Results
Ending the Year by Looking Forward

In this short video, Cathy Mere asks literacy coach Kelly Hoenie to think about how she will use learning from the end of the school year to plan for next...

Narrative Mini-Charts

I spend a lot of time making charts. I have multiple sketchbooks that I’ve filled up with charts over the years: anchor charts, strategy charts, learning progressions. These books have...

A Peek at a Coaching Notebook

Literacy coach Kelly Hoenie opens up her coaching notebook and shares with Cathy Mere what she writes down during observations and consultations, as well as how she uses the information...

Coaching Minute: Principals and Questions

Jen Schwanke explains why one of the most crucial tasks for a principal is to slow down and ask good questions.

Reframing Data Discussions

“Will you lead a meeting going over ELA benchmark data with second through sixth grade on one of the institute days?” “Sure.” (Please no.) “Which day?” (Please say the second...

Coaching Minute: Building Coach and Specialist Collaboration

Cathy Mere and Kelly Hoenie talk about the importance of more collaboration between literacy coaches and reading specialists, and how to foster it.

Identity and Coaching

What happens when you consider yourself good at something and then your skill is questioned? For example, I consider myself a champion chocolate chip cookie baker, but when I brought...

Coaching Minute: Using Video with Literacy Coaches

Cathy Mere shares four quick tips to help literacy coaches use video thoughtfully in professional development and hone their own instructional skills.

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...

An Ounce of Doubt

In my daily instructional walks, visiting classroom after classroom and engaging in the teaching and learning, I have started getting more interested in the why behind our practices. One area...

The Lion Unit

In my first year of coaching, my staff and I spent the fall focused on math instruction. We finally had an opportunity during the last three weeks before break to...

Three Questions to Open Coaching Conversations

The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.                                                                                  Thomas Berger In an early blog post sharing her ideas for student-centered coaching, Diane Sweeney writes,...

Becoming More Strategic in Coaching Stressed Teachers

Suddenly, I’m a momma to big kids. It caught me off guard and I’m still wondering how it happened, because I'm sure I didn’t blink. In addition to looking up...

Community over Connectivity: Mindful Technology Practices

As a school leader, I don't have all the resources I want, but one of the few I can generally ask for and expect to receive is technology. Whether software...

Helping Teachers Weed Libraries

I am a book collector. I love seeing books on my shelves, books in baskets in each room, book stacks on my desk, and books beside my bed. When I...

Coaching in Proximity: The Sherpa Mind-Set

Standing in the back of the room, I could see and feel the building anticipation. There was the wild-eyed look of a teacher who is no longer sure what question...

More Productive Workshops

As we turn the corner from the beginning of the year, many writing workshops become humming hives of productivity and progress, and some don’t quite get off the ground. What...

The Children Are Communicating. Are We Listening?

“Look at this photo of Cutie Jarius!” Erin’s email read. And there he was, standing proudly in front of “Morning Message” scrawled in a kindergarten hand. Robert Fulghum says all...

Who Are “They”? Word Choice and Student Learning

Like many of us, I first became a student of words with Peter Johnston’s Choice Words; he taught me how even subtleties in language have powerful effects. More recently, my...

No Substitute for Owning the Learning

I love weekends when I’m not in school because I am able to attend a water aerobics kickboxing class. The instructor is knowledgeable, she keeps the class up-tempo, we focus...

Be Someone Who Writes

At a recent roundtable presentation, the facilitator asked us to think about our core beliefs when it comes to literacy, teaching, and learning. Although I agreed that everything I was...