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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.

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.

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