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Teach Like a Champion

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Ali Niemiec

on 26 February 2014

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Transcript of Teach Like a Champion

Teach Like a Champion
As an future educator, I am always searching for professional development resources that will help me become better prepared to enter the workforce in a few years. Along with my education courses and practicum experiences, videos, conversations, workshops, and pieces of literature all join together to fill my "pedagogical toolbox." As I contemplated the various topics I could pursue in this professional development project, one question came to mind; what tools can I use to create a positive and lifelong impact on student learning? Despite all of the education courses I have taken and the hours I've spent observing students in elementary schools, I still feel unprepared for student teaching and, eventually, managing my own classroom. Will I be a good teacher? Will the students respect me and listen to what I say? How am I going to be able to keep my students engaged in my lessons? These are just a few of the many questions that encircle my mind every day. Overall, I am concerned about my ability to design, deliver, and assess instruction in all K-6 content areas, not solely mathematics. With that in mind, I spoke with several professors, education majors, and family members and asked them about the resources that are available to teachers. Many of them recommended the book
Teach Like a Champion
, by Doug Lemov. Due to the overwhelming positive feedback I received regarding this book, I decided to take the leap and purchase myself a copy.
From the moment I first opened the Amazon package, I couldn't stop reading my new book,
Teach Like A Champion
. I frequently found myself reading the book instead of completing my course assignments. In his book, Doug Lemov compiles a "taxonomy" of specific techniques that distinguish great teachers from those who are merely good. Lemov also discusses each of these techniques in detail (and includes a DVD showing the techniques in action). I was excited by everything this book had to offer me as a pre-service teacher. Then, one day, my friend introduced me to a brilliant idea--she recommended I use this book as the foundation for my professional development project. I knew I had to read the book, and using it as a resource for my professional development project was a great way for me to "kill two birds with one stone;" read the book I wanted to read as well as complete one of my assignments.
In this professional development project, I will explore the contents of Doug Lemov's book,
Teach Like a Champion
, and create a clear and concise guide to understanding the recommended techniques. In the end, I hope that I can use this professional reference, implement the techniques described, and possibly share this outline with my future colleagues. Although this professional development project doesn't deal specifically with mathematics education, I still believe it is important because the techniques that are addressed in
Teach Like a Champion
are skills I can implement in all of my future lessons, regardless of content area.

Teach Like a Champion:
The Essential Techniques
A More Detailed Look at Part One
Each section of this book contains various techniques that teachers can employ in their classrooms. In the rest of this professional development project, I will look more closely into the techniques discussed and provide a handful of real world videos that correspond to particular techniques.
A guide on how to become a successful teacher
Chapter One: Setting High Academic Expectations

Chapter Two: Planning that Ensure Academic Achievement

Chapter Three: Structuring and Delivering Your Lessons

Chapter Four: Engaging Students in Your Lessons

Chapter Five: Creating a Strong Classroom Culture

Chapter Six: Setting and Maintaining High Behavioral Expectations

Chapter Seven: Building Character and Trust

Chapter Eight: Improving Your Pacing: Additional Techniques for Creating a Positive Rhythm in the Classroom

Chapter Nine: Challenging Students to Think Critically: Additional Techniques for Questioning and
Responding to Students
In the future....
Setting High Academic Expectations
Technique 1: No Opt Out
A sequence that begins with a student unable to answer a question should end with the student answering that question as often as possible.
Technique 2: Right Is Right
Set and defend a high standard of correctness in your classroom.
Technique 3: Stretch It
Technique 4: Format Matters
Technique 5: Without Apology
Planning the Ensures Academic Achievement
Technique 6: Begin with the End
Technique 7: 4 Ms
Technique 8: Post It
Technique 9: Shortest Path
Technique 10: Double Plan
Technique 11: Draw the Map

