All Kinds of Ratio

Apr 3, 2017 | by Janice Smith

When I was teaching and coaching teachers on a daily basis in classrooms, one thing I thought about constantly was ratio.  It started as simply work ratio, but the more classrooms I observed and the more teachers I talked with, it quickly became a bit more complicated.*

The simple tag ‘Ratio‘ over time got broken up into the following sub-categories. (If you click on any of them, it’ll take you to a list of all the videos in the library with that tag):

Each of these requires their own individual focus, as each can look a little different. SO, in the Mission 100% Library we’ve now created a Collection titled ‘Ratio: Heavy Lifting‘, which contains 10 different examples of how teachers from across the country, in a variety of grades, improve the Heavy Lifting ratio in their classrooms.  Over the next couple of months we’ll be creating (and growing) collections for each of the four ratios we’ve identified in the Framework, so stay tuned!

When we think about the Heavy Lifting Ratio in a classroom, I am focused intently on who is doing the work for how much of the lesson.  It can be easy as a teacher to pick up the workload when students aren’t getting it, when they ask questions, or just because we haven’t planned purposefully for giving them opportunities to work & practice.  There are chances at pretty much every point in the lesson to improve the Heavy Lifting Ratio, but a couple easy places to start (and some areas that videos in this collection tend to focus on) are:

  • Guided Practice.
  • When posing questions (wait time).
  • When students answer correctly.
  • When students answer incorrectly.
  • When students are asking questions.

In this clip, we see Sasha Mills during a phonics lesson with her Kindergarteners, and we see many examples of how she maintains a high bar for students, and keeps the Heavy Lifting ratio strong in favor of the students.

*This is how I feel about the majority of the Framework for 100%.  When we first started creating it, we debated constantly whether to aim for fewer tags (more simplicity, easier to use), or more tags (more properly identifying the nuances of teacher moves).  Eventually we decided on more.  If teaching truly is an art and a science, we found it challenging to clump complicated moves into bigger categories that didn’t properly identify exactly what that teacher was doing.  
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