Reading Coaches: Ideas and Strategies for Success!
Many reading teachers and reading specialists are being asked to provide support and guidance to their professional peers through a process called coaching. Coaching has become a popular model in schools to provide professional development and support to improve the instructional skills of teachers, and the reading/literacy skills of students. Unfortunately, few teachers who are being given the role of "coach" are receiving sufficient training or support to adequately perform the role. This challenging situation is complicated by the fact that very few administrators have an understanding of this new role and how to provide the support that coaches will need to be successful. This seminar begins with the basics: The research-based rationale for coaching (WHY provide coaching?), WHO makes a good coach, and WHAT are the key tasks that makes coaching successful. Various models of coaching are presented along with an overview of Student-Focused Coaching (SFC; Hasbrouck & Denton, 2005). One day or multiple day seminars can then focus on various topics including: The coach/principal partnership, working successfully with ALL teachers, the professional development role of coaches, using collaborative problem solving strategies, and more.
Sample agenda for a 3 day training outline for coaches:
Educators as Physicians: Using Data from Reading Assessments for Professional Decision-Making (1 day) In this age of mounting educational accountability, educators everywhere are being asked to administer ever-increasing numbers of reading assessments to their students. Teachers screen students to determine who may need additional assistance in learning to read, diagnosis students to determine their skills strengths and weaknesses for planning instruction, and monitor students' progress to determine if their skills are showing improvement. All this testing can take a lot of time and requires a lot of paperwork. It certainly has an impact on the amount of time teachers have available for planning and instruction. Many educators are becoming frustrated with this situation, and wonder if all this testing is really helping our students.
This seminar is designed to help teachers, reading specialists, reading coaches, supervisors and principals take a close look at WHY these assessments are being used, HOW to select and administer the most time-efficient and valuable assessments, and-most important of all--how to USE the data to make key instructional decisions that can truly help us provide the best possible reading instruction to all students. In the same way that we expect our physicians to make their decisions about our health and wellness by using the best information available, educators must use assessment tools to inform and guide our professional decisions regarding students' academic "health and wellness". But because it is instruction-not testing-that is most important, we must select and use reading assessments as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Read Naturally sponsors Educators as Physician's workshops in the
summer months. www.readnaturally.com
Meeting the Needs of Struggling Readers Gr. K-12
(1-3+ hrs.; 1 or 2 day workshops)
SHORT SESSION/KEYNOTE: Too many students in our classrooms struggle with learning to read, or continue to find reading a difficult challenge during their entire school career and beyond. This session presents characteristics of the students who become struggling readers, and provides a summary of research-proven and classroom-useful components for successful prevention and intervention strategies to address the needs of challenged readers.
WORKSHOP: Too many students in our classrooms struggle with learning to read. This workshop describes the characteristics of students who become struggling readers, and presents a research-supported and classroom-proven approach to address these students' needs. The key instructional components of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension will be presented within a real-world model to help teachers and principals provide effective reading instruction for ALL students.
Assessing and Teaching Fluency (1-3 hrs.; full day workshop)
The National Reading Panel report identified fluency as "a critical component of skilled reading…often neglected in classroom instruction." Educators across the country have taken this notice to heart and as a result reading fluency is now a BIG part of teaching and assessing. This session presents a summary of research on the role of fluency in reading, procedures to identify students who need fluency instruction, and a description of a systematic, explicit and effective strategy to improve the reading fluency of all students. Information on using curriculum-based measures (CBM) of oral reading fluency to monitor students' overall progress in reading can also be included.
Putting Fluency in Perspective (1-3 hrs.; full day workshop)
The National Reading Panel report identified fluency as "a critical component of skilled reading…often neglected in classroom instruction." Educators across the country have taken this notice to heart and as a result reading fluency is now a BIG part of teaching and assessing. There are some who feel that there is now perhaps too much emphasis on fluency. This session presents a summary of research on the role of fluency in reading and provides an opportunity to reflect on where fluency should fit into a comprehensive and effective reading program.
SAILS: Using Standards, Assessments, Instruction & Intervention, Leadership and Sustained, School-Wide Commitment to Develop a Systemic Instructional Model for Reading Achievement K-12 (1-5 hrs.+; also available as multi-day trainings)
The challenge of improving students' academic achievement on a school-wide and district-wide basis is daunting at the very least. While challenging, it can be done. Students' academic skills and outcomes improve significantly by focusing on five critical and interrelated areas: Standards, Assessments, Instruction & Intervention, Leadership and School Wide Commitment (SAILS). A large body of effective schools research supports adopting standards, using assessment data to guide instructional decisions, and implementing high-quality instruction and interventions using proven methods and materials. Leadership weaves these components together, resulting in improved practice and higher achievement. School-wide commitment ensures the sustained success of these efforts. The rationale and support for a multifaceted systems approach comes from policy evaluations, theory, and logical conclusions from field implementations (Education Commission of the States, Nov. 2002; Educational Research Service, 1998). This session reviews the research-base for SAILS, and describes how effective schools use each component to create a systemic, multi-component plan that improves the proficiency of both challenged as well as highly-skilled students.