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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I own the first book written by Doug Lemov: Teach Like a Champion. For those of you that are unfamiliar with it, Mr. Lemov gives teachers 49 strategies that will help students gain the motivation to go to college. His book has gained national attention and the respect of teachers everywhere. Professional Development Days are sometimes built around his book. What would be a better idea than to create a resource to grasp and implement the 49 techniques?

First of all this book reminds you of a workbook. Each technique has its own "chapter" or section. When you go to any of the techniques, you will pretty much find the following format:

1. Overview: summarizes and describes the technique
2. Where Am I Now?: you determine IF you use this technique already and, if so, what level you're at
3. Analyze the Champions: If there is a 'demo' on the DVD of a professional educator, you'll see this section next. If not, it's absent.
4. Expand Your Skills and Repertoire: In this section you take what you are already able to do and, as the section states, expand them. He gives examples.
5. Practice with Study Groups or Partners: This is a great tool IF you are using this book within a study group. If you are reading this on your own, I would suggest doing it anyway.
6. Try __________ in the classroom: _________ is the technique that you're reading about and learning. This is where you get to take what you've been learning and apply it.
7. Troubleshoot: Got some challenges? This will help you.
8. Be Creative: Take the technique and go one step further with it.
9. Sustain your Progress: Using a chart you will keep track of how you are using the technique.

I only gave it 4 stars because it focuses so much on the secondary setting. Elementary school teachers are facing the same challenges as secondary teachers: lack of respect, poor motivation, students using threats, etc.... People outside of the classroom would probably be shocked at the challenges that elementary school teachers face on a daily basis. Years ago these same issues only faced high school teachers. Then it moved down to junior high/middle school teachers. Now it's reached elementary school teachers. For example, I've been covering for a 5th grade teacher who has been out due to surgery (I typically teach 2nd grade). Some of the behaviors I have come across were behaviors I didn't observe until high school when I was growing up. I even had one student mention he was never going to graduate from school-he had plans to quit. This child is not even 12 years old!

If you like workbooks and study guides than you'll like this book. There is a lot of interactive material in it. Keep in mind that there are 49 techniques! If you tried to do a new one per week you wouldn't complete all of them in a school year!

PS: Did I mention that there is a DVD with this book as well?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 9, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As with most field guides (aka workbooks) it really helps to have read the original book first! Some of the negative reviewers here basically went directly to this workbook first. The true value in this, as in any ,workbook is to give additional comments, hints, and reviews of the principles and examples expressed in the main book. One invaluable extra provided by the field guide is the video presentation and analysis of the 30 champion teachers actually using these techniques in the classroom. Some people seemed overwhelmed by the amount of detail and repetition in the field guide. To them I say - be selective! There is no rule that you have to try to apply ALL the techniques immediately! By choosing a few that you would like to learn, work on, or just improve, you make the experience less daunting. If you can prioritize your goals you will find both books very handy for the PRACTICAL lessons included here, as opposed to the pedagogical pablum often included with most educational texts.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 25, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a community college professor, I wish I would have utilized a guide like this in my early years. Yes, 49 techniques ARE a lot of techniques. Most good teachers have naturally mastered a dozen of these techniques. When I was young and a student myself, my teachers would have had no problems with employing the majority of these techniques with easy success. Nowadays, with discipline and respect in the public school at such an all time low, employing these techniques will be most difficult. However, the use of these techniques are ESSENTIAL in getting control of your class early on. The guide is broken down into seven sections, and not necessarily in proper order. For instance, section 5 is titled "creating a strong classroom culture". This section includes techniques that should be focused on in the first class session. Section 6 is "setting and maintaining high behavioral expectations", once again important early on.

There is NO WAY you will not be helped if you study and employ these techniques early on in your teaching career. This guide would also be wonderful to use as a resource for teachers who meet for lunch or after the school day to discuss successes and failures and how the techniques were being employed.

Also, the CD contains 30 video clips showing champion teachers using the techniques. This is great, but I wish there were clips highlighting each of the 49 techniques individually.

This is a guide that every teacher should have on their shelf for reference and constant reading throughout their career as they develop into a champion teacher.

As every teacher will attest, there is nothing like meeting up with a past student who seeks you out to tell you how successful they are in life due in part to your teaching. This guide, put to proper use, will give you that experience many times in your future.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 19, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a companion to Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College, of which I'm sorry to say I know next to nothing beyond the information contained in the field guide. However, I feel this field guide can be used without any familiarity with that book, though I'm sure it would help.

What the two TLaC products share is a commitment to 49 specific techniques for classroom management. Some are obvious and hardly cutting edge, like using a Do Now. Others are, perhaps not revolutionary, but at least quite progressive, like Board=Paper, a section on modeling note taking for students (rather than assume someone else taught them in an earlier stage of their education and being annoyed to realize they've not been meeting your unspoken expectations). A few require a good deal of planning and/or legwork, like "Begin With the End," which has lesson plans deriving from preexisting unit plans (though I do think that in the end that amount of work will turn out to be worthwhile, as before too long it will make lesson planning much easier). Most are extremely simple--circulating around the classroom, breaking down complex tasks into step-by-step instructions, et cetera. I was a little skeptical about whether a couple of the techniques were worthwhile, but most looked to be very much so and there were none I was prepared to write off as impractical or a waste of time. I think just about everything here is worth a try.

