Coaching Towards Implementing Guided Writing Groups

May 2019

Coaching Towards Implementing Guided Writing Groups

 

As coaches, we are constantly thinking about how to support teachers in making their instruction more robust, and so, more likely to have a positive impact on student learning.  In this post, we will focus specifically on the writing workshop and how using flexible, needs-based groups – or guided writing groups (Gibson, 2008) –  for writing instruction offers teachers the opportunity to further differentiate writing instruction and improve students’ writing achievement.

Despite a growing field of researchers and practitioners (Alston, 2012; Calkins & Hohne, 2015; Graham & Perin, 2007) calling for increased collaboration to boost student achievement in the writing classroom, flexible needs-based groups have not yet achieved widespread use in this context.  Flexible groups have been used to meet the individual needs of readers for quite some time.  We propose that teachers can better meet the needs of developing writers by capitalizing on the use of guided writing groups.  Differentiating instruction through grouping offers teachers the ability to:  1) Increase instructional intensity, 2) Increase collaboration, and 3) Increase access to needs-based, explicit instruction.

To start, decreasing group size has been shown to increase instructional intensity (Torgeson, 2004).  Any time we are instructing a smaller number of students, we provide greater access to instruction, while also creating an environment that is more likely to keep students engaged.  This is particularly important for students who are at risk for writing failure.  When using guided writing groups, teachers can more closely monitor student engagement and interact with students as they do the hard work of applying new skills and strategies to their writing.

Decreasing group size also offers students increased opportunity to collaborate with each other and the teacher.  In the Writing Next Report, Graham and Perin (2007) discuss the findings of their seminal meta-analysis aimed at understanding the characteristics of effective writing instruction (Graham & Perin, 2003).  They noted a relatively strong correlation between writing achievement and providing students with “instructional arrangements in which adolescents work together to plan, draft, and revise their compositions” (p. 4).  Further, guided writing groups not only offer students the opportunity to discuss and reflect together but allow students to discuss their decision-making with the teacher, while in the process of composing.

Lastly, a vast body of research points to the use of explicit strategy instruction to mediate some of the difficulties encountered by struggling writers (Englert, Raphael, Fear, & Anderson, 1988; Fitzgerald & Markham, 1987; Scardamalia, Bereiter, & Steinbach, 1984)  While whole class learning offers teachers the opportunity to teach skills, concepts, and strategies that are new to all students, implementing guided writing groups allows teachers to teach (or reteach) particular skills and strategies to students who need them most.  These groups offer the opportunity to assess students’ writing and explicitly address individual areas of need (Parr & Limbrick, 2010).

So… How can coaches support this process?

When coaching teachers towards implementing guided writing groups, we suggest the following.

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Writing in the Disciplines March 2019

Writing in the Disciplines

Last spring, we took a look at Disciplinary Literacy and the varying approaches to reading and interacting with content that characterize each subject area, or discipline.  Disciplinary literacy is an important lens for us to use in coaching, particularly in our work with middle- and high-school teachers.  Thinking about how literacy is used in different disciplines helps us tailor our coaching ideas to meet the needs of content-area teachers.

In February’s blog, we posted about Disciplinary Literacy at the elementary school level.  This month, we continue the conversation with a look at disciplinary writing, or how writing is used in each discipline. Understanding the different forms and purposes for writing in each discipline helps us frame our coaching more specifically to teachers’ needs, regardless of the grade level they teach.   We can then provide more targeted ideas and tools for teachers to use, and so, help teachers integrate more writing opportunities for students in their regular instruction.

The Annenberg Foundation has created a useful website with resources for teachers that focus on disciplinary literacy: http://www.learner.org/courses/readwrite/index.html. They describe some of the disciplines-specific uses of writing in the following ways:

How Historians Use Writing

    • To establish claims and support them with evidence from the historical record:
    1. Summarizing and describing historical events, people, and phenomena
    2. Corroborating sources
    3. Interpreting historical events, people, and phenomena
    4. Developing evidentiary base to support claims
    5. Making arguments and supporting with evidence
    • In History classes, students are expected to summarize and analyze historical events, people, and phenomena, identify patterns across time, and engage in research.

