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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

02.06.18 A Masterful No Opt Out by Denarius Frazier (Video)

Every once in a while, you come across an example of a teacher using a technique in the classroom that captures almost everything you wanted to say about it–Why a teacher would use it. How. It’s a case study in how to apply a tool to advance learning and it pushes your understanding of the idea…


11.17.17 Watching a Favorite Old Clip and Seeing Something New

This beautiful clip of Achievement First’s Summer Payne Cold Calling her kindergarten students is a throw back. I think we shot it in 2010.  For a couple of years it was a staple of our workshops. Somehow we haven’t used it in a while.  But it’s still so wonderful. And quite influential- I still go to…


10.06.17 Using the Do Now for Retrieval Practice–An Update from Alex Laney

  A year or so ago I wrote a post about Alex Laney’s Do Nows at Smith’s Wood Academy in Birmingham, England.  Since then Alex has kept in touch and he recently shared some insights about the school’s new approach to Do Nows or (as they call them) DNAs. Most notably, given the very compelling research…


10.03.17 Retrieval Practice: A Teachers’ Definition and Video Examples

  We’ve been reading up a lot on retrieval practice lately.  Hopefully we’re not alone in that. From a cognitive science standpoint it’s absolutely central to improving learning. You might recall  Daniel Willingham’s assertion about the importance of knowledge: Data from the last thirty years lead to a conclusion that is not scientifically challengeable: thinking well…


09.28.17 Nick Winkelman on Blocked, Serial and Random Practice

  I had the chance to visit a highly successful sports team earlier this week. It was the second time in a month I got to visit an elite organization in the sports sector and both visits were amazing because I learned so much- even in the ‘classroom,’ because in both cases the organizations had also…