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Literacy Morning Announcements

Stephanie Affinito has suggestions for how short poems and snippets of children’s literature might be integrated into morning announcements.

Never Again

Matt Renwick explains how the Never Again protocol for professional development sessions can help teachers rethink and revise their literacy practices.

Coaching Minute: Using Video with Literacy Coaches

Cathy Mere shares four quick tips to help literacy coaches use video thoughtfully in professional development and to hone their own instructional skills.

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.

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.

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.

Analyzing Student Work: Beginning with Strengths

David Pittman coaches a fifth-grade teacher to look beyond the sea of grammar and spelling errors in student work, and instead start with strengths to analyze where to go next in instruction.

Coaching Minute: Flexible Collaboration with Teachers

Cathy Mere chats with Kelly Hoenie about how her collaboration with teachers has changed over 15 years of coaching—from rigid protocols to in-the-moment decisions about how best to support each teacher.

Supporting Readers: It Takes a Team

Collaboration gets complicated when you’re dealing with reading specialists and classroom teachers assisting the same struggling learners. Cathy Mere reflects on her experiences in both roles and provides some prompts for better conversations about expectations for team support.

Quick and Frequent Demonstration Lesson: Phonemes

Clare Landrigan leads a demonstration lesson with a pair of kindergarten students who struggle with letter-sound connections. In the video, she explains why these “quick and frequent” reading activities are helpful for young learners who find it a challenge to participate in guided reading groups.

An Ounce of Doubt

Matt Renwick decides to provoke some cognitive dissonance in teachers around the topic of guided reading. He finds his own beliefs are challenged instead.

What Happens Next Is What Defines Us

Stephanie Affinito reminds us that we all face challenges and discouraging situations when guiding teachers. What happens next when you pause and reset defines who you are as a literacy coach.

Celebrations Across the Year

Cathy Mere discovers her routine for celebrations at the start of staff meetings is leaving some colleagues out. She revises her thinking and practice for celebrations among literacy coaches all year long.

Tackling Coaching Challenges

Stephanie Affinito shares a protocol with reflective questions to help literacy coaches make professional development opportunities more relevant for teachers.

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.

Encouraging Teachers to Write

One of the biggest challenges literacy coaches face is getting teachers to write. It’s worth the effort, because nothing else is as effective in helping teachers understand and implement successful writing workshops. Ruth Ayres shares three practical strategies for helping teachers put pen to page.

Finding Time for Classroom Walk-Throughs

Matt Renwick is surprised when teachers evaluate his school visibility as weak. He decides to make his classroom visits more purposeful, and shares the strategies he implements.

Aligning Commercial Practices with Excellent Literacy Instruction

Matt Renwick explores how literacy leaders can help teachers stay true to a shared vision of instruction and learning as they explore commercial program options.

Showcasing the Vision

Heather Fisher finds it is much easier to remember a shared vision when it is displayed in classrooms.

The 15-Minute Meeting

Ruth Ayres uses key questions to keep her lesson debrief meetings only 15 minutes long, and finds that the limits provoke rich conversations and reflection in a short amount of time.

Meeting with Building Leaders

Melanie Meehan shares her agenda items and strategies for productive regular meetings between literacy coaches and principals.

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