Results
Math, Literacy, and RTI

For several years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with the brilliant Amy Simmons, an instructional support teacher and “administrative intern” (a fancy name to describe an assistant principal). Part...

Assessment and Response to Intervention

Lisa is a third grader who has been in intervention for two years. She was placed in intervention based on the results of a universal screener. This screener determined her...

Creating Flash Continuums

It is part of my work to guide teams of teachers to create standards-based learning continuums. A continuum is a way to generate a common understanding of a selected standard...

Rethinking End-of-Year Assessments

If an assessment is not lifting the quality of our instruction or helping us understand the needs of readers, we believe we need to question why we are giving it....

Coaching Minute: Personalizing Assessment Binders

Kathy Provost and Heather Fisher chat about the challenges of getting teachers to use assessment binders, and the importance of helping teachers tailor the binders to their needs.    

Grade Three Writing Checklist

Tammy Mulligan uses a checklist with third-grade writers in this demonstration lesson. The lesson includes a planning session and debrief with the teacher.

Poetry for Notetaking

On most days when I enter Katie Czerwinski’s sixth-grade classroom, I take out my trusty notebook and pen and pull up a chair beside a student or settle into a...

Coaching Minute: Getting Started with Evernote

Ruth Ayres and Deb Gaby talk about how they are beginning to use Evernote and different ways of organizing the tool.

Accountable Talk: Beginning Steps

As another set of state test scores reaches our doorway, our grade 3-6 teachers are frustrated at the amount of work they have done with students over the past four...

Writer-ish

Thinking ishly allowed his ideas to flow freely.                                                    Peter Reynolds in Ish In my new position as a literacy coach, I no longer have a classroom of students. Although...

Failure to Thrive: Rethinking Assessment Binders

"Let's put together a binder for teachers that holds all the important assessment things they need. Let's make them color coded by grade level. And let's give them to every...

Creating a Healthy Classroom Culture the First Week of School

Teachers are lucky: we get two New Year’s Days when we get to celebrate and make resolutions for a fresh start. The most important one, of course, is the unofficial...

Rubrics and Muggles: Common Frameworks and Instructional Coaching

My son is obsessed with Harry Potter. It started with an introduction by his older cousins to the first movie and has snowballed from there. He has taken to putting...

Slow Down: The Power of Two-Word Goals

For the past few years, I’ve made a simple two-word goal for myself.  Last year, it was “Talk Less.”  I established the goal because I had become irritated with my...

Strength in Assessment: A Professional Development Protocol

Recently I worked with a group of literacy leaders representing a number of different schools and experiences from all across the Portland, Oregon metro area. I knew they held a...

The Power of the Spoken Word

I am exploring the new Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (ELA). I flip to a new section and read Speaking and Listening, Comprehension and Collaboration. My eyes...

Picture It: Objectives and the Coach

Setting and communicating clear objectives to students is essential. In his article “Objectives That Students Understand,” Robert J. Marzano points out that an ineffective use of objectives is “writing the...

Assessing Students: Many Hands for a Lighter Load

Many of our informative assessments are administered individually. The benefit of these assessments is the opportunity they provide to notice which reading strategies each student uses, what the child comprehends,...

Improvement Plan

Maria taught sixth-grade language arts in the middle school where I was an assistant principal. When I first came to the building, my principal warned me about Maria. “She’s struggling,”...

Personal Conferring Notebooks

How do you effectively and efficiently share formative assessment data between the teachers providing different types of instructional support when the population of students receiving extra instructional support exceeds more...

Triangulating: The Importance of Multiple Data Points When Assessing Students

We went to a professional development session a few years ago with Elizabeth City and she gave us a name for something we have always believed – the importance of...