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Study Groups

Teacher study groups are as diverse as the teachers who participate in them. They can be an informal, low-key coffee klatch designed to relieve the daily stress of teaching or a highly structured inquiry group with definite participant protocols. Most study groups are somewhere in-between, with colleagues getting together regularly to discuss books, view videos, and support each other as they test out new literacy instruction strategies in their classrooms. Here you’ll find inspiration and ideas from study group leaders who coordinate book groups, design workshops, and develop structures for helping colleagues transfer professional learning to the reality of the classroom and sustain it.

Planning Next Year's Professional Development Offerings

Jennifer Allen shares her topics, schedules, and plans for study groups in 2017-2018.

The Other Agenda

Dana Murphy shares a simple technique to ensure there is more transfer of new learning strategies from meetings and professional development workshops to classrooms.

Motivating Reluctant Writers in Third Grade (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost and a third-grade teaching team discuss how to motivate reluctant writers.

Planning Family Literacy Night (VIDEO)

Heather Fisher and Kathy Provost work with a group of reading specialists to plan a family literacy night.

Case Studies All Year Long (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost and Heather Fisher talk with reading specialists about the value of following a case study over an entire year.

Common Planning Meeting: Third-Grade Notebooks (VIDEO)

In this excerpt from a common planning meeting, Kathy Provost works with third-grade teachers who are focused on improving their use of student notebooks across the curriculum.

Coaching Minute: Selecting Books for Teachers (VIDEO)

In this brief video, Kathy Provost and Heather Fisher share some criteria for selecting books for teachers to open doors and conversations.

Coaching Minute: Literacy Master Document (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost and Heather Fisher explain how the Literacy Master Document has simplified and improved their coaching.

Coaching Minute: Lesson Planning Form (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost and Heather Fisher talk about the value of using a lesson planning form with teachers as a shared record of plans, action, and reflection in coaching sessions.

Coaching Minute: Better Data Meetings (VIDEO)

In this brief video, Heather Fisher and Kathy Provost explain why turning data meetings over to reading specialists has had such a positive effect on schools in their district.

Coaching Minute: Case Studies with Reading Specialists (VIDEO)

Heather Fisher and Kathy Provost talk about how case studies have changed their work with literacy specialists over the past year in this brief video.

Making Fiction Writing Come to Life

Heather Fisher experiences a breakthrough with first-grade teachers when they create fictional characters in a professional development session and then try the same activity with their students.

The Secret to Better Meetings: It's All in the Ending

Jennifer Allen shares her favorite ending for meetings that leaves participants hungry for more.

Collecting Data on Case Study Students

Launching case studies can be overwhelming for teachers and specialists. Kathy Provost shares a form she uses with reading specialists to help focus observations and collect a manageable amount of data to analyze for each case study student.

Teachers Who Write

Ruth Ayres shares the power of a professional development session that reawakened her love of writing and then transformed her teaching.

Literacy Specialists and Case Studies

Kathy Provost focuses the work of literacy specialists through case studies they explore together throughout the year. She includes a helpful form created by the group and a favorite protocol.

The Habit of Reflection (VIDEO)

In this quick video excerpt from a teacher meeting on peer observations, the participants talk about why developing the habit of reflection after instruction (either alone or with colleagues) is crucial for professional growth.

Talking Too Much (VIDEO)

In this brief video excerpt from a meeting about colleague visits, teachers consider the thorny issue of why they talk so much when they want to listen more.

Observation Visits: Getting Comfortable with the Unexpected (VIDEO)

In this brief video excerpt from a leadership meeting focused on peer observation led by Jennifer Allen, teachers talk about taking risks and being comfortable with observation when things don't go according to plan.

Defining Standards Before a Demonstration Lesson (VIDEO)

In this video from a third-grade lesson study, Jason DiCarlo works with teachers and specialists to define standards before a demonstration lesson.

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