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Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

05.17.19Our Ratio Workshop Is The Perfect Way to Get Ready for Next Year

Students should do the heavy lifting.

Our last two-day workshop of the year is one of our best: Ratio. We spend two days covering techniques to help teachers ensure that students do the cognitive work in the classroom. And it’s the perfect way to prepare for next (school) year and ensure that it’s a success.

One theme is to get there by increasing the amount of writing students do and by being more strategic about when and how. We’ll discuss Front the Writing, Show Call and Art of the Sentence, for example.

Another theme will be questioning. We’ll discuss the power of Wait Time and “inclusive” Cold Calling… a topic we discuss here and something you can watch Ben Esser do here.

We’ll also discuss discussion, and study the craft of the Turn and Talk among other things.

Throughout the two days we’ll trace two underlying themes: The hidden importance of background knowledge to high Ratio classrooms and the power of academic systems–that last topic is beautifully exemplified by this clip of Denarius Frazier’s classroom.

EA.CFU.GR11.Frazier.’Solutions.’Clip2858.shorter from TLAC Blog on Vimeo.

I discuss the clip a bit more here: but the gist of it is this:

Perhaps the single most powerful way to bring efficiency, focus and rigor to a classroom is by installing strong procedures and routines. You define a right way to do recurring tasks; you practice doing them with students so they roll like clockwork.

This applies at least as much to ‘academic’ tasks as it does to more procedural ones. When a teacher says, “Turn and Talk to your partner: How will the weight of the nucleus change? Go!” or “Take a minute to jot your thoughts: How will the weight of the nucleus change? Go!” the room should crackle to life with every student engaged within a second or two.

I hope you can join us to close out the year by getting ready to ensure that next year is as successful as it can be. Details on registration are here:

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