Monday, January 28, 2013


Teach Like a Champion
Technique #23
Call and Response

“Students don’t see Call and Response as behavioral reinforcement, but it makes crisp, active, timely compliance a habit, committing it to muscle memory.”

KEY IDEA:  Use group choral response – you ask; they answer in unison – to build a culture of energetic, positive engagement.

3 primary goals:
  • Academic review and reinforcement.
  • High energy fun.
  • Behavioral reinforcement.
5 types or levels of Call and Response sequence; listed in order of intellectual rigor, least to greatest:
1.        Repeat. Students repeat what their teacher has said or complete a familiar phrase.
2.       Report.  Students who have completed problems or questions are asked to report their answers back.  (“On three, tell me your answer to problem number three”)
3.       Reinforce.  You reinforce new information or a strong answer by asking the class to repeat it.  (“Can anyone tell me what this part of the expression is called? Yes, Trayvon, that’s the exponent.  Class, what’s this part of the expression called?”)
4.       Review.  This asks students to review answers or information from earlier in the class or unit. 
5.       Solve.  This is the most challenging to do and the most rigorous.  Teacher asks students to solve a problem and call out the answer in unison.

5 Kinds of In-Cues: Plan to use a specific signal, in-cue (“Class!”, “Everybody!”, “One, Two . . .”, or a nonverbal signal.) Providing in-cues helps students know if the question is Rhetorical, about to be directed to a single child, awaiting a volunteer, or asked in anticipation of full class call and response.
  • Count based. “Ready, set . . . ,” “One, two . . . ,” “One, two, ready, you!”
  • Group prompt. “Everybody!” and “Class!”
  • Nonverbal gesture. A point, a hand dropped from shoulder height, a looping motion with the finger.
  • Shift and tone and volume.
  • Specialized. Multiple cues, each indication a different response.

Three ways to adapt and apply Call and Response.
1.        Combine it with cold call.
2.       Jazz it up by asking subgroups within the class to respond in unison to cues.  Boys or girls.  Left side or right side.  Front or back.
3.       Add a physical gesture.

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

Friday, January 18, 2013


Teach Like a Champion
Technique #22
Cold Call

“You need a system that ensures that instead of one student answering each of your questions, all of your students answer all of your questions in their minds, with you merely choosing one student to speak the answer out loud..”

KEY IDEA: In order to make engaged participation the expectation, call on students regardless of whether they have raised their hands.

Benefits to your classroom:
  • Allows you to check the understanding effectively and systematically.
  • Increases speed in both the terms of your pacing and the rate at which you can cover material. (no waiting on volunteers)
  • Allows you to distribute work more broadly around the room and signal to students not only that they are likely to be called on to participate, and therefore that they should engage in the work of the classroom, but that you want to know what they have to say.
  • Helps you distribute work around the room more authoritatively.

Three varieties:
1.        Follow-on to a previous question.  Ask a simple question and then ask the students a short series of further questions (two to four) in which her opinions are further developed or understanding further tested.
2.       Follow-on to another student’s comment.  This reinforces the importance of listening to peers as well as teacher.
3.       Follow-on to a student’s own earlier comment.  This signals that once the student has spoken, she’s not done.  Sue, you said earlier that …..

Variations:
Hands Up/Hands Down.
·         Hands Up allows you to continue encouraging and rewarding students who ask to participate.    Move between students with hands up and those with hands down.
·         Hands Down makes your cold calling more explicit, predictable and transparent (“I’m cold calling now.”
Timing the Name.
·         When the student name is said varies.  Most effective is to ask the question first, pause and then call out a student name.
·         Sometime you may want to help prepare someone with processing delays by precall.  Tell the student that he or she can be expected to be called on later in the lesson.  This could be done privately. 

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


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Teach Like a Champion
Technique #21
Take a Stand
“You” Technique

“When you ask your students to Take a Stand, be careful not to let the exercise become cursory.”

KEY IDEA:  Pushing students to actively engage in the ideas around them by making judgments about the answers their peers provide.

Can be . . .

  • Whole class-Stand up if you agree with . . . or directed to an individual-That’s not right, is it Sue.
  • Evaluative-How many people think Sue is right?
  • Analytical-How could she check her work to see if she’s right, Sue?
  • Verbal or signaled through a gesture-Show me with your hands which answer choice you think is correct. (For privacy of answers – heads down, write on scraps of paper or student white boards)

Key for maximum effect:  not so much about asking whether students agree but following up on their answers to inform your teaching and make students accountable for mentally engaged judgments rather than empty or obligatory participation. 

Cultural work may need to be done to make sure your students are comfortable exposing and discussing their own errors.  Praise and acknowledge students.


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

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Teach Like a Champion
Technique #20
Exit Ticket
“You” Technique

“Not only will Exit Tickets establish a productive expectation about daily completed work for students, but it will ensure that you always check for understanding in a way that provides you will strong data and thus critical insight.”

KEY IDEA:  End lessons with a final At Bat, a single question or maybe short sequence or problems to solve at the close of class. When you collect this from students before they leave and cull the data, it’s an Exit Ticket.

Effective Exit Tickets are . . .

  • Quick: one to three questions.
  • Designed to yield data.
  • Make great Do Nows (another Teach Like a Champion Strategy)

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