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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.

Writing Workshop Share: Talking About Revision Tools

In this video of a discussion after writing workshop in Franki Sibberson’s classroom, intermediate students share the tools they used in revision.

Fonts: Small Group and Conferring with Intermediate Writers

In this follow-up to a whole class lesson and discussion of fonts, Franki Sibberson pulls together a group of 3rd and 4th graders from her class who have asked to be a part of a small group on fonts.

Professional Development Needs Assessment Inventory

Teachers help define a literacy coach's role through a needs assessment survey.

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.

The Literacy Coach Work Area: Arranging Materials in Cramped Spaces

In this four-minute video, Literacy Coach Gail Boushey talks about how she arranges her materials in a limited space, and the benefits of sharing work space with colleagues.

Moving Beyond the Basics: Teaching Inferring to a Fluent Young Reader

In this conference, Gail Boushey (of “The Sisters”) confers with Brandon and helps him understand the concept of inferring.

Flexible Grouping: When, How, and Why

Max Brand explains how daily student grouping can be both planned and spontaneous.

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.

Organizing Writing Groups

Franki Sibberson describes how she organizing writing groups in her grades 3 and 4 classroom, and shares a video of a writing group considering leads.

Learning to Cross-Check: Conferring with Hailey

Joan Moser confers with five-year-old Hailey and helps her set a reading goal.

Mix It Up: Helping Young Writers Learn to Confer with Peers and Teachers

Ruth Shagoury models her own writing as a way to introduce the concept of conferring to young learners.

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

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.

Assessing Student Writing

Don't let the pressure of standards and testing take away from the joys of writing workshop. Franki Sibberson explains how assessment helps her infuse energy and excitement into her writing program.

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.

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