Monday, March 20, 2017

A good coaching day - #SOLSC 3/21/17

I love March, when during the Slice of Life Challenge, I commit to writing on a daily basis. It's fun during 31 days of posts to watch the ebb and flow of my writing. Some days I'll be incredibly pleased with how a post turned out; other days I'll just be glad I posted anything at all. A huge thanks to the gang at Two Writing Teachers for hosting, organizing, and commenting on this ginormous event each year. I appreciate the community of writers you encourage the entire month of March, and all the Tuesdays the rest of the year. Thank you, thank you.

**This March, I plan to connect as many posts as possible to my #OLW for the year - SAVOR.** 

"Walk out of your room
beneath the morning sky;
let the sun enter your heart,

and find a way 
to keep it there."

from "Spin a Song" celebrating Rumi by Marjory Wentworth
(Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets)

Sun entered my heart today, and I plan on keeping it there. Today was a day of coaching sandwiched between state assessment dates that had me celebrating why I love this job so much. 

This was a day teachers and I had the gift of time (and lack of distraction from the state assessment) to dig in deeply to topics that will allow us to refine our practices, and by doing that, help students grow as learners. Some of the conversations I had today: 

1) Met with one teacher to chat about refining her art of conferring.  Planned our work, and then modeled conferring with several students in writing workshop - focused on the following point: "turn an 'almost' into a strength" - thanks to Ruth Ayres for that nugget!! After each conference, had a "turn and talk" with the teacher to focus on what she noticed and further questions.

2) Using ideas from Amplify (Ziemke and Muhtaris) as our resource, helped a teacher develop an outline of a rubric to use with students merging reading, speaking/listening, and technology skills. Students will help define what it means to "achieve" in the categories of the rubric.

3) Met with another teacher to think about how to create a rubric with students to help them with  self-assessment on their reading goals. Made plans to co-teach mini-lessons around this rubric creation for the next three days.

4) Planned future collaboration with yet another teacher. She decided she would like to work on fine-tuning how she assesses students' written work. Independent from each other, she and I will use our district feedback form for informational writing to assess 5 pieces of writing. Then, we will come together, and talk about the similarities and differences in how we assess. And once we calibrate how we assess, the work will spread to the rest of her grade level teammates.

Work like this is so rewarding - the kind of embedded professional development that is a win-win for all stakeholders -- students, teachers, coaches, administrators, parents.  Feeling the "sun in my heart today"and looking forward to savoring the next eight weeks with more of this type of professional development!


  1. Your teachers are lucky to have you on their coaching team. I love when PD is a win-win for everyone. No wonder you felt the sun in your heart today! I especially liked #4 - such important work to calibrate how we assess.

  2. Man alive, I'm so jealous. We are a small district. There are no coaches. I wonder where we would be if we had some. Such great work you describe - absolutely a moment of sun.