Latest Content
What to Say on Parent Teacher Night

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan present some of the anecdotes and research they would share with parents during open houses and conferences.

Literacy Groundings

Andie works with new teachers as they share their literacy groundings — the moments in their histories that shaped who they are as educators.

I Can’t Quite Put My Finger On It

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.

Telling Our Stories

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham beautifully weave together poetry and storytelling in a potent professional development activity for teachers.

Making Assumptions

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.

Literacy Team Meeting: Focus on Word Work Part 2

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.

Literacy Coaching and Student Work with Diane Sweeney (PODCAST)

Diane Sweeney talks about the importance of focusing more on student work and less on teacher plans and lessons for literacy coaches.

Professional Development Openers and Icebreakers (ROUND-UP)

This round-up includes suggestions for opening activities and icebreakers to energize your colleagues from Amanda Adrian, Aimee Buckner, Shari Frost, and Jennifer Jones.

Exit Slips Open Doors

Amanda Adrian explains how a simple professional development closure activity garnered many new invitations to classrooms.

Common Core Standards: Spreading the Word

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.

Supporting New Teachers and Appreciating Their Gifts

Melanie Quinn thinks through the two common "phases" of early career teachers, and creates a checklist of guidance they will need from literacy leaders.

Building Community Protocols

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share two of their favorite protocols for building community among educators.

Second-Grade Team Meeting: Helping Students Choose Books Independently

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.

Voila! Best Writing and Entry Slips in Second Grade

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.

Learning and Teaching Team Meeting

Principal Karen Szymusiak meets with her large and diverse "Learning and Teaching Team" which is comprised of specialists, grade-level team leaders, and administrators.

Can I Quote You on That?: Capturing Classroom Conversation

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.

Common Core Conversations: Using Evidence From Text

Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader explain how the standard for finding evidence in texts might change instruction.

Planning for a Demonstration Lesson Part 1

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.

Planning for a Demonstration Lesson Part 2

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.

Working with Adults: Structuring Effective Conferring

Amanda Adrian connects new learning as a runner to her work with teachers around reading conferences, and shares a model that works.

Trying to Coach Without the Budget in Mind

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.

Learning from Master Teachers: It’s the Process, Not the Content (Part I)

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.

Communicating with the Y Chromosome

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.

The Superpower of Reflecting

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.

Conferring with Parents (ROUND-UP)

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.

Katherine Casey on Coaching in Classrooms (PODCAST)

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.

What’s the Evidence?

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.

An Attitude of Gratitude

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.

Transitioning to Guide on the Side: Facilitating Collaborative Scoring

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.

Simplexity: Finding Your Focus

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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