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?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.
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.
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.