Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #4
Format Matters

“The complete sentence is the battering ram that knocks down the door to college.”

KEY IDEA:  It’s not just what students say that matters but how they communicate it. To succeed, students must take their edge and express it in the language of opportunity.

Basic format expectations:
  • Grammatical format. ( Correct slang, syntax, usage, and grammar in the classroom even if you believe the divergence from standard is acceptable, even normal, in some settings, or even if it falls within a student’s dialect.  Identify the error ( We was walking… allow student to self-correct.) or  begin the correction… We were . . . 
  • Complete sentence format.     Provide the first words of a complete sentence, and remind them to use complete sentence before they start. 
  • Audible format.   In class discussions, if it matters enough to say it in class, then it matters that everyone can hear it.  Insist that peers make themselves audible.  Say voice instead of, “We can’t hear you in the back of the room, would you speak up please?”  Speaking up is an expectation, not a favor.

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

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