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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

11.20.18 Cognitive Road Theory: Using Cognitive Load Theory to Teach My Kids to Drive

    I’ve been reading up on Cognitive Load Theory quite a bit lately. Two of my favorite discussions are this one by education super-star and one-time Arsenal transfer target Adam Boxer and this one by the New South Wales (Australia) Dept of Education. It’s been useful among other places in my personal life, where I’m…


11.06.18 “No Need to Track Me”: Lesson in Culture Building at Freedom Prep

  I spent the day visiting Freedom Prep HS in Memphis today. There were lots of highlights, but I wanted to write about one classroom in particular- and specifically about a single phrase the teacher used that was simple, brilliant and useful to others. The teacher was Torian Black. He teaches 9th grade African-American History.  During…


10.25.18 Thoughts on Creativity and the Arts From an Amateur

I have no business writing about the arts. But my middle daughter is artistic. She draws and takes photographs. And watching her learn has led me to reflect on artistic creativity. I note that while I love the arts deeply and feel strongly about students getting access to serious instruction in them, I am a dilettante…


10.24.18 De-Silo-Fication And How To Do It

    I had a great conversation this week with a group of colleagues from TNTP about a concept I only have a not-very-helpful, made-up word to describe: de-silo-fication. The word refers to structuring training so that connected and separate topics don’t seem disconnected, especially when one of them requires urgent and intense focus in the…


10.23.18 Some Sensible TLAC Wisdom From MR WJ

I recently stumbled on a short video that a colleague in the UK, ‘MR WJ’ (aka, Lloyd Williams-Jones) made describing three TLAC techniques he uses: Cold Call, No Opt Out, and  Show Call. MR WJ TLAC from TLAC Blog on Vimeo. He’s very gracious with the praise… which I appreciate though I am also a bit…