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Best Practices. Overview of Best Practices. Literacy Best Practice Documents: Were developed by curriculum staff and area specialists, with coaches’ and teachers’ input. Address major components of the literacy program. Writing Workshop Reading Workshop ECE Guided Reading Coaching

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overview of best practices
Overview of Best Practices

Literacy Best Practice Documents:

  • Were developed by curriculum staff and area specialists, with coaches’ and teachers’ input.
  • Address major components of the literacy program.
    • Writing Workshop
    • Reading Workshop
    • ECE
    • Guided Reading
    • Coaching
  • List Big Ideas on the left for each content area, stated in terms of teacher behaviors.
  • Describe practices for Big Ideas at three levels of implementation with enough specificity to inform teachers’ implementation.
overview of best practices continued
Overview of Best Practices (continued)

Literacy Best Practice Documents:

  • Articulate vision of what “highly effective” instruction looks like.
  • Inform the content for professional development and coaching.
  • Are “works in progress” and will be revised as we learn more and as we get feedback from teachers and schools.
  • Available online at
dos and don ts of best practices
Dos and Don’ts of Best Practices


  • Recognize that where teachers are in their implementation depends on the support and professional development they receive.
  • Encourage teachers to use best practices for their own self-assessment and honor their reflections.
  • Use best practices to inform classroom observations
  • Provide coaching and other learning community activities to build teacher understandings of best practices.
don ts of best practices
Don’ts of Best Practices


  • Hold people accountable for what they haven’t had the opportunity to learn.
  • Expect teachers to be “highly effective” in all categories.
  • Use best practice documents as a checklist to evaluate teachers.
  • Overwhelm teachers by presenting all best practice documents in one session!
best practices identifying focus areas
Best Practices: Identifying Focus Areas








Leadership Team/PDC


Representatives from grades, specials, special education


best practices identifying focus areas1
Best Practices: Identifying Focus Areas
  • Coach meets with grade-level teams. Teachers read through best practice documents (one per meeting) and discuss:
    • How might you use the best practices documents?
    • What practices do you feel good about?
    • What practices might be a focus area for you and/or your team this year?
    • How would focusing on these practices improve student achievement? (Consider specific student data you hope to impact.)
best practices identifying focus areas2
Best Practices: Identifying Focus Areas
  • After teachers have looked through the Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop Best Practice documents (or ECE Best Practices for ECE teachers), they put in writing:
    • Focus areas that interest them;
    • Why (include impact on student achievement);
    • How they would like to focus on these areas

(e.g., staff development classes, co-planning and co-teaching with coach, study groups, visits to each other’s classrooms, book study, examination of lessons through Core Issues).

best practices identifying focus areas3
Best Practices: Identifying Focus Areas
  • The grade-level representative and coach present the grade-level write-up to the Leadership Team/PDC.
  • The Leadership Team/PDC uses grade-level write-ups to:
    • Look for schoolwide and grade-level interests, possible study groups, trends, etc.;
    • Plan for professional development and different types of support to offer;
    • Differentiate professional development; and
    • Identify professional and instructional materials to support the professional development.
  • Note: This part takes time!
best practices reading workshop
Best Practices: Reading Workshop
  • Read through the Best Practices for Reading Workshop.
  • In school teams, use the graphic organizer to consider:
    • What kind of support and professional development have your teachers already participated in for different Big Ideas?
    • What do you feel are your school’s strengths?
    • What are some focus areas that would be beneficial for your school? Why?
    • How might you differentiate support for teachers?
    • What additional support for best practices would you like from area and central personnel? (Hand in Best Practices: Support sheet.)
revisit goal for this session
Revisit: Goal for this Session

To provide processes and tools to use as you engage your faculties in:

  • sustained, onsite professional development
  • in an atmosphere of a learning community
  • that builds capacity and collegiality,
  • improves teaching quality, and
  • focuses on student achievement,
  • using assessment of and for learning.