Category Archive: coaching

Coaching Writers in the Small Group

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Coaches of young athletes often offer tips, reminders, and suggestions from the sidelines in hopes of eliciting the best possible performance from the team.  As teachers of writing, we can borrow this structure in our small group settings.

Let’s Talk About Methods for Conferring

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When I was a new teacher, I learned from Lucy Calkins that there are basically four overall methods to choose from when planning instruction: 1) demonstration, 2) coaching, 3) inquiry, and 4) telling/explaining. This four-method framework is useful for thinking about conferring.

A Data System For Tracking Progress

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The  last post I wrote was about what students will say leads to their growth as writers. In that post, I mentioned the data system we use to track their progress, and several people… Continue reading

Literacy Coaches: Schools out. Now what?

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Four practical priorities for this summer.

Back to Basics: Writing Centers

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As you head into this week, remember to keep your head up and check on the basics. In this post I share five things you might look for and notice about writing centers.

A Peek Into My Evolving Chartbook

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Over the years, my chartbook has evolved. Here are some of the latest pages.

Literacy Coaches: The Art of Voicing-Over

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Are you an instructional coach? As part of your work, do you demonstrate minilessons, conferring, or small group work in classrooms? If yes, then this post is for YOU!

Literacy Coaches: Conferring with Teachers and Co-Teaching in Writing Workshop

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As a literacy coach, my preference is to visit on any given regular day to be a part of what is authentically happening, and to have genuine, in-the-moment conversations in the classroom. At the same time, it is helpful to have some structure around how a given classroom visit might go–so that people know what to expect. Conferring with teachers and co-teaching makes this possible.

Literacy Coaches: Three Ideas for Next Year’s Goals

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Are you a literacy coach? Here are three ideas to try next year.

Ten Tips for Coaching into Writing Partnerships

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Do you ever have the feeling that every time you come near a partnership, they stop what they were really doing? Here are ten tips for coaching into partnerships, without taking over.

Teaching Side-By-Side: Coaching and Classroom Visits

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This month, interspersed with the Slice of Life Story Challenge, my colleagues and I are writing about professional development possibilities. Many of our readers are literacy coaches, team leaders, administrators, professors, and classroom teachers… Continue reading

Coaching Conferences in the Writing Workshop

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It’s January, at the top of a mountain in Vermont. Ten six and seven year olds are lined up on the side of a ski trail. Their skis all pointing toward me, ready… Continue reading

Who coaches the coach?

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Who coaches the coach? This question was posed at the Choice Literacy Coaching the Common Core workshop. It’s one that is sticking with Deb and me. Instructional coaches (and I think this is… Continue reading

Choice Literacy: Coaching the Common Core {Part 2 of 3}

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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… Continue reading

Choice Literacy: Coaching the Common Core {Part 1 of 3}

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Recently Deb Gaby and I attended a Choice Literacy Workshop called Coaching the Common Core. It was one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended (and I’ve attended a lot of really great… Continue reading

Modeling Writing Workshop

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Last week I spent a day at Southbury Elementary School in Illinois. (Hello Southbury!) They had students for half a day and the afternoon was a time for us to come together for… Continue reading

What is it you do?

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We were at a family reunion last weekend and had too-few minutes to visit with one of my favorite cousins who I only get to see once a year at the reunion. She… Continue reading