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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

01.14.15 On Reading and Building Knowledge: My Morning “Behind Enemy Lines”

This morning I got up early to write.  At about 6:30 I wandered into the living room to find that my daughter was downstairs already, sitting quietly over the heat vent- it was negative five degrees Fahrenheit here this morning.  I needed to get some work done, but my rule is, I work until my kids…


03.22.14 Putting a Bow On It: A Brief Note on Text Selection

I just wrote a post about Turn and Talks here.  I hope it was useful.  In re-reading it, I was struck by another commonality among the three classrooms I described in the post and wanted to put a bow on it.  Not only are the amazing classrooms of Rue Ratray, Maggie Johnson and Eric Snider highly…


03.13.14 Rue Ratray and “Sensitivity Analysis” in Reading Classes (Video)

When we teach math we try to develop number sense- a broader intuition for how numbers work, an affinity for the logic of how they fit together. When we set out to teach ‘number sense’ one tool we often use is a simple version of “sensitivity analysis.” We ask students to evaluate the effect of changes…


03.10.14 Reading Check Boxes: Little Things With Big Muscles:

 Little Things Have Big Muscles: On the Teach Like a Champion team, that’s our motto.  Aliquam magna est res musculi in Latin, apparently.  First draft of the Coat of Arms below.  Comments welcome. But seriously, in analyzing the classroom materials of teachers at Leadership Prep Bed Stuy Middle Academy the other day we found one of…


01.06.14 Doing More with Less: On Short, Intensive Embedded Non-Fiction and The Giver

Rue Ratray, an English teacher at Boston’s high-performing  Brooke Charter Schools, sent me a note this morning to ask about embedding non-fiction. He’s reading The Giver with his 6th graders, and anyone reading The Giver pretty much gets my immediate attention. (It’s my favorite work of youth fiction, as I discussed here.) Rue was wondering about the…