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Classroom Visit Protocols

Jennifer Schwanke shares tips for ensuring your classroom visits aren't unexpected or unwelcome.

Outreach by Reaching Out

David Pittman begins a morning resenting bus duty, and ends with insights into how literacy coaches can use chance encounters to build connections with families.

Literacy Audit (Part 4): Building a Strong Team

We continue our series on literacy audits. Jennifer Schwanke explains why it is essential to build a strong team if you want to see real change after completing an audit and deciding on next steps.

Rethinking Morning Announcements

"Are you going to read one of your stupid quotes again?" This question from a "frequent flyer" in the principal's office got Matt Renwick to consider ways to change up the morning announcements with a variety of literacy-related components.

Literacy Audit (Part 2): Taking Your School’s Pulse

Jennifer Schwanke continues her series on literacy audits. In this installment, she provides some key questions for taking the "literacy pulse" in your school.

You’ve Done It. What Happens Next?

David Pittman shares the unspoken questions new literacy coaches will ask themselves or will face from teachers in their new role.

You’re New to Coaching. Now What?

Cathy Mere remembers her early days as a coach and shares her top seven strategies for having a fulfilling first year.

Celebrate and Reflect

Have you paused yet to celebrate all you’ve accomplished with teachers this year? Literacy coaches Cathy Mere and Kelly Hoenie take a few minutes to reflect on what has gone well and the learning they will carry forward over the summer.

Developing a Principal and Coach Partnership

Matt Renwick explains how he works as a principal to build a relationship with the school's literacy coach, including scheduling weekly meetings and sharing responsibilities in whole-staff meetings.

How Principals Can Help Build Teacher and Coach Connections

Principal Lee Snider explains why it is important for coaches to schedule in-class time with every teacher, and how principals can help in supporting this work.

When Email Isn’t Enough

Jennifer Schwanke finds that sometimes email can't take the place of face-to-face interactions. She explains why she doesn't let a quest to save time override consideration of when meetings are needed.

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.

Learning and Leading Through Teaching

If you want to understand the real concerns of teachers, you have to teach children. Not only in demonstrations, and not only collaboratively, but solo with the constraints any teacher faces. Matt Renwick explains how these experiences are invaluable for his work as a literacy leader.

Using Digital Tools for Instructional Walks

Matt Renwick avoided using digital tools during classroom visits in order not to intimidate teachers. He shares how over time his practice changed when he saw the power of some tools for expanding and extending his communication with colleagues.

Preparing Teachers for Reading Over Breaks

Stephanie Affinito shares strategies for helping teachers build plans and excitement for reading over holiday and summer breaks.

Conferring Matters: A Coach’s Perspective

Ruth Ayres shares strategies for building teachers' conferring skills. This article is part of a new occasional series, Expectations and Nudges, where Ruth Ayres and Lee Snider will explore the same topic from the perspectives of a literacy coach and a principal.

Conferring Matters: A Principal’s Perspective

Lee Snider explains how he builds interest and conferring skills in writing workshops.

Reading Invasion

"Imagine roughly 400 people—staff and students—walking out into the green space on your school campus. Now imagine every one of them with a book in hand. Next, they all take up a space that feels comfortable. Then, they read." Brian Sepe explains how a "reading invasion" is a simple, fun, and powerful way to promote a reading community.

It’s the Little Things: Small Actions for Building a Healthy Literacy Culture

Matt Renwick explains how everything from symbols to basic cleanliness in schools affects the climate for literacy.

DIY Notebooks for Literacy Coaches

Stephanie Affinito turns her on-the-spot demo notes and scrawled sticky notes into a more carefully constructed coaching notebook.

Can Anyone Be an Instructional Coach?

When it comes time to hire a new literacy coach, Matt Renwick finds himself focusing on three simple and essential qualities every coach must possess.

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