How Mathematicians Use Writing

    • To document their thinking processes as they work toward a solution or a proof and to clearly and compellingly present these solutions or proofs to others
    • To record and keep track of their calculations and “mathematical thinking,” through note-taking and analyses to record their thoughts as they tackle difficult problems or attempt new proofs
    • To consolidate and communicate their ideas to others
    • To interpret mathematical proofs and argue for their accuracy
    • In Mathematics classes, students are expected to record operations, analyze mathematical problems, and explain mathematical problem-solving

How Scientists Use Writing

      • To record data, including observations and results
      • For the scientific record, including research report and annotations about findings/observations
      • To annotate documents as they read, noting important or new ideas and approaches to problems and responding to the ideas presented in text
      • To support/defend their findings and argue for the “correctness” of their interpretations or importance of their observations or test results
      • To carefully document hypotheses, calculations, and experimental procedures
      • To describe and analyze data and observations
      • To provide interpretations, often including alternative explanations
      • To succinctly summarize data, observations, and/or hypotheses
      • To analyze, critique, or provide commentary on the ideas of others
      • In Science classes, students are expected to record scientific processes and procedures, document observations, generate hypotheses, analyze data, record and interpret findings, and engage in research.

 

How Professionals Use English Language Arts:

      • Proficient writing and communication skill in English cut across all professions and socio-economic lines. The ability to effectively write and communicate has become imperative for successful participation in our information-loaded world.
      • Most professions require the ability to describe, summarize, request, explain, evaluate, analyze, and persuade with clarity, competence, and confidence.
      • Professionals are also expected to be able to annotate documents as they read, noting important or new ideas and approaches to problems and responding to the ideas presented in text
      • In ELA classes, students are expected to engage in literary analysis, journalistic writing, contrastive analysis, and various forms of genre study and narrative writing.

 

As coaches, we can gather information about writing in the disciplines and help teachers integrate more writing into their regular instruction. When we understand what characterizes writing in each discipline, we are better able to help teachers identify what strategies each discipline demands and determine teaching points accordingly.  Supporting teachers’ implementation of disciplinary writing gives students more opportunities to engage deeply with content.

 

Teachers are sometimes hesitant to include writing tasks because they lack confidence in teaching students how to write. Teaching practices that are specific to each discipline can be even more daunting.  We can offer support through co-planning, modeling, and providing examples of student work. We can also gather and/or co-create resources like graphic organizers and specific checklists for teachers to use during their instruction.  Additionally, we can help teachers create rubrics to qualitatively evaluate the writing that they assign.

We all know the incredible value of writing as a tool for learning.  Supporting teachers in integrating disciplinary writing into their instruction is an important component of our coaching.

Join the conversation!  How have you helped teachers think about incorporating more writing into their instruction?  Have you coached teachers in disciplinary reading and writing?  What has worked for you?

Making Our Coaching Responsive, Part 2 ~ January 2019

Last May, our post focused on the importance of making our coaching responsive and considering where teachers are on the continuum from Novice to Expert.  We noted that even very experienced teachers may be “novices” when new curricula or instructional ideas are introduced.  And although it’s important to honor the years of experience they bring to our coaching interactions, we also have to acknowledge that even experienced teachers may feel vulnerable with new ideas.  New teachers also may feel vulnerable and are often overwhelmed by the responsibilities and instructional challenges they encounter in the classroom.

So where do we begin?  How do we engage teachers across the continuum in coaching that will help build their instructional capacity and fuel their professional growth?  An important component of our coaching is a focus on the needs of individual teachers to reduce any inclination to fall back on a “one-size-fits-all” coaching plan. This brings us back around to the responsive coaching and its importance as a framework for all of our interactions with teachers.

As it turns out, a focus on responsive coaching has strong support in the research, with relationship building often emerging as an important factor for coaches’ effectiveness. In fact, positive relationships between coaches and teachers are an essential component that can fuel pedagogical capacity-building to the benefit of students’ literacy learning (L’Allier, Elish-Piper, & Bean, 2010).

