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Lemov – 2010

Teach Like a Champion

People, in general, sometimes think that managing students comes naturally to teachers. That opinion can change for the better or worse when parents volunteer in their child’s classroom. When teachers teach like a champion, they garner love and respect from their students and parents. As Jordan District mentors, we want to encourage all teachers to learn how to teach like a “champion.”

Our district motto is “Every Child, Every Day!”

Several times this year we will post ideas from the book, Teach Like a Champion, 2010 by Doug Lemov, that provides educators with ideas on how to improve their management skills.

The first chapter begins with teaching strategies (techniques) that set high academic expectations. The techniques in this chapter include No Opt Out, Right is Right, Stretch It, Format Matters, and Without Apology.

“No Opt Out” teaches students that their teacher cares enough to help them learn the right answer and that saying “I don’t know” doesn’t give them a pass to not learn what the answer is.

Doug Lemov reflects on advice he received from his mentor, “When you want them to follow your directions, stand still. If you’re walking around passing out papers, it looks like the directions are no more important than all of the other things you’re doing. Show that your directions matter. Stand still. They’ll respond.”  This is an example of “Format Matters”.

 

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Some thoughts about the first days of school:

  • 1st day of school will make or break a teacher
  • Effective teachers manage the classroom more than discipline the classroom
  •  Establish a well-managed classroom
    • Students deeply involved with their work
    • Students know expectations
    • Students are generally successful
    • Little wasted time, confusion, or disruptions
    • Climate of class is task-oriented but relaxed and pleasant
    • You as the teacher will be happier
  • Main problem in classroom is lack of procedures & routines
    • Explain, rehearse, reinforce
    • Effective teachers spend time rehearsing routines
  • Design a Successful Start
    • Have room ready--be at the door and smile
    • You have assigned seats—Project on screen
    • 1st assignment on the board—short, interesting, easy
    • Have students start work immediately
    • If student enters room inappropriately, have the student return to door and enter again appropriately
    • Learn students’ names
  • Plan Routines and Procedures
    • Have room ready
    • You are at the door
    • You have assigned seats—Project on screen
    • 1st assignment on the board—short, interesting, easy
    • Students start work immediately
    • If student enters room inappropriate, have student return to door and enter again appropriately
  • Classroom Management Plan
    • 3-5 measurable, specific, positive rules
    • Examples: a compliance rule, a preparation rule, a talking rule, a classroom behavior rule
    • Plan appropriate rewards; have a hierarchy of consequences
  • Be Professional 
  • Adhere to contract hours
  • Dress professionally
  • Computer belongs to school; do not use inappropriately
  • Start Student Learning on Day One
    • Make sure students understand this is a learning environment   
    • Go through routines, rules, and procedures
    • Go over “I Can” statement (objective) every day
  • Curriculum Map/Lesson Plan
  • Develop a yearlong curriculum map based on core standards
  • Develop lesson plans that navigate through the class and reflect on map                    
  • Take Care of Yourself
  • Take care of your heath; better to prevent than to treat
  • Know how to call for a substitute
  • Develop an emergency substitute plan and leave on desk every night
  • A happy teacher smiles more and makes better choices

 

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reflecting on learningThe end of the year for new teachers brings with it many feelings of excitement and apprehension. As mentor's working with our faculty we can help build a knowledge base by informing and reminding our teachers of the following items:

  • Discuss the end of the year procedures: graduation, locker clean out, book check-in,field trips, etc.
  • Discuss end of the year procedures for teachers: turning in books, keys, preparing classroom, etc.
  • Discuss concerns and student motivation
  • Discuss stress relief
  • Discuss the schools policy on student retention and the procedure for recommending that a student repeat a grade if necessary, remind of parent notification guidelines in your school.
  • If your Mentee does not get renewed for next year, offer support, possibly a letter of recommendation, help them to be reflective and prepare a resume for the job search.
  • Work with the Mentee to compile a list of the most worthwhile activities and topics to use next year.
  • Encourage Independence with your Mentee:
  • Discuss items they would not repeat next year, and make notes for planning with a year end self assessment and help him/ her get a head start for next year.
  • Review the budget or items the teacher will need to turn into the Department Chair if applicable.
  • Discuss professional development opportunities in the summer they may want to participate in.
  • Recall the reflection phase of teaching and discuss with the Teacher Mentee
  • Discuss and compliment the Mentee's growth this year
  • Assist with common practices in getting the classroom ready for next year in your building.
  • Discuss the transition to the next year. Will there be a new mentor? Will you be there next year to Mentor?
  • Remember to update your Mentor spreadsheet
  • Recognize and celebrate the successful moments, and the end of this year with your Mentee.

