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More Productive Workshops

By early in the new year, literacy workshops should be humming productivity. If you're in one that isn't, Melanie Meehan has suggestions for working with the teacher to find and solve problems together.

Building from Strengths

This professional development activity from Brenda Power is great to close out the calendar year as a celebration or launch the New Year in January with a positive take on the many skills teachers have to tackle any problem.

Preparing Teachers for Reading Over Breaks

Stephanie Affinito shares strategies for helping teachers build plans and excitement for reading over holiday and summer breaks.

Evaluation Season

Jennifer Schwanke shares the challenges of honest conversations with teachers during evaluative sessions, acknowledging that her performance is being judged as well.

Build More Lingering into Coaching

Stephanie Affinito finds frustration can morph into appreciation when coaches linger long enough to let teachers know how much their work is valued. She provides many practical suggestions for how to slow down during hectic coaching days.

A Yearlong Coaching Calendar

Dana Murphy too often finds herself feeling like she's begging to go into classrooms. The solution? Create a yearlong schedule and put the onus on teachers to sign up for a coaching cycle.

Being Selfish About Meeting Norms

Jennifer Allen questions the purpose of meeting norms, and begins from a new place in establishing them for a study group.

Making Meetings Purposeful

From identifying intent to setting personal norms, Jen Schwanke shares her key principles for leading meetings that participants won't hate.

Breathe

Jen Schwanke resists giving time over to a teacher for an unplanned activity before a meeting she knows will be challenging. Afterward, she realizes the value in pausing to remind everyone what matters most in our work.

Getting Emotional

It happens at least once a year for Jennifer Schwanke: she finds herself on the verge of crying in a professional setting. Here's her best advice for literacy leaders to keep the tears at bay.

Conferring Matters: A Principal's Perspective

Lee Snider explains how he builds interest and conferring skills in writing workshops.

Conferring Matters: A Coach's Perspective

Ruth Ayres shares strategies for building teachers' conferring skills. This article is part of a new occasional series, Expectations and Nudges, where Ruth Ayres and Lee Snider will explore the same topic from the perspectives of a literacy coach and a principal.

What We Lost

Brenda Power shares a simple activity to use in a teachers' writing workshop or professional development setting to get everyone writing and talking.

Bonding with a Collective Biography

Brenda Power is inspired by Amy Krouse Rosenthal to try a professional development icebreaker that brings any group together by talking through common experiences and beliefs.

Three Ways to Keep Coaching Student Centered

Melanie Meehan shares practical tips for keeping the focus on students in coaching sessions.

When Teachers Design the Professional Development Calendar

Melanie Meehan finds that a simple process early in the year that gives teachers more control over the professional development plan builds excitement for new learning.

It's the Little Things: Small Actions for Building a Healthy Literacy Culture

Matt Renwick explains how everything from symbols to basic cleanliness in schools affects the climate for literacy.

Can Anyone Be an Instructional Coach?

When it comes time to hire a new literacy coach, Matt Renwick finds himself focusing on three simple and essential qualities every coach must possess.

Bringing Order to the Bookroom

Shari Frost visits a school bookroom and discovers many issues with organization and use. If you have a school bookroom, summer is the perfect time to rethink its purpose and procedures for checking out books.

Reading Invasion

"Imagine roughly 400 people—staff and students—walking out into the green space on your school campus. Now imagine every one of them with a book in hand. Next, they all take up a space that feels comfortable. Then, they read." Brian Sepe explains how a "reading invasion" is a simple, fun, and powerful way to promote a reading community.

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