Monday, December 2, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #46
The J-Factor

“The finest teachers offer us the work with generous servings of energy, passion, enthusiasm, fun and humor – not necessarily as the antidote to hard work but because those are some of the primary ways that hard work gets done.”

KEY IDEA: Finding the joy in the work of learning is a key driver not just of a happy classroom but of a high-achieving classroom.

Five Categories of J-Factor activities:
·      Fun and Games.
·      Us (and them).  Make them feel like they belong.  Special nicknames, hum a song,…
·      Drama, song, and dance
·      Humor.
·      Suspense and surprise.

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #45

“When you are clear, consistent, firm, and unrelenting and at the same time positive, enthusiastic, caring, and thoughtful, you start to send the message to students that having high expectations is part of caring for and respecting someone.”

KEY IDEA: You must be both: caring, funny, warm, concerned, and nurturing – and also strict, by the book, relentless, and sometimes inflexible.

Effective ways to implement Warm/Strict:
·      Explain to students why you’re doing what you are and how it is designed to help them.  Ie. “We don’t do that in this classroom because it keeps us from making the most of our learning time.”
·      Distinguish between behavior and people.  Say, “Your behavior is inconsiderate,” rather than, “You are inconsiderate.”
·      Demonstrate that consequences are temporary.  Once you’ve given the consequence, the next job is to forgive.  Get over it quickly.
·      Use warm, nonverbal behavior.  Arm on student’s shoulder, bend down to eye level …..

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #44
Precise Praise

“In the long run, a teacher who continually praises what’s expected risks trivializing both the praise and the things she really wishes to label ‘great’.”

KEY IDEA: Positive reinforcement is one of the most powerful tools in every classroom.

In using positive reinforcement, follow these rules of thumb for Precise Praise:
·       Differentiate acknowledgment and praise.  Praising students for doing the expected is, in the long run, not just ineffective but destructive.  Recent research demonstrates that students have come to interpret frequent praise as a sign that they are doing poorly and need encouragement from their teacher.
·       Praise (and acknowledge) loud;  fix soft.  Praise as specifically as possible and focus on exactly the behavior and action that you would like to see more of.  Praise for working hard and not for being smart.
·       Praise must be genuine.

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #43
Positive Framing

“People are motivated by the positive far more than the negative.  Seeking success and happiness will spur stronger action than seeking to avoid punishment.”

KEY IDEA: Make corrections consistently and positively.  Narrate the world you want your students to see even while you are relentlessly improving it.

Positive Framing corrects and guides behavior by following six rules:
·       Live in the now: avoid harping on what students can no longer fix
·       Assume the best: Don’t attribute to ill intention what could be the result of distraction, lack of practice, or genuine misunderstanding.
·       Allow plausible anonymity: First attempt to correct behaviors without using their names, “Check yourself to make sure you’ve done exactly what I’ve asked.”
·       Build momentum, and narrate the positive: Narrate the evidence of your own commands, “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.
·       Challenge!: Exhort them to prove what they can do by building competition into the day.
·       Talk expectations and aspirations:  Talk about who your students are becoming and where you’re going.

Keep positive by avoiding 2 things:
·       Rhetorical questions: Don’t ask questions you don’t want answers to.
·       Contingencies: Don’t say, “I’ll wait,” unless you will.

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

Friday, November 1, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #42
No Warnings

“Using minor interventions and small consequences that you can administer fairly and without hesitation before a situation gets emotional is the key to maintaining control and earning students’ respect.”

KEY IDEA: Giving a warning is not taking action; it is threatening that you might take an action and therefore is counterproductive  Once you have determined that a behavior is the result of disobedience rather than incompetence, that is deliberate, a consequence is better than a warning.

The goal is to take action rather than get angry.
·       Act early.  Catch it early.
·       Act reliably.  Be consistent.
·       Act proportionately.  Start small when the misbehavior is small.

Consequences should be issued in these ways:
·       Be calm, poised, and impersonal.
·       Be incremental. (take things away in pieces)
·       Be private.

