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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

10.30.17 Some Ideas for Sourcing Embedded Nonfiction

  One of the most frequent comments we get about the idea of embedding nonfiction articles in primary texts is:  “I love the idea, but where do I find the articles?” Generally we think this is a great place for schools to coordinate and information share–and as an aside we are working on developing lesson materials…


10.25.17 A Front the Writing Discussion Template (And the Feedback We Got On It)

At our recent Ratio workshop in London we shared this sample page from a  student work packet.  It’s designed to help structure a student discussion about a text, though it could be adapted to any content. The idea is that it asks students to write a response to a discussion question before they discuss it.  Then…


10.20.17 How Eric Snider Rolls Out His Discussion Procedures

  We’ve been watching a lot of footage of the first weeks of school lately—observing how top teachers set expectations and install systems that they’ll use throughout the year.  We recently watched a clip of Achievement First Bushwick Middle School’s Eric Snider teaching his students to have productive discussions. My colleague Maggie Johnson loved it and…


10.06.17 Cold Call for Coaches: Atlanta United’s Mike Lynch Dials It In

  The benefits of using Cold Call in the classroom are pretty clear. It helps ensure that students are always mentally ‘on’ during a lesson and it allows teachers to question quickly and efficiently, especially to make sure that students know what they need to know—to Check for Understanding. These ideas are critical in a coaching…


10.06.17 Using the Do Now for Retrieval Practice–An Update from Alex Laney

  A year or so ago I wrote a post about Alex Laney’s Do Nows at Smith’s Wood Academy in Birmingham, England.  Since then Alex has kept in touch and he recently shared some insights about the school’s new approach to Do Nows or (as they call them) DNAs. Most notably, given the very compelling research…