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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.

Chapter Book Read Alouds in the Primary Classroom

Shari Frost considers selection, preparation, and pacing in choosing books that work well as read alouds in the primary classroom.

Webbing to Learn: A Writing Strategy to Chart Thinking with Young Learners

Andie Cunningham and Ruth Shagoury explain how webs can be a powerful organizing tool for kindergarten writers.

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.

Up Gross and Personal: Dealing with Dicey Topics in Writing Workshops

Even teachers with a high tolerance for the disgusting can get a little squeamish at the topics students choose for writing workshops.  What are the boundaries of good taste?

My Son Clark Kent

Lisa Koch shares a parent's perspective of the damage too much emphasis on reading levels in the classroom does to her young son.

Introducing Bull’s-Eye and Waves Written Responses in Synthesis Work

Andie Cunningham explains the bull’s-eye and wave responses her kindergartners complete to demonstrate their understanding of synthesis. A video introducing the activity is included.

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.

The Art of Listening in Writing Conferences with English Language Learners

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham share tips for mastering the art of listening in conferences with English language learners.

Revision Tools: Providing Options to Students

From old favorites like highlighters to new resources like kangaroo bags, this whole-class session with Franki Sibberson's grades 3-4 students highlights cool tools that will inspire learners to dive in and test out different revision strategies in writer's workshop.

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.

Starting Points: Easy Beginnings for Writing Better Narrative Assessments and Report Card Comments

 If you struggle as a writer at report card time, these tips might give you ideas for streamlining your work.

Helping Young Readers Understand the Middle East: A Booklist of the Best Fiction Picture Books

Do your books reflect the images of your learners' families and culture? Ruth Shagoury offers a booklist to explore the Arab and Persian world.

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