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #41

“The first minute, when students cross the threshold into the classroom, you must remind them of the expectations.  It’s the critical time to establish rapport, set the tone, and reinforce the first steps in a routine that makes excellence habitual.”

KEY IDEA: The most important moment to set expectations in your classroom is the minute when your classroom students enter.

The key to Threshold:
·       Find a way to greet your students by standing in the physical threshold of the classroom.
·       Use the greeting to engage students briefly and build rapport.
·       You can set the stage for Do Now (technique #29)

Threshold should accomplish two things:
·       Establish a personal connections between you and your students
·       Reinforce your classroom expectations.

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #40
Sweat the Details

“Clean up clutter, keep desk rows tidy, make sure shirts are tucked in and hats are off, and you will decrease the likelihood that you will have to deal with more serious issues because you will decrease your students’ perception that those things might be permissible..”

KEY IDEA: To reach the highest standards, you must create the perception of order.

The key is PREPARATION – putting systems in place in advance that make accomplishing the goal quick and easy:
·       Want desks in neat rows?  Put tape marks on the floor so students can “check their desks” back onto their marks.
·       Want your students to do neat and tidy homework?  Homework standards rubrics – while collecting occasionally give feedback to students.
·       Want your students to keep their materials neatly in their binders and never lose them? Put materials in binders as a group the first 50 times, teaching and modeling as you go.
·       Want your students to work carefully on their seat work? Circulate as students work, making corrections as you go.
·       Want your students to raise their hands quietly and crisply to foster orderly participation? Teach them how to raise their hands and give frequent reminders.

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

Friday, October 11, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #39
Do It Again

“Getting lots of practice helps students improve, so giving them more practice is the perfect response to a situation where they show they’re not up to speed at a simple task.”

KEY IDEA: Doing it again and doing it right, or better, or perfect is often the best consequence.

7 reasons Do It Again is effective:
·       It shortens the feedback loop.  Requiring a student who failed to successfully complete a basic task you’ve shown them how to do immediately after, while the original action is fresh in a student’s mind, results in the action and reaction being more deeply associated in his or her memory.
·       Sets a standard of excellence, not just compliance.  Do it Again is ideal for times when students do something acceptably but could do it better.
·       There is no administrative follow-up. No forms or phone calls, the consequence is done as soon as the goal is reached.
·       There is group accountability. Technique is especially effective as a group consequence.
·       Ends with success
·       There are logical consequences. 
·       It is reusable.

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

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #38
Strong Voice

“There are five techniques anyone, even the seemingly meekest and mildest of novices, can use.  Using them will put you in a position to establish control, command, and the benign authority that makes the use of excessive consequences unnecessary.”

KEY IDEA: Some teachers have “it”, they enter a room and are instantly in command.  Students who moments before seemed beyond the appeal of reason suddenly take their seats to await instructions. 

Skills of “it” teachers:
·       Economy of Language.  Fewer words are stronger than more. 
·       Do not talk over.  Every student has the right and responsibility to hear you.  Wait until there is no other talking or rustling.
·       Do not Engage; avoid engaging in other topics until you have satisfactory resolved the topic you initiated.
·       Square Up/Stand Still.  Direct eye contact, use body language – leaning in close, standing straight, depending on request.
·       Quiet Power.  Get slower and quieter when you want control.

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

Friday, September 27, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #37
What to Do

“In schools we spend a lot of time defining the behavior we want by the negative: ‘Don’t get distracted.’ ‘Stop fooling around.’ These commands are vague, inefficient, and unclear.  They force students to guess what you want them to do.”

KEY IDEA: Give directions to students in a way that provides clear and useful guidance – enough of it to allow any student who wanted to do as asked to do so easily.

Directions should be:
  • Specific – describes manageable and precisely described actions that students can take.
  • Concrete – clear, actionable tasks that students know how to do.
  • Sequential – a sequence of concrete specific actions.
  • Observable – things the teacher can plainly see students do.
Most important part of What to Do:  being able to distinguish between incompetence and defiance.

