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Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,727 Ratings  ·  374 Reviews
In this book, author Doug Lemov offers the essential tools of the teaching craft so that you can unlock the talent and skill waiting in your students, no matter how many previous classrooms, schools, or teachers have been unsuccessful.
Paperback, 332 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1st 2010)
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My First Travel Angelic Airline Adventures by Anna OthitisTeach Like a Champion by Doug LemovEducating Esmé by Esmé Raji CodellThe First Days Of School by Harry K. WongSavage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol
Books every teacher should read
2nd out of 147 books — 167 voters
The Book Whisperer by Donalyn MillerThe First Days Of School by Harry K. WongSavage Inequalities by Jonathan KozolPedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo FreireEducating Esmé by Esmé Raji Codell
books for teachers, educators
10th out of 484 books — 458 voters

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Ah, the Charter School Camp. The Standardized Tests Are the Thing Camp. The Business/Military Style in Schools Camp. That's where TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION originates, from a guy named Doug Lemov who is invested in the Uncommon Schools, a group of inner city schools in the northeast that insist on teachers using these techniques. And though the cover says "K-12," most all of the examples cited are from elementary classrooms. Ditto the clips on the accompanying DVD. If you're a high school teacher, y ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Oct 22, 2015 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
I wish that Doug Lemov's Teach Like a Champion had been around when I was getting my teaching degree. Most of the books that I read in my graduate courses centered on theory -- not that theory and metacognition isn't important; however, as a brand-new teacher, I could really have used a book like this one, which describes 49 actual techniques you can use to manage your classroom and to encourage attention, enthusiasm, and higher-level thinking.

As other reviewers have pointed out, Teach Like a Ch
Jul 19, 2010 Nicole rated it really liked it
I think this book is a must for pre-service teachers, but only if taught with a critical lens. The author says right off the bat that he does not consider himself a champion teacher, but he has spent countless hours in classrooms and studying tape with other researchers in order to compile what he has determined to be concrete "champion teacher" techniques.

I don't agree with everything he says (some of it reads a little ivory tower, and some of the stuff he touches on concerning race makes me r
Jan 15, 2016 Philip rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Lemov's conclusion is entitled, "The End is the Beginning," so let me start there.

"Yet when Ben was recently asked how he ensures that his teachers use his material, he observed that he doesn't. He manages his teachers for results and provides these techniques to get them there. They are free to use them or not. ...Too many ideas, even good ones, go bad when they become an end and not a means." (Pg. 310)

Lemov likes the word caveat. I'm going to ask someone with a Kindle version how many times th
Feb 05, 2011 Becca rated it liked it
This is a pretty good book, over all, for nitty-gritty, try-it-this-way teaching techniques. Whether you're already using them or not, the [mostly] lucid prose and examples provide food for thought for teachers who are seeking to improve their practice. There are several techniques I either want to try out for myself or work to improve on based on what I read.

That said, the book loses points for two reasons: 1) There are many parts of it that sound like ad copy for various charter schools. And c
Apr 18, 2010 Danette rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book to all new teachers without exception. Experienced teachers who are having difficulty with classroom management are also encourged to read it. The techniques are explicitly detailed and most are easy to implement the very next day. Basically, the book gives specific techniques designed to create an atmosphere of respect and cooperation. I will definately get a lot of use out of it...the classroom clips are especially helpful.

Things that I especially liked: 1. How to's on h
Dec 29, 2012 Cheska rated it it was amazing
My current professional development training is based entirely on this book. My first year of teaching was a nightmare. When the new administration took over and asked us to attend their training, I learned more about classroom management in those two weeks of in service than I did in both undergrad and graduate college. I'm in my second year now, and these techniques, paired with active practice, have turned me into a more confident and effective teacher. I had people observe who thought I was ...more
Jan 18, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
Some useful stuff for a college teacher.
I'm not the target audience (I teach art at a community college), but I found some useful stuff in the first 40% of the book. (I obviously read the kindle edition.)
This is aimed at k12 teachers (mostly upper elementary). It is basically a series of tips/techniques for teachers based on studying the techniques and practices of really successful teachers (at his schools). There is also some interesting talk about why technique is important as a supplement to
Christian Clarke
Aug 04, 2010 Christian Clarke rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for anyone who cares about "urban education" and its attendant issues. This books aims at teaching teachers how to develop a classroom culture in which city kids, ( a population left in the ash-heap of national education), can finally make significant progress.

