Quote of the Day


bits and pieces from Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College by Doug Lemov -- #1 No Opt Out

So, I am reading this really good book on teaching -- Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College by Doug Lemov -- and hoping to share its wonders with you, though I know full well that I will lose track of what I wanted to say by the time I finish the book, as I get to read it in 30 second intervals between words on the spelling test or between innings or between going to bed and falling asleep.  So I'm going to share little tidbits for you.

The book is a collection of 49 techniques that Doug Lemov observed being used by master teachers in successful classrooms, success being measured mostly by how many of the kids go off to college.  I am finding it useful in parenting, in home-schooling, and in teaching, even though I teach exclusively on-line these days and to students who are in college.

#1 - No Opt Out -- Say someone says "I don't know." Find someone who does know, have them articulate it, return to the would-be quitter and ask again.Obviously, Mr. Lemov had an academic setting in mind, but it works at home too.

Me: Why is this milk on the counter?
Chickadee: I don't know.
Me: Dandy, why is the milk on the counter?
Dandy: She spilled it and left it there.
Me: Why is there milk on the counter?
Chickadee: I spilled it and left it there.
Me: Yes.  Thanks for telling me. Please clean it up.
Soon she realizes that it is even more uncomfortable to get her brother involved than it would be to just answer in the first place.  Because she recognizes that she will have to answer eventually, she may as well get it over with.  She's not allowed to opt out.

Here are the three merits of this technique, according to Lemov: " . . . it empowers you to cause all students to take the first step. [. . .] It reminds them that you believe in their ability to answer. And it results in students' hearing themselves succeed and get answers right. This causes them to grow familiar with successful outcome" (p. 31).

I had to question the apostrophe on students in the above passage.  It results in a thing (hearing themselves succeed) that belongs to the students, so it is the students' thing. I think I'll send this sentence in to Anne Lobeck of Discovering Grammar: An Introduction to English Sentence Structure fame.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Hey I just heard of this book too (Talk of the Nation?)! I got it for my birthday with the same intent - to use it at home.

Best wishes for reading and implementing!