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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

09.26.19 Two Great Coaching Videos from John Leonzo

Last week I had the pleasure of doing an interview with John Leonzo on his basketball coaching podcast, Full Timeout. John is assistant coach of women’s basketball at Cedarville University. In addition to a great conversation about coaching and teaching, he mentioned in the intro that he had a website where he posted coaching videos. I…


09.26.19 Strong Voice, Register Shifts and Warm/Strict: Ms. Cenac Greets Her Students

Strong Voice is a critical tool for teachers. They need to manage a room, ensure directions are followed, make sure students listen–those things come with the territory. If you can’t do them, you can’t do your job. That doesn’t mean Strong Voice can’t also be warm and caring even while it helps us set expectations. In…


09.25.19 How ‘Standards’ Work In Our New Reading Curriculum

In her new book, ‘The Knowledge Gap,’ Natalie Wexler writes, “Cognitive scientists have known for decades [that] the most important factor in reading comprehension is not generally applicable skills like finding the main idea — it’s how much knowledge and vocabulary the reader has.” We agree and our new Reading curriculum is designed to build background…


09.19.19 Writing About ‘Mice and Men’: Some Examples from Our Curriculum

As many readers of this blog know we are developing a Reading curriculum. We’ve tried to be writing-intensive and to use writing to help students make sense of complex texts and ideas. I thought I’d share some examples from our unit on Of Mice and Men. These were written by Emily DiMatteo and show the range…


09.16.19 Call and Response and other forms of “Teacher Catnip”

I spent much of the weekend re-reading Robert Pondiscio’s fantastic book. How the Other Half Learns, his tale of a year inside the eminently successful Success Academy charter network. Yes, I have thoughts on the larger lessons and implications of the book. At some point I may share them though I’m still thinking it through. For…