The techniques in this chapter are broken down into the “I/We/You” framework. Basically there are components of effective instruction that fall into the “I” category these will tend rely on direct instruction. Other aspects of effective instruction fall into the “We” category and will occur through some form of guided practice. Finally, students must experience instruction in the “You” category in which they continue to learn through independent practice.
“I” Techniques (Direct Instruction)
Technique #12 – The Hook – When necessary use a short, engaging introduction to excite students about learning.
Technique #13 – Name the Steps – When possible, give students solution tools – specific steps by which to work or solve problems of the type you’re presenting. This often involves breaking down a task into specific steps.
Technique #14 – Board = Paper – Model for students how to track the information they need to retain from your lessons; ensure that they have an exact cop of what the need.
Technique #15 – Circulate – Move around the classroom to engage and hold students accountable.
“We” Techniques (Guided Practice)
Technique #16 – Break It Down – One of the best ways to present material again is to respond to a lack of clear student understanding by breaking a problematic idea down into component parts.
Technique #17 – Ratio – The goal of “We” is to push more and more of the cognitive work out to students. Feigned ignorance – “Did I get that right, you guys?”, “Wait a minute, I can’t remember what’s next!” – and unbundling – breaking one question up into several – can be especially useful.
Technique #18 – Check for Understanding – Used to determine when and whether students are ready for more responsibility and when they need material presented again.
“You” Techniques (Independent Practice)
Technique #19 – At Bats – Maximize the number of “at bats” students have. PRactice after practice, swing after swing. Instruction should look similar to athletic practices. Rehearsing each skill until mastery is achieved.
Technique #20 – Exit Ticket – End your lesson with a final “at bat”, a single question, or short sequence of problems to solve at the close of class. If well written, this exit ticket will give you unequivocal data regarding how effectively you achieve your lesson objective.
Technique #21 – Take a Stand – Push students to actively engage in the ideas around them by making judgements about the answers their peers provide.