Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

07.12.23How Katie Jukes Builds Contagious Enthusiasm for Learning

Contagious Enthusiasm for Learning



Last week I posted a really lovely video of Beth Peakman’s Cold Call and Wait Time at Rivers Primary Academy in Walsall, England.  Today I get to share another video from the same school. This one is of Katie Jukes’ year two maths lesson. It shows how Katie builds contagious enthusiasm for learning.


Katie kicks things off by asking her students what operation they’d need to use to distribute 20 bananas equally. As Ashby (Ashley?) reads the problem aloud you’ll notice that Katie praises his beautiful reading, but if you look carefully you’ll also notice four or five pupils giving Ashby a thumbs up. Katie has “wired” her classroom to allow and encourage students to send each other signals of belonging and appreciation when they give effort, and she is careful to draw attention to it when students use those signals. She notes the “lovely appreciation” from Ashby’s peers, which causes them to be more likely to appreciate one another and causes the speaker to notice more the signals of peer approval he’s getting as he reads.

“So,” Katie asks, “what operation do I need to use?” After a nice bit of Wait Time in which she builds Culture of Error by noting that the problem is “a tricky one,” she notices hands raised by about half the class- but she’s not satisfied with that. Yes, it means she can probably get a right answer from someone… but it doesn’t suggest that everyone understands. So she uses what we call a “responsive Turn and Talk”: “Ok, not everybody’s hand’s quite up yet so, talk to your partner. Tell them. What do you need to use and why?”

The room crackles to life–sign of a well-installed core academic routine [note if you’d like your classroom to look more like that, you can join us for a day’s training on Academic Systems in August]–and she offers lots of encouragement.  Coming out of the Turn and Talk you can see that a larger number of hands are now raised, but still she encourages hand raising behavior by Narrating Hands: “Let’s see, whose hands have I got this time. Loads this side of the room. can I get more this side? Wow! Nearly everybody.” This is such an important move. Students who raise their hands with the intent to speak are those who have answered in their heads. That is, Katie is multiplying the number of students who have already answered her question and also encouraging them to send a signal to their peers that their enthusiasm for learning and willingness to take risks are normal in Katie’s classroom.

After Daisy answers and Sagan builds off of and explains Daisy’s thinking, Katie again expresses appreciation for their work herself and also points out and reinforces (“magnifies”, you might say) the appreciation their peers are expressing. She is building a norm, and people’s perception of a shared norm, Peps Mccrea reminds us, is the biggest influence on their behavior and motivation. Subtly, as Katie works, her students are coming to think: My peers approve of me when I try hard in school.

The next question she asks is harder: “What question do I need to write?” Here again there are hands, and here again Katie Narrates Hands, expressing appreciation to more students than she can call on and reinforcing effort and the willingness to take risks. “Chase is having a go,” she says. “Ten hands. Can I get any more? Wow. Eleven. Twelve! Jake’s now being really courageous. Thank you. So is Ethan” There’s lots of wait time for students to work it out and the eager hands keep coming before Gabrielle caps the sequence with an excellent answer.

It’s lovely stuff all around, and Katie’s management of her Means of Participation–robust and intentional routines for the way students participate like Turn and Talking and raising hands–causes everyone to be a part of the learning.

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2 Responses to “How Katie Jukes Builds Contagious Enthusiasm for Learning”

  1. July 15, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    This is really insightful. Thanks!

  2. Anna Deng
    July 25, 2023 at 2:08 am

    wonderful technique. Learnt a lot from it.

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