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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

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…


09.23.16 A Few Minutes with Literacy Expert Tim Shanahan

Tim Shanahan is one of the country’s foremost experts on literacy. He’s a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he founded and directed its Center for Literacy. Though he understands the research on reading as well as anyone in the field, he’s also done plenty of real-world work, having been principal…


04.06.16 Using Sensitivity Analysis to build students’ “ear” for writing

  Here are the first three paragraphs of Kurt Vonnegut’s classic short story, “Harrison Bergeron”: HARRISON BERGERON THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was…


03.10.16 Three Reasons Why Close Reading is Important

Chapter two of Reading Reconsidered discusses Close Reading.   There’s a lot to discuss, some of which I’ve shared in other blog posts (also here and here).  But here, I just want to share the rationale.  To Erica Colleen and me, there are three especially compelling reasons why Close Reading is so important: First, Close Reading helps defend…