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Quick Check-ins: Touching Base Before Coaching Sessions

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan describe the art of the three- to five-minute check-in before collaborating with teachers in classrooms.

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.

High Expectations? Looking for Evidence

Melanie Quinn reflects on the profound implications of the high or low expectations teachers have for students, and the coach's role in changing them.

Coaching Minute: Venting and Rant Ruts

Heather Rader explains in this one-minute video the difference between healthy venting and "rant ruts," with advice for how to help colleagues move beyond unhealthy talk patterns.

There’s a Lot More There Than Just a Share

How do you gauge the progress a teacher is making when working on a goal with a coach? Heather Rader assists a teacher who is trying to improve her whole-class writing share sessions, and develops a scale to monitor progress. The scale Heather creates can be adapted for use in almost any coaching situation.

A Small Group Coaching Cycle in Action

Kristin Houser explains how group coaching can be a useful structure for helping teachers make changes in their classrooms with this case study of two kindergarten teachers.

Coaching Minute: Working with Principals

Ruth Ayres has advice for how literacy coaches can work effectively with principals in this one-minute video.

Why I Hate Homework

Tell us how you really feel! Jennifer Schwanke shares her passionate views about homework as a principal and parent. When is the last time you’ve talked with teachers about homework demands? This is an article you might use to open up some lively discussions.

Something to Talk (and Write) About

Are too many guided reading groups in the primary grades focused on print processing? Shari Frost discovers that teachers may focus little on helping children make meaning from emergent texts because there is so little to talk about in them. In this book list, she suggest texts that can spark lively discussions among even the youngest readers.

Picture It: Demonstrating Observation Skills

Observation skills are tricky to demonstrate to teachers. In this photo, you can see what it looks like when Linda Karamatic confers with a student and Amanda Adrian takes notes as part of a live demonstration for teachers during a professional development session.

Coaching Minute: Different Philosophies

What do you do when the teacher you are coaching has a different philosophy? Ruth Ayres advises you to find common ground in this coaching minute video.

Time In/Time Out Conference: Ava

The Time In/Time Out Conference is a terrific way for coaches to maximize time and reflection in classrooms. Literacy Coach Ruth Ayres and Cathy Laker confer with Ava, a second grader in Cathy's classroom. They use timeouts to share conferring responsibilities and reflection in the midst of the conference.

Who’s the Audience for Demonstration Lessons?

Who’s the audience for demonstration lessons? Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan explain why it isn’t students, and advise coaches on how to open communication with teachers about effective demonstrations.

Exploring Themes in the Intermediate Grades

Jennifer Allen describes a simple highlighting strategy adopted by grades 3-5 teachers to help students explore themes in literature and meet standards from the Common Core.

Video and the Thoughtful Coach

Brian Sepe finds video is a wonderful tool for fostering both teacher and coach reflection.

The Dangers of Overplanning

Jennifer Allen discovers there are limits to planning, and too much of it can hinder growth in professional development settings.

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.

The Worried Parent

Jennifer Schwanke shares a common experience for principals — meeting with parents who are worried about the progress of their child.

Clarity and Connection: The Language of Change

Principal Jason DiCarlo thinks through the language he uses daily to promote a shared positive vision in his school.

Creating a Master Schedule

Karen Szymusiak explains why large blocks of time for literacy instruction are crucial, and how she worked as a principal to develop a master schedule for the school that included them.

Coaching Minute: Back Pocket Questions

In this Coaching Minute video, Heather Rader shares the power of back-pocket questions in building rapport with teachers and administrators.

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