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Math, Literacy, and RTI

Jennifer Schwanke explores connections between content literacy and RTI plans.

Assessment and Response to Intervention

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan explain why the promise of RTI won’t be fulfilled until individual assessments are more closely linked to interventions.

Creating Flash Continuums

Jason DiCarlo explains how to help teachers build flash continuums together. This activity is a quick routine used often to ensure teachers understand the Common Core standards and how to implement them at each grade level.

Rethinking End-of-Year Assessments

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share strategies for getting the most out of end-of-year assessments, even those that are most likely to gather dust after they are administered.

Coaching Minute: Personalizing Assessment Binders

Kathy Provost and Heather Fisher chat about the challenges of getting teachers to use assessment binders, and the importance of helping teachers tailor the binders to their needs.

Grade Three Writing Checklist

Tammy Mulligan uses a checklist with third-grade writers in this demonstration lesson. The lesson includes a planning session and debrief with the teacher.

Poetry for Notetaking

Ruth Shagoury finds poetry is a wonderful tool for breakthroughs in classroom observation notes.

Coaching Minute: Getting Started with Evernote

Ruth Ayres and Deb Gaby talk about how they are beginning to use Evernote and different ways of organizing the tool.

Accountable Talk: Beginning Steps

Kathy Provost and her colleagues are disappointed with test scores and realize that the quality of student conversations in their classrooms needs a lift.


Julie Johnson fails in an attempt to assess two kindergartners, and over time learns a lot about trust and the children's abilities from observing them and listening to their teacher.

Failure to Thrive: Rethinking Assessment Binders

Kathy Provost and her coaching colleague are delighted with the assessment binders they've created . . . until they realize teachers aren't actually using them.

Creating a Healthy Classroom Culture the First Week of School

Ruth Shagoury observes how a classroom community is built in one sixth-grade classroom, and ponders how she can use what she has observed with the young teachers she mentors.

Rubrics and Muggles: Common Frameworks and Instructional Coaching

Jennifer Brotherton finds it is essential to develop a common language for teachers and coaches when teacher evaluation standards are being discussed.

Slow Down: The Power of Two-Word Goals

Jennifer Schwanke is a minimalist when it comes to setting goals, and her advice may help you focus your expectations in the new year too.

Strength in Assessment: A Professional Development Protocol

How can you lead a discussion about assessment without getting bogged down in minutia? Andie Cunningham shares a protocol that sparks participation with the drawback of one or two people (or assessment tools) dominating the conversation.

The Power of the Spoken Word

Heather Sisson helps a fourth-grade teacher apply speaking and listening standards from the Common Core in his classroom, and collect data to analyze students' oral skills at the same time.

Picture It: Objectives and the Coach

Posting objectives is the norm in many classrooms. Heather Rader has a suggestion for making the practice more reflective for teachers and coaches.

Assessing Students: Many Hands for a Lighter Load

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan describe seven different strategies they’ve seen in schools for fostering more collaboration among teachers assessing students.

Improvement Plan

Have you ever had to develop and implement an improvement plan with a struggling teacher? Jennifer Schwanke not only faced this challenge — she had to mentor a teacher who was two decades older and resistant. She explains how her work with the teacher and the plan evolved over two years of collaboration.

Triangulating: The Importance of Multiple Data Points When Assessing Students

No data point for any child stands alone.  Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan write about the importance of triangulating data when looking at student assessments, and in the process affirm the value of classroom observations.

Transcription: A Lens for Reflection

Amanda Adrian develops a new appreciation for transcriptions and the reflection they encourage.

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