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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

08.13.20 On Writing: A Balanced Healthy Diet

Just sat in on a few minutes on our own Emily Badillo and Jen Rugani training teachers to use our new reading curriculum. They were discussing the three types of prompts we use and how and why we balance them, and shared this slide with examples from our unit on Brown Girl Dreaming. The first prompt…


05.31.18 Formative Versus Summative Writing Prompts-Some Examples

  We’ve been doing a lot of work lately on three types of writing–Formative, Summative and Developmental.  I wrote recently about the differences among them here for example.  And here Ashley LaGrassa wrote about how using more formative prompts allowed her students to engage more comfortable in challenging work. Today I want to share further thoughts…


03.06.18 Ashley LaGrassa: How Formative Writing Built Buy-In and Engagement

TLAC Fellow Ashley LaGrassa, an 8th grade English teacher at Rochester Prep has spent much of this year studying writing in the classroom with us. One of the topics we’ve talked about quite a bit is the synergy between formative and summative writing. Summative writing asks students to write a final response, to have an opinion…


11.13.17 Three Types of Writing in the Classroom

This is the first of several posts I hope to write about writing—why it is important and how despite our best intentions, I think we can teach and practice it better. Some context: I’ve visited a series of better-than-average and mostly-very-good schools recently—perhaps ten in at least three states—and afterwards I find myself thinking most of all…