I talked to many of my student teachers about embedding callbacks, embedding praise, embedding celebrations, embedding differentiation, and embedding reteaching (In case you didn't pick up in it, the key word here is embedding.). The best example of this that I can share is in this video from 2009, which demonstrates how a master teacher makes it all fit together. The teacher here is Ron Clark from the Ron Clark Academy in inner-city Atlanta, Georgia.
I sat in the same seat as the person taking this video, and I watched a different lesson in which many of these things happened as well. I took the ideas back to my classroom and made them work for my own teaching style.
Suddenly, callbacks and praise were more comfortable and authentic when they were a natural part of the lesson. They were no longer out of context and disjointed, and they kept things moving and energetic. Suddenly, kids were more fully engaged and had a greater joy of learning!
Watch this video with all of this in mind. Turn the volume all the way up and listen with earbuds or headphones if you can (Some of it can be hard to hear.). It should be worth your while: there are so many great things to notice.
- 0:09 Student provides the process, not just the answer.
- 0:23 Embedded praise/callback - Teacher prompts classwide applause followed be callback which includes positive peer support.
- 0:30 Teacher's voice changes, indicating that he expects an overt group response.
- 0:45 Teacher embeds reteaching, though I suspect he's just showing off for the visitors; it is still a demonstration of a good method. Again, notice his voice changes tone, speed, and volume.
- 1:15 Teacher does not allow a student to answer out of sync with the rest of the class.
- 1:23 Notice that student voices also change in response to the teacher's change of tone.
- 1:30 Where are the students' eyes? Always in the speaker.
- 1:43 Embedded celebration - students are up, coordinated, and energetic.
- 1:54 Be impressed by how quickly students get back in their seats and the teacher picks right back up with the lesson.
- 2:11 Embedded differentiation - Teacher asks a student who needs the reinforcement of this rule.
- 2:15 This answer is almost like a callback, because it's a predetermined rule of math. They have clearly practiced the answer many times in context.
- 2:24 Embedded praise - "I'm so proud of y'all." This is broad praise to include the whole class.
- 2:31 This might be a small embedded brain break; at any rate, these add up to allowing students movement throughout the lesson, and the teacher doesn’t have schedule a separate time in the day for a break.
- 2:51 Here is another energetic callback of sorts: they've done this before.
- 2:54 They don't miss a beat! Be impressed again with how quickly the lesson continues, with nearly perfect eye contact on the teacher.
- 3:00 Suddenly, the teacher asks a girl (off screen) for a step to solving the problem, and she does not provide the correct response (This may be my favorite part of the whole lesson.). Notice, the teacher does not call on another student to give the right answer: he stays with the one who needs more assistance.
- 3:16 Another student raises his hand, wanting to show that he has a better answer than the first kid. The teacher does not allow this. He doesn't even look at the kid; he maintains tight eye contact with the student who needs extra coaching.
- 3:36 She’s still giving the wrong answer, but the teacher doesn’t give up on her.
- 3:42 When the teacher walks closer to her, other students track the conversation with their eyes. Their attention is not allowed to wander.
- 4:07 Student is still unsure of her answer.
- 4:17 The struggling student still gets applause and praise for working through everything and being put on the spot.
- 4:29 End of lesson - Embedded celebration like you’ve never seen. I couldn’t work out all the logistics, but we did do a form of this in my classroom (only when the class earned it).
- 4:45 These desks are specially made, and this is a private school. I recommend against you or your students getting on the desks and chairs in your classroom.
- 5:14 Teachers goes directly into the next lesson - American history - not letting a moment go to waste. Students quickly get back into place and reestablish eye contact (but not fast enough for the teacher - 5:18).
Again, every bit of this requires practice with a class, so don’t expect it to work perfectly on the first try (though you may be surprised what can happen if you're brave).