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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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01.29.15 From Reading Reconsidered- Embedding: The Full Story

Posting on embedding non-fiction earlier today made me realize I ought to post something defining the idea more clearly.  Here’s a very early draft of (part of) how Colleen, Erica and I discuss it in Reading Reconsidered. Embedding non-fiction is the process of pairing secondary non-fiction texts (usually non-narrative non-fiction) alongside a primary text in an…


01.29.15 Embedding Non-Fiction in A Single Shard

Colleen, Erica, and I have been toiling away at our forthcoming book on literacy, Reading Reconsidered.  One of the topics we discuss is non-fiction–the importance of reading more of it; the challenges of reading more of it; the importance of knowledge as both a cause and and effect of successful reading.  One of the key ideas…


01.28.15 Are You Throwing Dollars? [Updated]

To succeed in almost any classroom it helps to have a management system, a nexus of small scaled consequences and rewards you can use to process under-productive behavior and shape positive behavior efficiently and consistently.  When you add that to a classroom that includes:  • Discipline–a commitment to teaching students the right way to do things…


01.21.15 In Favor of Books

Working on Reading Reconsidered this morning, my book on reading with Colleen Driggs and Erica Woolway.  Found myself going a bit manifesto in this tiny–but strident–snippet on the power of teaching books–real books- the whole thing: We are strong believers in ‘the power of the book,’ of students building a sustained relationship with a text over…


01.20.15 On Annual Testing and Other Kinds of Spinach

First, a shout out to Martin West and Matthew Chingos for a really sensible and balanced assessment of the why and how of annual testing: why it matters so much and how it works, which in turn tells us why we need to do it every year. The net is this: It’s like spinach. We don’t…