The relationship-building aspects of coaching are also evident in a group of studies that centered on the relationships among coaching actions, teachers’ participation in coaching, and student achievement. Among the major findings, researchers reported that specific coaching behaviors (e.g., affirming teacher knowledge, demonstrating empathy toward teacher experience, directing dialogue toward teacher expertise) influenced teachers’ willingness to participate in coaching (e.g., Jayaraman, Marvin, Knoche, & Bainter, 2010).  Coaching talk aimed at building relationships and actively supporting teachers’ professional growth also strengthened teachers’ positive identities (e.g., Hunt, 2016; Hunt & Hansfield, 2013), mediated possible power imbalances, and positively influenced coaching interactions (e.g., Heinke, 2013; Jones & Rainville, 2014).  Moreover, an emphasis on trust and relationship-building during coaching interactions supported improvements in students’ literacy outcomes (Matsumura, Garnier, Correnti, Junker, & Bickel, 2010; Matsumura, Garnier, and Spybrook, 2013). As one might expect, the frequency of coaching interactions was also found to be positively correlated with student achievement (e.g., Bean, Draper, Hall, Vandermolen, & Zigmond, 2010).

Of course, relationship-building in the workplace takes time. So this is not a quick fix.  In our coaching work, we’ve identified several tiers of support that help us respond to teacher need and build the trusting relationships that are so critical to coaching success.

The first, and most flexible, of these tiers, we have defined as “Corridor Conversations.”  While we always advocate for a coaching relationship that is ongoing and deliberate, there are times when quick, more informal conversations, can also be effective – particularly with more experienced teachers.  These are the conversations that happen in the lunchroom or hallway or during a quick stop by the classroom.  From these conversations we can learn about student needs, assessment results, upcoming units, etc.  These conversations can help to answer teachers’ immediate concerns and provide the coach with information for future planning. These conversations can also lay the groundwork by helping coaches establish a friendly, professional relationship with colleagues that leads to more intensive coaching down the road.

When it’s possible to engage in more planful and deliberate coaching relationships, we have defined three additional tiers.  During Tier 2 we suggest setting aside time for an informal classroom visit and introductory interview.  Information gathered during this time allows the coach to begin to understand teacher needs, and how much coaching support is necessary, given the teacher’s experience, pedagogical knowledge, and instructional repertoire.  After this visit and initial conversation, the teacher and coach can decide whether they would like to continue to check-in informally or proceed with a classroom observation, Tier 3.

Tier 3 involves a more formal classroom observation.  We advocate for viewing this lesson through two lenses.  First, are lessons in the given classroom structured in alignment with what we know about best practice instruction (i.e. inclusion of mini lesson, guided practice, and independent practice)?  If the structure is not supportive of student learning, that needs to be addressed before more nuanced aspects of instruction can be considered.  If the structure is solidly in place, we suggest “digging deeper” and looking for areas where fine-tuning instruction can pay off in learning gains for students.  Examples might be to increase students’ opportunities for collaboration by working in small groups or with a partner, to create choice in reading and writing tasks, or to increase the explicitness of teacher talk in the classroom.

The final tier (4) incorporates a debriefing session after an observation. During this session, we suggest engaging the teacher in a discussion about the outcomes of the lesson – using student evidence to guide the conversation.  Together, the teacher and coach can jointly reflect on the lesson and consider possible next steps.

By considering coaching as formative assessment, occurring in flexible tiers of support, we can better meet the needs of individual teachers and begin to establish relationships with teachers with whom we have not yet worked.  Rather than being prescriptive in terms of support or expectations, this model offers teachers the opportunity to consider what level of coaching is right for a particular task, at a particular point in time.

References cited in this month’s post:

Bean, R. M., Draper, J. A., Hall, V., Vandermolen, J., & Zigmond, N. (2010). Coaches and coaching in Reading First schools: A reality check. The Elementary School Journal, 111(1), 87-114. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/653471

Heineke, S. F. (2013). Coaching discourse: Supporting teachers’ professional learning.
The Elementary School Journal, 113(3), 409-433.

Hunt, C. S. (2016). Getting to the heart of the matter: Discursive negotiations of emotions within literacy coaching interactions. Teaching and Teacher Education, 60, 331-343.
Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.09.004

Hunt, C. S., & Handsfield, L. J. (2013). The emotional landscapes of literacy coaching: Issues of identity, power, and positioning. Journal of Literacy Research, 45(1), 47-86.

