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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

06.19.17 Unpacking How Will Beller Unpacks All Quiet on the Western Front

We spent some of last week watching footage of teachers from Partnership for Inner City Education– a group of Catholic schools in NYC whose mission is to develop outstanding schools that serve low-income students. We love their work generally- what’s not to love about insightful, mission-driven people making every school a little better every day- so we…


01.17.17 How Dani Quinn Uses Show Me to Check for Understanding

Dani Quinn is a math teacher at the Michaela School in London. We recently video-taped her lesson and, in watching, I was struck right away by her Check for Understanding. She constantly used Show Me (technique #5 in TLaC) to assess students as she taught and she used that data to guide her lesson. And she…


11.24.16 Check for Understanding: Courtney Huber’s ‘Master Clip’ Shows How

This week in our video review meetings we cut a master clip of Courtney Huber, a fourth grade teacher at North Star Academy’s Vailsburg Elementary School in Newark.  We call it a master clip because it is a case study in the use of all the parts of Checking for Understanding woven together.  It starts as…


12.11.15 “He Worked it Out!”: Emilie Tarraf’s Culture of Error (Video)

We’re talking Check for Understanding at our Engaging Academics workshop in Albany this morning- specifically how great teachers normalize growth mindset–struggling forward, errors and all–and make that seem like the most normal thing in the world.  This is critically important because if students try to hide their mistakes from their teachers it is 10x harder to…


11.06.15 A Tiny Little Thought-Post on Growth Mindset for Grownups

Look, we know we want the kids to have a growth mindset and to embrace a “Culture of Error“– in which kids like struggle and challenge and in which getting it wrong is a key tool for getting it right. We know we want the kids to think, “Oh, good. This is going to be hard!”…





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