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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

01.10.19 Ms. Pacheco’s Kindergarten and the Importance of “Tracking, Not Watching”

      Wanted to take a moment to share a really lovely and elegant video from Narlene Pacheco’s kindergarten classroom at Partnership NYC’s Immaculate Conception School in the Bronx. Narlene’s teaching demonstrates a lot of elements of the Check for Understanding (CFU) technique, most of all Tracking Not Watching– the idea that careful observation for…


01.08.18 How Freedom Prep’s Jasmine Howard Checks for Understanding

  We’ve spent this past year working with Freedom Prep, a network of 4 high-performing schools in Memphis. The goal  for us is to help them take their program to the next level, and the journey has been a rich one–the team at Freedom Prep is dedicated, smart and insightful and their schools are bright, warm,…


12.19.13 Meg Reuler’s Handouts

Yesterday I blogged about how well Meg Reuler used intentional observation to help her Check for Understanding.  I noted: Meg has ensured that every student is working off the same packet and the packet is designed to allow her to collect data quickly and efficiently. Students all write their definition and not the word charge in…


12.18.13 Meg Reuler and the Art of Checking for Understanding

Teaching, arguably, comes down to replacing the answer to the question ‘did you teach it?’ with the answer to the question ‘did they learn it?’  This is known as Check for Understanding (CFU). Doing CFU successfully involves gathering ‘real time’ data, as you teach, and this applies to teaching in pretty much every venue in which…