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Staff Retreat

The last thing leaders want to do when they are rushing to get everything done at the end of the school year is plan for summer retreats. But Jen Schwanke explains why that’s exactly what needs to happen if the sessions are going to be thoughtfully done and inclusive.

Ending the Year by Looking Forward

In this short video, Cathy Mere asks literacy coach Kelly Hoenie to think about how she will use learning from the end of the school year to plan for next year.

Narrative Mini-Charts

Melanie Meehan finds narrative mini-charts are a powerful tool in her coaching arsenal as she works in classrooms with teachers to help students develop storytelling skills.

Closing Out Professional Communities

What should literacy coaches do at their last meeting of the year? Cathy Mere remembers how she closed the year with students to plan her closing activities with coaches.

A Peek at a Coaching Notebook

Literacy coach Kelly Hoenie opens up her coaching notebook and shares with Cathy Mere what she writes down during observations and consultations, as well as how she uses the information when conferring with teachers.

Understand, Uncover, and Undertake

David Pittman works with a teacher who is overwhelmed by all the notebooks, forms, calendars, and notes she is taking to document and assess student progress. He helps the teacher streamline and organize a new system tailored to her needs and strengths.

Best Intentions with No Assumptions

Matt Renwick considers how assumptions about teachers and students can stymie leaders and learning in schools.

Letting Go: Nurturing Ownership in Writing

Cathy Mere helps a study group of elementary teachers think through how to nurture more ownership of student writing.

What’s the Temperature?

Cathy Mere substitutes in leading a meeting, and realizes the importance of always slowing down and taking the temperature of the room when beginning professional development sessions. She shares her seven favorite strategies for slowing down and reading the room.

Coaching Minute: Principals and Questions

In this quick video, Jen Schwanke explains why the most essential task for a new principal or literacy leader may be to slow down and ask lots of questions.

Reframing Data Discussions

David Pittman humorously conveys the dread he experiences when he is assigned to lead an inservice session focused on data. He then finds creative ways to reframe the discussion.

Coaching Minute: Fostering Team Collaboration

Jen Schwanke talks through the tricky work of making sure literacy specialists, coaches, and classroom teachers have the time and structure they need to collaborate well around students and data.

Rethinking Homework

Melanie Meehan explores research findings on homework, and provides a series of prompts for thinking through with teachers how to revise homework practices to be more relevant and helpful for students and families.

Defining the Principal’s Role

Jennifer Schwanke talks about the importance of school leaders building a sense among teachers and families of how literacy is the foundation for all learning in classrooms.

Coaching Minute: Building Coach and Specialist Collaboration

In this coaching minute video, Cathy Mere and Kelly Hoenie talk about the importance of more collaboration between literacy coaches and reading specialists, and how to foster it.

Blind Spots

Matt Renwick has to confront his “blind spots” and assumptions when his data from instructional walks about classroom talk in small groups and whole-class teaching situations does not match teacher perceptions.

The Power of a Rant

Louise Wrobleski explores the power of rants and the lesser-known ubi sunts in a professional development session to help teachers understand persuasive writing in fresh ways.

What Do We Mean by Coachable?

We think of teachers who are easy to persuade and work with as being the most “coachable.” Stephanie Affinito explains why the teachers who challenge us may teach literacy coaches more.

Identity and Coaching

Suzy Kaback considers how the way we talk about ourselves shapes our identity in subtle ways, and what this might mean for coaching teachers.

Enticing Teachers to Write

Ruth Ayres explains how to scaffold teachers as writers with continuous invitations and low-risk opportunities.

Talk in a Fifth-Grade Girls Book Club

In a demonstration lesson, Tammy Mulligan scaffolds talk in a fifth-grade book club with the transcript of another student reading group. The video includes a planning session with the teacher and debrief.

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