I’m a sucker for motivational teaching books, such as the brilliant Teaching Like a Champion by Doug Lemov and Norman Atkins. This may have something to do with the not-so motivational atmosphere in our staffroom. After spending break-time avoiding the mood hoovers it’s nice to read something in the evening that makes me go “YESS!!!”
The book is split into 49 simple but effective techniques, here are some of my favourites:
1. No Opt Out – “dunno” is not an acceptable answer, get the pupil to find the correct answer, get another pupil to tell him, you tell him, tattoo on your forehead, whatever it takes, but don’t leave it at “dunno”, get the pupil to give you the correct answer themselves, even if they’re repeating what their friend said. I also get them to do it again in our end of lesson review.
6. Begin with the end – start by planning the long-term objectives, then the assessment, then the lesson, then the activities.
12. Find the hook – what is the unique selling point of your lesson? How will you hook the students’ attention the minute they walk into class?
15. Circulate – as a teacher aim to break into the back half of the classroom territory within the first 10 minutes of class, let them know you can and will be everywhere.
20. Exit ticket – make each pupil answer a question, recall a new lexical item, explain something, before they can leave at the end of the class.
25. Wait time – give pupils enough time to answer, let them know how much time they’ve got, if they need more tell them you will ask someone else but will be coming back to them later.
29. Do it now – have a short activity on the board waiting for them when they arrive in class, so they always have something to be doing.
37. What to do – tell pupils what they should be doing, not what you don’t want them to do, be specific.
40. Sweat the details – if they’re not lining up correctly, wasting time handing out worksheets, not putting work away in the right place, do it again and again and again, time wasted in the first few lessons is saved 100-fold during the rest of the year.
There are loads of other great ideas, with simple explanations and examples. The book also has a DVD where you can see these techniques in practce in the classroom – unfortunately the kindle version doesn’t.
I would recommend it to newbies and oldies alike!