“What to Do allows you to distinguish between incompetence and defiance by making your commands specific enough that they can’t be deliberately misinterpreted and helpful enough that they explain away any gray areas.”

Version 2
When students fail to follow a direction and you know the cause is incompetence , revise the initial directions by breaking it down into even more specific steps.

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

Friday, September 20, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #36
100 Percent

“The most sustainable form of compliance is one that for both students and teachers is clearly an exercise that will help students achieve, not an empty exercise in teacher power.”

KEY IDEA: There’s one acceptable percentage of students following a direction: 100 percent. Less, and your authority is subject to interpretation, situation, and motivation.

Principles of 100 Percent
  • Use the Least Invasive Form of Intervention. 
    • Nonverbal intervention. (Gestures to or eye contact with the off task student.)
    • Positive group intervention.(Quick verbal reminder to the group about what they should be doing)
    • Anonymous individual correction. (We need two people to …)
    • Private individual correction. (Seek to correct privately and quietly)
    • Lightning quick public correction. (Your goal in making an individual verbal correction should be to limit the amount of time a student is “onstage” for something negative and focus on telling the student what to do right rather than scolding about what he did wrong)
    • Consequence. (Consequences should be delivered in the least invasive, least emotional manner)
  • Rely on Firm, Calm Finesse
  • Emphasize Compliance You Can See.
o   Invent ways to maximize visibility. Find ways to make it easier to see who’s followed directions by asking students to do things you can see.)
o   Be seen looking. (Every few minutes, scan the room with a calm smile on your face to ensure that everything is as it should be.)
o   Avoid marginal compliance. ( It’s not just whether your students do what you’ve asked but whether they do it right.)
o   Leverage the power of unacknowledged behavioral opportunities.

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

Friday, September 13, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #35

“Making sure that (Props) happens, inspires, and is reliably on-message is one of the most productive things you can do in your classroom..”

KEY IDEA: Public praise for students who demonstrate excellence or exemplify virtues.

Prop Criteria:
  • Quick. You should be able to cue a prop in one second.
  • Visceral. Props are usually better when they rely on movement and sound, especially percussive sound.
  • Universal. When you give Props, everybody joins in.
  • Enthusiastic. The tone is fun and lively.
  • Evolving. Let your students suggest and develop ideas for Props
Prop Ideas:
  • “The Hitter”. Teacher: “Let’s give Clarice a Hitter.” Your students pretend to toss a ball and swing a bat at it.  They shield their eyes as if to glimpse its distant flight.  They shield their eyes as if to glimpse its distant flight. Then they mimic crowd noise suitable for a home run for some fraction of a full second.
  • “The Lawnmower”. Teacher: “Let’s five Jason a Lawnmower.” Students reach down to pull the chord to start the mower and yank upward twice.  They make engine sounds, grip the imaginary handles, and smile for some fraction of a full second before the Prop ends.
  • “The Roller-Coaster”. Teacher: “Oh, man, that answer deserves a Roller-coaster.” Your students put their open hands in front of them pointing upward at forty-five degrees, palms down.  They “chug, chug, chug” (three times only) with their hands mimicking a roller coaster slugging its way up the last steep hill.  Then they shout Woo, woo, woo” three times as their hands mimic a coaster speeding over three steep hills after the big drop.
  • “Two hands”. Teacher: “Jimmie, lead us in a No Hands.” Jimmie calls out, “Two hands!” Your students snap twice with both hands while chanting, “Ay, ay!” Jimmie calls out, “One hand!” Your kids snap twice with one hand while chanting “Ay, ay!” Jimmie calls out, “No hands!” Your kids do a funky impromptu dance for exactly one second.
  • “Hot Pepper”. Teacher: “An answer like that deserves a Hot Pepper.” Your kids hold up an imaginary hot pepper, dangling it above their mouths.  They take a bite and make sizzle sounds “tssssss” for exactly one second.
  • “Two Snaps, Two Stomps.” Teacher: “Two snaps, two stomps for Jimmie P.!” or a variation on the sounds.  Your kids deliver two snaps and two thundering stomps that end perfectly on cue
From Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemove (Jossey Bass, 2010)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #34
Seat Signals

“Managing requests for bathroom and the like – justified or not, approved or not – can become a distraction from teaching.”

