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Creating Savory Professional Development

Jennifer Allen explains how she builds in play, choice, and creativity in a study group for veteran teachers.

There You Are

Suzy Kaback uses the “My Life in Seven Stories” exercise from Jennifer Allen to coax teachers to write, share drafts, and connect their learning to crafting writing in classrooms.

Jump Right In and Other Lessons Learned from Remote Coaching

From get rid of the laundry basket behind you to learn how to share your desktop in advance, Heather Fisher shares some practical tips for getting started with remote coaching.

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.

Making Time for Reflection

Reflection time is essential for literacy coaches. Cathy Mere shares practical tips for how she builds that time into her work with literacy coaches.

The 70% Rule

Stretch yourself, but not to the point of pain. Matt Renwick has practical tips for how leaders can continue to push themselves to grow and learn new things without succumbing to the hurry-up, stressed culture so prevalent around us.

Starting with Consensus

Suzy Kaback finds that consensus mapping is a powerful tool for leading teachers through any change process.

Mentor Texts for Teachers: Home Is a Place to Begin

Looking for mentor texts to help teachers write? Cathy Mere suggests you begin with home.

5 Reasons to Read Grown-Up Books

Shari Frost explains why even if you’re reading hundreds of children’s and YA books a year, it’s still essential to find room in your reading life for “grown-up” books.

Celebration and Reflection for Teacher Growth

Matt Renwick rejects the notion of “carrots and sticks” for school improvement when it comes to understanding and motivating teachers. He provides a template for a professional development session to help teachers celebrate and reflect upon growth.

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.

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.

March Read Aloud Madness

Stephanie Affinito explains how you can spice up a winter professional development session with a read-aloud book tasting and competition modeled after the March Book Madness initiative.

Open Observations

Cathy Mere explains how “open observations” work in her school district. These full-day professional development sessions are an opportunity for teachers to drop in and out of classrooms to observe together and then discuss what they see.

Word Study PD: Building on Strengths

Gretchen Taylor finds teachers are particularly insecure about their ability to lead word study with children. So she begins a professional development session by helping them see how capable they are.

Creating the Future

Melanie Quinn shares a quick activity to help teachers visualize their hopes and dreams at the start of the school year.

Using Video to Step Forward

Cathy Mere explains why using video in professional development that is captured in your own school or district’s classrooms can be far more powerful than any video purchased or provided in a kit. She provides tips for inviting teachers to record and share their practices.

Old Technology for New Engagement

Matt Renwick repurposes nearly obsolete technologies such as typewriters and Polaroid cameras for surprising new learning in classrooms.

The Instagram Project

Stephanie Affinito uses a popular app to stay on top of children's literature and deliver timely recommendations to teachers and children.

Coaching Minute: Tech Tools

Cathy Mere shares two tech tools that are invaluable resources for her coaching.

Ways to Personalize PD

Literacy coaches Cathy Mere and Kelly Hoenie talk about some of their efforts to personalize professional development for teachers over the past year, and what they learned that they will carry into the fall.

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