Monday, December 3, 2012


Teach Like a Champion
Technique #17
Ratio
“We” Technique

“You never know exactly how big the gap is between the student’s level of knowledge and the knowledge necessary for mastery.”

KEY IDEA:  The goal of “we” is to push more and more of the cognitive work out to students. Feigned ignorance – “Did I get that right guys?” “Wait a minute, I can’t remember what’s next!” – and unbundling – breaking one question up into several – can be especially useful. 

10 effective methods for upping your ratio:

  1. Unbundle.  Break questions in to smaller parts to share the work out to students.
  2. Half-statement.  Rather than speaking in complete ideas, express half of an idea and ask a student to finish it. 
  3. What’s next?  The fastest way to double the number of questions is to ask about process as often as product.
  4. Feign ignorance.  Can I just add the numerators?
  5. Repeated examples.
  6. Rephrase or add on.  Ask students to do this.
  7. Whys and hows.  This forces more than 1 word answers and students do the cognitive work.
  8. Supporting evidence.  Ask students to constantly explain how the evidence supports them.
  9. Batch process.  Strategically step out of the way at times and not comment on and validate every student comment and instead allow a short series of student comments to be made directly following, and ideally in response to, one another.
  10. Discussion objectives.  Have a clear objective in mind for any open-ended discussion and use hits to steer students back on task and, especially, head off distractions and unproductive topics.
From Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemove (Jossey Bass, 2010)

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