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Teach Like a Champion
December 27, 2011

Teach Like a Champion

About a year ago my district started buzzing about a professional book called Teach Like a Champion.

I started reading it recently and thought that some of you might like to know a little more about it!

It's a book of strategies to maintain classroom routines, behaviors and focus on academics.

There are 49 strategies in all in the book. My copy also came with a DVD you could watch, but I've found Facebook and YouTube to be great supplements also.

I’m NOT into cute, fluffy stuff – and this book is the opposite of that.

So, I’m quite enjoying it!

The book is written with a focus on a group of Charter schools on the east coast called Uncommon Schools. They have tons of videos if you’re interested in seeing many, many videos from them.

The first technique I started using was No Opt Out.

Boil this down to real life and this means; if you ask a student a question and they don’t know the answer, they do not get out of answering it.

You ask another student the same question then sweep back to the first student so you can plant that information in their brain too.

A great example can be found on the Teach Like a Champion Facebook page - here.

When I started using just this one little technique my students quickly realized that there will be no more excuses because they were going to have to say the answer in the end.

I’ve found that this also works well with students who don’t like to participate due to shyness. They just have to repeat back information that someone else already said!

The second technique I started using was called 100%. You need 100% of the students attention 100% of the time. This clip shows a few ways of getting 100% in upper grades.

In my classroom, I say things like, “I need 3 friend’s eyes!”, “Smart learners look at the teacher!” or something as simple as “Tracking!”.

I’ve taught my children that tracking the person speaking not only is polite but helps create visual memories for recall of information.

Another large component of the Teach Like a Champion ideas are streamlined procedures and routines.

Does this mean boring days?


In fact, this may be one of my favorite videos I’ve ever seen.

In this clip the teacher transitions the students from a shared type reading to a guided reading type group.

I’ve watched this many, many times and just love how everything is a procedure. Where the books are, how she sets the timer, and what the kids sing!

If you’re ready to jump in a little deeper – you can start working on ‘pacing’.

In this video the teacher is leading a whole class review on parts of a body in a First Grade. She’s like a roller coaster – exciting, non-stop and fun. Check it out here.

I’m not sure how the rest of her day is, but this is definitely a memorable way of doing a review!

I’d love to discuss this more with you. Please stop by my Teach Like a Champion page and share thoughts, video links, and ideas with us all.

When we share – we all learn!

If this has made you laugh, think or smile – please stop by!/pages/Elementary-Teacher-Resources/29677176408 and chat with us!

Tweet a ton? Follow me on Twitter. Tweet! Tweet!

Check out my podcasts on my podcast blog.

I hope that you have enjoyed this newsletter. Please feel free to email it to friends and family who are teachers or home-school moms!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

See you next month!

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