How will you lead today?


Organization is important to every literacy leader. Not only do we need to organize ourselves, but teachers look to us for support structures they can use. One form may help you model conferring with young writers, the next gives you solid feedback at the end of a class and another prompts teachers’ reflection around student work. Finding the right form helps us preserve the tracks of our thinking in professional work.

A Checklist for Reflection

Brian Sepe develops a simple reflection checklist to plan next steps, calm his mind, and transition from school to home.

Conference Records That Stay with Kids

If we want to teach everyone in the school to be student centered, conference records need to stay with kids. Ruth Ayres explains how this works.

Meeting with Principals

Melanie Meehan finds that the five different principals she works with have different needs and work styles, but using a common agenda template in meetings ensures good communication for everyone.

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.

The Literacy Master Document

Paper copies here. Paper copies there. Paper copies everywhere. If someone created a children's book for literacy coaches with this refrain, it would be an instant best seller. Heather Fisher and Kathy Provost take on the challenge of creating an electronic master document to increase communication and save a few trees.

Data Mining Before a Coaching Cycle

Melanie Meehan shares the importance of considering data with teachers at the start of a coaching cycle.

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.

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.

Planning a Coaching Cycle (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost works with a third-grade teacher to plan long-term and daily goals in a coaching cycle in this video.

Essential Resources for Building Professional Learning Communities

Matt Renwick shares his favorite online and print resources for PLCs, including templates and surveys for planning before groups are launched.

Refining Reflective Practice and Notetaking

Gretchen Taylor shares three tweaks she has made to her record-keeping system to ensure she keeps her coaching notes organized and useful for reflection.

Engagement in Writing Workshops

Melanie Meehan shares some practical strategies for keeping students engaged that she often uses in demonstration lessons.

Closing the Year Strong: Leveraging Technology When Time Is Short

Matt Renwick shares some of his favorite tech tools and strategies for connecting with teachers during the stressful last months of school.

Three Little Tweaks for More Effective Communication

Ruth Ayres realizes that the sheer volume of information teachers receive each day overwhelms any attempt at real connection. She explains some simple changes she made to improve her communication skills.

Coaching Minute: Student Work Form (VIDEO)

Melanie Meehan talks about the importance of developing assessment forms for coaching cycles that focus on student work and integrating analysis of the work into plans for instruction.

Coaching Minute: Cycle Evaluation Form (VIDEO)

Melanie Meehan shares her coaching cycle evaluation form and why it is helpful in this quick video tip.

Coaching Minute: Conferring Cards (VIDEO)

In this brief video, Melanie Meehan shares the simple cards she gives to students when conferring. These cards document compliments and challenges to guide the student after the conference is over. They also give the classroom teacher a sense of what was discussed in the conference.

Getting Organized with Google

Gretchen Taylor finds Google is indispensable for keeping her literacy coaching work organized. She explains how she uses Google for everything from surveys to collaborating with teachers.

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