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Remote Coaching Videos

We know our subscribers who are literacy coaches have a pressing need for resources to use in remote coaching contexts, as well as in college courses that are being moved...

Odd Habits

Here at Choice Literacy, we’ve got habits on our mind. Ever since we read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg at a writing retreat, we’ve been thinking about how...

Finding the “Ex” Factor in Explanatory Writing

Explanatory writing isn’t as simple to define as it sounds. Recently there has been an explosion of conversation about explanatory writing and the way it feeds argument writing. Explanatory writing...

Word Nerds

Write down a synonym for the following words or use them in a sentence if you can: 1.  girn 2.  fug 3.  hircine 4.  yerd 5. sesamoid Did you try...

Notes from the Mad Teachers Liberation Front: Create Your Manifesto

Summer can be a fine time to renew, refresh, and recommit to our passions and ideals.  When a group of teachers here in Oregon, who work with children and young...

Introducing the Common Core Standards in Writing (Part 2)

We began our morning with this objective: “We will read, unwrap and reflect on the ten Common Core State Standards related to writing and the first three language standards. We...

Introducing the Writing Common Core Standards: Planning for Professional Development

When I began to plan for how introducing the Common Core State Standards in Writing with a key group of leaders in our district, I kept these words of wisdom...

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.

Literacy Chats: An Open Discussion Format

Principal Karen Szymusiak and Literacy Coach Pam Hahlen meet with grades K-2 teachers to discuss current literacy concerns. Topics include reading workshop and classroom environments.

Literacy Chats with Teachers: Routines and Guidelines

Principal Karen Szymusiak and Literacy Coach Pam Hahlen meet with grades 3-5 teachers to discuss current literacy concerns. Topics include reading workshop and connections across the intermediate grades.

Professional Development Openers and Icebreakers (ROUND-UP)

Experts on presentations once said that you had 30 seconds to capture the attention of your audience. Other experts now say you have the attention of the audience in the...

Exit Slips Open Doors

“It doesn’t have to end here.” So claims the Powerpoint slide at the end of my professional development classes in the past. With this statement, along with my contact information...

Literacy Team Meeting: Focus on Word Work Part 2

In the second part of the literacy team meeting, teachers on the team move from the focus on sharing, to the important phase of where to go next as a...

Second-Grade Team Meeting: Helping Students Choose Books Independently

In this five-minute excerpt from a second-grade team meeting, Principal Karen Szymusiak sits in on a discussion of the challenges of helping young readers learn to pick appropriate books independently....

Planning for a Demonstration Lesson Part 2

In this second installment of a two-part video series, Clare Landrigan takes a team of grades 3-5 teachers through the steps of selecting a book for a demonstration lesson.  

What Can You Learn From Slice of Life Writing?

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. Jim Ryun Writing on a regular basis is a tough habit to develop. There are many things vying...

The Superpower of Reflecting

What is your superpower? Are you a great listener, storyteller, misconception spotter, advocate, or feedback giver? Educators have a multitude of superpowers, and we'll focus here on one that takes...

What’s the Evidence?

The first and most brutal fact that must be confronted in creating professional learning communities is that the task is not merely challenging: it is daunting. It is disingenuous to...

Off the Dance Floor and Onto the Balcony: Getting the Big Picture in Schools

We coordinate professional development efforts in schools. Periodically we visit classrooms during literacy blocks to think about how we are progressing toward our goals, and to identify next steps for...

Poetry Fridays (and So Much More) for Students and Staff

Poetry Friday is surely my most subversive act of teaching. From the outside, you see a suspension of the regular routines of reading workshop. You see children sitting side-by-side with...

Sense of Little Engines

About half of our coaching staff is engaged in a book study of Peter Johnston's Choice Words. We meet once a month before school at a local coffee shop that offers...