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Coaching Minute: Voice Memos

Heather Rader explains how she uses voice memos in her coaching in this quick video tip. A transcript is available below the player.       Thanks to a colleague...

Teacher Blogs in the Digital World

All the teachers in our Introduction to Digital Writing class agreed that being digital writers themselves would help them incorporate technology into their classrooms. Some were even interested in creating...

Coaching Minute: Music

Heather Rader talks about the power of music in setting the tone for professional development in this quick video tip. A transcript is available below the player.   At the...

Coaching Minute: A Stash of Student Work

Heather Rader explains the many uses for a stash of student work for literacy coaches in this quick video tip. A transcript is available below the player.   In my...

Meaningful Transitions During Professional Development Sessions

No matter the age or composition of a group, transitioning a large number of people from one activity to the next can be difficult. During large-group professional development sessions, it...

Coaching Minute: Dress for Success

What message does your attire send? Heather Rader explores this tricky issue in this quick video tip. A transcript is available below the player. “Nice boots” was the only positive...

Benefits and Barriers: Helping Teachers Change

My husband and I had the privilege of flying to San Antonio to see our son Jeff’s graduation from Air Force Basic Training. Our family was proud and excited, which...

Coaching Minute: Cellphone Fun

Do you want a quick fun way to get to learn a bit about participants in professional development? Heather Rader suggests a cellphone poll in this video tip. A transcript...

Inviting Teachers into the Digital World

When I became a writing teacher who wrote, I believe I became a better writing teacher.  I better understood what my students felt when I asked them to share their...

Building Foundations

“Hurry up! Faster! You’re almost out of time!” These are the words heard in a recent professional development with K-8 teachers from across my school district. Teachers are building with...

Coaching Minute: Nametags and So Much More

Here's a quick video tip from Heather Rader on making the most of nametags in professional development settings. A transcript is included below the player.         When...

Picture It: Pinterest for Professional Development

This fall we are trying a new way to organize how we share professional readings and videos for our professional development sessions.  We are creating text sets of professional readings/videos/blog...

10 Steps to a Literacy Vision

Being forward-looking—envisioning exciting possibilities and enlisting others in a shared view of the future—is the attribute that most distinguishes leaders from non-leaders.                ...

Alignment and Community: Planning a Year of Professional Development Opportunities

The role of the leader is to enable, facilitate, and cause peers to interact in a focused manner. Peer interaction is the social glue of focus and cohesion. Michael Fullan...

Coaching Minute: Writing Objectives

Heather Rader explains why it is important to write an objective before any professional development meeting, and shares a succinct example.   While I’m comfortable writing objectives for the classrooms...

Speaking to Adults Through Books

When I had a child who worried about being different than her playmates, I curled up and read The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. Maya summed up the story...

Coaching Minute: The Power of Rehearsal

Heather Rader guides a novice coach by sharing the power of rehearsal before leading professional development sessions. A transcript is provided below the player. My colleague Samantha Munnecke and I...

Introducing the Writing Common Core Standards: Planning for Professional Development

When I began to plan for how introducing the Common Core State Standards in Writing with a key group of leaders in our district, I kept these words of wisdom...

Common Core Standards: Spreading the Word

As a district-level literacy coach in California, I've been given the task of helping move our system toward implementation of the Common Core Standards. We are a large urban district...

Building Community Protocols

When we plan professional development sessions, inservice courses, and literacy team meetings, we are always on the lookout for new ways to build community within the group so that everyone...

Off the Dance Floor and Onto the Balcony: Getting the Big Picture in Schools

We coordinate professional development efforts in schools. Periodically we visit classrooms during literacy blocks to think about how we are progressing toward our goals, and to identify next steps for...