    Questions For Reflection

  • What are some things you accomplished this year that you are proud of?
  • What is something you tried in your classroom this year for the first time? How did it go?
  • What is something you found particularly frustrating this year?
  • Which student in your class do you think showed the most improvement? Why do you think this student did so well?
  • What is something you would change about this year if you could?
  • What is one way that you grew professionally this year?
  • questionsWho amongst your colleagues was the most helpful to you?
  • What has caused you the most stress this year?
  • When was a time this year that you felt joyful and/or inspired about the work that you do?
  • What do you hope your students remember most about you as a teacher?
  • In what ways were you helpful to your colleagues this year?
  • What was the most valuable thing you learned this year?
  • What was the biggest mistake you made this year? How can you avoid making the same mistake in the future?
  • What is something you did this year that went better than you thought it would?
  • What part of the school day is your favorite? Why?
  • What were your biggest organizational challenges this year?
  • Who was your most challenging student? Why?
  • In what ways did you change the lives of your students this year?
  • What professional development do I need to participate in during the summer?
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owl holding heart Teachers online share the joys of teaching. It is those small moments with students that give us JOY!

“I teach because if I make the difference in the life of one little boy or girl, I have made an impact on the world.”

“I teach because when I teach I learn…and I LOVE to LEARN.”

“Each day I not only live, but I love, laugh, and learn. This is why I teach.”

"As a teacher I can relate to the Love and Joy of teaching students!"

Contest Rules:

  • Write a paragraph about why you teach.
  • Share the Joy and Love of teaching students!
  • Include your name, school and grade level.
  • Email your entry to: patricia.bennett@jordandistrict.org
  • Contest ends March 1, 2017
  • Winners’ paragraphs will be posted with permission on the Mentor teacher website.
  • Prizes will be presented to the Winners
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I DO, WE DO, YOU DO, YALL DO

Many times as teachers we want to get to the student practice too quickly. We know the powerful influence a teacher can be on his or her students. Make a GREAT impact with the Gradual Release Model in your instruction this month.

  1. "I Do It" - teachers are deliberate in demonstrating exactly how to complete a task, skill or strategy
  2. "We Do It" - challenge and support the students, clarifying understanding, ask questions that take then to the next level
  3. "Ya'll Do It"-  one more step that deepens understanding- before you do it, have students pair, and practice with a partner
  4. "You Do It"- independent practice
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This week we will begin reviewing  Chapter 2 in Mindsets in the Classroom, by Marcy Cay Ricci.   The focus in this chapter is to give ideas and to set goals as a grade level team, an entire staff, or school system to find out how to build a growth mindset culture.

  • Step 1: Reflect and Pre-assess
    • Share your beliefs about intelligences. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
      • Our intelligence is one of our fundamental traits.
      • We can all learn new things, but we cannot really change how smart we are.
  • Step 2: Educate Staff About the Malleability of the Brain
    • Share research about  developed intelligence.
      • Do we, as a society, believe in or demonstrate a growth mindset? Why or why not?
      • In what areas, personal or professional, do you have a fixed mindset? Why?
  • Step 3: Educate Staff About Praise for Students
    • When adults praise for what a student "is", instead of what a student "does", then they attribute their accomplishment to a fixed trait they were born with.
  • Step 4 : Educate Teachers About the Brainbrain-muscle
    • Connections to prior knowledge and experiences
    • The more connections made during a learning experience, the more physical changes occur in the brain by developing and strengthening neural paths.
  • Step 5: Teach Students About the Brain
    • Students realize that intelligence is not about a fixed number, a grade on a paper, or a report card. Intelligence is something that grows as you use it and languishes if you don't.
  • Step 6: Educate Parents
    • Reflect on the way they speak to their kids.
      • Establish Look-Fors: Look for teacher and student growth mindset behaviors
      • Utilize PLC

The Final Step: Monitor, Evaluate, and Review School Protocols

Next month we will look at Chapter 3: Why is Differentiated Responsive Classroom Important to a Growth Mindset Culture?

