Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Expectation of 100%

100% Participation - In the Classroom

The idea is simple to understand, but takes practice and patience to execute successfully. Coming from the must-own book of every teacher, Teach Like a Champion, by Doug Lemov, the rule of 100% is this:

The percentage of students following a direction in a classroom must be 100. If it is any less, your authority quickly deflates and classroom loses value.

Knowing what 100% means is simple - every student listening when you give a direction. Being able to identify which students are and which students are not following the instruction is also simple - you look at their eyes. The difficult part is achieving full compliance and sorting out the stragglers quickly enough to maintain your purpose without causing a disruption. Here's a summary of what the experts have to say about it:

  • With your choice of language, make it clear that students must adhere to this for their sake, because they will learn and understand and ultimately be a better person, never because "the teacher says so." 
  • With the stragglers, use the "least invasive form of intervention". This can be done in multiple ways, but the point is that you want to be as quick and smooth as you can, especially if calling out a person by name. Some good phrases are, "I'm still waiting on three. You know who you are," or "This row is perfect, I still need this row."
  • When making these corrections, it is important to add positives and make it clear what the student is supposed to be doing. Like, "I don't have Diego, but I do have Carmen (+)" or "Jake, I need your eyes. Front row, great job (+). Much better, Jake (+)". 
  • If an individual reprimand is necessary, it is best to wait until the class is working again and talk to this individual quietly and calmly. Repeat the problematic behavior then say what is expected of them then walk away, sending the message that that's how it is and leaving no room for "onstage" arguing or embarrassment.

Quick, smooth, positive, and specifically say what to do. This expectation done well by a teacher will not only be a win-win for everyone in the room but also sets and reinforces the necessary tone of: we are here to learn. Think about this as you teach through this month. For video examples and a better description, get a copy of Lemov's book. Read this chapter, and see what you can learn. 

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