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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

Welcome to Field Notes. I’ve named this blog to emphasize the idea that just about everything in my books is someone else’s brilliant idea. My idea was just to write it down. I like the role of the observer and think there’s a lot of power in it. Think about it—there isn’t a problem in teaching or learning that someone somewhere hasn’t solved. We just need to find them and take some field notes. So, join me here for discussion and observations related to Teach Like a Champion, Practice Perfect, and whatever else fits under the banner of teaching and practice.


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Teach Like a Champion 2.0 releases January 2015! Pre-order your copy now and sign-up for news about 2.0 here.

11.21.14 Brightening Lines–The Video

Spent the day leading a workshop on Pacing with 60 or so amazing teachers from around the Uncommon Schools network today.  Lotta fun; lotta insight; lotta practice. (So Uncommon). One of the things we’ve been studying  is using different types of activities to pursue a single objective to keep students engaged and to engage their minds…


11.20.14 Check For Understanding: Julia Goldenhiem’s 7th Grade English Class

Teach Like a Champion 2.0 starts with a brand new section on Check For Understanding: Two full chapters and 10 techniques answering four key questions: How do you better gather data about student mastery through asking students questions? How do you better gather data about student mastery by observing students? How do you make it easier…


11.19.14 The Secret History of the Outsiders Movie

Lord knows I feel some misgivings about my favorite books–my favorite teaching books–being made into movies.  I wrote about my Giver angst here for example.  But superstar English teacher Maggie Johnson sent me this note about the making of The Outsiders and the role one plucky librarian played that’s almost worthy of a movie itself.  The…


11.19.14 Emily Steffan: Practice Makes Positive

Emily Steffan, Assistant Principal at Batiste Cultural Arts Academy, a ReNew School in New Orleans, recently attended one of our Train the Trainer workshops in which we analyzed and discussed 8 or 9 key techniques for raising academic expectations and increasing engagement and practiced, practiced, practiced them.  After the workshop we had a great conversation about…


11.17.14 Dan Cotton on Vicki Hernandez modeling Check For Understanding 2.0

My colleague Dan Cotton, who’s guest posted here and here recently, visited Vicki Hernandez’s 7th Grade Science Class at Troy Prep Middle School a few days ago observing a lesson that made him wish he’d had his video camera.  He tried to capture some of what Vicki did in this write-up: A few days ago, I had the…