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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

06.26.15 On Vocabulary: How to write a definition

My team and I have been on a vocabulary binge, watching lesson after lesson to pick up best practices and commonalities among teachers. We see brilliant things but even so, we can’t use all of the video. One single factor makes more vocabulary lessons unusable as exemplars than any other. Want to guess what it is?…


06.17.15 Thank You For (Cold) Calling on Me…

At Troy Prep, one of our Uncommon Schools, graduating 8th graders traditionally write thank you notes. They write them to anyone they want–teachers, parents etc.–for anything they want.  Principal, Lauren Catlett, recently shared a few with me. The notes are lovely and gracious. They include comments like: “Mr. Belanger, Ms. Hernandez and Ms Strand, thank you…


06.15.15 Reading: The Perfect Father’s Day Gift

This year, when my wife perfunctorily asked me, “Is there anything you need for Father’s Day?” and started to turn away (there’s never been a “yes” to this question), I surprised her…. “Actually…” This year I realized there really was something that I wanted and my kids were the only people who could give the gift….


06.12.15 Headline: Teachers Prove Technology Experts Wrong?

Previous predictions of the future of ed-tech looked like this. Teachers mostly just went about their business.   I came across this article in EdWeek by Benjamin Herold on Thursday.  It bemoans the woeful use of educational technology by teachers and starts off with this observation: A mountain of evidence indicates that teachers have been painfully…