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Taylor Blair

Spring 2014
Teach Like a Champion Strategy Reflection Journal Entries #2
Technique # 3 Stretch It
Description: A champion teacher does not stop when a student simply says the correct answer. It
is important for students to be able to explain their thinking and defend why they think their
answer is correct. Some students will guess what the answer is to a question, and that does not
promote higher-level thinking. When a student knows that the teacher will ask them WHY they
answered the way they did they will take the time to stop and think before answering. When a
student gives an answer the teacher should follow up with questions that extend the students
knowledge and check for complete understanding of the concept.
Observation/Implementation: While teaching math at W.J. Christian it is very easy for students
to give a one number or one word answer to questions. I would always ask the students follow up
questions that would challenge their thinking, and make them realize the importance of
understanding WHY they think their answer is correct. A lot of the time students would be in the
middle of explaining their reasoning and half way through they would realize they said the
wrong answer and would correct themselves. It is really cool to see how students can recognize
their own error just by saying their thinking out loud. When you hear yourself explaining
something it is easier for you to hear yourself and recognize when you are wrong or need more
evidence of why you your answer is correct.
Technique #7 Four Ms
Description: The four Ms are Manageable, Measurable, Made first, and Most important. The
four Ms are a great way to keep the teacher accountable in making sure the objectives for each
day fall under these 4 Ms. Manageable means that the objectives can be covered within one
class period. There may be an overall objective for the long course of a few weeks, but a
champion teacher breaks down objectives for each day, so that as a class they are moving
forward step by step each day toward that final objective. Measureable means that the teacher is
able to clearly identify if the students are meeting the objective. A quick assessment each day
would clearly identify which students have reached the objective. Objectives are made first to
ensure that they are what is leading the lesson and activity. Finally objectives should be based on
what is most important for students as they start on the track towards college and become
independent thinkers/learners.
Observation/Implementation: Mrs. Cammacks sixth grade class is learning Pre-AP content.
These students are on the track for taking AP courses when they reach high school, so the
objectives for the class are very well thought out to ensure that these students are reaching the
objectives necessary to be confident going into an AP class. I have observed that Mrs. Cammack
uses the objectives mapped out in the Math curriculum they use. The curriculum has a user-
friendly website that connects daily objectives to the lesson which lead up to the final objective
that students should accomplish by the end of the year. There are also practices that the students
are reminded of consistently in order to be sure that they are constantly thinking outside of the
box, generating higher-level thinking and questions. The goal at the school is for students to
become independent learners and generate higher-level thinking, observations and questions.
Establishing objectives help students achieve that goal!
Technique # 12 The Hook
Description: Lemov describes this technique to be a short and engaging introduction to get the
students ready and anticipating the lesson. The hook should be quick, and it is not supposed to be
the lesson. The hook would generally activate students prior knowledge to help lead into the
lesson. When students walk into the classroom and anticipate just sitting and listening to a
lecture, they not be as excited as if they would be when they have a challenge to accomplish
right in the beginning of the class.
Observation/Implementation: In my class at W.J. Christian the teacher would have a Bell
Ringer written on the board for students to start working on right when they enter the room. The
students know that it is the first thing they should do when they walk in the door, which
automatically gets them settled quietly and working without the teacher having to instruct them
each day. It provides a great routine for the students and allows them to get into the mode of
math class after transitioning from another class. The Bell ringer helps students to recall what
they have been learning and is a quick check to make sure the students are ready to begin the
lesson for that day. Most of the time the bell ringer is a problem that promote higher level
thinking and does not necessarily have one answer, but gets the students thinking outside of the
Technique # 20 Exit Ticket
Description: An exit Ticket is a quick assessment for the students to complete before they leave
the classroom. The term exit ticket means that the students can only leave once they have
finished the short assessment. The questions will vary depending on what was learned that day,
but the ticket gives the teacher a quick and easy way to assess the students understanding before
moving on to the next concept. When students are anticipating an exit ticket to leave class they
are more willing to pay attention during class, so that they will be able to complete the ticket.
Observation/Implementation: I have observed Mrs. Cammack used the technique of giving an
exit ticket to assess the students at the end of a lesson. It is amazing to see how the students pay
attention when they know that they will have a quick assessment at the end of class. Mrs.