Structuring and Delivering Your Lessons
Technique 12: The Hook
Technique 13: Name the Steps
Technique 14: Board = Paper
Technique 15: Circulate
Technique 16: Break It Down
Technique 17: Ratio
Technique 18: Check for Understanding
Technique 19: At Bats
Technique 20: Exit Ticket
Technique 21: Take a Stand
Students in Your Lessons
Technique 22: Cold Call
Technique 23: Call and Response
Technique 24: Pepper
Technique 25: Wait Time
Technique 26: Everybody Writes
Technique 27: Vegas
Creating a Strong Classroom Culture
Technique 28: Entry Routine
Technique 29: Do Now
Technique 30: Tight Transitions
Technique 31: Binder Control
Technique 32: SLANT
Technique 33: On Your Mark
Technique 34: Seat Signals
Technique 35: Props
Setting and Maintaining High Behavioral Expectations
Overall, I am very pleased with the way this project turned out. I believe I have created a thorough and accessible guide for pre-service teachers and current educators to reference. Additionally, this presentation could serve as an introduction to
Teach Like a Champion
, allowing people who are interested in the book to preview its contents before making their final decision.
While completing this project, I was surprised to discover that I was familiar with some of the techniques defined in the book. Several techniques, such as "Stretch It," "Draw the Map," "4 Ms," "Begin with the End," "Circulate," "Check for Understanding," "Strong Voice," and "Normalize Error" I had either learned about in my previous education courses or observed in elementary classrooms. Regardless, I feel as though this book has solidified my understanding of these techniques. Additionally, this book has introduced me to the correct names of various techniques that I had seen before. Now I will be able to discuss these methods with peers and colleagues and use the correct terminology when referencing a particular technique.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to add skills to their pedagogical toolkit. You simply won't find a more usable, clear-headed break down of the moves that great teachers use everyday to drive academic achievement in schools.
Technique 36: 100 Percent
Technique 37: What To Do
Technique 38: Strong Voice
Technique 39: Do It Again
Technique 40: Sweat the Details
Technique 41: Threshold
Technique 42: No Warnings
Building Character and Trust
Technique 43: Positive Framing
Technique 44: Precise Praise
Technique 45: Warm/Strict
Technique 46: The J-Factor
Technique 47: Emotional Constancy
Technique 48: Explain Everything
Technique 49: Normalize Error
Improving Your Pacing: Additional Techniques for Creating a Positive Rhythm in the Classroom
Change the Pace
Brighten Lines
All Hands
Every Minute Matters
Look Forward
Work the Clock
Challenging Students to Think Critically: Additional Techniques for Questioning and Responding to Students
One at a Time
Simple to Complex
Verbatim (No Bait and Switch)
Clear and Concise
Stock Questions
Hit rate
The sequence of learning foes not end with a right answer; reward right answers with follow-up questions that extend knowledge and test for reliability. This technique is especially important for differentiating instruction.
It's not just what students say that matters but how they communicate it. To succeed, students must take their knowledge and express it in the language of opportunity.
Never apologize for the content you're teaching. This includes never assuming something will be boring, never blaming some outside entity who assigns the content. Instead, teachers should make the content more accessible by finding a way to relate it to the students' lives.
Right is Right
You must progress from unit planning to lesson planning, use a well-framed objective to define the goal of each lesson, determine how you will assess your effectiveness in reaching your goals, and decide on an activity.
A great lesson objective (and therefore a great lesson) should be manageable, measurable, made first, and most important on the path to college. Manageable means that it is realistic and can be reached within a class period. Measurable means the teacher can assess the students' achievements in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the lesson. Made first means that the teacher planned the lesson before choosing the activity. Finally, most important means that the teacher focuses on what's most important on the path to college.
Post the day's objectives in a visible location in the room, so everyone who walks into the classroom can identify your purpose for teaching that day in as plain English as possible.
The criterion is mastery of the objective and what gets you there best and fastest. Take the shortest path (group work, multisensory approaches, and open inquiry), and throw out all other criteria.
It's important to plan for what students will be doing during each phase of your lesson as it is to plan for what you'll be doing and saying.
Have a classroom layout plan that supports your lessons' objectives.
A short introductory moment that captures what's interesting and engaging about the material and puts it out front.
Help your students learn complex skills by breaking them down into manageable steps.
Students must learn how to take notes and retain a record of one's knowledge. You can help them develop these skills by making your overhead a mirror image of the graphic organizer you give to students to take notes on.
