Latest Content
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.

Katherine Casey on Sharing Blunders with Colleagues (PODCAST)

Katherine Casey explains why she shares her teaching blunders (on video, no less) with colleagues, and what she has learned from the process.

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.

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.

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.

Preserving Student Writing as a Curator

Once students are producing quality writing, there is a new challenge: what to do with it all? Heather Rader works with a teacher to design a system to meet her needs.

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.

What’s Good for the Goslings is Good for the Geese: Parallels Between Scaffolding Student Learning and Scaffolding Staff Development

Terry Thompson considers the concept of “scaffolding” for both student learning and professional development.

Books with Overlooked Potential for Launching the School Year (and Ideas for Using Them with Students)

You know those books that cause us to say, “Aww…I love that book.” Well, the team at Literacyhead has us thinking about using old favorites in new ways.

Walk Arounds: Gathering Data to Test Assumptions

Do you have a tattler in your midst?  Not a child, but a teacher complaining about the work habits of a colleague? Jennifer Jones explains her proactive use of walk-arounds to gather data and confront misconceptions.

How to Look at Student Work

With summaries as an example, Heather Rader uses trends from learners to help make smart instructional decisions about what is presented during whole group, small group and individual time.

Coaching for the Test

Two teachers are disappointed in student assessment results, but they have very different approaches to tackling the problem. Heather Rader shares her role as a mentor in assisting her colleagues.

Favorite Short Mentor Texts for Demonstration Lessons

For teacher leaders who are called upon to do demonstration lessons, here is a “must-have” list of short, potent books.

Coaching Monkey

Heather Rader has advice for literacy coaches looking for honest appraisals of their work from colleagues.

A Closer Look at Anchor Charts

Shari Frost has a gift for helping us think about purpose and this article is no exception as she turns her attention to the benefits of intentional anchor charts.

Tips from Literacy Leaders for Closing Out the School Year (ROUND-UP)

Here are some suggestions from Choice Literacy Contributors of the best ways to close out the year, with everything from personal organizing tips to family events.

Lesson Structure: Building a Strong Foundation

Stepping back to think about the design of quality instruction is essential for any teacher. Heather Rader looks to brain research and tried-and-true practices to lay out lesson components.

Writing Drafts and Stamina

Stamina is a term we use often in literacy instruction, but it can be tricky for students and teachers to define in classroom contexts.  Heather Rader looks at the specific attributes of writing stamina, as well as how to model it for students.

Whole-Group Share Sessions in Literacy Workshops: Essential Elements

Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan found that even though the group share is the shortest part of the workshop, teachers reported many issues that needed attention. These issues can be resolved with attention to the framework, modeling and more.

Ubiquitous Venns, Watch Fors, and Leverage Points: Coaching for Depth

Heather Rader examines the use of Venn diagrams as a catalyst for thinking about how to coach for more depth in classrooms.

Common Core Conversations: The Half ‘n’ Half Shift for Nonfiction Reading and Writing

Colleagues and coaches, Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader, explore the upcoming shifts in English Language Arts and anticipate what it will mean for leaders, teachers and most importantly, students.

Not That Into Me

If you're a literacy coach, those teachers who don't want to work with you can make you feel like the wallflower at the prom or the last kid picked for the basketball team.  Heather Rader has positive, proactive suggestions for making the best of an awkward situation.

Best Practices All Day Long: Balancing Personal and Professional Success

If you’ve ever experienced that disequilibrium of feeling completely organized in your professional life, and hopelessly scattered during your personal time, you’ll enjoy Melanie Quinn’s reflective essay.

The Power of Linking Words and Perceptions

Melanie Quinn relays a powerful practice for staff members to reframe language and perceptions while putting common labels for students in a whole new light.

Rethinking Mentor Texts

Shari Frost writes about the ways our perfectly organized bins may limit the teaching possibilities for many books.  She takes readers step by step through her process of determining ways to use a sample mentor text to teach a multitude of lessons and strategies.

Virtual Book Clubs for Teachers

It’s virtually possible to get together around a book without getting together at all. Shari Frost shows us how.

Getting the Most Out of Visiting a Colleague’s Classroom (PODCAST)

Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan talk with Franki Sibberson about strategies for getting the most out of observing in a colleague’s classroom.

Big Ideas: Balancing Plans with Authentic Response

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan learn important lessons about planning, themes, and life when they share Knuffle Bunny with a group of kindergartners.

Virtually Coaching a Lesson

Coaching cycles look different depending on teachers' needs. Via email and phone, Heather Rader has professional conversations with a teacher as he plans and designs a lesson for observation.

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