The book is broken up into 49 techniques chunked into several groupings, like High Academic Expectations, Lesson Structure, Classroom Culture, etc. About half the techniques have corallary video clips shown on th
Jan 23, 2011 Shari rated it liked it
There are a few really good teaching techniques in this book. Unfortunately, they are clouded by the book's focus on younger kids--elementary and middle schoolers, to be precise. I felt that many of the techniques would not be welcome in a high school environment, and certainly not in the school where I'm student teaching. Paul Tough described one of the techniques, SLANT, best in a 2006 New York Times article; he basically said that students making use of SLANT seem to be like robots. The video ...more
Oct 13, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teacher-books
I really loved this book and actually began using some of the teaching practices long before I knew the history of Uncommon Schools. Life would, of course, bring me down the road where I had the opportunity to interview and explore the school and was also provided a job offer for working at these schools. Unfortunately, after viewing their rigorous, military based school day where kids weren't even allowed to talk to each other during ANY part of the day and needed to follow strips of tape down ...more
Jun 25, 2014 Jessica rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-ya
This was a strongly recommended read from my administration. I read it somewhat begrudgingly but have to admit that many of the 49 techniques could be very useful. Particularly for new teachers, this book has some good, solid recommendations for how to increase student engagement. Until he gets to the section about reading. The last few chapters felt tacked on and beyond his realm of expertise. The more he discussed his strategies for teaching reading the more he seemed like someone obsessed wit ...more
Oct 30, 2011 Stasia rated it really liked it
Shelves: 04-nonfiction
No book about teaching is going to be perfect for everything, since no part of teaching is ever the same for everyone. That being said, I thought there were a lot of useful and thought-provoking points to be had here. Sure, Lemov writes mostly about charter schools and charter school teachers, and sure, some of the techniques sound a little fascist, but that doesn't mean that they're not worth reading and thinking about, even if only to decide that they don't ultimately work for your environment ...more
Sep 11, 2011 Margie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Margie by: NYTimes
Shelves: want-to-own, academia
I was very excited by this book, because so few books on teaching have actual specific techniques that can be used across content areas and for a variety of grades. The techniques described in the book seem very do-able, useful, and effective.

There are, of course, some caveats. The champion teachers he's followed are all at urban charter schools. The parents of charter school students have bought in; they want their children to be in a learning environment. Trust me, that's a lot different from
Jul 04, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
It's easy to write this book as an inner-city only book or a sign of the charter school movement in America ("listen, recent college grad! All you have to do is read this book and you too will be a master teacher until you decide to leave the profession, let another recent college grad take your place, and become complicit in the de-professionalization of teachers!") but I'd rather focus on this book's content rather than the politics of how it's used.

As for content.... it's a really, really, go
Aug 24, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
An excellent book for a principal, teacher librarian, consultant or instructional coach. This book breaks down teaching excellence into techniques which teachers can practice and reflect on. Too many times in my early career I was told, "You need to let them know you are the boss" or "You need to command the room" but with no suggestions on how that was done. You either had it or you didn't. Well Lemov has studied the teachers who have it and made it into something others can learn. Many of the ...more
Jun 29, 2012 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I received this book from school as something that all members of the Building Leadership Team were supposed to read, but I didn't do anything with it until the summer. Overall, I really liked it. I think that the principles in the first half of the book are really good teaching practices. They are easy to implement and I liked that they were applicable to both math and middle school.

I was rather disappointed with the second half of the book. It was supposed to be on how every teacher could and
Jun 28, 2011 Ruben rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This book is a great resource for teachers, whether new or veteran. There is not a lot of material here that is earth-shatteringly new. Rather, the magic is in the sum of its parts. Mr. Lemov gives us something special in the combination of naming each technique and showing how they all work together to push each classroom to combine maximum efficiency and maximum academic rigor. Plus, there's a free (and useful) DVD included.

One strike against this book is the poor editing. I found too many sy
Oct 05, 2011 Whitney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
I wish I had read this when I was still going through my undergrad ed program! Invaluable tools for teachers to really be successful. I really enjoyed the format too--calling them "teaching techniques" that teachers can use, and dividing it up into sections. I read the section about setting & maintaining high behavior standards first, because that is what I needed most this year with the extra special, delightful set of students that I have this year. They definitely need high behavior stand ...more
Lori Dunn
Dec 21, 2012 Lori Dunn rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal book. It really breaks things down and allows you to look at your teaching style and how it benefits the students. The tips were great for even things I consider to be a forte of mine. It is really challenging the reader to ask why we do the things we do in the classroom. Just by reading the e amples and explanations I can see perfectly how these tasks will completely transform my teaching.

