Literacy Content Coaching

Literacy coaching in the Urban Teacher Residency Partnership Program focuses on the Eight Pillars of Effective Literacy Classrooms – Taken from Classrooms That Work by Cunningham and Allington (2016).

Balanced, comprehensive instruction

·       Skills/strategies used to provide children with lots of time to read and write throughout every day, across the school year

·       Teachers balance time spent on various components of literacy development (e.g., balance between teaching decoding and meaning vocabulary)

Children do a lot of reading and writing

·       Throughout the day

·       Every day

·       The children themselves do the reading and writing

Science and social studies are taught and integrated with reading and writing

·       Integration is purposeful and planned; well thought-out

·       Learning objectives are present for all disciplines being addressed in the lesson

Meaning is central and teachers emphasize higher-level thinking skills

·       Instruction supports development of strong and thoughtful communication skills

·       Teachers engage children in conversation

·       Questions are open-ended and require students to explore multiple perspectives/multiple ways of problem-solving, etc.

·       Students are taught to problem-solve, self-regulate, and monitor their own comprehension

·       Meaning is the thread that connects instruction (this lesson) and activities in the classroom over time (to the big picture)

Skills are explicitly taught, and children are coached to use them while reading and writing

·       Teacher has knowledge of skills students need to be taught, and teaches these explicitly through 1) modeling and 2) demonstration

·       Goals of instruction always remain front and center in the teacher’s mind and instructional decisions

·       Students are reminded to use what they’ve been taught, no matter the setting or scenario (whole group, small group, across content areas)

·       Children are provided with numerous opportunities to apply what they’re learning through lots of reading and writing and to do so independently

Teachers use a variety of formats to provide instruction

·       Whole class

·       Small group

·       One-on-one

·       Collaborative grouping arrangements are flexible and varied, they change from day to day (which allows children to learn from one another)

·       Depending on what the teacher wants to accomplish

A wide variety of materials are used

·       Teachers use the widest range of materials available to them

·       Not restricted to one program or one set of materials

·       Materials allow different kinds of learners to access the learning goals

Classrooms are well-managed and have high levels of engagement

·       The classroom is safe and orderly

·       The classroom is well-managed, free of ongoing disruptions

·       Expectations are known to all members of the classroom community

·       Children are engaged: Almost everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do, almost all the time, because:

·       Teachers engage children in meaningful reading and/writing/instruction that is based on their needs and interests

·       Activities seem real and important

·       Children take part in managed choice and collaborative learning

·       Children investigate topics they care about with friends whom they are encouraged to have dialogue with

·       Students evaluations are based on improvement and progress

·       Teachers develop children to be self-reliant and responsible for their own learning