“Cold Call” is outlined in Doug Lemov’s book Teach Like a Champion. The move involves calling on students whether they have their hands up or not. The technique has the advantages of keeping the pace of the class moving, increasing the number of students a teacher can call on and elevating the level of student engagement. To be clear, it is important to normalize the routine in your classroom so that the Cold Call does not become stressful. You can see the move in action and read more about it in the links below.
Doug Lemov annotates a teacher using the move here.
Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Shaffer explains the Cold Call and shows what it looks like in her classroom.
A 2nd grade example here.
You can read a thorough description of the Cold Call here.
Boyd County Public Schools summarizes all 49 Teach Like a Champion moves here, including the Cold Call.
About Aaron Grossman
I am a 5th grade teacher at Roy Gomm Elementary in Reno, Nevada. I started working with elementary students as part of the Montana Reads program and AmeriCorps. In 2001, after graduating from the University of Montana and moving to Reno, Nevada, I student taught at Rita Cannan Elementary before receiving a 6th grade position at Veterans Elementary. I moved out of the classroom to be a Literacy Coordinator, then an Instructional Coach, and finally a School Improvement Program Coordinator. In 2011, I began working on the Nevada Academic Content Standards in the district’s Curriculum & Instruction Department. I returned to the classroom for the 2015-2016 school year to teach 4th grade at Huffaker Elementary.
Before returning to the classroom, I helped develop the Core Task Project that has been featured by National Public Radio, the Gates Foundation, American Radio Works, Eduwonk, the Fordham Institute, Vox, and the Center for American Progress. In 2014, I received the Leader to Learn From Award for my teacher-centered initiative and work to bring college, career, and civics ready outcomes into Northern Nevada classrooms (here).
In 2015, I was appointed by Governor Sandoval serve on the Statewide RPDP Council. The same year, Nevada’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero placed me on the state’s State Improvement Team. This year I will be part of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Teacher Advisory Group. I am Google Certified Educator and a Nevada Teacher Ambassador.
I believe strongly that teaching content is teaching reading and I make sure my students have ample opportunities to work with social studies, history, science and art outcomes. I do what I can to blend the learning for my students and this blog is part of that effort. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org