KEY IDEA: A set of signals for common needs that require or allow students to get out of their seats.

Seat Signal Criteria:
  • Students must be able to signal their request from their seats.
  • Students must be able to signal the requests nonverbally.
  • The signals should be specific and unambiguous but subtle enough to prevent them from becoming a distraction.
  • You should be able to manage both their requests and your response without interrupting instruction (with a nod yes, or no, for example, or five fingers for “in five minutes”)
  • You should be explicit and consistent about the signals you expect students to use, posting them on the wall so students can see them and disciplining yourself to require them by responding only when they are used.
Suggested signals:
  • “Can I use the bathroom, please?  Hand up; two fingers crossed.
  • “I need a new pencil”  Hold pencil up, wait for exchange
  • “I need to sharpen my pencil” hands together in fists, one rotating like a crank gesture
  • “I need a tissue”  *Left hand pinching nose
  • “I need to get out of my seat” One finger held up rotated in a circular motion.
*Personal note:  A child who has a runny nose is NOT going to want to pinch their full nose.  I suggested coming up with another hand gesture.
From Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemove (Jossey Bass, 2010)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #33
On Your Mark

“Don’t ask your students to get ready as class begins; use On Your Mark to show them how to prepare before it begins and then expect them to do so every day.”

KEY IDEA: Every student must start class with books and paper out and pen or pencil in hand.

How to Ensure Students are On Their Marks When Class Starts:
  1. Be explicit about what students need to have to start class (fewer than five things that never change.)
·         Paper Out
·         Desk clear (of everything unnecessary to the lesson)
·         Pencil sharp and ready
  1. Homework (in the upper right-hand corner of your desk)
  1. Set a time limit. Be specific about when students need to have the everything ready.
  2. Use a standard consequence. Have a small and appropriate consequence that you can administer without hesitation – perhaps some loss of some privilege or doing some work to help the class stay prepared.
  3. Provide tools without consequence (pencils, paper) to those who recognize the need before class.
  4. Include homework. Make turning it in part of the routine students follow to be ready for the day.
From Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemove (Jossey Bass, 2010)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #32

“NO matter how great the lesson, if students aren’t alert, sitting up, and actively listening, teaching them is like pouring water into a leaky bucket.”

KEY IDEA: An acronym that contains the five key behaviors that maximize students’ ability to pay attention.

Sit up.
Ask and answer questions.
Nod your head.
Track the speaker.

STAR (Sit up, Track the speaker, Ask and answer questions like a scholar and Respect those around you)
S-SLANT (adds Smile)

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

Friday, March 22, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #30
Tight Transitions

“Messy transitions are also an invitation to disruptions and conflicts that continue to undercut the classroom environment even after class has started.”

KEY IDEA: Having quick and routine transitions (when students move from place to place or activity to activity) that students can execute without extensive narration by the teacher is a critical piece of any highly effective classroom.

Main points
  • By the end of the first week of school, every student should know and understand the procedures like how to line up and move from place to place without having to be told
  • Transitions should take less than 30 seconds.
  • Students needs to practice transitions
  • Scaffold the steps of the transition
  • Teach students point-to-point walking/actions.  (teach them step by step and have them carry out each step separately.
  • Consistently enforce when students start testing the rules. 
Applies to Moving Materials
  • Generally pass across rows, not up and back
  • Distribute materials in groups: to the student at the end of each row, to each table.
From Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemove (Jossey Bass, 2010)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #29
Do Now

“The Do Now means that students are hard at work even before you have fully entered the room.”

KEY IDEA: A short activity that you have written on the board or is waiting at their desks before they enter.

