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Practical Literacy Coaching

Practical Literacy Coaching
A Collection of Tools to Support Your Work

Other Titles in:
Coaching | Literacy, K-12

June 2009 | 180 pages | Corwin
Based on her work as a literacy coach and an instructional coach, it became apparent to Jan Miller Burkins that parallels and overlaps exist in the work coaches do with teachers. Many coaches were inventing and reinventing the same tools. This repetition of effort led Burkins to compile this collection of tools and resources.

The diversity of literacy coaching demands that coaches must be competent across many levels of interaction with people and must have expertise in an array of areas from communication to technology to literacy research. This resource provides specific tools and resources that respond to those needs.

About the Author
Sharing Our Work

How This Book Came to Be


From Philosophy to Action

Conclusions: A Word About Imagination

Introduction: Three Metaphors for Literacy Coaching
Metaphor I: Coaching Pie

Metaphor II: Nesting Dolls

Metaphor III: Phases of the Moon

Closing Thoughts

1. Defining and Clarifying Your Role
Opening Thoughts: Finding Ourselves

Coaching Connection: Living Horizontal in a Vertical World

Related Research: Four Schools, Three Literacy Coaches, and 160 Teachers

Tools for Defining and Clarifying Your Role

A Coaching Story: Crossing Lines

Coaching Connection: Wet Cement in the Threshold

Taking Chapter 1 Personally: How Are You Defining and Clarifying Your Role?

2. Stepping Into the Work of Literacy Coaching
Opening Thoughts: Big Shoes

Coaching Connection: Sitting Big

Related Research: What Can a Coach Do for You?

Tools for Stepping Into the Work of Literacy Coaching

A Coaching Story: Quality Over Quantity

Coaching Connection: One Piece at a Time

Taking Chapter 2 Personally: How Are You Stepping Into Your Work as Literacy Coach?

3. Stretching Yourself
Opening Thoughts: Risky Business

Coaching Connection: Coaches Worth Their Salt

Related Research: Reflecting With Others

Tools for Stretching Yourself

A Coaching Story: Reading With a Different Lens

Coaching Connection: Yoga and Honoring Resistance

Taking Chapter 3 Personally: How Are You Stretching Yourself?

4. Developing and Supporting Learning Communities
Opening Thoughts: Smart Work

Coaching Connection: Red Grapes or Green Grapes

Related Research: Learning to Learn

Tools for Supporting and Developing Learning Communities

A Coaching Story: Modeling in Professional Learning

Coaching Connection: The Rubik's Cube

Taking Chapter 4 Personally: How Are You Developing and Supporting Learning Communities in Your School?

5. Coaching Individual Teachers
Opening Thoughts: Records on the Run

Coaching Connection: Thinking Outside the Mailbox

Related Research: Feedback and Situated Identities

Tools for Coaching Individual Teachers

A Coaching Story: Learning to Script Lessons

Coaching Connection: Just What I Needed

Taking Chapter 5 Personally: How Will You Work With Individual Teachers?

6. Documenting Your Work, Managing Your Time
Opening Thoughts: Matters of Time

Coaching Connection: Drumming Class

Related Key: Energy and Time

Tools for Documenting Your Work and Managing Your Time

Coaching Story: Play Fast

Coaching Connection: Machines That Make the Work Harder

Taking Chapter 6 Personally: How Do You Document Your Work and Manage Your Time?


“This engaging resource lends an authentic voice to the challenges that literacy coaches face in their daily work and offers clear solutions for meeting those challenges. An excellent array of practical tools supports literacy coaches as they strive to establish collegial partnerships, reflect on their coaching roles, and refine coaching practices to facilitate effective learning communities.”

Maryann Mraz, Associate Professor, Reading and Elementary Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Author, The Literacy Coach's Companion, Grades PreK–3

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Jan Miller Burkins

Jan Miller Burkins is currently completing her sixth year as a full-time coach at Chase Street Elementary School, Athens, Georgia. She has worked as a language arts consultant for a regional educational service agency, a district-level literacy coordinator, a reading specialist, and an elementary classroom teacher. Her work as a consultant has taken her into elementary, middle, and high schools where she has helped school leaders examine their reading instruction, modeled lessons, and facilitated professional learning. Burkins is also a part-time assistant professor at the University of Georgia, where she teaches classes to students... More About Author

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ISBN: 9780872074736