How will you lead today?

Assessment

Making sense of the enormous amount of student data in any classroom or school is probably the biggest challenge we face individually and in our school communities. Authentic assessment of learning helps us plan quality instruction. Here you'll find everything from one-page templates of formative assessments created by literacy coaches to videos of staff teams poring over large summative data sets.

Literacy Audit (Part 5): Providing Resources and Support

Jennifer Schwanke continues her series on literacy audits. In this installment, she takes on the challenge of matching limited resources and time to nearly unlimited needs.

Literacy Audit (Part 3): Making a Plan

We continue our series on taking a literacy audit. In this installment, Jennifer Schwanke describes a process for developing a plan to improve literacy practices once you've identified areas of need.

Literacy Self-Audit (Part 1): Beginning Questions

Jennifer Schwanke shares questions for beginning a reflective analysis of your strengths and needs in literacy.

Auditing Your Literacy Leadership: Introduction

Jennifer Schwanke begins a new summer series on doing a self-audit of your literacy leadership and your school's needs. This is a great tool for reflection and planning for the new school year. In this introduction, Jen explains why this auditing and reflection is essential work.

Guiding Questions to Stay Grounded

Conversations about needy students can be noisy, busy, and contentious. Stella Villalba finds that developing a few questions for reflection is a terrific way to stay grounded in basic principles and beliefs.

Student Centered and Teacher Driven: Coaching and Instructional Assessment

David Pittman tackles the "third rail" of literacy coaching: assessing instructional quality.

Evaluation Season

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

Professional Reboot

Jennifer Schwanke finds she is jealous of a colleague attending a summer training session, so she attends herself. It's a reminder to her of how powerful professional development can be for school leaders.

Coaching Feedback and Reflection

Stella Villalba shares some simple strategies to foster more reflection and feedback with the teachers she coaches.

Breakthroughs and Barriers: Going Schoolwide with a Literacy Initiative

What's going well with literacy in your teaching community? What's getting in the way? Matt Renwick considers breakthroughs and barriers in making literacy instruction more of a priority in his school.

Looking Back and Planning Forward

Cathy Mere finds that the last weeks of the school year are the best time for literacy coaches to reflect on long-term goals attained and missed, as well as to plan next steps.

Exit Slips for Reflection and Planning (VIDEO)

In this video, Kathy Provost and Heather Fisher use exit slips to assess the success of a professional development session and plan next steps.

Developing Life Skills vs. Teaching to the Test

Melanie Quinn and the teachers she works with face the hard truth of low test scores in their school, and develop reflective practices to tackle the issue.

Learning Targets

Melanie Meehan explains how she changed her demonstration lessons to include more of her own process in creating learning targets, and how sharing this assessment with students helped them focus their work.

Assessing First-Grade Learning (VIDEO)

Jason DiCarlo leads a first-grade study group as they discuss different options for young learners to demonstrate understanding beyond written responses.

New Year Resolutions

Melanie Quinn begins the new school year with a list of habits she plans to develop, from spending more time with new teachers to greeting every child in the building by name.

Getting PD Feedback

Stella Villalba shares ideas for getting ongoing feedback after professional development offerings.

Assessing Our Impact

Matt Renwick explains how classroom walk-throughs and surveys can be powerful tools for assessing your impact—if you collect the right data.

Learning Land

Jennifer Schwanke considers what she and her district learned when they adopted an online digital skill and drill program that promised more than it delivered (don't they all?). The name of the program has been changed to protect the guilty.

Questions for Reflection and Goal Setting with Teachers

Matt Renwick shares some of his favorite questions and strategies for promoting reflection and goal setting with teachers.

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