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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

01.11.15 Maggie Johnson: How Derek Pollak Excavates Error (Video)

With Teach Like a Champion 2.0 lining the shelves of a book store near you, we’re back at the tiller at TLaC Towers, studying and learning from teachers.  Recently we watched a lesson of Derek Pollak’s at North Star High School and were pretty inspired.  We liked this clip in particular and Maggie Johnson volunteered to…


11.19.14 The Secret History of the Outsiders Movie

Lord knows I feel some misgivings about my favorite books–my favorite teaching books–being made into movies.  I wrote about my Giver angst here for example.  But superstar English teacher Maggie Johnson sent me this note about the making of The Outsiders and the role one plucky librarian played that’s almost worthy of a movie itself.  The…


03.12.14 On Planning for Reading, Part 3–Colleen on Maggie’s Close Reading

Lots of teachers out there are struggling with the idea of Close Reading. We’ve heard as much from folks after our reading workshops sometimes. They get that it’s important; they’re in favor of the idea; they’re eager to try it, but they find the planning and execution challenging. Two of the most frequently mentioned issues are…


03.07.14 On Planning for Reading, Part 2–Colleen Driggs on Maggie Johnson

In Part 2 of this slated-for-three-parts series on planning for reading lessons, ace reading teacher Colleen Driggs takes you through the lesson materials of fellow ace Maggie Johnson, explaining what’s so effective and how she does it.  It’s a bit like Georgia O’Keefe taking a few minutes to walk you through what’s so good about Mary…


03.07.14 On Planning for Reading, Part 1

We recently spent two days geeking out on Reading and the Common Core at a workshop up here in Albany with 180 of our closest friends from around the country. People left pretty excited about Close Reading and Non-Fiction, but a least a couple of school leaders have followed up with questions about planning, specifically about…