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Undercover Coach: Making Time to Work with Children

If you're a literacy coach, the most important question to ask yourself may be this: how much time am I spending in classrooms?  Shari Frost writes about how coaches can move beyond a quest for perfect demo lessons to a stance of learning alongside teachers.

Engaging Teachers with Coaching

Heather Rader has some thoughtful advice on broaching the subjects of clarity, purpose, and confidentiality when engaging with teachers early in the coaching relationship.

What Coaches Carry (Part 1)

Some teacher leaders work outside of a classroom and still need to keep their tools at hand. This round-up of advice focuses on what goes along with coaches.

Coaching High-Fives

Stephanie Affinito finds the simple, quick, and modest celebrations can be just what teachers need to get through a long day. She shares the value of these coaching high fives.

Literacy, Phys Ed, and Workshops Across the Curriculum

Jen Schwanke is surprised when a terrific language arts teacher switches to physical education, until she realizes that workshop instruction is good teaching in almost any subject area.

Field Notes: Where’s My Language?

Ruth Ayres attends a share session at the end of a second-grade writing workshop conducted entirely in Spanish. It’s a gift and privilege for her to experience what non-Native speakers do every day in English language classrooms, and it makes her reflect upon what it takes to make anyone feel welcome in a classroom or school community.

Forces of Nature

Literacy can be seen as a “curricular bully” by science and math teachers, taking over the curriculum and many professional development sessions. Suzy Kaback faces that challenge when she adds poetry writing and visual arts to a session for STEM educators.

Hard Topics in Reading

Jennifer Allen explains how she leads conversations about hard themes in literature and how teachers might use these books that include trauma in their classrooms.

Demonstration Small Group: Novels in Verse

Tammy Mulligan leads a demonstration small group with sixth graders who are reading novels in verse.

A Heart for Coaching

“Do you miss the classroom?” Cathy Mere has answered this question often. It makes her think about the differences between coaching and teaching, and how it takes time to develop a coaching heart.

They Don’t Know High-Frequency Words

Cathy Mere shares strategies for coaching teachers with a common complaint—their students don’t know high-frequency words.

Coaching Minute: Collaborating with Principals

Literacy coach Jen Court explains how she collaborates with principals.

Overcorrecting

“Did I do anything right?” Suzy Kaback receives a note from a gifted teacher that gives her pause. Suzy wonders if avoiding praise is damaging her relationships with teachers. She decides to give more feedback for continuation, which is praise’s smarter cousin for coaches.

Coaching Minute: Sharing Individual Learning with Teaching Teams

Jean Russell explains how she leverages one-on-one coaching for learning with entire grade-level teams.

Increasing the Stickiness of Minilessons

Coaches often hear the same question from teachers: How can we get ideas from the minilesson to stick in workshops? Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share some of their best strategies for making minilessons “sticky.”

Writing Realistic Fiction

Melanie Meehan explains how she takes students step-by-step through the process of creating realistic fiction.

Investing in Coaching Logs

After initial skepticism, David Pittman discovers coaching logs are an essential tool in planning, organizing, and documenting his work with teachers.

Demonstration Small Group: Emergent Kindergarten Readers

Clare Landrigan leads a demonstration small group of emergent kindergarten readers focused on inferring. They are reading Cookie’s Week. The lesson includes a prebrief and debrief with the teacher.

Grade Level Team Meeting: Student Notebooks

Kathy Provost coaches two third-grade teachers as they consider what students are jotting in their notebooks, and how they could make changes before beginning a new unit.

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