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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

08.12.19 A Lesson in Sustained Focus: Rachel Harley’s English Class

Earlier this week I wrote about how important the ability to sustain focus is to almost every worthy cognitive endeavor, and how it is harder and harder to achieve that in a society that fractures our concentration and fragments our time. As I discussed in this review, your average time on task as an adult is…


08.10.19 Knowledge Only Adds to Reading; I Don’t See How It Subtracts

My team and I have spent the last year developing a knowledge-driven English curriculum and watching teachers pilot the lessons with their classes. One of the biggest takeaways is how much the students enjoy it. The lessons are unusually joyful. In fact one of our favorite clips on joy–I blogged about it here–was of Sarah Wright…


08.08.19 A Few Highlights–and Some Samples–from Our Reading Curriculum

We’ve been working on a middle grade Reading Curriculum (or is it an English Curriculum?) for the past year. It’s built around high-quality complex novels and designed to implement many of the ideas in Reading Reconsidered- Plus in terms of its approach to writing and background knowledge, it seeks to go where no curriculum has gone…


08.08.19 Confusing “Innovative” and “Effective”

Read this story on Michael Goldstein’s recommendation. https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2019/08/07/somerville-won-million-open-new-high-school-and-went-downhill-from-there/MP7qyc7EsBY8SbNl2qdz1M/story.html (Rule of thumb: If Mike says it’s good, read it.)The article describes founder of a proposed new school in Somerville where kids would learn through projects that they designed and would learn what they wanted. It got voted down. The article says, “The plan pulls from best practices…