Teach Like a Champion

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February 24, 2013 by sz

This book has become the wrap-up to my summer reading. It’s a great transition back into the classroom. But you can benefit from its tips and techniques starting tomorrow. Feel free to borrow my copy (or if you give Wilton a gift card to the Great Dane Bakery, he’d probably let you borrow his). The subtitle is “49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College” and that’s exactly what it gives you: a load of teaching techniques that work with any grade level.

Here are a few of the techniques:

  • Technique #1: No Opt Out. How to move students from the blank stare or stubborn shrug to giving the right answer every time.
  • Technique #35: Do It Again. When students fail to successfully complete a basic task, from entering the classroom quietly to passing papers around, doing it again, doing it right, and doing it perfectly, results in the best consequences.
  • Technique #38: No Warnings. If you’re angry with your students, it usually means you should be angry with yourself. This technique shows how to effectively address misbehaviors in your classroom.

One technique that I’ve never implemented, but that I think would be of great benefit to any classroom is called Track The Speaker. It’s part of SLANT, an acronym to encourage activite participation in class. Tracking the Speaker is just what it sounds like: everyone follows the speaker of the class with their eyes. Obviously this is for class discussions or lectures where only one person is speaking. And if the teacher is moving around the room, students are expected to follow her with their eyes, adjusting their bodies if necessary.

Can you imagine what our classrooms would look like if we trained all our students to Track The Speaker? I would think it would help tremendously in keeping students on task and more importantly, engaged.

You can find several of the techniques in practice on youtube. Here’s one teacher demonstrating the Cold Call technique:

Just last year, the author, Doug Lemov, began writing a blog addressing a variety of subjects such as:

Some of his techniques work better than others and might fit better in elementary school, but there’s plenty here to steal from.


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