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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

08.08.20 A Rendezvous with the Importance of Pronunciation

My daughters just came downstairs giggling. My older daughter gently teasing my littlest for asking her in a game what the ren-dezz-vuss (i.e. rendezvous) point would be. “No silly,” said my elder. “Ron-day-voo.” But as I told my littlest, she should be proud. The mispronunciation meant that she’d learned the word through reading–she’d never heard it…


10.12.18 Examples of Active Vocabulary Practice from our New Curriculum

  We’re writing a reading curriculum (hooray!) and that means daily review of lesson plans for me, which is great fun and lots of learning. Thought I’d share some examples of how we do it from some recent lessons. Our vocabulary goal is to use lots of active practice to build word knowledge. Start with a…


04.25.17 Why Reading Aloud to Students is So Critical to Vocabulary

Last night, after reading aloud to my daughter and tucking her in, I was mopping up a bit of work from the day and came across this observation by Isabel Beck: “The source of later vocabulary learning shifts [as students get older] to written texts–what children read [as opposed to what they hear].  The problem is…


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…


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…