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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.

Comprehending Graphic Novels: A Primer for Teachers

Mary Lee Hahn provides a quick primer for teachers new to graphic novels, as well as suggestions for using these novels to teach comprehension.

Guilty Pleasures

Aimee Buckner reveals her guilty pleasures, and finds they make for great writing fodder.

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.

What Are the Seven Reading Comprehension Strategies?

Terms like thinking or comprehension strategies get thrown around a lot, but what do we really mean? Brenda Power helps define seven strategies to build common language and understanding.

Two-Column Notes (E-GUIDE)

The Two-Column Notes eGuide has 18 different options for notes in professional development settings.  These templates are helpful to use in staff meetings and study groups while watching videos, or to focus observations during classroom visits

The Read-Around: Raising Writers

If there was a centerpiece to teaching writing that also brought students closer together, wouldn't you want to know about it? Read on about the Read-Around.

Getting Started with Your Own Writer’s Notebook

Notebook Faker Extraordinaire Aimee Bucker writes about how she managed after years of false starts to build the writer's notebook habit one summer not long ago.

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.

Above the Fold: Creating Individual Professional Development Plans (E-GUIDE)

Determine importance for yourself using a six-step process that individualizes a plan to help you set limits, study deeply and lead the scholarly life you deserve.

We Are All Shamu: What Literacy Leaders Can Learn from Exotic Animal Trainers

If you've ever compared your classroom to a zoo, this article by Brenda Power is for you. You'll take animal trainer advice like "We change behavior in others by breaking routines in delightful ways" and follow it into the classroom.

Poetry Friday! Poetry Books That Are Fun to Read Aloud

What do doughnuts and talk-filled mornings have in common? Learn about this Poetry Friday ritual that impacts independent reading time as well.

Under, Over and Beyond Words: Strategies for Observing Talk in Classrooms

This article offers possibilities for observing classrooms focused on talk as an alternative to traditional observation notes.

Inviting Students to Organize Books and Materials

Debbie Miller advocates for involving children in the organization of materials for readers and writers in the classroom.

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.

The Other Buddy: How Partnership Programs Help Older Readers

In many buddy reading programs we often tout the benefits for the younger, less experienced reader, but Shari Frost tells the story of a “big kid” reader with a legitimate reason to read books that were closer to his independent level. Read on.

Shopping With Ana: Expanding Our Definition of “Just Right” Books in Grades K-2

Franki Sibberson learns from her daughter about emerging readers and book choice.

Time for Reading

Shari Frost describes how literacy coaches shadowed children to get a sense of how much reading students were doing.

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.

Conferring in the Zone: Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development and Writing Conferences

The zone of proximal development continues to be an important frame for noting where writers are at and what's next. Ruth Shagoury lists questions at different phases of writing to help nudge writers forward.

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).

Room for Beliefs: Linking Classroom Design and What We Value

Debbie Miller questions what our classrooms say about our beliefs and practices, and suggests how to bring our designs into closer alignment with our values.

Just Because They Can Doesn’t Mean They Should: Choosing Age-Appropriate Books for Literature Circles

Kids might be missing out on great books that are a better fit if they are reading books just because they can. Shari Frost delivers a smart reminder about challenging advanced readers.

Hooked on Series: Great Series Books for Transitional Readers

Finding the right series for a transitional reader is a gift. Franki Sibberson shares her favorite finds.

Boosting Attendance at Study Groups

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

Letters from Home: Letting Families and Friends Teach Us

Brenda Power and Ruth Shagoury use letters from home to learn about students and build community.

Honor Books: Helping Children and Families Build Bridges Between Home and School

What does Andie Cunningham gets when she mixes pictures from the classroom, messages from families and poetry from teachers? A wonderful recipe for an Honor Book you’ll want to try with your own students.

Collaborative Teaching: Finding Common Ground First (CHECKLIST)

These are important questions for teachers entering into a co-teaching situation to consider in advance.

Literacy Coach Confidential: Teachers Resent Me – What Can I Do?

We address the issue of resentment by considering how leaders can stay optimistic and use questions to open up a discussion.

Night Terrors: Let the Coaching Begin!


 Jennifer Allen realizes how much we miss if we wait till the start of the school year to begin mentoring colleagues.  When she helps new teacher Jess deal with nightmares about the first day of school, she discovers some big themes they will be mulling together all year long.

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