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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

11.15.19 Christine Torres Crushes the ‘Habits of Discussion’

Every time I watch Christine Torres teach I am inspired. Christine is the Middle School Academic Dean at Springfield Prep in Springfield, MA and a fifth grade teacher there. She is a teacher of truly epic skill and spirit. To prove it I am going to show you six minutes from her classroom in which she…


11.13.19 The Paper Rocket: Thoughts on Improving ‘Hands-On’ Learning

A couple of weeks ago, I asked my littlest what was going on in Science. It’s her favorite class so it doesn’t take much to get some chatter going. She announced with no small amount of excitement that they were going to be building and flying rockets later that week. “Oh, cool,” I said, “Are you…


10.30.19 My “Hot Take” on NAEP Reading Scores

NAEP scores are out today. Reading scores are lower. Especially post-elementary. This quote is telling: “NAEP Scores: While the 1-point decrease among fourth-grade students is small, the 3-point decline among eighth-graders is substantial, federal officials said.” I think a “hot take” is what you call it when you use social media to make an instant semi-thought-through…


10.13.19 Lesson Preparation: How Christine Torres Prepares To Teach

A few weeks ago I began work on the latest revision to Teach Like A Champion, what will become version 3.0 in about a year’s time. One of the biggest changes will be with Chapter 4, which is going to shift focus from Lesson Planning to Lesson Preparation, which are the things you do after your…


09.27.19 Darren Hollingsworth’s Threshold: How do you not start at happy?

Yesterday I posted a video of Trona Cenac-Joseph’s Threshold at Troy Prep–it was a beautiful example of a teacher bringing warmth and caring to a setting in which there was also much to be done to ensure learning. Today, reviewing film we just shot at from Great Yarmouth Charter Academy, I was struck by the same…