Chapter 5 – Creating a Strong Classroom Culture

This chapter begins with a brief overview of what Lemov refers to as the Five Principles of Classroom Culture. They are discipline, management, influence, engagement and control.

Technique #28 – Entry Routine – Making a habit out of what’s efficient, productive, and scholarly after the greeting and as students take their seats and class begins.

Technique #29 – Do Now – A short activity that you have written on the board or is waiting on their desks before they enter the classroom that the students are expected to begin working on immediately.

Technique #30 – Tight Transitions – Having quick and routine transitions that students can execute with out extensive narration by the teacher.

Technique #31 – Binder Control – Have a required place for students to take notes that is organized in a systematic way so that you can hold students accountable for all the information they take in during your class.  This also allows students to quickly locate information as it will be stored in the same place in their binder as it is in yours and in the binders of their peers.

Technique #32 – SLANT – Have a system that requires your students to sit up and be alert in your class. SLANT is only one of many similar systems. The important thing is to have consistent common nomenclature.

  • S – Sit up
  • L – Listen
  • A – Answer and ask questions
  • N – Nod your head
  • T – Track the speaker

Technique # 33 – On Your Mark – Teach and expect students to be prepared for class like a coach does for his athletes.

  • Be explicit about what students need to have to start class
  • Set a time limit
  • Use a standard consequence
  • Provide tools (pens, paper) without consequences to those who recognize the need before class.
  • Include homework

Technique #34 – Seat Signals – Have a clearly articulated and agreed upon set of non verbal signals that allow students to request, and you to respond to, non instructional issues without disrupting your instruction.

Technique #35 – Props – Provide frequent, public praise when students demonstrate excellence of exemplify desired virtues and values.

  • Be quick – only needs to last a moment
  • Be visceral – rely on movement and sound effects when possible (ie. “On the way to college!” with a fist pump)
  • Be universal – expect and teach everybody to join in
  • Be enthusiastic – make the tone fun and lively
  • Be evolving – leverage student ideas around recognition of excellence

Six great ideas for Props are included in the chapter.  These include the Hitter, the Lawnmower, the Roller-Coaster, Two Hands, Hot Pepper, Two Snaps & Two Stomps.

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