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3A. Instructional Delivery: The teacher communicates clearly and accurately what is expected and provides lessons, assignments, materials and resources that are logically sequenced and content appropriate.  The teacher encourages student participation in the learning process through varied questioning and discussion techniques.

APPR Planning Sheet 2011-2012

This year I focused on including techniques outlined in two books:  Doug Lemov's Teach Like a Champion and Total Participation Techniques by Himmele and Himmele

Summary of Progress
I included several techniques into my classroom this year including:

Right is Right
Guided Notes
Starboard Splash
Everybody Writes
Cold Call

These were used throughout the year in varying amounts.  Cold call occurred daily whereas Hold-ups were seldom used.  The key to many of these was establishing a routine as early as possible in the school year.  To make sure 100% of students were called on the name of each student was put on an index card.  Names were pulled from the top and students were called on in order.  The deck was shuffled once I got through it.  Seldom did I ask students to raise their hands to answer a question.  When questioning and/or doing Cold Call I used Lemov's Stretch and Right is Right techniques.

Doing these techniques changed my classroom from one of passive to active learning.  Every student knew they were going to be called on and required to answer.  Everyday I heard from 100% of students in my room.  Gone are the days of a quiet student not having to participate.  The impact was dramatic.  One problem with trying to get to every student is when there are close to 30 students.  Even when Cold Call is working and we're going quickly through questions it can take 10 minutes.

Next year I'd like to do Everybody Writes more often.   I feel when I make it low pressure and just encourage writing for writings sake it works out well.  The Honor Society student can write a paragraph and the ELL student a sentence.  Encouraging and getting the best out of everyone can be difficult.  This year for the technique I had students turn over their notes, lab, or worksheet and then write as much as they could remember from the lesson.  They turned it in on the way out the door.  Looking at them later you get a great idea of who is learning and who does not remember much.

I used to do Hold-ups more often.  I find that it is too easy for students to slack and/or cheat.  Not everyone always holds up an answer and not everyone always thinks before responding.  I would generally have students write an answer (A, B, C, D) on the back of a paper to hold up.  In a larger class getting everyone to participate is difficult and I find other techniques work better in certain situations.  I'll do Hold-Ups if I want to know if certain kids "get it."  If those kids know it I've reached about 80% of students.

Student Name Cards
At the beginning of the year every student is given a card to put their name on.  The cards are used to randomly establish a seating chart as well as with questioning techniques.

Essential Questions and Words to Know (Guided Notes)
These are part of the opening routine.  If we've gone over the notes the Essential Questions become part of Cold Call and a student is chosen from the cards to read the Words to Know.

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