4 Critical Criteria of a Do Now”

  • Students should be able to complete the Do Now without any direction from the teacher and without any discussion with their classmates.
  • The activity should take three to five minutes to complete.
  • The activity should require putting a pencil to paper, that is, there should be a written product from it.
  • The activity should preview the day’s lesson or review a recent lesson.

*Do Now is another Teach Like a Champion strategy

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

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #28
Entry Routine

“The first routine that affects classroom culture is the one for how students enter.”

KEY IDEA: Making a habit out of what’s efficient, productive, and scholarly after the greeting and as students take their seats and class begins.

Key points to maximize the effectiveness of the entry routine.

  • Have students pick up their work (packets, worksheet, etc.) from a table on their way into class.
  • Students should know where to sit; assign seats, or allow students to sign up for regular seats.
  • Homework hand in should be done the same way every day without prompting.
  • A *Do Now should be in the same place every day; on the board or in the packet

*Do Now is another Teach Like a Champion strategy

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

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #27

“Vegas isn’t sparkle-for—sparkle’s sake. It reinforces not just academics generally but on of the day’s learning objectives.”

KEY IDEA: The Vegas is the sparkle, the moment during class when you might observe some production values: music, lights, rhythm, dancing.  Vegas draws students into a little bit of magic.

Design principles of Vegas:
  • Production values. Performers vary their tone and pace, occasionally whispering for emphasis, later speaking in a booming voice, sometimes speaking very slowly, sometimes racing along.
  • Like a faucet.  “It has to be like a faucet.  You turn it on, then you turn it off.” 
  • Same objective. Always has a specific learning objective and should have the same objective as the lesson or, at its most daring, review previously mastered but related content.
  • Chorus line. Everyone has to know the rules.
  • On point. Must be vigilantly managed so that as soon as it is off-point, it is immediately corrected and standards of excellent are reinforced.
From Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemove (Jossey Bass, 2010)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #26
Everybody Writes

“With time to reflect and begin turning thoughts into words, I’d have the best chance of being ready to participate and, ideally, at some level of depth, because my ideas would be better and I would be more confident in them.”

KEY IDEA:  Set students up for rigorous engagement by giving them the opportunity to reflect first in writing before discussing.  As author Joan Didion says, ‘I write to know what I think’ ”.

A technique in which teachers ask all students to prepare for more ambitious thinking and discussion by reflecting in writing for a short interval.

6 benefits::
1.  It often allows you to select effective responses to begin the discussion since you can get an idea of what they are writing by looking over their shoulders.

2.  It allows you to Cold Call.

3.  It allows you to give every student, not just those who put up their hand fast, a chance to be part of the conversation.

4.  Processing thoughts in writing refines them.

5.  You set standards or steer students in a direction you think especially fruitful.

6.  Students remember twice as much of what they are learning if they write it down.

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

Teach Like a Champion
Technique #25
Wait Time

“Minds work fast, and the amount of additional time necessary to improve the quality of answers may be small.”

KEY IDEA:  Delaying a few strategic seconds after you finish asking a question and before you ask a student to begin answering it.

Wait Time:  A pause of 3 to 5 seconds

Narrated Wait Time:
1.  “I’m waiting for more hands.”
2.  “I’d like to see at least fifteen hands before we hear an answer.”
3.  “I’m waiting for someone who can . . .”
4.  “I’m going to give everyone lots of time because this question is tricky.  Your first answer may not be the best.”

5.  “I’m seeing people thinking deeply and jotting down thoughts.  I’ll give everyone a few more seconds to do that.”

6.  “I’m seeing people . . . That seems like a great idea.”
7.  “I’m looking for someone who’s pointing to the place in the passage where you can find the answer.”
8.  “I’ll start taking answers in ten seconds.”
9.  “I’m starting to see more hands now.  Four, five, seven.  Great.  People are really starting to get comfortable taking a risk here.”

10. “You can go back to using your notes if you need to.”
11. “I’ll give you some think time.”
12.  “Good job going back and using your notes.”

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