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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

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…


01.23.18 They Were Skeptical But They Agreed to Try

  Got an email from a colleague this morning who’s using TLAC techniques in his school. He’d recently come to our “Ratio” training, which focuses on how to make more classrooms where students do the cognitive work and was now doing training and support for teachers back at his school. (If you’ve come to our workshops…


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…


09.22.15 Tales of a Positive Outlier, Part 3: Nicole Willey’s Show Call (Video)

If you’ve seen the first two clips I’ve shared from Nicole Willey’s classroom at Leadership Prep Ocean Hill Elementary Academy, you’ll be thrilled to know there’s still more to come– and that the clip I’m sharing today might just be the most replicable of the batch. Nicole’s Check for Understanding was pretty killer. Her positive touch was…