Jayaraman, G., Marvin, C., Knoche, L., & Bainter, S. (2015). Coaching conversations in early childhood programs: The contributions of coach and coachee.
Infants & Young Children, 28, 323-336. doi: 10.1097/IYC.0000000000000048

Jones, S., & Rainville, K. N. (2014). Flowing toward understanding: Suffering, humility, and compassion in literacy coaching.
Reading & Writing Quarterly, 30, 270-287. doi: 10.1080/10573569.2014.909270

L’Allier, S., Elish-Piper, L., & Bean, R. M. (2010). What matters for elementary literacy coaching? Guiding principles for instructional improvement and student achievement.
The Reading Teacher, 63, 544-554. doi: 10.1598/RT.63.7.2

Matsumura, L. C., Garnier, H. E., Correnti, R., Junker, B., & Bickel, D. D. (2010). Investigation the effectiveness of a comprehensive literacy coaching program in schools with high teacher mobility. The Elementary School Journal, 111, 35-62. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/653469

Matsumura, L. C., Garnier, H. E., & Spybrook, J. (2013). Literacy coaching to improve student reading achievement: A multi-level mediation model.
Learning and Instruction, 25, 35- 48. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc_2012.11.001

 

Multilingual Spaces for Multilingual Students

This month’s post has been written by Dr. Chris Leider. Chris Leider is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Language Education and Program Director of Bilingual Education and TESOL-Licensure in the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University; she is a former ESL Teacher and earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College. Her research examines bilingual language and literacy practices and re-conceptualizing the field’s understanding of how we assess measure, and understand bilingualism & biliteracy.

Multilingual Spaces for Multilingual Students

Jordan is in fifth grade. Jordan’s family migrated to the US from El Salvador when he was in second grade. After intake testing and an interview, Jay was classified as an English Learner and also recommend for a Students with Limited or Interrupted Education (SLIFE) program. Jordan is still a classified English Learner.

Cristian is a senior in high school. He migrated to the US from Brazil when he was in ninth grade. Upon intake testing, he was enrolled into a Newcomer program and classified as an English Learner when he initially arrived to the States. He was re-classified at the end of his junior year.

Carina is a second grader. Carina was born in the US and her family speaks Tagalog and English at home, although when Carina’s older brother started to go to school her family switched to using English more predominantly. Carina has never been classified as an English Learner.

Our schools are multilingual spaces. Even in an English-dominant society and under English-Only education policy, our schools are multilingual spaces. Continue reading

What’s New In Literacy Coaching?

As literacy professionals ourselves, we understand that literacy coaches wear many hats – interventionist, professional developer, parent communicator, community educator… the list goes on! Each of these responsibilities requires significant time expenditure. With all of this going on, it can be difficult to keep up with current research and news in the field of literacy coaching. For this reason, we decided to devote a few of our blog posts to exploring, “What’s new in literacy coaching?” As we search the literature for new findings to inform our work, we’re going to share with you articles we find particularly interesting and informative.
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From Coaching to Conform” to” Coaching for Transformation”

Literacy Coaches Blog October 2018

This month’s post has been written by Dr. Lisa O’Brien, Assistant Professor of Reading and Language Arts at Merrimack College and former public-school classroom teacher, reading specialist, and literacy coach.

From “Coaching to Conform” to “Coaching for Transformation”

…the teacher not only sticks to the script, but she also stays close to the pacing guide which on the surface seems productive; however, I am noticing from being in her room that her students are not comprehending much of what they are reading in the program and are not interested…the majority of the reading is done in the textbook, taking away from students being able to explore their own motivations to read.

-Carolina, a first-grade teacher and Master’s candidate in a reading specialist licensure program

Many of the literacy coaches I work with in schools share their experiences about coaching teachers in implementation of mandated literacy curricula. In these instances, literacy coaches are expected to support teachers in conforming to the curriculum. Indeed, high-quality literacy curricula plays an important role in students’ opportunity to learn.  But, as we know, for teachers to be effective, they must hold (1) deep understanding of their students and evidence-based practice and (2) act on this understanding in ways that support diverse students’ literacy development.  However, not all literacy curricula are created equal nor, can any literacy curricula fully account for the needs of diverse students across American schools.  Thus, “coaching to conform” can actually undermine students’ opportunities for learning through the practices teachers implement based on this coaching.

