Coaching: An Essential Component for Teacher Development

A sports team wouldn’t think about functioning without a coach, indeed they employ a cadre of coaches each with a specific focus.  Our teachers, the ultimate team, deserve the same level of investments and support.  Ms. Houser’s web site offers lots of great tools for instructional coaches.  Visit her here:

Rocketship Coaching Relationships


Good Reads Review of Great Habits, Great Readers: A Practical Guide for K-4 Reading in the Light of Common Core

A book that brings the habits of reading to lifeGreat readers are not made by genetics or destiny but by the habits they build–habits that are intentionally built by their teachers. The early formal years of education are the key to reversing the reading gap and setting up children for success. But K-4 education seems to widen the gap between stronger and weaker readers,…more

Data in the Driver’s Seat

Data in the Driver’s Seat

Paul Bambrick-Santoyo

Two New Jersey schools discover the benefits of interim assessments, clearly defined standards, and data-driven instruction.

Our story starts with two public middle schools in Newark, New Jersey. Both had student populations representative of Newark’s Central Ward, where 90 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch and 85 percent are black. Students in both schools were generally well behaved and academically on task.

Despite the two schools’ similar student populations, their 2003 achievement results revealed two very different pictures. One school, Greater Newark Academy, was in a tailspin: Only 7 percent of its 8th grade students had passed the state math test. The second school, North Star Academy, had more respectable results—well above the district average—but it was still behind its suburban New Jersey counterparts.

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Teacher Behaviors Communicate Expectations

In this second to last chapter (wow—in the home stretch, readers!) Marzano summarizes the extensive research on this topic and recommends five action steps that walk the teacher through her expectations of her students, examination of the interactions with those students that result, and corrective actions to take if necessary.  Read the excerpt from Marzano’s book here.