A technique for moving strategically around your room during all parts of your lesson. This includes breaking the plane, being able to access the entire room, engaging when you circulate, moving systematically, and facing the entire room as you move.
A reactive strategy in which teachers conceptualize the original material as a series of smaller, simpler pieces when a student answers incorrectly.
A successful lesson is rarely marked y a teacher's getting a good intellectual workout at the front of the room. Push more and more of the cognitive work out to students as soon as they are ready, with the understanding that the cognitive work must be on-task, focused, and productive.
The technique captures two aspects of assessing students' knowledge; gathering and responding to data.
Give the students opportunities to independently practice a new skill. More specifically, let the students practice the skill until they can do it on their own, use multiple variations and formats, and grab opportunities for enrichment and differentiation.
A single question or maybe short sequence of problems to solve at the close of class. You collect this from students before they leave and cull the data. This data will allow you to check your students' understanding.
This technique involves pushing students o actively engage in the ideas around them by making judgments about the answers their peers provide.
In order to make engaged participation the expectation, call on students regardless of whether they have raised their hands. This technique is systematic, predictable, positive, and scaffolded.
Use group choral response-you ask; they answer in unison-to build a culture of energetic, positive engagement.
A fast paced, group-oriented technique that is used to review familiar information and foundational skills.
You delay a few strategic seconds after you finish asking a questions and before you ask a student to begin answering it.
Set your students up for rigorous engagement by giving them the opportunity to reflect first in writing before discussing.
The moment during class when you might observe some production values; music, lights, rhythm, dancing, and so much more!
Cold Call
Wait Time
Everybody Writes
This technique is about making a habit out of what's efficient, productive, and scholarly after welcoming the students into the classroom.
A short activity that you have written on the board or is waiting at their desks before they enter, It achieves two goals: being clear with students about what to be working on and eliminating the excuses that lead to distraction.
Having quick and routine transitions that students can execute without extensive narration by the teacher is a critical piece of any highly effective classroom.
Demonstrate the importance of what you teach by building a system for the storage, organization, and recall of what your students have learned. Have a required place for students to take notes; have that place be in a required binder, which is ideally provided by you and which you may even require to remain in the classroom at night so it won't get lost, damaged, or disorganized on the way to and from school.
You must teach your students the behaviors and skills that will help them concentrate, focus, and learn. S-Sit up. L-Listen. A-Ask and answer questions. N-Nod your head. T-Track the speaker
Use this technique to show your students how ot prepare before class begins and then expect them to do so every day (i.e. have a pencil and paper ready).
Create a set of signals in which students are able to NONVERBALLY signal their specific requests from their seats. As the teacher, you should be explicit and consistent about the signals you expect your students to use and you should be able to manage both their requests and your response without interrupting instruction.
Public praise for students who demonstrate excellence or exemplary virtues. (a.k.a. "shout-outs" and "ups")
Tight Transitions
There's one acceptable percentage of students following a direction: 100 percent. Less, and your authority is subject to interpretation, situation, and motivation.
Giving directions to students in a way that provides clear and useful guidance-enough of it to allow ay student who wanted to do as asked to do so easily. Directions should be specific, concrete, sequential, and observable.
This technique encompasses five principles; economy of language, do not talk over, do not engage, square up/stand still, and quiet power. Economy of language means you use few words to express your expectations. Do not talk over means that all students listen to you when you speak. Do not engage means that you stick to the topic being discussed. Square up/stand still means that your body shows that you are committed to each request you make. And quiet power means that you should speak quiet and slower when you want control.
When students fail to successfully complete a basic task that you've shown them how to do, doing it again and doing it right, or better, or perfectly is often the best consequence.
To reach the highest standards, you must create the perception of order in your classroom. Planning for orderliness means putting systems in place in advance that make accomplishing the goal quick and easy.
Once students enter the classroom, you must remind them of the expectations. Getting it right and keeping it right is must easier than fixing it once it's gone wrong.
