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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

01.06.17 Building Academic Vocabulary: A Postcard from Jo Facer’s Classroom

A few weeks ago we shot video at the Michaela School in London- truly a thought-provoking and inspirational place. I’ve just started in watching the footage, beginning with Jo Facer’s English class, and have already found a dozen moments I’m going to cut video of. But for now I just want to share a photo of…


12.20.16 My Favorite No: Mistaking Knowledge Problems for Skill Problems

    At our workshops we sometimes show a great video called “My Favorite No.” In it, math teacher Leah Alcala gives her students a key problem to solve and chooses a ‘favorite’ student mistake to show and discuss. She calls the mistake her “favorite no” because it reveals an error that is common to much…


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…


01.14.15 On Reading and Building Knowledge: My Morning “Behind Enemy Lines”

This morning I got up early to write.  At about 6:30 I wandered into the living room to find that my daughter was downstairs already, sitting quietly over the heat vent- it was negative five degrees Fahrenheit here this morning.  I needed to get some work done, but my rule is, I work until my kids…


03.22.14 Putting a Bow On It: A Brief Note on Text Selection

I just wrote a post about Turn and Talks here.  I hope it was useful.  In re-reading it, I was struck by another commonality among the three classrooms I described in the post and wanted to put a bow on it.  Not only are the amazing classrooms of Rue Ratray, Maggie Johnson and Eric Snider highly…