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Tips for Planning with Teachers

Melanie Meehan shares some of her favorite templates for flexible lesson planning with teachers.

Three Questions to Open Coaching Conversations

Ruth Ayres shares her favorite prompts for helping teachers think in new ways about the challenges they face, and a literacy leader’s role in assisting.

The Hole in Your Swing

The hole in your swing is your greatest weakness as a literacy leader. Matt Renwick explains how you can face your own vulnerability as a literacy leader and tackle it head-on.

Becoming More Strategic in Coaching Stressed Teachers

From shorter meetings to tapping data in creative ways, Ruth Ayres shares her best tips for supporting stressed teachers.

Clearing the Plate: Helping Teachers Feel Free, Not Full

David Pittman is stunned when a teacher he is coaching begs off from more work together. The experience helps him reassess how he collaborates with overwhelmed colleagues.

Word Study PD: Building on Strengths

Gretchen Taylor finds teachers are particularly insecure about their ability to lead word study with children. So she begins a professional development session by helping them see how capable they are.

Demonstration Lesson: A First Grader Decodes and Makes Meaning

In this demonstration lesson, Clare Landrigan confers with a first grader by building on his strengths of growing fluency and volume with strategies for decoding. The lesson includes a prebrief and debrief with the teacher.

A Literacy Foundation

A literacy community is only as strong as its foundation. Matt Renwick uses discussions around mission statements and shared texts to build a collective vision for literacy instruction in one school.

Data Pictures Instead of Data Walls

Matt Renwick finds that data pictures instead of data walls are less intimidating for staff, and also allow for some creative collaboration around what data might be useful in analyzing achievement.

Coaching Minute: The Perils of Demonstration Lessons

In this brief video, Cathy Mere talks about how classroom visits that include demonstration lessons can build rapport with teachers but can also serve as a trap for literacy coaches.

Classroom Visit Protocols

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

The Third Rail: Coaching and Instructional Assessment

David Pittman finishes a coaching cycle with a teacher and realizes his hesitancy to evaluate the teacher during his classroom visits hinders any celebration of the teacher's growth during their time together.

Book Study

Jennifer Schwanke creates a more organic, choice-driven process for book study groups in her school.

Scheduling Study Groups for the Year

Jennifer Allen shares her selections and schedule for book study groups throughout the year.

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.

Creating the Future

Melanie Quinn shares a quick activity to help teachers visualize their hopes and dreams at the start of the school year.

Community over Connectivity: Mindful Technology Practices

Matt Renwick considers how technology can hinder building relationships or be used as a tool in fledgling classroom communities.

Know Their Story

David Pittman finds that a teacher is dismissed as a veteran, which can be code for good luck getting that one to change. What he discovers is someone with a rich life and history beyond the classroom that is worth tapping into.

Ms. Perfectly Nice

Dana Murphy understands the quiet go-along teacher she meets in professional development settings, if only because she sometimes was that person in the past. She shares strategies for challenging those agreeable folks to speak up and reflect more deeply on their practice.

Literacy Audit (Part 6): Becoming a Literacy Ambassador

Jennifer Schwanke concludes her literacy audit series with ideas for how you can become the biggest advocate and cheerleader for literacy in your school.

Guiding Questions to Stay Grounded

Conversations about needy students can be noisy, busy, and contentious. Stella Villalba finds that developing a few questions for reflection is a terrific way to stay grounded in basic principles and beliefs.

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