The second portion of the Choice Literacy workshop, Coaching the Common Core was led by Heather Rader. Heather is the author of Side By Side: Short Takes on Best Practice for Teachers and Literacy Leaders. She is the senior editor for Choice Literacy and an instructional coach I hope you know Heather’s work. She is remarkable in all areas of life.
She anchored her session of the workshop around argumentative writing. What I learned from Heather is the importance of sharing with teachers the anatomy of an argument. Heather reminded us that the common core is brand new — there are no experts in the common core. We are all on the learning curve together. Therefore, it is important to learn together about what the common core is asking of our students. This will take time as we dig into common core, as well as the text types and expectations for 21st century learners.
She also discussed the importance of looking at student work together. It takes time to build trust among teams of teachers so they are willing to bring student work. Heather suggests collecting samples and having them available in case teachers don’t want to bring their own samples. Student work is one of the best ways to grow in our practice. I’m constantly working toward a goal of being more intentional about collecting student work. Heather may have just given me the nudge I need to move from thinking about it to actually doing it.
To read about the first portion of the Choice Literacy workshop with Jennifer Allen, please click here.