Monday, April 2, 2012


In our crazy busy lives as educators often times we put our professional needs last and the needs of our students first.  What we need to consider is that maybe, with putting our professional development needs first we are indeed putting our students first.

There is a much spoken about book entitled, Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov.  Several staff members have expressed a desire to read the book but simply do not have the time.

I am here to help.  This blog will dedicate from now until the end of the school to feature and summarize each of the 49 Teach Like a Champion Techniques. 

If the summaries aren’t enough and you want to dive deeper, there is a copy of the book in the professional library for checkout.

Let’s begin!

Quick Intro:
The author, Doug Lemov, believes that great teaching is an art and that great art relies on the mastery and application of foundational skills, learned individually through diligent study (p. 1).  In his own teaching career he found that concrete, specific, actionable advice benefitted him most (p. 3)  Throughout his career as a teacher, trainer, consultant, and administrator he observed many champion teachers.  Lemov began to make a list of what these champion teachers did.  The 49 Teach Like a Champion techniques are his field notes and observation of the work of the master teachers (p. 2-3) given names to create a common vocabulary.

Technique #1
No Opt Out
(it’s not okay not to try)

“Reluctant students quickly come to recognize that “I don’t know” is the Rosetta stone of work avoidance.”

KEY IDEA: A sequence that begins with a student unable to answer a question should end with the student answering that question as often as possible.

Four forms:
Format 1:  You provide the answer: the students repeat the answer.
Format 2:  Another student provides the answer; the initial student repeats the answer. (A variation is to have the whole class answer.)
Format 3:  You provide a cue; your student uses it to find the answer.
Format 4:  Another student provides a cue (a hint that offers additional useful information to the student in a way that pushes him or her to follow the correct thinking process); the initial student uses it to find the answer.

Three useful cues are:
  1. The place where the answer can be found.
  1. The step in the process that’s required at the moment.
  1. Another name for the term that’s a problem.

Students in the classroom should come to expect that when they say they can’t answer or when they answer incorrectly, there is a strong likelihood that they will conclude their interaction by demonstrating their responsibility and ability to identify the right answer.


From Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemove (Jossey Bass, 2010)

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