Listening and speaking—it's the art at the heart of literacy workshops. But there is also a science to how these skills are taught and learned. These resources will show you how to build communication skills in your classroom and school communities.
Heather Rader shares the essential elements of successful literacy coaching in this first installment of a month-long series.
Heather Sisson explores the complicated links between relationships and expertise for literacy coaches and teachers.
Lisa Koch says we should get our students to start some rumors — about characters, that is.
Ann Marie Corgill explains why a circle arrangement for middle school reading and writing workshop share sessions is vital for helping students focus and respond thoughtfully to peers.
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.
How can we be sure the writing tasks we ask of students are meaningful? Jennifer Jones looks at the issues of authenticity and control when it comes to assigning writing connected to reading in workshops.
In this podcast, Ellin Keene shares her thinking about linking oral language and literacy development.
In this podcast, Ellin Keene poses important questions to herself about true understanding and its relationship to language in the classroom.
In this podcast, Bob Tschannen-Moran uses the strategy of imaginative listening to process an unsettling interaction Heather Rader had with a colleague.
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.
Current and Cocoa is a fun routine for integrating social studies, literacy, and conversation in classrooms. Heather Rader describes how the weekly activity builds community and fosters awareness of news events.
Do you have fact hunters in your room? Andrea Smith legitimizes and celebrates these collectors and brings a new level of nonfiction awareness to her classroom.
Melanie Quinn consoles a teacher who is recovering from a disastrous lesson captured on video, and shows the power of a "do-over" for both teachers and students.
Abandoning a text isn't always an option (in school or life). Clare Landrigan considers her own experience as a reader and applies those lessons to the classroom.
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.
Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan work with a kindergarten teacher to integrate literacy skill development into this favorite routine of young children.
Terry Thompson considers the concept of “scaffolding” for both student learning and professional development.
Ruth Shagoury provides tips and strategies for analyzing language in the classroom.
Jennifer Jones finds there is a world of difference between hearing and genuinely listening to the teachers who come to her for support. She shares some simple questions she uses at the start of professional conversations to ensure she is providing the right kind of response.
Katie DiCesare becomes reacquainted with an old curricular friend. But in trying reader’s theater again in her primary classroom, she finds ways to streamline the process and foster more independence in students.
It can be especially difficult for young children from impoverished homes to understand academic language and the demands of school. Andie Cunningham observes the sophisticated ways a preschool teacher helps her students adapt with invitational language.
What can we learn by listening closely to children? Plenty — Andie Cunningham shares insights from seven minutes with a young English language learner.
If you are familiar with Wordle, you already know it is a great free tool on the web for creating “word clouds” – visual representations of language. Heather Rader uses Wordle in her literacy coaching to give new and veteran teachers a succinct and powerful visual representation of their teaching language.
Teachers value the assessment of student skills and needs that come from close observation in classrooms, but may not know how to focus those observations. Ruth Shagoury documents some of those behaviors that put students on the path of becoming accomplished independent readers in a middle school classroom.
A code of conduct is created to outline the standards and rules of behavior that guide an organization. Effective codes spell out “unspoken rules” as well, so that everyone can be successful. Heather Rader thinks through what a useful code for coaches might look like.
Andrea Smith writes about how she uses wonder questions in her science curiculum.
Heather Rader explores the fine art of asking specific questions during coaching debrief sessions.
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan offer lesson suggestions for helping students self-monitor and deal with distractions during literacy workshops.
ERP. The sound can't help but make you grin. It's Heather Rader's acronym for Explicit Revision for Peers, a series of one-minute kinesthetic writing routines to help students learn how to help each other kindly during writer's workshop.
Nothing beats an engaging and fun text to spark conversations among young children. Here are some suggestions of terrific read-alouds to get the chatter started in classrooms.
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