Teach Like A Champion #1: No Opt Out


This will mark the start of the series on Teach Like A Champion by Doug Lemov. I have been reading up on it and I think it’s one book every educator read and master 🙂

I like it so much I placed a link on it on the right sidebar. Check out the book on Amazon and purchase it.

It consists of 49 brilliant teaching strategies by expert teachers. The book details out how to use each strategy effectively in the classroom.

No Opt Out

The first strategy deals with making sure students can’t escape answering in class by saying “I don’t know.” This strategy is important because it maintains high expectations for the class and we all know  your students will adjust to your expectations.

You probably get frustrated when you get such answers in class and so you quickly move to the smart kids, those who know the answers. By doing this, the others don’t get a chance to recite in class. They are happy they are not called frequently because they know they can get away by saying “I don’t know.”

So the No Opt Out rule compels everyone in the class to meet high expectations and to grow their confidence in class discussions.

So how do you do that? The author suggests 4 ways.

1) You provide the answer, and the student repeats the answer.

So you repeat the question, and then the student give the answer.

2) Another student provides the answer, the student being called to answer repeats the answer.

So here, you get the ones knowing the answer to tell the answer. You then repeat the question to the one who did not know the answer and they should reply with the answer given by their peers.

Interestingly, this gives a boost of confidence to those academically inclined.

3) You give a clue, and the student uses it to find the answer.

I think this should be the first way in using this strategy before using the other methods. In this way, the student gets guided by you towards the answer instead of you giving the answer outright.

4) Another students gives a clue, and then the student being called to answer uses that clue to find the answer.

Perhaps if method three does not work, then this could be next method to try out. The beauty of this is you get other students involved in the discussion portion 🙂


Your turn! Do you use this strategy already? What has it done to your class?

If not, try it out and see the wonders it can do. Share in the comments below your experience with this strategy.

To get all the complete details on this strategy and the rest of the champion teaching strategies, purchase Teach Like a Champion.



Argee Abadines
Argee Abadines is the founder and chief content engineer of this website. He is a brain based educator and his educational interests are pedagogy, higher order thinking, creativity, and educational technology. He is also the founder of Bruner Learning Hub. He currently teaches high school business studies and economics. Previously, he taught English to primary students. He reads up regularly about trends in education and online media. You can visit his personal blog at pinoyminimalist.com

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