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Moxley, D., and Taylor, R. (2006). Literacy Coaching: A handbook for school leaders. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press.

Author: Moxley, D., and Taylor, R.

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Description:

This book is intended for K-12 principals who are considering implementing literacy coaching in their school, and it helps to clearly define and explain literacy coaching and professional development. Although the principals are the target audience, this book can be helpful for beginning literacy coaches or people considering becoming literacy coaches.

Chapter one, Fail-safe literacy coaching, outlines the literacy coaching program the authors employ in Lake County school district in Florida. In this chapter, they define literacy and what it looks like in order to clarify their literacy coaching goals.

The second chapter, Literacy coaching: Working together and learning together, explains what literacy coaching is, what a literacy coach does, the kind of disposition that person should have, roles and responsibilities of a coach, and who gets coached. The chapter explains coaching across the curriculum, and how coaches work with their colleagues-teachers, principals, and district administration. It maps out different kinds of service models coaches can use.

The third chapter, Preparing to be a literacy coach, is both for principals looking to hire qualified coaches (and how to find them), as well as for people considering becoming coaches, as it explains the kinds of certification needed and how to “walk the walk" developing confidence and credibility, as well as promoting literacy coaching, not necessarily yourself.

Chapter four is a good guide for principals as it lists the practical things literacy coaches will need when coming into a school: workspace; appropriate technology; professional resources; examples of student texts, including content-area textbooks, resources, and other kinds of student text; a budget; a calendar provided to the entire school; and the ability to conduct professional development sessions.

Chapter five focuses on developing a literacy leadership team by bringing in people throughout the school, including the librarian media specialist, teachers from all the disciplines, and the principal. Once a school literacy leadership team is developed, the authors suggest expanding this network to include district, state, regional, higher educational, and professional organization partners.

The sixth chapter focuses on data collection, interpretation, and action. It offers ideas on different kinds of tests that can be administered and what the different assessment models can offer a literacy coach or school administrator.

Chapter seven follows up six well by talking about different intervention models. Once a student has been identified as needing additional reading assistance, these interventions can be used to ensure he does not fall further behind in reading.

Chapter eight discusses professional development, including assessing a school's professional development needs, different kinds of venues for professional development (small groups, workshops, etc), and developing essential core literacy knowledge for the entire school staff.

The final chapter addresses managing challenges, and encourages literacy coaches to develop good relationships with administrators, maintaining communication, managing time, working with reluctant teachers, performing self-assessment, and obtaining feedback from teachers and administrators.

This is a useful book for principals unfamiliar with literacy coaching and the ins and outs of the practice, as well as new literacy coaches or those thinking about becoming literacy coaches. It gives an easy overview of the whole process of literacy coaching without getting weighed down in too many details. It's a great start to familiarizing yourself with the literacy coaching process.

Date Added: 02/22/2007

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