Cammack also does unannounced exit tickets. Throughout the lesson she will observe to see if it
would be necessary to give a quick assessment, simply because students arent paying attention,
or arent understanding. I have experienced how difficult it is to really know if students
understand the concept you are teaching, so during the lesson it is important to always be aware
of whether or not the students would need to be assessed to pin point exactly what it is that the
students do not understand as a whole or even individually. There are over thirty students in each
one of Mrs. Cammacks class, so giving frequent individual assessments is key to make sure that
no student is left behind!
Technique # 26 Everybody Writes
Description: When students are instructed to write down the problems they are working on, or
what the teacher is writing on the board they are conscious of what they are learning and
working with. If students are not writing down the problems, then they are more likely to lose
their focus and not pay attention. Even when students are not paying attention and are instructed
to write down their work it is still causing them to use their minds and think about what they
have to write down. Writing down the content is better than the students having nothing to do.
For a lot of students writing things down helps them remember.
Observation/Implementation: I used this technique for seven of the lessons I taught while at W.J.
Christian. The students all have their own math notebooks and at the beginning of each day the
students know to get out their notebooks to start working on the Bell Ringer. From there the
students will usually begin to copy the work on the board without be told and will take notes.
While I was teaching I would remind the students Okay class you should be writing this down
in your notebooks to be sure that they were. For one of the lessons the students worked in
groups to complete a review packet before their test. As a group the students designated one
recorder to write the answers on one of the worksheets. I instructed ALL of the students to
solve the problems in their notebooks, while the recorder wrote down the final answers to turn in.
This ensured that the recorder was not the only one doing the work. I would walk around and
mark in the students notebooks with a smiley if they were doing work in their notebooks and a
note if they were not writing in their notebooks.
Technique #19 At Bats
Description: When a baseball player has an at bat they have a chance to score a run or get a hit.
When players have a chance to bat, they are putting into practice everything they have been
learning and working on. The same goes for students. The more opportunities they have to apply
what they have learned, the more confident they will be and will have the chance to really see
what more they need help with. A student really only knows what they understand when they are
apply to be quizzed, have discussion or apply what they know. Not only do students have to have
these opportunities, the teacher should set the students up for success. It is important that
students know the teacher is helping them learn and improve, rather than trying to grade or fail
them. When students have multiple opportunities to answer questions or apply their knowledge
in a safe environment, the more likely they will be confident in and familiar with the material.
Observation/Implementation: Throughout Mrs. Cammacks lessons she is constantly asking the
students questions, and having them finish her sentences. When she pauses in the middle of a
sentence, it is a cue for the students to answer and apply what they know. It is also fun for the
students to be actively engaged and listening, so that they can be involved in the lesson. After
observing Mrs. Cammack use this technique I tried to model that in my own teaching while I was
there. I wanted to try and make my lessons similar to hers, so that the students would be more
comfortable and willing to participate. I would also ask questions throughout the lesson to be
sure that 1) students were actively paying attention and 2) to check students understanding.
Giving students the opportunity to answer a quick question is an easy way for a teacher to
recognize if he or she needs extra help or instruction.

Technique # 33 On Your Mark
Description: Just like when athletes show up to practice, they already have their equipment and
uniforms on. In the classrooms the students should always come to class prepared with the
proper materials out and ready before class begins. Depending on the age of the students, the
teacher will take on a different role for this strategy. If the students are younger, the teacher will
take on a more active role in this strategy. The teacher will have the materials students need, but
the younger they are they will only be responsible for getting the necessary materials and bring
them to their desk. The older a student is the more responsible they will have to be to bring the
materials they need to class and have them out and ready before class even begins. Just like a
coach expects the players to be ready to go the second they walk out on the field.
Observation/Implementation: Mrs. Cammack expects all of the students to get their math
materials out on their desk as soon as they come into the room and sit down. These materials
include their math journals, math books, pencils and their calculator. Occasionally she will
prompt the students to get out their materials, but the majority of the time she expects the
students to know by now that they need to have their materials ready by the time class starts.
