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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

11.24.19 Field Trips Benefit from Background Knowledge, Too

Last week I wrote a post about hands-on learning, and how what seemed like a rich experience–launching rockets–might not be so useful if students didn’t know what they were looking at. On the other hand if students had been primed with knowledge beforehand they could observe relevant things and increase their knowledge by adding detail to…


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…