School starts Monday, and I'm re-reading it for the umpteenth time this weekend. I got it near the end of last year, started using a few techniques, and saw instant success. I also saw a few techniques that I already use, so that was a nice validation.
One of the most profound lessons I learned from it had to do with re-thinking how I lesson plan. Somewhere in the book the author talks about how teachers need to specify what the students will do at each stage of a lesson. This seems obvious; however a lot of lesson planning training talks about what will be taught, how it will be taught, and what the teacher will do to teach it.
Just changing my thinking after reading that bit changed my lesson planning immensely and also changed how I think about what I will be doing in the classroom. Now my lesson plans include a carefully detailed plan of what I should see the students doing at each stage - creating immediately assessable goals that will guide my next move.
And I'll be honest that just this one thing increased the complexity and difficulty of my planning quite a bit. I struggled to wrap my mind around it for a while in some instances. Then, when the light bulb went off, I realized how much it helped me more effectively scaffold my lessons to meet my students' needs - special ed, 504, ESL, etc.
I have pored over every word of that book, and given the fact that I'm about to teach two English classes at a local college, I'm happy for redkudu's reminder that I need to get the book out and pore over it again.
I've also read part of the 'companion' book: Paul Bambrick-Santoyo's Driven by Data: A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction. Not sure whether trying to plow through it in the next two weeks makes sense given the fact that I need to master Whimbey and create two courses. Is Bambrick-Santoyo primarily talking about school-wide use of data?
Or will the book help me?
Another item for the to do list.
Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College
Driven by Data: A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction
Teaching and Learning Grammar: The Prototype-Construction Approach