Monthly Archives: October 2008

Coaching Institute with Katherine Casey

In my work with the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Washington, I am privileged to coordinate the Promise of Coaching Institute, which is presented by nationally-acclaimed coach Katherine Casey, author of Literacy Coaching: The Essentials (Heinemann, 2006).

Portland: January 29-30, 2009

This two-day interactive session is designed to deepen literacy coaches’ understanding about what coaches need to know and be able to do and how to set up coaching work for success. The Institute is open to practitioners from all grade levels.

While not all authors of literacy books are great speakers, Katherine is exceptional!  She is a practitioner at heart, and incorporates videos of her own coaching throughout her sessions.  This is an event you won’t want to miss!




Filed under literacy coaching institutes, professional development opportunities, Uncategorized

A Mentor Text for Persuasive Writing

As I plan for the coaching work I will be doing with intermediate teachers next month, I think about my favorite mentor texts that help me introduce specific genres.  Whether I am teaching students or teachers, immersing writers with captivating mentor texts (or touchstone texts) is crucial in helping them understand and appreciate a new writing genre.

One of my favorite mentor texts for persuasive writing is Should There Be Zoos?, which is a brilliant collection of student essays written by fourth graders who were guided by Tony Stead.  Too often, we limit persuasive writing to shallow topics such as “why I should get a certain toy for Christmas” because we as educators are uncomfortable with controversial topics.  And while certain topics are limited to more mature audiences, we know that children have plenty to say about social justice and environmental issues.

Persuasive writing provides us new opportunties to open the world to students, and invite them to take a stand on issues that matter to them and others.


Filed under book recommendation, touchstone texts

JUST RELEASED: The Workshop Help Desk Series

Just released this week: Lucy Calkins’ Workshop Help Desk Series! The titles in this series can be purchased separately ($8 each):


Filed under book recommendation