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Picture It: Increasing Comfort with Technology

Franki Sibberson uses an anchor chart to build community and awareness of technical strengths among her fourth graders.

Supporting New Teachers and Appreciating Their Gifts

Melanie Quinn thinks through the two common "phases" of early-career teachers, and creates a checklist of guidance they will need from literacy leaders.

Overwhelmed Coach

When literacy coach Brian Sepe realizes he’s wearing thin, he adopts some practical strategies to deal with feeling overwhelmed.

Coaching Minute: On the Go Follow-Up Tip

Heather Rader shares advice for dealing with teachers who need support when you are in the midst of other responsibilities.

Building Community Protocols

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share two of their favorite protocols for building community among educators.

The Road to Rainbow Magic: Hannah’s Story

Instructional coach Linda Karamatic works with Hannah and her classroom teacher to build the reading scaffolds Hannah needs to reach her goal.

Keeping It Real for Students: Never Underestimate the Power of Reflection

Melanie Quinn consoles a teacher who is recovering from a disastrous lesson captured on video, and shows the power of a “do-over” for both teachers and students.

Taking Four Corners of Text Personally

Phrases like close reading, text-dependent questions, and four corners of the text abound in the Common Core. But where is the place for personal connections while reading? Heather Rader’s thinking evolves with the help of fourth-grade students and a text about 14 cows.

Simplexity: Finding Your Focus

Jennifer Allen visits a thriving cupcake store in Boston that doesn’t sell any cupcakes.  It turns out to be the perfect example of “simplexity” – Michael Fullan’s term for maintaining focus on goals and a larger purpose.  Jennifer writes about how simplexity applies to professional development planning for literacy leaders.

Hollering About Informational Text

Literacy coaches Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader plan a professional development activity around a deeper understanding of what is meant by the terms informational, literary, and nonfiction in defining texts.

Off the Dance Floor and Onto the Balcony: Getting the Big Picture in Schools

In the day-to-day triage of our schools and the sense of urgency that pushes us to always be accountable for every minute of the day, we need to keep the big picture in mind. Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan help school leaders figure out how to use their time wisely in the early days of building relationships.

Transcription: A Lens for Reflection

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

That Teacher Talks Too Much!

Yakety-yak won't bring 'em back to study groups when someone talks far too much. Here is advice from some of your favorite literacy leaders on how to deal with those "overtalkers" with tact and grace.

Walk-Arounds: Gathering Data to Test Assumptions

Do you have a tattler in your midst? Not a child, but a teacher complaining about the work habits of a colleague? Jennifer Jones explains her proactive use of walk-arounds to gather data and confront misconceptions.

Collaborating with My Principal on Student-Centered Coaching

Heather Sisson is inspired to try something new with her staff, but first she needs to think through the proposal with her principal.

Acquiring Knowledge Two or Three Strategies at a Time

Amanda Adrian knows that a teachers learning new skills need accurate and timely identification of what’s next as support.

Taking the Lead by Teaching

Jodi Mahoney explains how being a "teaching principal" requires less time in the office, and more time in classrooms. She explains how she makes the most of time with students and teachers.

The DIBELS Divide (Literacy Coach Confidential)

A curriculum coordinator loves DIBELS; a first-grade teacher doesn’t.  We provide a range of suggestions from our contributors on dealing with disagreements over assessment.  This article is useful for teachers and literacy leaders who are working together with assessment data early in the year, no matter what evaluative system your school or district has in place.

Book Hooks

Jennifer Schwanke uses the charming "book hook" activity to recommit to keeping reading and classroom visits at the heart of her work as a principal.

Help! Our Grade-Level Team Meetings Are Awful! (Literacy Coach Confidential)

Here’s some advice for dealing with disastrous team meetings.

Tips for More Effective Debriefing Sessions

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share strategies and seven different observation templates for participants to download and try out.

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