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Teaching Advanced Second-Grade Writers: Designing the Lesson

Literacy coach Kathy Provost and second-grade teacher Jen Volpicelli design a lesson for second graders who are moving beyond grade-level expectations in their writing. This is the first video in...

Collaborative Teaching: Debrief

Literacy coach Kathy Provost and second-grade teacher Jen Volpicelli debrief after teaching a lesson on opinion writing to Owen and Laura. This is the third video in a three-part series.

Collaborative Teaching: Opinion Writing

Literacy coach Kathy Provost and second-grade teacher Jen Volpicelli teach a lesson on opinion writing to Owen and Laura. This is the second video in a three-part series.

Planning for Collaborative Teaching

Literacy coach Kathy Provost plans for small-group instruction with second-grade teacher Jen Volpicelli. This first video in a series is excellent for thinking through how coaches can make their planning...

Repertoire: A Coach’s Perspective

In my writer’s notebook, I keep a list of words I love. One of my favorites is repertoire. I love spelling it. I love the way it sounds. And I...

Keeping Note Taking Fresh for Students

In grades three and up, our teachers and students use notebooks to record their thinking. They use these notes to track characters, ask questions, make inferences, track a theme, and...

Shifting to Student-Centered Coaching

During my first two years in my position as writing coordinator, a large percentage of my work involved developing curriculum and assessments. My coaching work was mainly for new teachers...

Seizing a Coaching Opportunity

As one of the adults in the building who clips a walkie-talkie to my waistband, I smugly expected a class of fifth graders to listen to me. That bubble was...

Four Ways to Breathe Life into Classroom Charts

Charts are an incredible resource for developing independence in classrooms. When used effectively, charts document the teaching that has happened in the classroom and allow students to revisit lessons. Sometimes...

Reframing Questions to Build a Reading Community

On a cold December morning, a group of teachers came together to talk about reading workshop and how we could support our readers as they grow. One question emerged: How do...

Student-Centered Coaching: Collaborating with Teachers

A teacher who earlier shared that her team has a focus on nonfiction writing is at the copier. I greet her and say, “I was thinking about your team as...

I Should Have Stopped at the Staples

As a fourth-year literacy coach, I like to think that I have lots of experience under my belt to share with new teachers and can be more of an "expert"...

Everyone Needs a Carly

This is kind of one of those “I’m leaving the classroom” pieces. But it isn’t. This “leaving the classroom” piece, mercifully, is driven not by the demons of standardization, defunding,...

Preparing to Model Writing Workshop

Of all the work I do as a coach, I continue to believe modeling makes the biggest difference in transforming instructional practices. I used to spend hours secluded in my...

Collaborative Conferring

Earlier in the year I was asked by a group of kindergarten teachers how they might be able to streamline the process of organizing the notes from their student conferences...

The Writing Process Revisited

Melanie is one of those super-organized teachers. Her classroom has labeled, color-coded book bins arranged in alphabetical order on the bookshelves (fiction: red, informational: blue, poetry: yellow). Her students all...

Throw It In, Stir It Up, See What We Get: English Language Learners Tackling Complex Texts

“Being able to read complex text independently and proficiently is essential for high achievement in college and the workplace and important in numerous life tasks.” Appendix A, Common Core English...

Picture Walks Gone Wild: Supporting Teachers in the Appropriate Use of Picture Walks

Rita was literally sitting on her hands and biting her lips to keep them clamped shut. I checked the clock on the wall again. Rita was right – this picture...

No Time for Collaboration

A literacy interventionist, Marnie, double-checked her notes. She had it right. Andy, a fifth grader, was indeed reading Poppy (Avi, 2005). Andy kept calling the main character Bobby instead of...

Coaching Minute: Flexible Plans

The key to successful coaching in classrooms? Ruth Ayres believes it is flexibility and keeping some space in your schedule for the unexpected, as she explains in this Coaching Minute...

Letting Children Lead While Conferring

I love Tuesdays, the day I get to return to work with a special group of third-grade students. I enter the room and see almost all students writing in notebooks...