The workbook is set up in a variety of formats for each exercise, some of which make planning the implementation of a technique simpler, others which allow for realtime tracking of a teacher's progress in developing mastery. Actually I think one's teaching can be improved just by using the workbook's formats as a role model for designing assessments, but that's very far from Lemov's stated goals so a reviewer probably shouldn't focus on that. I'm told that use of the DVD makes it even more accessible, but my reviewer copy didn't include one so I can't comment on that.

Very useful for teacher prep programs, especially for student teachers to fill out as they go and break down in seminar with their cohort. It would be a useful tool for experienced teachers as well, though perhaps less so, as experienced teachers will have their own ways of meeting at least some of these goals. However, comparing one's own tried and true practices with the 49 techniques may well prove informative in and of itself. Administrators might do well to use this as a tool during in-service days, and/or to help teachers they supervise to improve classroom management. It should be useful for addressing problem areas a teacher is facing (though a word of caution, it's probably going to be very hard to set up a lot of the more procedural techniques in a class where students are already used to doing business without them, so you'd be better off implementing this from day one). Also contains useful advice for getting more out of situations which are already being managed effectively, though it may be less useful there, and for continuing practices which already produce excellence, though still less so.

I'd recommend it for anyone in a classroom. It's targeted at teachers at all levels of experience and though it will be more of a natural fit to some groups than it will to others (again, I'm thinking especially of student teachers), its application seems open-ended enough that almost anyone will find something there.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The format and insights in the book are a great extension to the original book, the alignment in the beginning of the book that identifies specific techniques and links them with the activities. Regardless of your experience level, you will find something that you can take away and use immediately. If you already know many or most of these techniques you will get new and fresh ideas on the 49 techniques
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have to say that when I first received this book, I was a little confused by the format and layout, and general tone (how does a champ teach, anyway? - seemed like an odd choice of words.) However, my confusion evaporated when I realized that there is a good description of the format for each chapter on page 4. After using the book for a while, I came to appreciate it more and more, and in the course of the day I often found myself drawn back to the book to study its ideas in more depth.

I found the DVD very helpful, and I really enjoyed watching sections of it over and over again, particularly those with younger children. Some of the ideas are perhaps a little bit on the militaristic side, yet there is a wide variety of styles, and one is encouraged to pick and choose among the various techniques as needed.

All in all, I feel that this is a very valuable resource. Perhaps for some teachers this kind of thing may be all common sense; however, it could be very useful for young teachers, and more experienced teachers may find it useful for a little (anti-burnout?) boost of the imagination as Monday morning rolls around.

4.5 stars for the reservations mentioned above; 5 for the prospect of living with these ideas and making them one's own.

Another fabulous and very comprehensive teaching book is Teaching Outside the Box, by LouAnne Johnson.

Both highly recommended.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Doug Lemov has produced a manual outlining successful teaching techniques in a very clear-cut manner with videos to illustrate some of them. If that were all there is to teaching, all teachers would always experience job satisfaction and all students would be stars. This is NOT to denigrate the importance of sound teaching techniques -- just to make it clear that teaching is much more than that.

I am a semi-retired school teacher (20 years full-time in classrooms, 10 years in other jobs), and I now teach GED courses part time. I have taught in two large metropolitan areas, two small towns, and on a reservation -- mostly in public schools and briefly in a BIA school. In none of these situations did using the techniques so well presented by Lemov work without support from my administrators, the law, the community where the school was located, the students themselves, the parents of the students, and my fellow teachers. Private schools and charter schools like those in Mr. Lemov's experience control a LOT more of these variables than any public school can. Most critical, in my experience, were administrative support and community involvement -- with these two, I was able to be a creative teacher whose students were engaged and on task, and I would experience a lot of job satisfaction THIS YEAR -- then a bunch of administrators would leave, non-supportive ones would replace them and alienate community members who were involved with the school, and my job satisfaction for THIS YEAR would plummet.

Every book I have read extolling successes in education has related situations where the teacher had a high degree of administrative and community support -- and these things almost automatically generate student enthusiasm and success in the classroom of a skillful, caring, and hard-working teacher. Unfortunately, when I explored options like a private or charter school career, I found their salaries were too low for a single mother. Much of their "salary" did come in the form of job satisfaction.

So . . . the bottom line of this review is: read the book and learn the techniques. This is an excellent handbook for that purpose. A teacher will be more successful knowing these techniques than not knowing them. But a CHAMPION ???? That depends on achieving a balance among at least several of many variables, and I do not think a handbook has been or CAN be written to tell one how to achieve it in public schools. Perhaps you will be as lucky as I was to be able to recognize situations in which that balance is attainable and have periods of high job satisfaction in your public school career. Achieving that requires a LOT MORE hard work than merely learning the techniques Mr. Lemov presents -- but those techniques are the starting point.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 28, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This field guide could be used as a textbook/workbook on how to teach excellently. It is not a "read it" book but a "use it" book. With 49 techniques to make your teaching better and self-evaluations for how well you use each technique now as well as exercises to improve your use of the techniques, this resource could improve teaching for anyone with the time to use it. Some of the 49 techniques are definitely more geared toward teaching younger students, but I am looking forward to adopting the pertinent ones in my college classes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2012
I meet with teachers twice a month after school. We read, discuss, watch videos, discuss, try strategies out in classrooms, discuss, watch each other teach, give feedback, read more, discuss and have a great time. I have been able to use the field guide as a facilitator and love it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2012
This book is excellent for a school wide book study or individual study. The DVD clips greatly enhance the enjoyment of the content.
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