Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Thing with Feathers (5/5)

I went to Barnes & Noble and leafed through Doug Lemov's book Teach Like a Champion last weekend and took copious notes. It was encouraging to see that a lot of the techniques were ones I already used and thought were kind of common sense. Then again, after reading them, there were ones that I have NOT been using that ALSO seemed like common sense! I had several "oh yeah, why didn't I think of that?" moments.


18. Student responses online - I have a ning set up, but unfortunately the site is blocked on the school network. Also, free nings are going to expire, and I'm not going to pay for a service that I can get for free. So now I'm working on setting up a blog instead.

28. Parent contacts & parent support - I say this EVERY TERM, and every term I just let things slide. It worries me; I'm not sure what to do to get myself to keep in touch with parents. One thing I did this term was to include a spot on the syllabus where parents could circle if they could come in and volunteer or send in supplies.

29. Weekly progress report printouts - Hopefully this will help encourage me to keep grades updated regularly, and it will help students keep track of what they can do to improve their averages.

31. Shakespeare workshop - This worked REALLY well with both last semester's seniors and this semester's sophomores, even though this term I didn't have "real" actors. Next year I will tap some of the students I had this term to help me run the workshop.

32. No opt out/Cold call - Ask students if they CAN answer the question, which requires a yes/no response. If they say no, call on someone else for a clue, then return to the original student for the answer. Call on students regardless of who raises a hand; students only respond when called on.

33. Backup SSR - Students should have TWO books for Self-Selected Reading at all times. This way when they finish one, they've got the next already. As part of our start-of-class procedure they'll have both books stacked on their desk for me to check while they do their daily writing.

I can't wait to feel better. I'm tired of being sick.

I. Continuing: Ideas that worked well
II: Repeating: Ideas I didn't implement effectively
III: Discarding: Ideas I implemented that weren't effective
IV: Tweaking: Ideas that worked but might be improved
V: Exploring: New ideas for next year!

Image thanks to


Liz said...

These are some good ideas Clix. I'm going to suggest the back-up SSR book to our LA teacher.

I'm right in the middle of Readicide right now, and that's one issue he touches on. Having good high-interest books at hand. The edge of a desk is certainly "at hand."

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