The organization of the book is great by doing smaller decals of the tips after you read intensi
Jun 21, 2012 Rachelle rated it it was amazing
"Teach Like a Champion" is practial, helpful, and easy to read, one of the best teaching books I've come across so far. The examples are useful, the techniques are actionable, and it gives teachers a starting point until it comes automatically. There are other books that help teachers make their lessons exciting, but this one gives you the basics, without any tricks, and it won't cost any money. In fact, I've adapted some of the techniques as a parent -- such as "what to do" (instead of a genera ...more
Mrs. Rosenberg
Oct 14, 2012 Mrs. Rosenberg rated it it was amazing
Just finished rereading. I like this book a lot, though it will take lots of practice to actually implement the strategies with any effect. I do think the book ignores that there are other kinds of smart than school-smart and while making college achievable for all children is an obligation of educators, there will be students, who may choose a different path, and that is just as valuable and valid. Plumbers, for example, make good money. The goal of educators I believe is to provide opportuniti ...more
Krista Stevens
Apr 28, 2013 Krista Stevens rated it it was amazing
If you are a student teacher, novice or veteran teacher or administrator, buy this book. I used this text in a professional development class with about 30 teachers from my district across all subject areas a couple of years ago. The Best book to discuss instruction, planning, and classroom management. Our new evaluation system closely monitors student engagement - if you follow even a quarter of the techniques in this book (and some I did discount for my level/course/content), you will be succe ...more
May 22, 2010 Alison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
Wow, I loved this book! As a new teacher preparing for my first year, this book really helped me conceptualize what I want to do in my classroom. More importantly, it gave me tons of specific ideas of how to actually accomplish it. While I don't agree with 100% of Lemov's assumptions, his writing is very inspirational and made me eager to go test out all of the techniques. The DVD clips are also useful; I especially love the last clips about the J-factor and teaching kids to read with expression ...more
Mar 30, 2010 Nick rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary book -- if even half of the teachers in America read and applied this book, we'd have a happy revolution of learning on our hands. If you're a teacher, or know a teacher, or remember a teacher, please put this book in the right hands. The techniques are brilliant, concrete, and simple to apply -- and they will change teaching forever if enough people give them a try. A must-read for every teacher, and anyone who cares about education in our country -- and anyone who thinks teach ...more
Kristen Ballinger
Nov 10, 2011 Kristen Ballinger rated it it was amazing
Lemov spent years observing master teachers in the classroom, to discover their techniques. After spending 2 months observing classes, I agree with him! The best teachers I have seen use many of his techniques - i.e. not letting kids opt out, and pushing for the correct answer, instead of saying "yes" to a reply that isn't quite right. I appreciate the DVD clips of teachers using these skills. It's so helpful to see a book that proclaims that teaching isn't an art, but a skill - and can be learn ...more
Nov 11, 2012 Rnitz2012 rated it it was amazing
This book taught me pretty much everything I know about teaching in an inner city setting. The concrete, specific advice can't be beat! Having seen these techniques put into practice, I know firsthand that they really work! Although it can be a little overwhelming at first, each technique is really stand alone. Once you've mastered one skill, you can move on to the next one. Each one will make you a better teacher and communicator once you've learned them. I can't wait to put this into practice!
Erin Sterling
Aug 11, 2014 Erin Sterling rated it really liked it
Why was this not required reading when I was in graduate school for teaching? This book should be in every teaching 101 curriculum because it gives practical and researched techniques for teachers to use in the classroom. Some of them are familiar, but there are a number I am looking forward to implementing. Easy to follow, easy to read, and really great for anyone who is a teacher or thinking about becoming one.
John Sweeney
Aug 07, 2011 John Sweeney rated it it was amazing
Doug Lemov offers sensible, practical advice for teachers. Complaints that Lemov works with.charter schools are beside the point; he discusses techniques any committed teacher can do in his or her classroom to maximize student learning. I wish I'd had this book as a follow-up to Harry Wong back when I began teaching. As it is, this book has me psyched about starting year 13.
Yutai Liao
Feb 02, 2014 Yutai Liao rated it really liked it
Shelves: education-reform
Have you ever thought to yourself, I have a passion for subject [_______], I totally know my stuff, and am good at explaining it to people.

If I ever had to teach, I bet I'd be pretty good, inspiring even.

Well... you might well be! But not for a while, and getting there will be hard.

If you don't believe me, read through this collection of proven techniques for some of the most successful teachers out there.

After reading this, I am starting to think of teachers as athletes. There are so many fu
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  • Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement
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  • Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children's Learning
  • In the Middle: New Understandings about Writing, Reading, and Learning
  • Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students by Their Brains
  • The Daily Five
  • Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56
  • The Art of Teaching Reading
  • I Read It, but I Don't Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers
  • When Kids Can't Read-What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6-12
  • Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction
  • Fires in the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from High School Students
  • Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction, [Book, CD & DVD]
  • Never Work Harder Than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching
  • What Great Teachers Do Differently: Fourteen Things That Matter Most
  • Guiding Readers and Writers: Teaching Comprehension, Genre, and Content Literacy

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