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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.

Small Group Instruction: Inferring Focus

In this example of reading instruction with a small group, Gail Boushey of “The Sisters” leads a discussion of inference, using Peter Rabbit as a focus text. All of the children in the group are reading at different levels independently, but they share a goal of learning more about inferring.

Three Little Phrases No Literacy Coach Can Live Without

Brenda Power shares trade secret phrases for communicating with colleagues.

Viewing Guides for DVDs

Here’s where you can find workshop guides for all Choice Literacy DVDs.

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.

Anchor Books for Modeling Writer’s Craft in Workshops

Franki Sibberson shares her favorite books for modeling writer’s craft in her classroom.

Opinion Exchange: A Workshop Activity for Study Groups

New teachers need so much their first year and having the ability to be heard and have their opinions valued is right up there. Ruth Shagoury offers a respectful exchange to meet that need.

Using Foam Boards in Writer’s Workshop

Franki Sibberson explains how she extends the wall space in her classroom for instruction through the use of foam boards.

Writing Conference Principles

Brenda Power and Ruth Shagoury describe the principles they live by when conferring with students.

Planning a New Teachers’ Professional Development Program

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

Playing with Word Work: Inviting Students to See Playful Language in Books (BOOKLIST)

Franki Sibberson brings fun into word work through the use of picture books with her 5th graders.

The Curricular Support Menu: A Collaborative Tool for Assisting Colleagues

This support menu is a fun way for literacy coaches to survey teachers for support requests.

Planning for K-3 Author Studies (eGUIDE)

Gayle Brand knows the power of author studies and shares her activities, unit plans and year-long glances to support students identification as readers and writers.

Noticing Words to Expand Vocabulary: Conferring with Mariah

In this conference with six-year-old Mariah, Joan Moser of “The Sisters” has chosen to focus on expanding vocabulary.

Understanding the “Silent Period” with English Language Learners

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham explain how to support an English Language Learner who is not speaking with verbal and nonverbal communication strategies.

Let’s Get Rid of “The Teacher Shrine”: Organizing Meeting Areas, Walls, and Materials

In this brief classroom tour, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (“The Sisters”) talk about problems with teacher desks, present how they separate and define different curricular learning areas.

Tips from the Pros on Starting Your Own Writer’s Notebook or Teaching Journal

If you asked yourself, “What in this world do I never want to forget?” what might go in your notebook? Brenda Power offers routines and rhythms to write like the pros.

Reflective Observation: Helping Teachers Observe, Analyze, and Guide (TEMPLATE)

This template helps teachers focus their classroom observations.

Designing Comprehension Constructors: Helping Adolescent Learners Develop Reading Strategies (E-GUIDE)

Comprehension constructors are a terrific tool for helping teens record their understanding.

Whole-Class Vocabulary Lesson, Grades K-2

In this five-minute video, Joan Moser of “The Sisters” teaches a whole-class vocabulary lesson. The focus is on helping students notice interesting words, and make connections between daily read-alouds and word learning.

Coaching Moment: Reorganizing a Classroom Library

Gayle Gentry reflects on how a colleague’s simple request to reorganize a classroom library turned into coaching opportunities that had a direct impact on student learning.

Listen In: Jeffry’s Ocean Story

Moving a child from simple to complex sentences is the goal in this second-grade writing conference.

Idealism Fades to Reality: Thinking Back to My Days as a New Teacher

Jennifer Allen makes connections between her new professional life as a literacy coach and her beginning as a classroom teacher.

Conferring with a Child in the “Silent Period”

Larisa is a six-year-old who speaks Russian at home, and is in the “silent period” in school. In this conference, Ruth Shagoury demonstrates different strategies for eliciting responses from Larisa.

Writing About a War-Torn Home: Zerina Talks About Finding Her Writer’s Voice

In this interview with Ruth Shagoury, English language learner Zerina talks about her growing confidence as a writer as she shares her writing with high school classmates. She also talks about how her father encouraged her to write down her most poignant memory of war in their homeland, Bosnia.

Conferring with Anna

Anna is a five-year-old student in an Oregon kindergarten classroom who speaks Vietnamese at home. In this conference with Ruth Shagoury, she shares writing about her classmates and a snake, testing out her growing knowledge of the alphabet, sounds, and the purposes of writing.

Every Language Counts: Adding Multilingual Counting Activities to Morning Meeting

Every year kindergarten teacher Andie Cunningham has children who come from homes with many different first languages. She helps welcome these different languages and cultures into the classroom community by counting in different languages during the morning meeting.

Spacing Words: A Minilesson with Young Writers

In this two-minute video, Andie Cunningham reinforces the concept of spacing words with her kindergartners using her own writing and a brainstorming web.

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.

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