Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

12.14.20“Pasting the Chat” & Other Insights from Hassan Clayton’s Lesson

Hassan takes the chat up a level

I’ve written a lot about using the chat in remote teaching on this blog and talked even more about it in our webinars and trainings.

I wrote about Shelby Daley’s chat here. About Denise Karratti’s here. About Arianna Chopp’s here. and Eric Snider’s here.

Today I get to share something my team and I loved from Hassan Clayton’s English class at Nashville Classical Charter School. I’m going to call it ‘pasting the chat.’ Hassan is teaching Freak the Mighty and he’s asked his students to read a key line an interpret what Kevin, the protagonist means by it.

Students chat their answers and you’ll probably notice right away how positive Hassan is, how much he values their responses.

It’s also really interesting to see how he ensures a bit of Wait Time. He doesn’t open that chat for 22 seconds. Even if you want you can’t enter before that. It’s a bit like a hybrid of the “Now Question” Arianna Chopp and Shelby Daley use… you can answer right away and they narrate that to build momentum and participation and the “Wait Question” Denise Karratti uses (you hit enter on the chat when she tells you, after a full minute so there’s lots of wait time).

But my favorite part comes as Hassan starts to read student responses. He pastes them in his version of the student packet, which he is projecting to the class.

This validates student writing, making it seem important, and socializes students to write well (as opposed to hastily) in the chat. It also allows him to make the reading of the chat simpler. One of the challenges of using the chat is “the scroll” the fact that it’s hard to really attend to what your classmates have said because there’s so much of it racing by you on the screen. Hassan slows the reading-what-your-peers-wrote part down too. There are just two answers we need to read. Let’s read them well.

It also allows Hassan to move quickly without making the thinking rushed. One of the things we loved about his lesson was how thoughtful it was and how much he got done. They move briskly from question to question.

And not only did we love what Hassan does here but we found ourselves thinking of other ways to use it.

  • For example, you could post two examples from your classes response and ask students to compare and discuss them, focusing the conversation on a few especially valuable answers.
  • Or you could post one response and–a bit like a Show Call–spend a few minutes going from good to great. “This is a really nice answer. Let’s see what we can add to it.”

To learn more about the curriculum Hasan is using, visit

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