Studying the Impact of Literacy Coaching and Consulting
A key component of literacy coaching and literacy instruction is a continuous system of assessing and reflecting on one's impact on student learning. Beth uses a combination of methods to routinely monitor, evaluate, and reflect on her instructional coaching and classroom teaching. Some of the tools used include:
1. Consistent observational/anecdotal records for every classroom visit
2. Checklists for classroom environments that foster high levels of engagement in independent reading and writing
3. Routine surveys to give colleagues multiple opportunities to share their feedback and input
4. Continuous observation and collection of data regarding student work (reading notebooks, writing notebooks, published pieces, video of student conversations, reading benchmark assessments, running records, and other in-class assessments conducted alongside teachers)
5. Periodic whole-school walk-throughs, often in collaboration with educators and administrators to reflect on student work and the learning environment
6. Analysis of school-wide and district-wide formative data, including on-demand writing scores, reading levels, and standardized testing data
Working with Beth Moore: What was the impact on your instruction?
Above is a visual representation of words most frequently used in feedback survey data gathered across the 2017-2018 school year. This “word cloud” represents 116 feedback responses, with a total word count of 5,156 from 12 schools. Participants include teachers, librarians, interventionists, special educators, administrators, and instructional coaches. The feedback gathered here is in response to two open ended question: “How did it go?” and “What impact will this day have on your teaching?”
Educators share their feedback on their work with Beth.
"Our school began with baby steps and is now working to fine tune K-4 reading and writing workshops following the Units of Study (Lucy Calkins, et al), supported by Beth Moore's talented coaching. Beth quickly builds trusting relationships with her school colleagues by offering easy to implement "nuts and bolts" for instruction. Beth continually models all elements of workshop thinking across a myriad of district wide professional development opportunities. She is a valued member of the monthly K-8 administrators and coaches meetings supporting district wide curriculum initiatives and guiding processes for the English/Language Arts committee. Her talents include listening, observing and synthesizing tremendous information to support whole district implementation and improvement. Personally, I deeply value her honest, kind, thoughtful approach when discussing the intricacies of education. Her passion is infectious! Thank you Beth!"
Barbara Nason, Principal, Underhill Central School, Underhill, Vermont
"I thought the labsite day was fantastic. It was nice to see a variety of lessons (shared reading vs. reading workshop) and to have ample opportunity to talk about what we saw and how it could be adapted. I'm already planning to use some of the shared reading/word work ideas in my classroom to make word study more meaningful to my students."
Tonya Darby, 3rd Grade Teacher, Richmond Elementary School, Richmond, Vermont
"The labsite days were very helpful and I enjoy being able to observe Beth teach, take ideas, and try them in my classroom. These two days gave me ideas and strategies to use in my own classroom that I can turn around and try out in my teaching. I am most excited for the read-alouds."
Samantha Brehm, Kindergarten Teacher, Jericho Elementary School, Jericho, Vermont
"This was exactly the support I was looking for! Having taught reading workshop for many years, conferring and shared reading were some of the weaker parts of my teaching. Working with Beth gave me more ideas and ways to better support students in learning important reading skills. I'm now looking at creating a reader's notebook full of mini progressions and figuring out how to lay it out. This will lift up the level of my student conferences and small group work. I'm also looking for examples of music and short reads to add to my shared read-alouds. Loved the word study connection as a way to further connect everything for my students."
Marie Ayer, 3rd Grade Teacher, Richmond Elementary School, Richmond, Vermont
"Thank you, Beth, for your time, your positive energy, and your enthusiasm in making a labsite day meaningful. The reading workshop model helps me guide students to be independent readers by taking the time to read/look at pictures, to study pictures and words. I love having a read-aloud book for a whole week - to be able to look at characters closely, to talk about words, and to act out the book! I feel as if the joy of reading is back and not rushed."
Ronda Curry, Kindergarten Teacher, Underhill Central School, Underhill, Vermont
"I thought the literacy labsite day was incredibly valuable. It was great to hear that other teachers had similar challenges with certain units, and I appreciated learning how they troubleshoot issues that arise. Watching Beth conduct minilessons and conferences continues to be the highlight for me. Every time I observe her with my students, I learn something new to try. I loved seeing her do guided reading groups and strategy lessons, and it reminded me that the teaching points of conferences and group work can be tailored to the needs of each student. I also found the Fountas & Pinnell assessment activity helpful. I like the conversational nature of the assessment and I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it out. The big take away were the teaching points and scaffolding for small group strategy lessons and guided reading."
Portia Senning, 4th Grade Teacher, Richmond Elementary School, Richmond, Vermont
Beth Moore has supported Westford School with literacy professional development for two years. Her experience with Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, her ever-evolving knowledge about literacy instruction, and the extensive time she spends in Vermont classrooms allows her to provide high-level coaching in reading and writing workshop.