Mrs. Cammack would make note of when students did not have the materials they needed during
class. When the students were doing class work, she would walk around to make sure they were
solving problems in their notebooks with their calculators and if they were not they would be

Technique # 40 Sweat the Details
Description: Lemov uses the metaphor of laws that were made for New York City to keep the
city clean and parallels it to the rules made in a classroom. When the laws were made in New
York that there could be no graffiti, no jay walking, and made sure people were obeying the
small laws, the greater problem was solved. There was less crime, because there was more order
in the neighborhood. It is important for the students to have small steps to follow in order for
them to have the overall success. It is much easier to reach an end goal when there are smaller
steps to take one at a time to get there. A major part of school is learning how to prioritize and to
reach specific goals. Sweating the details helps students learn how to succeed and the importance
of being organized.
Observation/Implementation: There is a set of math principles that the students are supposed to
have mastered by the end of the year. One of these principles is attending to precision. During
my time at W.J. Christian the sixth grade students were learning all about mean, median and
mode. When finding the mean the first check point for the students was to find the sum of all
the numbers and then divide by the number of pieces there were. To teach the students how to
tend to precision whenever we did a problem I would ask them what the first step was to finding
the mean, what was our check point. The students would answer that finding the sum is the first
step, and this was engraved in their brains to understand the important of working step by step
and not as a whole. This way the students knew that if they had made a mistake it would be
easier for them to back and look if they made a simple addition error rather than having to dissect
the entire problem of finding the mean. Sweating the details is tedious, but in the long run it
benefits the teacher and the students.
Technique # 41 Threshold
Description: In order to set the expectation for student behavior the teacher must address the
students as they walk in to the classroom or before the lesson begins. It is up to the teacher to
make it clear to the students what the expectations are for the class. These expectations can
include behavior as well as how they go about academics. The way a teacher sets expectations
for the class will vary between teachers, depending on his or her style. This also gives the
students a time to reevaluate their behavior before they come into class. It is important that the
students recognize a clear transition is happening when they enter the classroom.
Observation/Implementation: A majority of the time, Mrs. Cammack is standing outside the door
as the students walk into the classroom. When the students see her they recognize that there
needs to be a change in their behavior from how they are acting in the hall to when they enter her
classroom. When she greets the students, they know that she is an authority figure over them and
not a friend. She has made it clear that they do not hug, but greet each other with a handshake. It
is important that the students learn how to make eye contact and give a firm handshake. At this
age, the teacher is making sure they are learning life long skills that will benefit them long down
the road, and the earlier these manners are established the better off they will be.
Technique #45 The J Factor
Description: The J in J factor refers to Joy. Positive reinforcement is one of the most important
techniques to use as a teacher. When a classroom environment is fun, exciting and positive it
helps students pay attention and learn. There are five different ways to bring joy into the
classroom. These are: Fun and games, involving us, drama/song and dance, humor, suspense
and surprise. Students love competition and games. When a lesson involves games or teams the
students are automatically engaged. Including the students so that they feel a part of the lesson
gets them excited. When they have a connection to the content, they are more willing to engage.
Not only does drama and the arts enhance the curriculum, but also students enjoy incorporating a
different aspect into a subject to mix things up. Humor is a great way to connect to students.
Everyone loves to laugh and have fun that way, so incorporating laughter into a lesson is a great
way to keep the students engaged. Suspense and surprise is the ultimate way to engage the
students. Young kids love to predict what will happen next, and this strategy will tap into that
Observation/Implementation: When introducing a new step to the method of finding the absolute
deviation for a set of data I used the J factor to get the students excited about the final step of the
process. The class had learned the first two steps of the method and before I introduced the final
step, I said Are you ready for the final step? Can I have a drum roll please? and the students
did a drum roll and they loved it, which also got them excited about what the next step for the
method was. This technique was particularly the suspense element of the J factor. Also the
teacher I was observing would always use the J factor. She has a very loud and engaging way of
teaching. She is always having fun, making jokes while always keeping the students focused and
not allowing them to stray away from the content of the lesson. Also in one of my lessons I used
the students birthdays to create a sample data set, which made it fun for the students to be
including in the we of the lesson and feel the connection to the math.