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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

09.30.20 Online Turn & Talk with Ben Esser

Turn & Talk is a key tool for building Participation Ratio in a bricks and mortar classroom. It’s not too different online where the use of breakout rooms allows us to replicate it with decent fidelity. Even though it involves the use of breakout rooms we still call the technique Turn & Talk because we think…


12.19.19 How Sadie McCleary Manages Student Participation (Video)

Happy Holidays, friends. I give you the gift of outstanding video to send you off into your winter break. This clip is of Sadie McCleary’s class. She’s a Chemistry teacher at Western Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina. Generally this clip will inspire you- it’s such a beautiful example of how careful attention to building…


05.15.19 How Does Pacing Work? Ask Ben Esser!

Next year we’re re-working our Engaging Academics workshop to spend more time on the techniques teachers use to manage their Pacing–to make a lesson feel fresh,exciting and new even while it lingers on a key topic for a sustained period of time–to make learning substantive and rigorous but to also ensure sustained attention from students. This…


01.07.19 Things To Do When You Don’t Get Many Hands

In the annals of being a teacher, hoping to see 20 eager hands raised when you’ve asked a question but seeing only two or three instead is among the most common challenges. Since this blog is a judgment free zone I just want to say it’s ok. We have all, every single one of us, been…


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…