 

 

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Depth of Knowledge, DOKs, are an important part of student achievement. They are especially useful in understanding content that is nationally tested: math, reading and science. They help both teachers and students to understand content at a deeper level. Most students’ depth of knowledge is at a level one. A DOK level 1 is surface level comprehension that is simply recall and reproduction.

teacher-student-thinking

Teachers can begin by asking Questions to differentiate, classify, make inferences, and check conceptual understanding. This will help students to explain relationships, sorts, and classifications.

Next teachers can provide examples and non-examples to build conceptual understanding. Students will be able to make comparisons, and distinguish example/non-example, relevant-irrelevant, and fact-opinion.

Teachers should use Graphic Organizers to show relationships or organizational schemes. This will help students to compile and organize information which creates a deeper understanding of knowledge.
Matching readers with texts is something that elementary teachers already do and that secondary teachers should think about. This strategy helps students to gradually increase their reading ability and helps them to navigate complex texts.

The “Think aloud” teacher strategy allows students to explore possible options and connections. It also explains the steps that are needed to complete a task.

Examples of Tasks

  • Math: Solving routine, multistep math word problems, interprets simple graphs and tables, retrieves information and uses it to solve a problem
  • Reading: Creating a timeline, retrieves information and uses it to solve a problem or answer a question
  • Science: Making observations, organizing data, using models, interprets simple graphs and tables, retrieves information and uses it to solve a problem or answer a question
  • Writing: Creating a caption, paragraph, summary, a survey and using models
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MINDSETS IN THE CLASSROOM

When students believe that dedication and hard work can change their performance in school, they grow to become resilient, successful students.  As educators of Jordan School District we want to make sure that we have a growth mindset and believe in “ Every Child, Every Day”.mindset-in-the-classroom

Each month we will post ideas from the book , Mindsets in the Classroom, 2013 by Marcy Cay Ricci, that provides educators with ideas for ways to build a growth mindset school culture, wherein students are challenged to change their thinking about their  abilities and potentials.

Chapter 1 begins by supporting the idea that intelligence is malleable.  Dr. Carol Dweck, in her 2006 book , Mindset, The Psychology of Success  describes a belief system that learners with a growth mindset believe that  they can learn just about anything. It might take more time and effort, but they will get it.  An educator with a growth mindset believes that with effort and hard work from the learner, all students can demonstrate significant growth and all students deserve opportunities for challenges.

Growth Mindset Fixed Mindset
A belief system that suggests that one’s intelligence can be grown or developed with persistence, effort, and a focus on learning

A belief system that suggests a person has a predetermined amount of intelligence, skills or talents

 

Do you believe that intelligence is something you are born with? Do you believe that it cannot be changed?

 Dweck presents the idea that students in a fixed mindset is problematic at both ends of the continuum. For those students who struggle or do not perceive themselves as smart, it becomes a self-fulling prophecy.  Because they don’t really believe they can be successful and will often give up and not put forth the effort.  For those students who are advanced learners become consumed by “looking smart” at all costs. They may have coasted through school without really putting forth much effort, yet they are often praised for their  good grades and strong skills. Often students with a fixed mindset will start avoiding situations where they may fail;they can become” risk adverse” or blames outside forces when failure occurs.

Please check back next month and we will look at Chapter 2, "What are some ways to begin building a growth mindset culture"

 

 

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This is something that often eludes me as I work through my day. Where does the time go?

One of my all-time favorite pieces on Tchers’ Voice is Sarah Brown Wessling’s blog post, A Letter to My Children: What it Means to be a Teacher. Throughout the post, Sarah shares the struggles and sacrifices that we all make as we attempt to meet the needs of not only our biological children, but also all of the smiling faces that walk through our doors every day. As a single father, coach, and teacher, this piece really hit home. Being a teacher is a balancing act. And that’s especially true if you’re a teacher leader.

Whenever I’m asked why I became an educator, my answer is short and sweet: “Because I want to change the world.” Not that I’m naïve enough to believe that my work will achieve world peace, but I have faith that there are enough like-minded souls spread throughout the globe to make a significant difference. Some of us are blessed with the opportunity to possess a leadership role within our profession. And it’s tough! Not only do we have to ensure a quality education to our own students, but we also have an obligation to provide support and resources to our colleagues.

So how do we find balance? Well, when you figure that out, please let me know!

