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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. Download a copy of the “book hook” template to commit to this practice in your school, too.

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.

Professional Development and Then What? How to Keep Learning Alive Long After the Staff Meeting

Melanie Quinn mulls over the challenges and distractions that hamper transfer of learning from professional development sessions to classroom teaching.

Some Study Group Participants Aren’t Reading the Book

Have you ever experienced the strange phenomenon of having colleagues show up for book study groups and gab away, even though they haven't read the text? You may be a victim of "bullcrit"—the willingness of some people to critique movies they haven't seen, music they haven't heard, and books they haven't read. Cross-posted at Choice Literacy.

From Teacher to Coach: Building Community in the Early Days

The transition from teacher to coach is tricky. Melanie Quinn has advice for building relationships with colleagues in the first weeks of school.

Collaborating When the Going Gets Tough

Literacy coach and high school English teacher Ellie Gilbert finds her ninth-grade teaching team is at odds when they work together to plan a new curriculum.

Introducing the Writing Common Core Standards: Planning for Professional Development

Heather Rader sorts through goals, audience, and interest in planning a day of professional development linked to the writing standards in the Common Core.

Opinion Exchange: A Workshop Activity for Study Groups

New teachers need so much their first year and having the ability to be heard and have their opinions valued is right up there. Ruth Shagoury offers a respectful exchange to meet that need.

Personal Conferring Notebooks

With more than 75% of students receiving extra support in a high-need district, Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan struggled to find tools to help teachers collaborate around student needs. Enter the personal conferring notebook, a terrific vehicle for teachers to record insights about students working with multiple teachers and specialists.

Introducing the Common Core Standards in Writing (Part 2)

Heather Rader shares more guidelines for a professional development day on the Common Core with a writing focus. We’ve included a catch-up link if you missed the first article in this series.

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.

Dear Teacher, Dear Principal

Ruth Ayres shares two sample letters explaining her role as a literacy coach to teachers and principals.

Ask Me – I’m Not the Expert

Heather Sisson explores the complicated links between relationships and expertise for literacy coaches and teachers.

Busywork?: From Classroom Assistant to Agent of Change

Ruth Ayres deals with the conundrum of wanting to assist teachers to build relationships as an instructional coach, yet not accepting all menial task requests.

Curriculum Work: Making Meaning Together

Jennifer Allen ponders what professional development structures support authentic changes in curriculum tied to the Common Core.

Making Assumptions

The shift from teaching children to mentoring adults can be difficult for many educators. Ellie Gilbert chronicles the biggest assumptions that harm collaborative relationships with colleagues.

Heather Sisson’s Coaching Space

This "Picture It!" features a look at a simple system to help coaches keep track of materials they loan to teachers.

Teacher and Coach Common Quiet Signals

Coach Heather Rader and Teacher Sean Moore use the same quiet signals to ensure continuity in Sean's second-grade classroom when they share instruction.

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