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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

01.10.19 Ms. Pacheco’s Kindergarten and the Importance of “Tracking, Not Watching”

      Wanted to take a moment to share a really lovely and elegant video from Narlene Pacheco’s kindergarten classroom at Partnership NYC’s Immaculate Conception School in the Bronx. Narlene’s teaching demonstrates a lot of elements of the Check for Understanding (CFU) technique, most of all Tracking Not Watching– the idea that careful observation for…


01.09.19 Sample Lessons For The Giver From Our Middle Level English Curriculum

    I’ve been blogging quite a bit this year about the English Curriculum my team is writing. I shared an overview of our goals and methods here. I shared some examples of how we’re approaching vocabulary here. I shared some examples of the ‘sensitivity analysis’ questions we use for Close Reading here. I reflected on…


01.07.19 Things To Do When You Don’t Get Many Hands

In the annals of being a teacher, hoping to see 20 eager hands raised when you’ve asked a question but seeing only two or three instead is among the most common challenges. Since this blog is a judgment free zone I just want to say it’s ok. We have all, every single one of us, been…


01.04.19 Building Mental Engagement Among Athletes Through Questioning

Coaches love to ask questions to help their athletes understand the decisions they must make during performance. This is especially true in group invasion games like soccer (football), rugby, basketball and hockey–games that require an especially high degree of coordination and shared decision-making. One potential problem with asking questions of athletes is making sure that the…


12.11.18 Studying Theme and Variation with TNTP

Theme and Variation both matter.   Dan Cotton leads our team’s collaboration with TNTP. I asked him to compile a short post about the most recent session. Earlier this year, Doug wrote about our conversation with a set of colleagues from TNTP and the importance of de-silo-fication when designing training. During a more recent conversation we…