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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

09.23.16 A Few Minutes with Literacy Expert Tim Shanahan

Tim Shanahan is one of the country’s foremost experts on literacy. He’s a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he founded and directed its Center for Literacy. Though he understands the research on reading as well as anyone in the field, he’s also done plenty of real-world work, having been principal…

04.06.16 Using Sensitivity Analysis to build students’ “ear” for writing

  Here are the first three paragraphs of Kurt Vonnegut’s classic short story, “Harrison Bergeron”: HARRISON BERGERON THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was…

03.10.16 Three Reasons Why Close Reading is Important

Chapter two of Reading Reconsidered discusses Close Reading.   There’s a lot to discuss, some of which I’ve shared in other blog posts (also here and here).  But here, I just want to share the rationale.  To Erica Colleen and me, there are three especially compelling reasons why Close Reading is so important: First, Close Reading helps defend…

11.15.15 Preventing the “Gist” Discussion: A Daily Template for Close Reading

Recently I observed a very good high school reading teacher leading a lesson that did a lot of things well. But the lesson also struggled with some very common challenges, especially around the idea of Close Reading (a topic we discuss extensively in our forthcoming book Reading Reconsidered) and it got some of us at TLaC…

05.28.15 Close Reading our Definition of Close Reading

Colleen, Erica, and I are about to put our manuscript of Reading Reconsidered to bed.  One of the most important chapters is on Close Reading, and Close Reading has a definition problem.  We set out to start our discussion of it with a rock-solid definition and that process required a bit of Close Reading in and…

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