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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

05.23.18 Narrating Positive Behavior: Talking To Students vs Talking About Students

  Recently I visited a school that used a lot of Narrate the Positive. Class would start. At the beginning of class a typical teacher would say, “Please take two minutes to answer question #1 in writing. Go!”  As kids started working the teacher would say something like. “Charles has pencil to paper.  Anjulina is getting…


05.18.18 Examples of Text Dependent Questions from Today’s Workshop

One of the activities at our Reading Reconsidered workshop today asked participants to draft Text Dependent Questions about the first two paragraphs of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, on which Colleen had taught an amazing close reading lesson. We gave people this chart describing types of Text Dependent Questions (TDQs) at different level Out Zoom In…


05.18.18 Amazing Source of Five-Plagues Aligned Texts

We’re in Albany today with 150 amazing folks at our Reading Reconsidered workshop. Earlier this morning we discussed the five plagues of the developing reader–five common challenges that make complex text difficult for students and that are not captured by quantitative measures of text complexity such as Lexiles. We discussed the example of Lord of the…


05.04.18 We Are Writing a Language Arts Curriculum!

  This is kind of an exciting announcement. Maybe a scary one too. My team and I have decided to write a Language Arts (i.e. English) Curriculum.  We’re going to start with the middle grades (4-8) and expand from there. With a little luck we hope to have it ready for schools to use a year…