So, what is a literacy coach to do in situations like those described by Carolina?  How can literacy coaches traverse the tension between effective practice and prescribed curriculum in ways that enhance all students’ opportunities for learning?  Research shows that supporting reflective practice is a key component of coaching that makes a difference in teaching and students’ learning.  To guide meaningful teacher reflection: Continue reading

April 2018 Disciplinary Literacy: The Importance of Reader Identity

Last month we explored the role of middle and high school literacy coaches who often find themselves coaching teachers towards integrating reading instruction within a particular content area and building teachers’ understanding of how readers’ goals, purpose, and strategy use varies depending on the discipline at hand.  While we have discussed some of the varying demands of specific content areas, we don’t want to leave the individual reader out of this conversation.  In Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines, Doug Buell (2011) recognizes the role that reader identity plays in the comprehension of content area texts.  Buell explains reader identity as how one might describe herself as a reader – strengths, challenges, preferences, etc.  He further explains that we all have a general reading identity, as well as multiple, discipline-specific reading identities.  We found his description of reader identity particularly informative in helping to clarify how readers’ self-efficacy within differing discipline may impact their reading comprehension within that discipline. Continue reading

Coaching Teachers in Disciplinary Literacy

 

March 2018

Coaching Teachers in Disciplinary Literacy

For those of us who coach in middle and high school settings, much of our work focuses on assisting content area teachers with their literacy instruction or trying to help teachers integrate more reading and writing into their regular instruction.   Certainly, content area teachers benefit from instructional support to improve students’ general skills and strategic knowledge about reading and writing. But students also need instruction that moves them beyond general reading strategies toward the specialized literacy practices (reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking) that characterize a particular discipline.  As a result, literacy coaches are increasingly called upon to help teachers identify and then teach the specific uses of literacy that each discipline requires, in order to support students’ ability to access grade-level content.

Of course, across most subject areas, or disciplines, there are certain literacy tools and approaches that disciplines have in common.  That is, across disciplines, people generally:

  • Ask questions or frame problems
  • Work with some type of data through a cycle of inquiry
  • Read and write using a variety of text types (e.g., books, logs, journals, reflections, reports, etc.) and media (e.g., computers, photographs, video, presentations, art, etc.)
  • Record (including collecting and organizing), analyze, and synthesize data/information
  • Draw conclusions about data or information that have been gathered and synthesized
  • Evaluate and examine one’s own claims and the claims of others
  • Communicate findings orally and in writing

However, many of these processes take on different flavors or textures, depending on the discipline. In other words, different disciplines communicate and represent knowledge in different ways (e.g., Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008).  As a result, when interacting with content, students must know how to vary their approach to reading, including their goals and strategy use.  For example, in English Language Arts, we tend to read critically, search for themes, and analyze texts according to accepted literary elements.  In History, we examine the sources and the context for the information we read; we are also often called on to corroborate information from other sources, to look for bias, and to consider the historical context in which texts were written. In contrast, information in both Science and Math tends to be presented with one “truth” or interpretation based on accepted methods for using and interpreting data and providing evidence.

Shanahan and Shanahan (2008) propose that reading, writing, and learning become less generalizable as students move through the grades; for example, words like prime, power, paradigm, analyze, esoteric, and thesis take on greater specificity and more specialized meanings as students progress into higher grades. As well, students’ reading abilities vary substantially across texts and disciplines; that is, a student who reads and comprehends novels with ease might have difficulty comprehending her science or math textbook.  So instruction that incorporates disciplinary literacy gives students the tools, including strategies and skills, that will allow them easier access to disciplinary knowledge.

Since the purpose of disciplinary instruction is not only to build knowledge in that discipline but also to engage students in generating disciplinary knowledge (Moje, 2015), content teachers must help their students learn how to navigate disciplinary texts and to think/reason about content.  In each discipline, then, literacy (reading, writing, speaking, listening) offers TOOLS for thinking and building essential knowledge.

Elizabeth Moje, a former high school teacher and currently the Dean at the University of Michigan School of Education, has devoted much of her career to studying and thinking about the ways that teachers can best support their students in learning to read, write, and think in discipline-specific ways. She and others who have been involved in her research propose that engaging students in disciplinary literacy should incorporate the following components (Moje, 2008; 2015; Pearson, Moje, & Greenleaf, 2010):

Engage: Design classroom instruction and provide students with multiple tools that enable them to engage in disciplinary reading, writing, and reasoning practices that characterize the discipline, including discussion and debate, use of multiple texts, and introduction of a range of media.

