Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

06.29.22 Instructional Coaching: Insights from Fran Goodship and Delwar Hussain

As a profession we’ve made a pretty big bet on ‘instructional coaching.’  For good reason. It’s a statement about the importance of teachers–they deserve individualized support and guidance–and our faith in them–if we invest valuable leadership time in them, they will upskill quickly and meaningfully in ways that will result in more student success.. and just…


05.25.22 Beth Verrilli: Knowledge Based Curriculum Opens Worlds

If you’ve read this blog, or attended any of our webinars or workshops, you know that we believe in knowledge-based curriculum. Research shows that knowledge is a critical factor in learning to read, in building long-term memory, and in thinking critically. We’ve seen classrooms where knowledge encourages independent reading and where knowledge inspires wonder. Recent global…


02.12.20 Emily DiMatteo Builds Knowledge Through Embedded Nonficiton

I’m excited to share this video of Emily DiMatteo’s English class. First, it’s a great example of how Embedded Nonfiction can infuse a discussion with background knowledge and thus build its rigor. That’s an idea we’ve been passionate about for a while but have recently come to realize it hard to implement well without a curriculum….


11.24.19 Field Trips Benefit from Background Knowledge, Too

Last week I wrote a post about hands-on learning, and how what seemed like a rich experience–launching rockets–might not be so useful if students didn’t know what they were looking at. On the other hand if students had been primed with knowledge beforehand they could observe relevant things and increase their knowledge by adding detail to…