Results
Analyzing Student Work: Beginning with Strengths

“I don’t even know where to start,” she mutters under her breath as her eyes widen at the sight and her shoulders slump. They lie there, a stack of notes...

Showcasing the Vision

A family portrait hanging on the gallery wall in your house. A photo block of your child’s first birthday front and center on the fireplace mantel. A matted and framed...

Data Pictures Instead of Data Walls

I've never been a big fan of data walls. They typically consist of bulletin boards and physical space that house student data, documenting various levels of student literacy achievement. One...

The Third Rail: Coaching and Instructional Assessment

As I reflected with Joy about our recent coaching cycle, we looked back to our original goals and the pre- and post-data about her students' work. We had seen more...

Guiding Questions to Stay Grounded

I have 20 minutes to make it to my next meeting, I think to myself as I put my laptop away in my bag. I thank the teachers for their...

Literacy Audit (Part 5): Providing Resources and Support

With a literacy team in place, let’s talk about one of the roles you can share with your team: getting students and teachers the appropriate materials to help them be...

Literacy Audit (Part 3): Making a Plan

Since I’ve been a leader for many years, I have the benefit of retrospect. When I have identified growth areas or launched a plan for improvement, my rearview mirror reveals...

Literacy Self-Audit (Part 1): Beginning Questions

If you’ve been hired to be a principal or literacy coach, you may feel confident about your leadership capabilities in literacy instruction, or you may suspect you have quite a...

Auditing Your Literacy Leadership: Introduction

Principals, instructional coaches, and curriculum leaders are by nature confident and courageous people. We find it easy to build relationships with teachers, students, and parents. We know how to communicate...

Student Centered and Teacher Driven: Coaching and Instructional Assessment

As I reflected with Joy about our recent coaching cycle, we looked back to our original goals and the pre- and post-data on her students' work. We had seen more...

Breakthroughs and Barriers: Going Schoolwide with a Literacy Initiative

In our move to Mineral Point, Wisconsin, we purchased an old home in very good condition. It’s a four-square home, built to last. The previous owner was diligent about improvements...

Evaluation Season

We just finished hunting season in my hometown. This is a lovely time of year, with hints of winter peeking through sunshine and crackly leaves. But there is a lot...

Coaching Feedback and Reflection

A leader’s job is not to do the work for others, it’s to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done and to succeed beyond...

Professional Reboot

Last year, my assistant principal and I had a conversation in which we talked about ways we could both grow as administrators. I recommended that he seek out a way...

Assessing First-Grade Learning

Jason DiCarlo leads a first-grade study group as they discuss different options for young learners to demonstrate understanding beyond written responses.  

Looking Back and Planning Forward

When I was a classroom teacher, I had two things on my mind when the calendar turned to spring: a strong finish with my students and the changes I wanted...

Developing Life Skills vs. Teaching to the Test

My principal winced in trepidation while simultaneously nodding in agreement when I suggested last fall that we tackle our low test scores head-on. We started our inservice day meeting like...

Exit Slips for Reflection and Planning

In this video, Kathy Provost and Heather Fisher use exit slips to assess the success of a professional development session and plan next steps.  

Assessing Our Impact

Our students have heaps of data about their learning progress: screener scores, benchmarks, quizzes and tests, teachers’ anecdotal records, grades, and portfolio assessments. These results offer a bevy of information...

Learning Targets

For me, one of the most frustrating things about teaching is when I give a great lesson, or one that I think is great, and then none of the work...

Learning Land

I swear it feels like I get an email every five minutes from someone trying to sell me something for our school. Assemblies, puppet shows, field trips, author visits, motivational...