Challenging (All) Students

Ratio: All Students Thinking Hard


We're all familiar with Hollywood's vision of masterful teaching: jumping up on the desk and regaling your students with engaging and impassioned monologues. We, the audience, are rapt and staring at the teacher - but what are the kids doing? For the most part, sitting and listening. Which is fine, some of the time, and particularly for certain independent learners.

But there are a couple of problems with this picture. First, the Hollywood teacher isn't getting very much participation - kids are mostly passively receiving information. And second, kids aren't exactly breaking a sweat. Their teacher isn't asking them to do anything intellectually rigorous.

This mini makes the case for attending to "participation" and "thinking" ratio to promote classroom learning. (But don't worry - there's still room for jumping on desks and sounding your barbaric teaching yawp.)

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Additional Resources

Teach Like a Champion

We share important core values with educator Doug Lemov, and have been inspired and influenced by "Teach Like a Champion." If you find Match Minis useful, we know you'll like his book, a broad and deep exploration of high-leverage, practical teaching moves.

From the author:

"Teach Like a Champion 2.0 is a complete update to the international bestseller. This teaching guide is a must-have for new and experienced teachers alike. Over 700,000 teachers around the world already know how the techniques in this book turn educators into classroom champions. With ideas for everything from classroom management to inspiring student engagement, you will be able to perfect your teaching practice right away."

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Do you have low ratio, too? You’re not alone. Watch “Turn and Talk” to learn a teaching strategy that’s sure to boost the ratio of any lesson.

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A quality lesson plan that engages all students with rigorous work is hugely important. But there are more key variables at work! Click here to learn the other domains of teaching you can improve to generate as much learning as possible.