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Find Friends

Suzy Kaback shares how we can translate the values we hold dear into action, even when our social and professional norms are in upheaval.

Solutions to Predictable Problems with Writing in Kindergarten

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share their solutions to the most predictable issues that come up with writers in kindergarten.

Demonstration Small Group: Emergent Kindergarten Readers

Clare Landrigan leads a demonstration small group of emergent kindergarten readers focused on inferring. They are reading Cookie’s Week. The lesson includes a prebrief and debrief with the teacher.

Coaching Minute: Building Rapport with Teachers

Principal Lee Snider talks about how he built rapport with teachers when he was new to the role of principal in the building.

Professional Renewal: Facilitating Change Within Ourselves

If we want others to change, we first have to be open to change within ourselves. But what does that look like, and how can we embrace the tension that change brings? Matt Renwick explores change from within for literacy leaders.

How Am I Doing? One Principal’s Experience with Feedback

Matt Renwick is like any of us—he is nervous about what he will learn when he asks teachers to assess his performance as a principal. He shares findings from a survey he gives to teachers.

Special Education and Classroom Teacher Meeting

Special education teacher Julianne Houser and fourth-grade teacher Heidi discuss how they can work together to support specific students.

Literacy, Phys Ed, and Workshops Across the Curriculum

Jen Schwanke is surprised when a terrific language arts teacher switches to physical education, until she realizes that workshop instruction is good teaching in almost any subject area.

Field Notes: Where’s My Language?

Ruth Ayres attends a share session at the end of a second-grade writing workshop conducted entirely in Spanish. It’s a gift and privilege for her to experience what non-Native speakers do every day in English language classrooms, and it makes her reflect upon what it takes to make anyone feel welcome in a classroom or school community.

Forces of Nature

Literacy can be seen as a “curricular bully” by science and math teachers, taking over the curriculum and many professional development sessions. Suzy Kaback faces that challenge when she adds poetry writing and visual arts to a session for STEM educators.

Demonstration Small Group: Novels in Verse

Tammy Mulligan leads a demonstration small group with sixth graders who are reading novels in verse.

A Heart for Coaching

“Do you miss the classroom?” Cathy Mere has answered this question often. It makes her think about the differences between coaching and teaching, and how it takes time to develop a coaching heart.

Hard Topics in Reading

Jennifer Allen explains how she leads conversations about hard themes in literature and how teachers might use these books that include trauma in their classrooms.

From Observations to Questions

The starting point for assisting any teacher with a struggling learner is to observe and question. Stella Villalba shares her process, including what she focuses on in observations and how she uses what she sees as a springboard to conversations.

Coaching Minute: Collaborating with Principals

Literacy coach Jen Court explains how she collaborates with principals.

Using Supplies to Inspire

Heather Fisher shares her favorite tools to share as gifts for a new literacy coach.

Coaching Minute: Leveraging a Calendar for Leadership

Jean Russell explains how a simple trick with a coaching calendar can build in more time and expectations for leadership growth.

You Don’t Write? No Worries

“You don’t have to write to teach writers.” Cathy Mere finds is shocked when she hears a literacy coach make this statement. But the more she allows her conventional wisdom to be challenged, the more insight she has into helping teachers who don’t see themselves as writers.

Field Notes: When a Coach Models in a Classroom

Ruth Ayres observes a coach who is a master at modeling lessons. What looks easy and natural on the surface belies all the skill and planning just below the surface.

When There’s No Time for Debriefing

A debrief in the midst of a coaching cycle can seem like one more meeting there isn’t time for in the school day. Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share a virtual debrief option they have developed to use at times when it isn’t possible to meet.

A Little Bit of Clarity

Matt Renwick goes out to buy a new pair of glasses, and gets a stern lecture on taking care of them. The experience makes him ponder how we get clarity for best practices in literacy instruction.

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