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“Hard” Reading Workshop: Understanding How Proficient Readers Comprehend Difficult Text

The Hard Reading Workshop is a terrific professional development activity for launching conversations about text difficulty and strategy instruction.

New Teacher Conversations: Breaking Through Roadblocks and Sustaining Support

The roadblocks activity can easily be adapted for study groups looking at almost any topic.

Memorable Moments: Two Quick-Write Closure Activities for End-of-the-Year Study Groups and Staff Meetings (TEMPLATES)

Here are two quick and reflective activities for closure at the end of the year.

Last Words and Next Steps: Closure Activities for Study Groups and Mentoring Programs

Here are some quick closure activities to help you finish out the last study groups and meetings with colleagues on a high note.

The Anticipation Guide: A Tool for Study Group Leaders

Suzy Kaback finds the Anticipation Guide is the “little black dress” of study group and staff development leaders, taking any literacy leader seamlessly from the classroom to PLCs and faculty meetings.

Memorable Students, Memorable Teachers: A Quick-Write Icebreaker for Teacher Workshops

This is a quick-write workshop activity that is especially suited to the more relaxed pace of summer professional development workshops, or first meetings with colleagues in the fall when everyone is refreshed and reflective.

Grade Level Team Meeting: Test Preparation

In this video of a 3rd grade team meeting, literacy coaches Janet Scott and Gail Boushey help third-grade teachers think through what is going well with test preparation, and what might be adapted before the tests begin in a few weeks.

Data Cards: Assessment Profiles at a Glance

"Data Cards" are ingeniously designed to allow an entire grade-level team to look at the reading levels of all students in the grade. In this four-minute video, "The Sisters" (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) explain how they work.

Literacy Chats: An Open Discussion Format

Literacy Coach Pam Hahlen discusses the value and format of monthly "literacy chats" for teachers.

Case Studies in Professional Learning Communities

In this brief video, Literacy Coach Pam Hahlen and Principal Karen Szymusiak meet with two teachers in a professional learning community group to discuss ongoing case studies.

Quick Take: Protocols for Teacher Study Groups

In this three-minute Quick Take video, Clare Landrigan describes the teacher study group protocol she uses to foster shared understanding and allow for differentiated learning among teachers.

Collaborative Team Meeting: Assessing and Planning Together

Gail Boushey leads a collaborative planning meeting between 4th grade teachers, literacy coaches, and the principal early in the year.

Literacy Coach Confidential: What Can I Do About Poor Attendance at My Study Group?

When attendance drops in study groups, here are some ways to get it back on track (or take a new direction entirely).

Boosting Attendance at Study Groups

Brenda Power shares advice from teachers that are building and maintaining inquiry study groups with adults.

Planning a New Teachers’ Professional Development Program

Jennifer Allen maximizes resources as she plans for a monthly professional development group for new teachers.

Puzzle Kids: Observing and Analyzing Challenging Students (E-GUIDE)

This E-Guide provides teachers with a tool to analyze children who need additional observation and analysis to create successful learning opportunities.

Writing to Reflect: Quotes for Quick Writing, Reflection, and Discussion (E-GUIDE)

This e-guide includes ten different quotes from a range of educators, activists, authors, and innovators for reflection at all times of the year.

The Dog Ate My Study Group Plans! Four Instant (and Fun and Reflective) No-Prep Teacher Workshops (E-GUIDE)

This e-guide provides tried-and-true workshops plans for educators in need of energy and encouragement.

Literacy Coach Confidential: Some Study Group Participants Aren’t Reading the Book

Have you ever experienced the strange phenomenon of colleagues who show up for book study groups and gab away, even though they haven't read the text?  You may be a victim of "bullcrit" – the willingness of some people to critique movies they haven't seen, music they haven't heard, and books they haven't read.

Four Essentials in Designing Professional Development for Literacy Leaders

While clever activities for adult professional development are fun, what really helps colleagues become more competent and sensitive to classroom and school needs? Franki Sibberson knows what her colleagues need and gives it to them.

Charting the Course: A Yearlong Professional Development Plan for New Teachers (SCHEDULE)

Planning with the end in mind is essential for literacy leaders. Jennifer Allen takes us through her process for creating a focused and progressive year-long plan.

Planning for a Year of Author Studies (TEMPLATE)

Meaningful reading, writing, speaking and listening comes out of thoughtfully planned author studies. Gayle Gentry shares her thinking and planning.

Launching Teacher Study Groups: Guidelines and Resources

Jennifer Allen’s years of experience with teacher study groups has led her to best practices that make it “safe and easy” for teachers to learn from each other.

Keeping It Simple: Reflections on the December New Teachers Study Group

What is really important for our time and energy? Jennifer Allen reflects on words of wisdom that keep her centered as a literacy coach.

Opinion Exchange (E-GUIDE)

How can quotes lead educators to awareness and acceptance of the diversity of opinions in a group? Discover what this format for discussion has to offer your study group or staff.

Assessment and Curriculum Mapping

In this video from a new teacher study group for grades 3-5 teachers, Jennifer Allen demonstrates how teachers can use assessment data to develop instructional plans for individual students and create curriculum maps for an entire class of students.

Teacher Study Group: Writing Focus

In this video of a teacher study group, Jennifer Allen leads a group of grades 3-5 teachers as they launch their monthly meeting in October.

Layered Support: Meeting the Needs of Beginning Teachers

Jennifer Allen reflects on essential layers that provide a safety net for the challenges facing beginning teachers.

Classroom Tours: Learning from Colleagues

Barbara Coleman finds classroom tours are a terrific professional development activity early in the year, fostering unexpected collaboration among colleagues.

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