Results
Resisting the Scripted Curriculum

During my classroom visits, one of the 4K teachers wanted to share some of her students’ writing with me. “Check out what Brooklyn can do.” She pulled a paper from...

Three Expectations Regarding Grammar Instruction

Anyone who has ever sat at a desk with an open grammar book and 10 sentences to perform a rote task like identifying the subject, the subordinate clause, or the...

Summer Work: Absorb the World

“I feel so much pressure to revamp the curriculum this summer,” one teacher leader said.  “I know. I want to throw out what we’ve always been doing and think about...

Welcome Slides Set Professional Learning in Motion

The beginning of staff meetings was normally a flurry of activity, getting set up, checking in with colleagues, and passing out any materials while the hubbub of catching up and...

Wrapping Up the School Year: Start, Stop, Keep

In no year—a year testing our limits with challenges, grief, and loss—has it been more important to reflect on our time with students and determine next steps for how we...

Soft Starts to Meetings That Build Empathy

The most meaningful professional development opportunities we’ve had have been ones where we’ve learned effective practices to use with kids by doing the work of a reader or writer myself....

Virtual Icebreakers: Part 1

In a world of algorithms, hashtags and followers, know the importance of human connection. —Mama Tribe Marketplace I hit the Leave button on the screen, feeling incomplete about the meeting...

Insight Before PD

Our students are not going to outgrow us. We have to become better if we want them to be better.                                              Cornelius Minor In my role as an English language...

Trending Hashtags: Finding Priorities in a Unit of Study

Outside of trust, getting to a goal that matters is arguably the most critical element for any coaching relationship. The goal has to be powerful and student focused, and it...

Hidden Gems: Five Ways to Keep Your Positive Vibes

Use your smile to change the world. Don’t let the world change your smile.—Unknown How do you keep yourself so positive in your coaching role? This question has been posed...

Creating Savory Professional Development

Ralph Fletcher shares in Joy Write, “Play in writing is not just a nice idea—it’s essential.” Amy Krouse Rosenthal imagined that the perfect fiction writer has a “penchant for collaboration...

There You Are

If you live near deciduous trees, you’ve probably seen, when the leaves fall, squirrels’ nests lodged high in a V formed where a large branch meets a tree’s trunk. Every...

Classroom Library Reflection

I once read an article where the author proclaimed that everyone should read 50 pages of a novel before abandoning it. However, after you turn 50, the writer insisted, you...

Jump Right In and Other Lessons Learned from Remote Coaching

Sit side by side. Read the room. Choose a meeting spot that works best for the teacher. All of these practical coaching tips, gathered over the years and put into...

Forces of Nature

                                                                                          Image from Force of Nature the earth spinning in orbit With precision,  speed, and grace Mother Nature has her grip upon it un-balancing  the forces in the vast open...

Making Time for Reflection

One of the first things I noticed when I began to work with our 14 elementary literacy coaches was the harried pace they kept. They were asked to do a...

The 70% Rule

When practicing T’ai Chi, doing too much is the same as doing too little.                                                                                    Master Wong Chung-yua As I have progressed solidly into my 40s, my choices of physical...

Starting with Consensus

The people must have ownership in the vision. They need to be enabled to accomplish it. If there is one investment you should make, it is in people.      ...

Mentor Texts for Teachers: Home Is a Place to Begin

Whether it is a grade-level data team, a staff meeting, a special-interest PLC, a session in a conference or EdCamp, or even a deeper dive into writing, I look for...

5 Reasons to Read Grown-Up Books

I got an email containing an update from Rita’s Goodreads account. She had just finished reading Shouting at the Rain. She loved it and gave it a five-star rating. Rita...

Celebration and Reflection for Teacher Growth

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.                ...