There's a consistent progression to the lessons of the champion teachers who informed this book. It's best described as "I/We/You." (As far as I know, Doug McCurry, founder of Amistad Academy Charter School, coined this phrase. Others use the terms direct instruction, guided practice, and independent practi to describe what McCurry means.) This name refers to a lesson in which responsibility for knowing and being able to do is gradually released from teacher to student. It means beginning with "I" by delivering key information or modeling the process you want your students to learn as directly as possible, then walking your students through examples or applications. In the "We" step, you first ask for help from students at key moments and then gradually allow them to complete examples with less and less assistance on more and more of the task. Finally, in the "You" step, you provide students the opportunity to practice doing the work on their own, giving them multiple opportunities to practice
The recipe may sound obvious to some, but it doesn't happen this way in many classrooms. Often students are released to independent work before they are ready to do so effectively. They are asked to solve a problem before they know how to do it on their own. They're asked to infer the best solution by "inquiry" when they have little hope of doing so in an effective and efficient way. In many cases, they independently and industriously practice doing a task the wrong way. They reflect on "big questions" before they know enough to do so productively.
Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College
by Doug Lemov
p. 71 - 72
These are the teachers whose practices he is describing:
[H]e decided to seek out the best teachers he could find — as defined partly by their students’ test scores — and learn from them. A self-described data geek, he went about this task methodically, collecting test-score results and demographic information from states around the country. He plotted each school’s poverty level on one axis and its performance on state tests on the other. Each chart had a few outliers blinking in the upper-right-hand corner — schools that managed to squeeze high performance out of the poorest students. He broke those schools’ scores down by grade level and subject. If a school scored especially high on, say, sixth-grade English, he would track down the people who taught sixth graders English.
He called a wedding videographer he knew through a friend and asked him if he’d like to tag along on some school visits. Their first trip to North Star Academy, a charter school in Newark, turned into a five-year project to record teachers across the country.
Building a Better Teacher
by Elizabeth Green
New York Times | March 2, 2010
Teach Like a Champion is out
more words you don't see in Teach Like a Champion