Latest Content
Whenever They Are Ready: Building Trust for PD Success

Matt Renwick finds he needs to take a deep breath, listen, and be open to options when there is a disagreement about next steps in a school improvement initiative.

I’m Already Doing This

“I’m already doing this,” a teacher groans. And the literacy coach groans inwardly at the same time, because they usually aren’t doing anything resembling the innovation being discussed. Dana Murphy explains how she uses validation and questions to move beyond this conversation killer in professional development settings.

Finding Time and Space to Recharge All Year Long

Jennifer Allen shares some simple strategies for integrating more choice and restoration time into professional development all year long.

Literacy Audit (Part 4): Building a Strong Team

We continue our series on literacy audits. Jennifer Schwanke explains why it is essential to build a strong team if you want to see real change after completing an audit and deciding on next steps.

Literacy Audit (Part 5): Providing Resources and Support

Jennifer Schwanke continues her series on literacy audits. In this installment, she takes on the challenge of matching limited resources and time to nearly unlimited needs.

Is There Such a Thing as Being Too Collaborative?

Jennifer Allen examines her desire to be a part of nearly every initiative in the district, and makes some decisions about when it makes sense to step back.

Rethinking Morning Announcements

"Are you going to read one of your stupid quotes again?" This question from a "frequent flyer" in the principal's office got Matt Renwick to consider ways to change up the morning announcements with a variety of literacy-related components.

Literacy Audit (Part 3): Making a Plan

We continue our series on taking a literacy audit. In this installment, Jennifer Schwanke describes a process for developing a plan to improve literacy practices once you've identified areas of need.

Using Video to Step Forward

Cathy Mere explains why using video in professional development that is captured in your own school or district’s classrooms can be far more powerful than any video purchased or provided in a kit. She provides tips for inviting teachers to record and share their practices.

Using Norms in PLCs

Dana Murphy concludes her series on norms, explaining how to keep norms alive throughout the year so that you don’t have to experience the awkwardness of reprimanding colleagues at meetings.

Literacy Audit (Part 2): Taking Your School’s Pulse

Jennifer Schwanke continues her series on literacy audits. In this installment, she provides some key questions for taking the "literacy pulse" in your school.

Literacy Self-Audit (Part 1): Beginning Questions

Jennifer Schwanke shares questions for beginning a reflective analysis of your strengths and needs in literacy.

Setting Norms in PLCs

There are always norms in groups. Shouldn’t you be the leader in making sure they are positive ones? Dana Murphy shares the process she uses and gives an example.

Auditing Your Literacy Leadership: Introduction

Jennifer Schwanke begins a new summer series on doing a self-audit of your literacy leadership and your school's needs. This is a great tool for reflection and planning for the new school year. In this introduction, Jen explains why this auditing and reflection is essential work.

You’re New to Coaching. Now What?

Cathy Mere remembers her early days as a coach and shares her top seven strategies for having a fulfilling first year.

You’ve Done It. What Happens Next?

David Pittman shares the unspoken questions new literacy coaches will ask themselves or will face from teachers in their new role.

Resisting Traditional Definitions of Productivity

Matt Renwick explores the differences between commonly accepted measures of productivity and the work that has the most value for literacy leaders.

Ways to Personalize PD

Literacy coaches Cathy Mere and Kelly Hoenie talk about some of their efforts to personalize professional development for teachers over the past year, and what they learned that they will carry into the fall.

Old Technology for New Engagement

Matt Renwick repurposes nearly obsolete technologies such as typewriters and Polaroid cameras for surprising new learning in classrooms.

The Instagram Project

Stephanie Affinito uses a popular app to stay on top of children's literature and deliver timely recommendations to teachers and children.

Time to Plan

When the school doors close for the summer, literacy coaches and school leaders face the landscape of a blank calendar for the new school year. Ruth Ayres thinks through how to prioritze time in a way that supports your beliefs and values.

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