Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

11.17.17Watching a Favorite Old Clip and Seeing Something New

This beautiful clip of Achievement First’s Summer Payne Cold Calling her kindergarten students is a throw back. I think we shot it in 2010.  For a couple of years it was a staple of our workshops. Somehow we haven’t used it in a while.  But it’s still so wonderful.

And quite influential- I still go to schools and see teachers describing the Cold Calls as ‘individual turns” and adapting Summer’s style. And I see students happily joining in.

It makes me happy that so many teachers have brought Summer’s joyfulness to their classrooms while also using Cold Call to get the best out of students, even if not everyone can get the priceless joy of the little girl at the end singing “Gree-een!”

EA.ColdCall.GRK.Payne.’Individual turns.’Clip0594 from TLAC Blog on Vimeo.

One of the best things about video, though, is that the more you learn the more you see.  Today in watching it I realized that this is a wonderful example of Retrieval Practice as well– recalling what you are driving into long term memory to make it easier to remember. In fact it’s not just retrieval practice but randomized Retrieval Practice.  Summer mixes sight words and punctuation marks.

Only recently–with a lot of reading of cognitive science–have I come to understand the importance of both Retrieval Practice and Randomized Practice but that’s the best part. So often i go back to watch the work of champions and see that they were doing the thing I just figured out all along.  Like Summer.

Anyway, it’s a beautiful video that shows how warmth and joy and high expectations and (now) sound cognitive science can all go together.  Hope you enjoy it. And maybe we’ll show it in New Orleans!


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