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Puig, E. & Froelich, K. (2007). The literacy coach: Guiding in the right direction. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Author: Puig, E. & Froelich, K.

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Description:

This short, but very comprehensive book with great diagrams and interesting photography of teachers and coaches begs you to read it. While definitely having a K-12 focus, the book contains sections that are specifically written with middle and high school coaches in mind. The book also contains a coach's journal from a 36 week school year; one gleans from it the actual flow of a coach's work. There are sections entitled "Pause and Rethink" and "Application Scenarios" that are good for personal reflection and discussion among groups of coaches.

The book begins by situating literacy coaching within the larger perspective of professional development. Puig & Froelich adapt Cambourne's Conditions for language acquisition to literacy coaching. They move to outlining both reading and writing as processes and linking both to learning in content areas. Also covered is the work of the National Reading Panel. Puig & Froelich link the concept of triangulation to classroom observation techniques. They suggest that coaches rely on three forms of descriptive evidence: artifacts, nonparticipant observation, and participant observation experiences. They have developed a "Continuum of Coaching" that outlines all the potential kinds of "coaching" that can be done. These help schools and districts answer the question: What types of coaching make the most sense for which teachers? They outline three, broad categories for the coaching of teachers: coaching for theoretical understanding, coaching for aesthetic understanding, and coaching for procedural understanding. Puig and Froelich then describe a five year plan for developing and implementing a literacy coaching program at the elementary and middle/high school levels. The plans emphasize the use of study groups and the topics that they might cover somewhat more than doing individual coaching in teachers' classrooms. Specific topics are outlined for first and follow-up courses of study.

Working with building principals and developing literacy leadership teams are discussed near the end of the book. The book ends by revisiting a list of essential principles for literacy coaches and contains appendices of many helpful diagrams and observational forms. Careful reading and discussion of this book can really help a school or district begin to develop a successful coaching program. The book is short, very comprehensive, and excellent.

Date Added: 06/18/2007

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