Elicit/Engineer:  Elicit the knowledge and skills that students already have and can bring to bear on disciplinary inquiry, and then engineer opportunities for them to engage in disciplinary inquiry.  Such instruction includes focusing on both everyday and concept-rich vocabulary (not by simply writing definitions, but by interacting authentically with important words through reading, writing, and talk); providing explicit instruction in comprehension strategies within the context of classroom texts; and using a range of literacy-based instructional approaches to help students build knowledge by actively engaging with texts and content, e.g., Questioning the Author (QtA)  (see Beck & Sandura, 2015); Literature Circles and Text-Based Discussion (see Kucan & Palincsar, 2013); and Reading Apprenticeships (Schoenbach, Greenleaf, & Murphy, 2012)

Examine: Set up instructional opportunities that provide students with ways to explore the vocabulary, concepts and structures and uses of language that represent disciplinary knowledge. Such opportunities might include instructional tasks that call on students to engage in the forms of communication that exemplify the discipline (e.g., argumentation, explanation, description), to critically examine uses of words, phrases, and symbols, and to analyze how knowledge is represented in a particular discipline.  Students can also be asked to contrast disciplinary-specific ways of communicating with other forms, e.g., how is scientific information explained in a news article versus a scientific journal?

Evaluate: Help students consider why, when, and how disciplinary discourses are used.   Explorations of disciplinary discourses help students develop metalinguistic awareness that encourages flexibility in addressing academic reading and writing tasks, e.g., understanding the differences between a literary or scientific analysis, what “counts” as evidence, how to take a position and defend it during discussions or in a persuasive essay, etc.

As literacy coaches, we play an essential role in supporting content area teachers during this instructional cycle: by introducing relevant resources, assisting in lesson planning and design, helping to determine appropriate formative assessment tools, and assisting teachers in interpreting results. Moreover, we should actively structure opportunities for content area teachers to collaborate, within and across disciplines, to identify the instructional approaches that will most benefit their students, and in turn, to plan exciting, inquiry-based opportunities that will bring disciplinary learning to life.

References cited in this month’s post:

Beck, I. L. & Sandura, C. (2013).  Illuminating comprehension and close reading. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Kucan, L.  & Palincsar, A. S. (2013).  Comprehension instruction through text-based discussion. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Moje, E. B. (2015). Doing and teaching disciplinary literacy with adolescent learners:
A social and cultural enterprise. Harvard Educational Review85(2), 254-278.

Moje, E. B. (2008). Foregrounding the disciplines in secondary literacy teaching and
learning: A call for change. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy52(2), 96-107.

Pearson, P. D., Moje, E., & Greenleaf, C. (2010). Literacy and science: Each in the
service of the other. Science328(5977), 459-463.

Schoenbach, R., Greenleaf, C., & Murphy, L. (2012). Reading for understanding: How
reading apprenticeship improves disciplinary learning in secondary and college classrooms.  San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Shanahan, T. & Shanahan, C. (2008). Teaching disciplinary literacy to adolescents:
Rethinking content-area literacy.  Harvard Educational Review, 78(1), 40-59.

 

MRA Literacy Coaches January 2018

 

Video Analysis as a Coaching Tool

Last month, we wrote about the use of video as a coaching tool with pre-service teachers, and we described some of the research that has demonstrated the value of video-coaching for developing pre-service teachers’ knowledge and skill. But there is growing evidence that video analysis offers a valuable tool for coaching with in-service teachers, as well.

Research has shown that coaching that includes video-analysis opportunities helps in-service teachers develop deeper understandings of effective instructional moves and more reflective dispositions about their own instruction (Neuman & Wright, 2010; Rosemary et al., 2002).
Continue reading

Literacy Coaches December 2017 Blog

Preservice Teachers and Literacy Coaching: 

What Can We Learn from The Coaching with CARE Model?

 

          Last month we explored the topic of preservice teachers and their experiences, or lack thereof, with literacy coaches. Our objective was to begin to unpack the question of why literacy coaches are sometimes viewed as evaluators rather than collaborators who share a vision of student success.

         We looked to the research and found few studies that engaged preservice teachers with literacy coaches; however we did find an interesting series of studies regarding the Coaching with CARE  Model (Maloch, Mosley, Wetzel, & Hoffman, 2015).  This multi-year, multi-phase, longitudinal study explored a model for honing the coaching skills of cooperating teachers (CTs) in a literacy-focused master’s program with preservice teachers (PTs).  The model also highlighted the use of video analysis to engage PTs in in coaching conversation that resulted in deep analysis and reflection.  This month, we will explore this series of studies to posit the potential benefits that arise from partnering PTs with CTs trained in best practice literacy method, or literacy coaches, before entering the field.

      Continue reading