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Taming the Voices in Our Heads

Jennifer Allen helps a study group of elementary teachers “tame the voices in their heads” by scheduling a day of yoga and a documentary on rock climbing into the day. Her creative plans might inspire you as you think about agendas for summer retreats with teachers and school leaders.

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.

Creative Reading Responses: It Begins with You

Stephanie Affinito finds the secret to helping teachers get creative with reading responses is to try them out in their own reading first.

Helping Teachers Use Their Writing in Instruction

Ruth Ayres remembers how using her writing in instruction transformed her teaching, She shares three strategies for helping teachers inject their writing into lessons.

Scheduling Study Groups for the Year

Jennifer Allen shares her selections and schedule for book study groups throughout the year.

Book Study

Jennifer Schwanke creates a more organic, choice-driven process for book study groups in her school.

Using Norms in PLCs

Dana Murphy concludes her series on norms, explaining how to keep norms alive throughout the year so that you don’t have to experience the awkwardness of reprimanding colleagues at meetings.

Setting Norms in PLCs

There are always norms in groups. Shouldn’t you be the leader in making sure they are positive ones? Dana Murphy shares the process she uses and gives an example.

Team Meeting: Next Steps

Kathy Provost closes a third-grade team meeting with a discussion of next steps, ensuring everyone is on the same page with plans before the next month's meeting.

Professional Learning Beyond PLCs

Matt Renwick shares three alternatives to PLCs that are less time intensive and can be integrated into existing meetings and routines.

A Book Tasting for Teachers

Stephanie Affinito shares the steps for hosting a book tasting for teachers, with everything from creating a splashy invitation to fostering a fun atmosphere included.

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

Stephanie Affinito shares a professional development activity to celebrate teaching strengths and help teachers through the doldrums of this time of year.

Science and Literacy Units

Heather Fisher takes a group of elementary teachers through the same science learning process they will use with their students, integrating reading, writing, and talk throughout the professional development session.

First-Grade Team: Next Steps

Heather Fisher leads a first-grade teaching team as they plan action steps to take before their next monthly meeting.

Planning for Monthly Literacy Team Meetings

Kathy Provost explains how she gathers resources for team meetings, anticipating the needs that might come up in group discussions and how often to vary the group activities.

Better Team Meetings

Are your team meetings welcoming? Jennifer Schwanke describes how one team leader created a happy, thriving, and safe space for team gatherings.

Coaching Minute: Case Study Observation Form

Literacy coaches Heather Fisher and Kathy Provost talk about how their work with reading specialists has evolved by having the specialists focus on case studies of individual students, rather than spending much of their time focused solely on big data. They share a form they use to help reading specialists hone their observation skills.

First-Grade Team: Exploring Student Engagement

Heather Fisher leads a first-grade team monthly meeting where everyone shares strategies they are trying for fostering more student engagement.

Making Meetings Purposeful

From identifying intent to setting personal norms, Jen Schwanke shares her key principles for leading meetings that participants won't hate.

Being Selfish About Meeting Norms

Jennifer Allen questions the purpose of meeting norms, and begins from a new place in establishing them for a study group.

Coaching Minute: Student Observation Form

In this brief video, Kathy Provost and Heather Fisher talk about the value of trying out a student observation form first within the coaching team before using it in classroom observations with teachers.

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