Friday, November 30, 2012

Watch the Game Film, Great Teachers

Made to Stick: Watch the Game Film, by DAN HEATH AND CHIP HEATH, @ Fast Company

... Doug Lemov, a consultant to school districts that were desperate to improve. Lemov, a former principal and teacher, was convinced that better teaching was the answer. Stanford research shows that in one year, the top 5% of teachers can raise students a grade level and a half. The bottom 5% put their kids a half-grade behind.

Five years later, having recorded and analyzed hundreds of hours of videotape, Lemov has some answers. In his new book, Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College, Lemov reveals what he learned.

As he expected, great teachers have a lot in common. For instance, star teachers circulate around the whole space of their classrooms. They are always within seconds of being at the shoulder of any student in the room. Less experienced teachers rarely "broke the plane," the imaginary line running between the blackboard and the first row of student desks.

Great teachers also start class before the opening bell rings with a "Do Now" assignment on the board. (Find the area of a triangle with a base of 3 inches and a height of 4 inches.) Their students are trained to come in, get settled, and begin working on it. The technique is powerful: If a teacher can transform five minutes of "transition time" into productive time, that's like adding 15 extra class periods to the school year.

The Complete Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College (K-12)
by Doug Lemov

This article in also included in free eBook and audio book (mp3) THE MYTH OF THE GARAGE from the same authors.