”
• Ideas of when to use it…
o A class transitioning from your class to lunch
o A class transitioning from writing in journals/packets to
sharing out or reading aloud
o A class that gives a halfhearted Call and Response
o A class moving from their desks to a small group reading
area
NO WARNINGS • Avoid warnings • Tip 1: Act early
because they tell • Tip 2: Act reliably: Be consistent with your consequences and
students that a ensure that you can administer them with speed, efficiency, and
certain amount of consistency.
disobedience will not • Tip 3: Administer consequences calmly, impersonally, and
only be tolerated but incrementally
is expected.
BUILDING CHARACTER AND TRUST
POSITIVE • Make interventions • Tip 1: Live in the now: avoid harping on what students can no longer
FRAMING consistently and fix
positively. Narrate o Example: Don’t say “Keana, stop looking back at Tanya”
the world you want and instead say “Keana, I need your eyes forward”
your students to see • Tip 2: Assume the best: Don’t attribute to ill intention what could be
even while you are the result of distraction, lack of practice or genuine misunderstanding
relentlessly • Tip 3: Build momentum, and narrate the positive (see how
improving it scenario 1 is better than scenario 2)
o Scenario 1: “I need three people. Make sure you fix it if
that’s you! Now I need two. We’re almost there. Ah, thank
you. Let’s get started.
o Scenario 2: “I need three people. And one more student
doesn’t seem to understand the directions, so now I need
four. Some people don’t appear to be listening. I am
waiting, gentleman. If I have to give detentions, I will.
• Tip 4: Challenge—Encourage students to prove what they can do by
building competition into the day. To do so, have them compete
against other groups within/outside the class or an impersonal foe
(the clock; the test; grade level standards).
o Examples:
 “Let’s see if we can get these papers out in 12
seconds. Ready?!”
 “Good is not good enough. I want to see perfect
today!”
 “Let’s see which row has this information down!”
 “You guys have been doing a great job this week.
Let’s see if you can take it up a notch.”
PRECISE PRAISE • Make sure that your • Tip 1: Differentiate acknowledgement and praise: when
positive expectations have been met, acknowledge students (e.g., “You were
reinforcement is ready for class right on time, John”). When students exceed
specific so that expectations, provide clear praise.
students know which • Tip 2: Praise (and acknowledge) loud; fix soft
actions they should o Praiseworthy accomplishments should be recognized
replicate publicly
o Quiet or nonverbal corrections >loud ones
• Tip 3: Praise must be genuine
NORMALIZE • Getting it wrong and • Tip: Don’t flatter, don’t fuss:
ERROR then getting it right is o Avoid going overboard with praise when a student gets the
one of the answer correct.
fundamental  Example: “That’s right, Noah. Nice work” (then
processes for move on…)
schooling. Respond o Avoid telling a student how smart he/she is but instead
to both parts of this praise their effort.
sequence, the  Example: “Great work” > “You’re so smart!”
wrong and the right,
as completely
normal.