Do you guide teachers, specialists, and literacy coaches? Here are tools, advice, and strategies school leaders need for their daily work in staff meetings, study groups, and one-on-one discussions with colleagues. If you have a leadership role in coaching teachers and designing professional development, you'll want an upgraded membership with access to our Leaders Lounge.
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan present some of the anecdotes and research they would share with parents during open houses and conferences.
Andie works with new teachers as they share their literacy groundings — the moments in their histories that shaped who they are as educators.
Have you ever had a teacher enthusiastically embrace a new “magic bullet” instructional program that includes scripted or rote elements that concern you? Melanie Quinn considers this sticky situation instructional coaches sometimes find themselves in, and comes up with some starting points for conversations with colleagues.
Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham beautifully weave together poetry and storytelling in a potent professional development activity for teachers.
The shift from teaching children to mentoring adults can be difficult for many educators. Ellie Gilbert chronicles the biggest assumptions that harm collaborative relationships with colleagues.
In the second part of the literacy team meeting, teachers on the team move from the focus on sharing, to the important phase of where to go next as a team and as a school. Because the crucial work of the team is the work done between meetings, this is a critical discussion.
Diane Sweeney talks about the importance of focusing more on student work and less on teacher plans and lessons for literacy coaches.
This round-up includes suggestions for opening activities and icebreakers to energize your colleagues from Amanda Adrian, Aimee Buckner, Shari Frost, and Jennifer Jones.
Amanda Adrian explains how a simple professional development closure activity garnered many new invitations to classrooms.
Literacy leaders working in large districts face special challenges when implementing new programs. Suki Jones-Mozenter writes about the strategies being developed in one of the largest districts in the country.
Melanie Quinn thinks through the two common "phases" of early career teachers, and creates a checklist of guidance they will need from literacy leaders.
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share two of their favorite protocols for building community among educators.
In this five-minute excerpt from a second-grade team meeting, Principal Karen Szymusiak sits in on a discussion of the challenges of helping young readers learn to pick appropriate books independently.
The word voila in French literally means “see there.” Linda Karamatic puts time and reflection into creating a binder, or “voila book,” that will ease the bulging writing workshop folders and preserve the best of her second-grade students’ writing.
Principal Karen Szymusiak meets with her large and diverse "Learning and Teaching Team" which is comprised of specialists, grade-level team leaders, and administrators.
Here's a fun notetaking strategy to try. Ellie Gilbert records snippets of conversation from Katie Doherty's students, and then uses them in a debrief session to discuss student strengths, needs, and next steps.
Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader explain how the standard for finding evidence in texts might change instruction.
In this first installment of a video series, Clare Landrigan takes a team of grades 3-5 teachers through the steps of planning for a demonstration lesson.
In this second installment of a two-part video series, Clare Landrigan takes a team of grades 3-5 teachers through the steps of selecting a book for a demonstration lesson.
Amanda Adrian connects new learning as a runner to her work with teachers around reading conferences, and shares a model that works.
Melanie Quinn makes a somewhat surprising discovery in the midst of the budget cutting season. The best way to justify her literacy coaching position is to do less – but do everything extraordinarily well.
Have you ever wondered why lessons you attempt to imitate from master teachers you’ve seen on videos often go poorly? Franki Sibberson asked herself this question after trying a minilesson she viewed from Debbie Miller. She discovered it’s what comes before the lesson that matters more than what’s in the lesson.
Heather Rader finds herself coaching a male teacher who is part of a male teaching team, and gets a lesson herself in gender communication patterns.
Are you more of a Pollyanna or Eeyore reflector? Heather Rader takes you inside the questions that help us reflect even more deeply on our instructional practices.
There is always a new tweak to consider with conferences involving families. Choice Literacy Contributors have both the head and heart in mind with these tips.
In this podcast, Katherine Casey shares her wisdom on classroom modeling for coaches that really works because both teacher and coach have clarity on the purpose and practice.
Heather Rader shares her experiences working with a teacher team led by an outspoken leader. With listening and support, the team examines evidence in a new way.
Heather Rader gets a couple nasty emails, and thinks through how to hold onto an attitude of gratitude when dealing with colleagues who are short-tempered or demanding.
Heather Rader wants to transition to more of a guide-on-the-side role as she coaches colleagues. Here are some simple strategies she uses to move offstage during collaborative scoring workshops.
Jennifer Allen visits a thriving cupcake store in Boston that doesn’t sell any cupcakes. It turns out to be the perfect example of “simplexity” – Michael Fullan’s term for maintaining focus on goals and a larger purpose. Jennifer writes about how simplexity applies to professional development planning for literacy leaders.
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