While I do joke about it, there is truth to my previous statement. Even those of us that have lived a dual life for several years struggle at times. That being said, I’d like to share some of the lessons I’ve learned with you.

Classroom First

Even though I may wear multiple hats, my greatest daily professional responsibility is to the young people that enter my classroom every day. While it may not be the most glamorous aspect of my workday, their future is, in small part, directly in my hands. My 80 13-year-olds have faith that I’m going to bring my A game every day, regardless of last evening’s webinar or this afternoon’s board presentation. I’m a teacher first, a “leader” second.

Myopic vs. Global View

My first personal conversation with Sarah Brown Wessling centered on what it meant to be a Teaching Channel Laureate. I had to accept that I would have a direct impact on fewer students throughout the day as I’d have other responsibilities. However, she also mentioned that if I was a successful teacher leader, I would indirectly impact an exponential number of students outside of my classroom. There is a trade off.

Smart Scheduling

During my first year as a Laureate, I tried to see 120 students every other day. On my “off” day, a cooperating teacher was with the students. It proved to be horribly inefficient and forced me to creatively look at how I could maximize my time as a classroom instructor. I worked with the counselor to build a schedule that allows for me to see four groups of students every day. I come to school, teach four consecutive periods (no prep plan or lunch), and then work on external projects for the remainder of the day.

Technology Is Your Friend

Using an online classroom in conjunction with your brick and mortar classroom is an awesome way of remaining in touch with your students. In the past, I used Moodle to collaborate with my middle school students. Today, I use a variety of Google Apps to collaborate with my classes in real-time when I’m away from school. My students aren’t left dangling in the wind and I’m reassured that things are good back home.

Classroom Content: Leverage One Against The Other

As you find and/or develop tools for other educators to use within their learning spaces, don’t forget to keep your own classroom in mind. As a teacher leader, you have likely had additional training, as well as time to explore curriculum, practices, and other resources that apply to your own setting. Develop a system to catalogue these resources for later use.

Networking: Leverage One Against The Other

Once you have a title or have worked on a couple of projects, people will come out of the woodwork seeking to speak to you, especially if you choose to utilize professional networking websites, like LinkedIn. While many are looking for a sale, some are looking for an opportunity to partner on a project. See my blog post “Shifting Your Professional Network into the 21st Century,” to learn more about some wonderful opportunities that have come my way as a result of networking.

Find Time To Be A Lifelong Learner

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to lead quite a few professional development experiences over the past few years. While this is great and I’ve had many wonderful workshops, I’ve found it difficult to make time for my own PD. To help mitigate this deficiency, I’ve developed a skill of opening up part of each workshop so the participants have an opportunity to share out on a given topic. Not only do their ideas help my thoughts evolve, but the teachers participating share exemplar resources that I note for exploration at a later date. Additionally, learn to take advantage of your position. Leverage your role within the educational system to open the door for amazing opportunities. See my blog post “Prepare for NGSS: Immerse Yourself in Authentic Science Research,” to learn more about potential avenues for high quality professional development.

As always, I’d love to hear about your experiences as a teacher leader. If you have any questions, suggestions, tips, or tricks, please feel free to post them below.

I’m looking forward to “getting better together.”

Tom Jenkins teaches both middle school science and STEM in Enon, Ohio. He is a NASA SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador, Manager of Special Projects at the Dayton Regional STEM Center, and is the Boeing Science Teacher Laureate for Teaching Channel. 

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One of the most challenging components of teaching a quality lesson is the ability to format and ask questions.  Below are listed some areas in the lesson when questions can be used to promote student learning and understanding.

WHEN TO ASK QUESTIONS

We use questions at the beginning of learning experiences:

  • To initiate a discussion
  • To pique student curiosity
  • To focus students on a new concept or a different aspect of a concept
  • To access prior knowledge and experience
  • To consolidate previous learning
  • To surface misconceptions

We use questions during and following learning experiences:

  • To break down complex tasks and issues
  • To promote transfer and retention
  • To control shifts in discussion
  • To keep discussions on track
  • To invite student questions
  • To elicit student opinions
  • To promote student interaction
  • To facilitate flexible thinking
  • To challenge the obvious
  • To check for student understanding
  • To help students confront their misconceptions and reframe their thinking
  • To focus on process
  • To promote student evaluation of credibility of sources and strength of evidence
  • To cause students to consider alternative viewpoints
  • To help students make connections

 

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