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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

03.07.14 On Planning for Reading, Part 1

We recently spent two days geeking out on Reading and the Common Core at a workshop up here in Albany with 180 of our closest friends from around the country. People left pretty excited about Close Reading and Non-Fiction, but a least a couple of school leaders have followed up with questions about planning, specifically about…


01.19.14 The Stack Audit: Bad Name Big Value

I just finished a chapter on writing in the classroom for TLAC 2.0.  In the chapter I describe a scene in which some teachers and I realized we needed more powerful tools to hold students accountable for their written lives in the classroom.  The solutions to that challenge are a big reason why there’s a whole…


01.13.14 At First Glance: A Sentence Starter Adds Unexpected Rigor to Writing

We wrapped up two days of workshops on Ratio on Friday. Ratio is the principle that it’s not whether the teacher gets a mental workout, but whether students do. Our workshops focus on building two types of Ratio, Participation Ratio (who’s engaged in the lesson and how often) and Think Ratio (how rigorous is the cognitive…


10.18.13 Syntax Play: Trading Ideas with David Didau

Just had a really nice Twitter exchange with UK blogger/teacher David Didau in which we mutually geeked out on the importance of teaching writing by teaching the craft of idea development one sentence at a time– an idea I like to call “Art of  the Sentence” and which is going to get a big fat clump…


03.21.13 The Art of the Sentence

Over the past few years I’ve come to believe more and more strongly in the power of the sentence as a tool for developing proficiency in reading and writing.  The fundamental problem, for students who don’t write or read as well as they could, is often that they aren’t good enough at creating sentences that capture…