“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:
- Unbundle. Break questions in to smaller parts to share the work out to students.
- Half-statement. Rather than speaking in complete ideas, express half of an idea and ask a student to finish it.
- What’s next? The fastest way to double the number of questions is to ask about process as often as product.
- Feign ignorance. Can I just add the numerators?
- Repeated examples.
- Rephrase or add on. Ask students to do this.
- Whys and hows. This forces more than 1 word answers and students do the cognitive work.
- Supporting evidence. Ask students to constantly explain how the evidence supports them.
- 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.
- 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)