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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

12.15.16 How to Practice: Nailing the Fundamentals with John Burmeister

Had a pretty amazing day in Chicago on Wednesday, talking teaching with a group of (mostly) MLS professional soccer coaches who are enrolled in US Soccer’s new Pro License course. The group includes guys who I admire as coaches and who I followed as players. I was a little bit starstruck… but I got over that…


11.24.16 Check for Understanding: Courtney Huber’s ‘Master Clip’ Shows How

This week in our video review meetings we cut a master clip of Courtney Huber, a fourth grade teacher at North Star Academy’s Vailsburg Elementary School in Newark.  We call it a master clip because it is a case study in the use of all the parts of Checking for Understanding woven together.  It starts as…


06.21.16 Tracking, Not Watching: A Field Guide 2.0 Excerpt

One of the most important skills for any teacher or coach is observing during independent practice. It’s one of the keys to Checking for Understanding. Joaquin Hernandez, Jen Kim and I put some new framing on this critical topic in the 2.0 version of the Teach Like a Champion Field Guide, which comes out in September. …


06.02.16 Where to begin: Prioritizing techniques for new teachers

My colleagues and I are in Westchester today talking behavior and culture with 160 or so educators. One participant brought up the perennial question that looms large in the minds of those who train new teachers: which technique(s) should we start with? When you’re discussing something as complex as teaching, there are obviously no right or…


01.13.16 Annals of Coaching: Planning for Error

One of the most effective activities we do with teachers–both at Uncommon Schools and in our  trainings–is planning for error (Plan for Error is Teach Like a Champion 2.0 technique #7).  The idea is that if you spend a few minutes before your lessons anticipating 1) what your students are likely to get wrong or misunderstand…