One of the biggest challenges in literacy coaching is differentiating to meet the needs of a wide variety of job descriptions and professional strengths. Beth adapts her coaching to meet educators’ own goals. In the course of one year at Westford, for instance, Beth worked with elementary teachers to calibrate on-demand scoring; supported accountable talk read-alouds in primary classrooms; provided in-the-moment coaching to minilessons in elementary writing workshops; and supported middle level teachers’ efforts to develop and add focus to their reading curriculum. The nature of her support was borne from teacher and administrator requests. Beth adds another level of individual support to teachers by asking them to select their own goals for her time in their classrooms. What will she coach-- timing? Student engagement in the mini-lesson? Unnecessary repetition? Questioning? In this way, Beth Moore avoids a prescribed formula for literacy development and provides expertise and support for what teachers and schools need most.
Marcie Lewis, Principal, Westford School, Westford, Vermont
"I really learn from seeing Beth teach in the classroom. The little problems that come up in real time give me insight into how I might solve some of those problems. I also enjoyed having some planning time to work with my grade level. I have already tried out the lesson we watched, tailored to my class's skills and prior knowledge. The new sticky-note strategy we started using has helped their learning and interest level already."
Jan Bouchard, Kindergarten Teacher, Jericho Elementary School, Jericho, Vermont
"I thought our work together went well! I'm excited about the new assessment kits and loved learning about Epic! I have already started Epic in my class, and the kids love it! I always leave Beth’s labsites with fresh ideas and excited to try out new things! I have already used so much from what she has given us: from shared reading, to apps, to sight word games, record-keeping resources, and so much more. I recently changed up the way I record my conferring notes, am using Epic to fill in some holes in my nonfiction class library, and have some new strategies for guided reading and strategy lessons."
Cathy Bristol, 1sr/2nd Mulitiage Classroom Teacher, Smilie Memorial School, Bolton, Vermont
The teachers at my school look forward to the times when Beth works with us. Beth gets right into the classroom and models the reading and writing strategies that my teachers are working on. This is true “just in time” professional development. Beth coaches my teachers as they work with students and is an excellent sounding board for the tricky teaching questions that always come up. The district workshops that Beth leads have given my teachers a firm common foundation in the core principles and essential strategies of the Reading and Writing Units of Study. My teachers across my school and across the district are able to have higher level collaborative conversations based on what they have learned from Beth. As a school leader, I would also say that Beth provides coaching and guidance so that I can plan effective professional development with my teachers. We are able to take the appropriate next step based on the groundwork that Beth has laid out for us.
David Wells, Principal, Underhill ID School, Underhill, Vermont
"I was very pleased with the day with Beth. Very positive. Practical. Informative. I immediately tried out a guided reading session with a small reading group. Instantly practical application which was appreciated."
Julie Parker, Literacy Coach, Browns River Middle School, Jericho, Vermont
"The labsite days went well. I had plenty of planning time to look and plan with my team our next reading unit. There were resources available for conferring with students, and the labsite in the classroom was very helpful for looking for next steps for my own students. It was also helpful to go over the new assessments together and try them out with a student. I plan to try out meeting with two small groups during a reading time. It was great to see students being independent and on task. I will take the lessons my team planned out together and implement them during our class time."
Kristin Darling, 2nd Grade Teacher, Richmond Elementary School, Richmond, Vermont
"The labsite day was very meaningful and I applied many things I learned from watching Beth teach in my own classroom the next day! Right away I started my strategy lessons, approached partner reading differently, and tried mid-workshop interruptions!"
Heather Ferreira, 1st/2nd Multiage Teacher, Underhill Central School, Underhill, Vermont
"It was a wonderful day! I enjoyed observing reading workshop in a classroom with Beth because, as a librarian, I am not in a classroom. It really helps to see how reading workshop functions. It was also useful for me to see the new assessment for reading. I now have a better understanding of what to look for when students are finding a text that is just right."
Kim Burroughs, Librarian, Jericho Elementary School, Jericho, Vermont
"I appreciated the time to talk with others and listen to their questions and hear about things they have tried. I also appreciated the flexible Ed-Camp time towards the end of the day when we could choose what we worked on. Great way to meet everyone's needs."
Ileen Gilbar, Kindergarten Teacher, Richmond Elementary School, Richmond, Vermont
"I LOVE these days with Beth. The chance to talk about best practices is gold for me. I liked getting to test out the new reading assessment with a student and I picked up tips from each of your modeling sessions in classrooms. I felt more confident giving the reading assessment the very next day!"
Sara Baer-Farrell, Interventionist, Jericho Elementary School and Underhill ID School, Jericho, Vermont
Teachers College Reading and Writing Project: A Study on the Impact of Professional Development in New York City Schools
From 2004-2015, Beth worked as a staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP), founded by Lucy Calkins, based at Columbia University in New York City. Much of that time as a lead staff developer, coaching and mentoring TCRWP colleagues, as well as serving as a coach, professional leader, and researcher in dozens of New York City Public Schools. TCRWP collected data over the past decade and recently released a brief that highlights the impact of the professional learning NYC public schools take part in year after year, including the work that Beth played a role in. Click here to see the data regarding TCRWP’s work in NYC public schools. Click on this separate link for synthesis of the research base underlying reading and writing workshop.