Today’s takeaways are from Petra Claflin.
No Opt Out 2.0
The new strategies for No Opt Out really resonated with me. Carried over and expanded on from the original TLAC book, the basic strategy is that you don’t accept ‘I don’t know’ as an answer and use various strategies to make sure students are held accountable for successfully answering a question.
If you’re not familiar already, here are the four basic formats for No Opt Out:
- You provide the answer; your student repeats the answer.
- Another student provides the answer; the initial student repeats the answer.
- You provide a cue; your student uses it to find the answer.
- Another student provides a cue; the initial student uses it to find the answer.
In Teach Like a Champion 2.0, Lemov and his team ramp up the rigor with No Opt Out 2.0, suggesting that you follow up a successful No Opt Out with another question.
What stood out to me most were the empowering effects of this follow-up on the students. But first, the strategies:
Add Another At Bat. Ask the student a similar question to give them a chance to get it right the first time and feel truly successful.
Add a Stretch. Ask them to explain why or how they got the answer or for more evidence. Or you can ask a new question that adds an additional skill or level of difficulty.
Add an Error Analysis. Have them explain what they did wrong the first time or how they corrected themselves.
Add a “Star.” Ask a follow-up and then close out the whole exchange with targeted praise that is like giving them a gold star. You might praise their grit or perseverance, their mastery of the skill, or the simple, fantastic correctness of their answer.
Now back to my takeaways and what felt so empowering about this section of TLAC 2.0.
- How good must it feel for a student who got the answer wrong, to then turn around and answer a series of similar questions correctly? And then to have your teacher praise that turn around explicitly? That feels great.
- Allow students to ask clarifying questions instead of saying ‘I don’t know.’ This was referenced very briefly in the chapter, but really stuck with me. Instead of waiting until students say “I don’t know” to hold them accountable, train them from the beginning to monitor their understanding and advocate for themselves by asking those clarifying questions before we even have a chance to stump them with a question they don’t know the answer to. Now that’s empowering.
At the end of the day, what so resonated with me from this chapter was not just how important it is to make sure students are learning and getting the right answer, but that they know they’re learning and feel the empowerment of that learning. I get goose bumps just thinking about it!
Coming up in our Takeaways from TLAC 2.0 series:
- Collegiate Format – communicating in a way that conveys “the worthiness of their ideas.”
- Ratio – getting students to think more, write more, and discuss more.
- Checking for Understanding – doing it well to get the data you need.