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“There Are Words All Over Our Hallways!”

For students who are quickly becoming independent readers, they need to see the word about ten times before it moves into their bank of easily recognized words. However, our dependent...

Finding a Coaching Model That Works

Our district coaching team is made up of four literacy coaches, each of us based in our own school. Although we are responsible for many aspects of literacy instruction in...

Unspoken Leadership

I once attended a student recognition event at a local high school as a community leader. Students from various pathways were nominated by one of their teachers in their respective...

Making the Most of Monthly Common Planning Times

We were about to enter a new year, a time for a fresh start for meetings with grade-level groups. Heather (my coaching partner) and I put ourselves in the shoes...

A Timesaver for Coaching Cycles

Time is a precious resource in schools today. As coaches we want to support the individual interests and needs of each teacher. To do that, we need time to connect,...

Coaching Minute: Considering Language

Heather Fisher and Kathy Provost share subtle changes in the language they are using with teachers to foster more collaboration.  

Advice for a New Coach

We have a new instructional coach in our office this year. Four of us share the space, and three of us have been working in classrooms for a few years....

200 Feet

It was a personal mission at my previous school to provide students with as much access to books as possible. Two hundred feet from a book at any one time...

Celebrate the Process

It’s time to celebrate. Excitement is buzzing through the air. First-grade writers are standing proudly by their informational chapter books, pointing out important information for their audience. Parents and other...

Parent Bulletin Board

At a recent meeting with one of the principals I work with, she described how she wants to use some of the bulletin board space in her front hallway to...

Creating a Strategy Tool Kit

During the years I have spent as a writing coordinator and coach of writing teachers, I have developed several instructional tools and strategies that work across grades and genres. I...

Share, Learn, Grow: The PD Bulletin Board

A friend of mine opened a restaurant several years ago, and I remember him telling us how hard it was to wait for people to discover it. He knew he...

Getting Books into the Hands of Teachers

Schools are very busy places, and classroom teachers have exceptionally long “to-do” lists. With everything on their plates, they may not have enough time to search the book room or...

Building Effective Literacy Teams

When our kids were little, I don’t know where I would have been without my husband. I can’t imagine having to make tough parenting decisions alone. We both brought different...

Six Ways to Empower Teachers to Write

If we want to teach students to write, then we must understand how writers work. The best way to understand how writers work is to write! When teachers write, their...

Creating a Digital Footprint

Have you ever Googled yourself? You know, just to see what would come up? If you haven’t, I encourage you to do just that. Put your name in Google, put...

Where the Magic Happens

Jeff Wilhelm was a new faculty member at the University of Maine when I enrolled in his graduate course called Teacher Research many years ago. The signature assignment in this...

Defining Your Role as a Coach

After eight years, my husband and I have settled into our marriage. Balancing the demands of our relationship, our full-time jobs, our two children, and everything else means we have...

Meeting Debrief: Coaching Literacy Coaches

Heather Sisson and Amanda Adrian debrief after leading a professional development session for literacy coaches on the Pause Paraphrase Probe strategy.  

Coaching Connections

Recently I attended an intensive weekend yoga retreat. I spent a full day out of my comfort zone, pushing my limits doing things like boat pose in the air while...

Coaching Tool: Evernote

Each time we meet with a group of teachers, leave a classroom after a coaching session, or finish a workshop, we think, I need to remember ______. Inevitably, we think...