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Never Too Late to Get to Know You

Has your staff started down the trail of the winter doldrums and grumpy-pants syndrome? What is it about this time of year? The holidays are over, and spring break feels...

A Third Way

“Matt, would you have a minute to come to our next PLC meeting to discuss something on our minds?” My principal radar immediately registered a ping: something is not going...

Using Padlet in Coaching

As I sat in my office one morning planning for an upcoming professional development session on sketchnoting, I was struck by how technology has changed the way I work and...

The Intersection of Social Studies and Language Arts

I was part of a team that worked on new social studies content frameworks in my state, and we talked to many teachers throughout the state. We heard the refrain...

Building from Strengths

“It’s going to be a wonderful day.” When I wake up, before I even get out of bed, I try to say those words to myself. I feel silly, but...

Breathe

Every now and again, just as I’m feeling confident and sure of my skills as a leader, someone will come along and do something so simple, so perfectly appropriate, that...

Build More Lingering into Coaching

I recently spent some time at the counter of my local bank. I had misplaced my ATM card and was requesting a new one. What I thought was going to...

What We Lost

I’m always looking for easy ways to help teachers write. I believe teachers need to write if they want to know how to teach writing. You don’t need to write...

Sketchnoting in Professional Development

Not too long ago, my son came home from school, threw his book on the table, and declared, “I’m never writing another reading response again!” Surprised, I asked him what...

Bonding with a Collective Biography

This is the time of year when literacy coaches and school leaders bring together groups of teachers and specialists to work on collective projects all year long. If you want...

The Evolution of a Coaching Tool Kit

My instructional coach tool kit has evolved. When I first began, I used my wheelie cart. I thought I needed to have everything, and sometimes I did need to have...

Dealing with Side Conversations

It happens almost every time. Someone (maybe it's you?) is leading a professional development session for teachers, and a side conversation is happening at one of the tables. The presenter...

Choice Professional Development Sessions

Back in August, our district offered K-3 teachers a selection of workshops. The language arts consultants, reading specialists, and I (the writing coordinator) put together a collection of offerings that...

Improving Professional Learning for All

In my early days as a school leader, I could count on one hand the number of times a staff member personally told me how much they enjoyed the professional...

Professional Development Choice and Follow-Up

We have many opportunities for professional development in our district, but we are constantly grappling with the question of how to create more long-lasting instructional changes. In the moment, as...

Word Study Kick-Off

One of the biggest struggles teachers share is that getting word study off the ground is tricky. It should be no surprise to know, then, that many teachers admit that...

The Power of Mini-Charts

I spend a lot of time making charts. I have filled multiple sketchbooks with charts over the years—anchor charts, strategy charts, and learning progressions. These sketchbooks have become invaluable to...

A Chartbook Tour

During my years of working with teachers, one of my most valuable tools has been the sketchbook that contains my charts. I’m actually on my third rendition, not because I...

Professional Development with 10 for 10

Each year we join an event that celebrates books. The Picture Book 10 for 10 event is hosted twice a year by Choice Literacy contributors Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek....

PD Playlist

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. —Plato This summer we attended literacy conferences in Boston and Michigan....

Using Wait Time in Professional Development

We have gathered for our weekly staff meeting in the media center. The topic is student engagement, and I have just asked a rather thought-provoking question: How can you tell...