All 62 well-defined techniques are mutually reinforcing and form a coherent overall guide.
What is it about?
Teach Like A Champion is a set of ‘field notes’ that explain a range of techniques that cover a teacher’s core repertoire. There are four parts that form the underlying principles for Lemov’s approach:
Part 1: Check for Understanding. This focuses on how to collect information about what students have learned, how to act on that and build confidence with learning.
Part 2: Academic Ethos. This section includes a range of techniques based around curriculum planning, expectations and questioning. Right is Right (where you only tell a child they are right when they give the full answer you wanted), for example, is about getting students to believe they can succeed and making sure they do. Other techniques deal with lesson routines that support the learning process.
Part 3: Ratio. This has two parts: participation ratio, a measure of how well you involve all students in classroom exchanges; and think ratio, a measure of the level of rigour in the engagement. Classic Teach Like a Champion strategies – such as Wait Time, where you give students time to think before they answer a question – provide powerful tools for ensuring more students are engaged and think more deeply.
Part 4: Classroom Culture. Well-known techniques such as Positive Framing, where teachers use positive talk to motivate pupils, provide important staples for developing excellent behaviour to support learning.
The book is supported by a DVD containing video clips but they are not essential; you can read the book alone, dipping in for a specific technique as needed. It is also well worth engaging with the underlying principles because the techniques are all mutually reinforcing and form a coherent overall guide.
What are the main messages for teachers?
There are two main messages throughout Teach Like A Champion:
1. Maintain fiercely high expectations of all of your students and believe in them no matter how hard things seem
2. Focus on specific, actionable techniques, honing them until they are mastered and become habits.