Latest Content
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. 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.

Katherine Casey on Coaching in Classrooms (PODCAST)

In this podcast, Katherine Casey shares her wisdom on classroom modeling for coaches that really works because both teacher and coach have a shared understanding of purpose and practice.

Katherine Casey on Sharing Blunders with Colleagues (PODCAST)

Katherine Casey explains why she shares her teaching blunders (on video, no less) with colleagues, and what she has learned from the process.

Literacy Coaching and Student Work with Diane Sweeney (PODCAST)

Diane Sweeney talks about the importance of focusing more on student work and less on teacher plans and lessons for literacy coaches.

Evocative Coaching with Bob and Megan Tschannen-Moran (PODCAST)

In this podcast, the authors of Evocative Coaching discuss their four-part model and what it offers educators.

Exit Slips Open Doors

We’re firm believers that literacy coaches should go where they are welcome in classrooms and be patient. But what happens when you’ve been a literacy coach for years, and you’re still waiting for those invitations from some teachers? Amanda Adrian explains how a simple professional development closure activity garnered many new invitations to classrooms. Download an exit slip to use for your next closure activity.

I Can’t Quite Put My Finger On It

Have you ever had a teacher enthusiastically embrace a new "magic bullet" instructional program that includes scripted or rote elements that concern you? Melanie Quinn considers this sticky situation instructional coaches sometimes find themselves in, and comes up with some starting points for conversations with colleagues.

Jennifer Allen on Working with Veteran Teachers (PODCAST)

Jennifer Allen has developed some innovative support systems for veteran teachers. She shares her insights in this podcast.

Getting the Most Out of Visiting a Colleague’s Classroom (PODCAST)

Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan talk with Franki Sibberson about strategies for getting the most out of observing in a colleague’s classroom.

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