Using minor interventions and small consequences that you can administer fairly and without hesitation before a situation get emotional is the key to maintaining control and earning students' respect. Your goal should be to act early, reliably, and proportionately.
Stretch It
100 Percent
Strong Voice
Make corrections consistently and positively. Narrate the world you want your students to see even while you are relentlessly improving it.
This positive reinforcement technique contains three rules; differentiate acknowledgment and praise, praise (and acknowledge) loudly, and give genuine praise.
This technique shows you must be both ; caring, funny, warm, concerned, and nurturing-and also strict, by the book, relentless, and sometimes inflexible. You should often seek to be both at exactly the same time.
You must find joy in the work you are learning and completing. Joy exists for students in all forms it exists for adults: loud or quiet; individual, small group, large group oriented. The common theme is for teachers to find a way to let their own genuine version of joy shine through. This technique is similar to Vegas, seen in Chapter Four.
First, you should expect almost anything to occur in your classroom, so act as if you expect it and have a plan to deal with it. Second, connect your emotions to student achievement, not to your own moods or the emotions of the students you teach.
Ensure that all students understand the logic behind decision making. That way they will be more likely to both believe that the systems are in their best interests and make rational choices on their own.
Getting it wrong and then getting it right i one of the fundamental processes for schooling. Respond to both parts of this sequence, the wrong and the right, as completely normal.
Positive Framing
This technique involves using a variety of activities to accomplish your objective and moving from one to the other throughout the course of a lesson.
Make activities begin and end crisply and clearly rather than melding them together.
Shift rapidly among and involve a wide array of participants to create the illusion of speed within a lesson. This is particularly helpful if you are unable to "Change the Pace."
Use every minute in the school day to engage students in the learning process. Reward students for their hard work with a high-energy review of all they've learned or with a challenge problem. Keep a series of short learning activities ready.
You can make your pacing more vibrant by harvesting a sense of tension, excitement, and anticipation within your students. Write your plan for the week on the board and let the students wonder about all of the activities you have planned.
You should parcel time out in highly specific increment, often announcing an allotted time for each activity. One method is to countdown out loud to pace the class. This helps them complete their task and emphasizes the importance of each second.
Ask one question at a time. This helps the students focus on developing one idea at a time and focuses you on questioning with a specific goal or purpose in mind.
Effective questions initially engage students' thinking about a topic in contained and concrete ways and then push them to think more deeply and broadly. In the process of answering narrower and more focused questions, students begin to activate their memory of relevant facts and details to support their opinions.
When repeating a question, make sure you phrase it in exactly the same way.
Make sure your questions start with a question word, are relatively short (no more than two clauses), and are written in advance when they matter. Also, make sure you ask an actual question and phrase it in a way that assumes the answer ("Who can tell me...?" not "Can anyone tell me...").
Ask a similar sequence of questions and apply them over and over in different settings.
This technique refers to the rate at which students answer your questions correctly (or adequately and thoroughly, in the case of questions where there's no firm right answer). Ask harder questions as your hit rate approaches 100 percent. This allows you to test the full extent of student knowledge and retain adequate rigor.
With any project comes challenges. I would have liked to include videos of myself employing some of these techniques with the students I tutor on Saturdays. Unfortunately, I experienced some technical difficulties along the way and wasn't able to create those personal videos. Instead, I decided to include some of the videos that came with the book to show real world examples of the techniques being used in classrooms. In the future, I will continue to explore the contents of this book and, hopefully, will capture myself on film using these techniques in my classroom. Additionally, this book also comes with a Part Two entitled "Helping Students Get the Most Out of Reading: Critical Skills and Techniques," Because this section deals specifically with literacy skills and not overall teaching methods, I decided to omit it from this project. However, in the future, I will finish reading this book and explore the ways in which teachers can become successful readers. Finally, I will continue to pursue professional development resources that focus on pedagogical skills. I may even consider reading more books written by Doug Lemov.
Lemov, D. (2010).
Teach like a champion: 49 techniques that put
students on the path to college.
Los Angeles, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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