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Building Specialist Capacity

Melanie Meehan explains how she creates videos to enhance the skills of paraprofessionals and volunteers working in classrooms.

Fourth-Grade Advanced Readers: Planning

Kathy Provost helps a fourth-grade teacher plan how to support advanced readers in a demonstration small group. This is the first video in a three-part series.

Fourth-Grade Advanced Readers: Demonstration Lesson

Kathy Provost helps a fourth-grade teacher support advanced readers in a demonstration small group. This is the second video in a three-part series.

Fourth-Grade Advanced Readers: Debrief

Kathy Provost debriefs with a fourth-grade teacher after supporting advanced readers in a demonstration small group. This is the final video in a three-part series.

Coach and Principal Relationships

Ruth Ayres has suggestions for stronger and more productive relationships between literacy coaches and principals.

Preparing Teachers for Reading Over Breaks

Stephanie Affinito shares strategies for helping teachers build plans and excitement for reading over holiday and summer breaks.

Evaluation Season

Jennifer Schwanke shares the challenges of having honest conversations with teachers during evaluative sessions, acknowledging that her performance is being judged as well.

Building from Strengths

This professional development activity from Brenda Power is a positive take on the many skills teachers have to tackle any problem.

Speech/Language Pathology and Literacy: Making Connections

Jennifer Schwanke explains why she routinely consults with a speech and language specialist for insights into reading and writing difficulties a student may be experiencing.

More Productive Workshops

By early in the new year, literacy workshops should be humming with productivity. If you're in one that isn't, Melanie Meehan has suggestions for working with the teacher to find and solve problems together.

Breathe

Jen Schwanke resists giving time over to a teacher for an unplanned activity before a meeting she knows will be challenging. Afterward, she realizes the value in pausing to remind everyone what matters most in our work.

Build More Lingering into Coaching

Stephanie Affinito finds that frustration can morph into appreciation when coaches linger long enough to let teachers know how much their work is valued. She provides many practical suggestions for how to slow down during hectic coaching days.

The Children Are Communicating. Are We Listening?

Melanie Quinn realizes our classrooms are filled with mini-coaches. The students in front of us are clearly communicating their needs; we just need to do a better job of paying attention.

Coaching Minute: Case Study Observation Form

Literacy coaches Heather Fisher and Kathy Provost talk about how their work with reading specialists has evolved by having the specialists focus on case studies of individual students, rather than spending much of their time focused solely on big data. They share a form they use to help reading specialists hone their observation skills.

Who Are “They”? Word Choice and Student Learning

Gretchen Taylor finds that these kids and everyone are key words to focus on in coaching, because they can signify sweeping assumptions in lieu of a close look at individual behaviors.

Making Meetings Purposeful

From identifying intent to setting personal norms, Jen Schwanke shares her key principles for leading meetings that participants won't hate.

Being Selfish About Meeting Norms

Jennifer Allen questions the purpose of meeting norms, and begins from a new place in establishing them for a study group.

First-Grade Team: Exploring Student Engagement

Heather Fisher leads a first-grade team monthly meeting where everyone shares strategies they are trying for fostering more student engagement.

Coaching in Classrooms with English Language Learners

Many schools have seen an influx of English language learners recently. Coaches with little ELL experience may struggle to assist teachers with large ELL populations. Stella Villalba shares some tools and strategies for in-class coaching in classrooms with many English language learners.

Do or Die

Melanie Quinn deals with a panic-stricken young teacher near tears after a lousy evaluation. She explains what she did to move him past emotion and into a plan to improve his instruction.

Getting Emotional

It happens at least once a year for Jennifer Schwanke: she finds herself on the verge of crying in a professional setting. Here's her best advice for literacy leaders to keep the tears at bay.

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