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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

09.25.13 On Call and Response and Rigor

Yesterday I was watching an outstanding kindergarten teacher teaching her little ones to read bar graphs.  She used Call and Response to help reinforce the definition of data.  “Another word for data is?” she would ask, with the class calling “information” in response. Her execution was pretty outstanding. The kids responded on-cue, crisply and with great…


09.17.13 On Field Trips (and a fascinating study in Educationnext)–Updated

A great article and analysis of field trips in the outstanding education journal EducatinNext this morning.  It describes a study in which authors Greene, Kisida and Bowen set out to assess whether field trips had a measurable effect on student learning.  First of all, I love the idea of trying to measure the learning value of…


09.04.13 Hyperboloid? Hyperboloid!

Heather Kirkpatrick is the Chief People Officer at Aspire Public Schools.  She’s one of the most insightful people I know and combines her insight with a ton of decency, humanity and humility.  So you pretty much want to take her advice when you get it.  Anyway, she read my recent post on “Rigor Collapse” and emailed this in…


08.03.13 On Text Complexity and Reading: Part 1, The Five Plagues of the Developing Reader

The Common Core standards, as you probably know, push teachers to read harder text. Specifically, the designers have suggested increasing difficulty level of the average text by two years.  We’re with them on the idea of harder texts but how to measure text difficulty is a challenge. Common Core uses Lexiles, a quantitative measure of sentence….


05.29.13 On Abuelita and the Perils of “Rounding Up”

Screening video with the team at Taxonomy Towers this morning.   We watched a second year teacher at work with her 6th grade reading students.  She’s a strong teacher whose classroom is productive and pretty rigorous… she asked them to write for sustained periods on demanding, rigorous and text based writing prompts about a very good and…