The Common Core Coaching Book

Strategies to Help Teachers Address the K-5 ELA Standards

Laurie Elish-Piper and Susan K. L'Allier

A Paperback Originale-bookprint + e-book
A Paperback Original
April 24, 2014
ISBN 9781462515578
Price: $29.00 $24.65
226 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
April 24, 2014
Price: $29.00 $24.65
226 Pages
print + e-book
A Paperback Original + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $58.00 $31.90
226 Pages

This book provides essential coaching tools to support teachers in planning and implementing instruction aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The authors explain the key instructional shifts brought about by the CCSS in K-5 English language arts classrooms. Eighteen specific strategies for coaching large groups, small groups, and individual teachers are presented, including clear-cut procedures, vivid illustrative examples, and 28 reproducible forms. Grounded in research on adult learning, the book addresses common coaching challenges and how to overcome them. The large-size format facilitates photocopying; purchasers also get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials.

This title is part of the Teaching Practices That Work Series, edited by Diane Lapp and Douglas Fisher.

“A unique, insightful addition to the literature on the Common Core. Coaches, teachers, reading specialists, and school curriculum leaders will all benefit from the authors' distinctive perspective. The authors are experts in literacy coaching, and their knowledge and practical experiences permeate each chapter. The book details what coaches need to know about the CCSS in very practical terms and provides numerous supportive tools.”

—Maureen McLaughlin, EdD, Reading Department, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania; President (2013-2014), International Reading Association

“Elish-Piper and L'Allier offer literacy coaches many practical suggestions for integrating the CCSS into their work with teachers. They have designed valuable tools that literacy professionals can use in different coaching situations. Clear examples show how real coaches have applied the book's strategies to help their own schools transition toward implementation of the CCSS. An important addition to any literacy coach's toolkit.”

—Joanna Lieberman, MEd, District Literacy Coach, Cambridge (Massachusetts) Public Schools

“Provides comprehensive, research-based advice in an engaging format. Elish-Piper and L’Allier bring to this book their years of experience as researchers and teacher educators as well as their in-depth knowledge of literacy coaching. The book gives both new and experienced coaches an invaluable framework for understanding their role, and draws the reader in through many examples and cases. Coaches can really help their schools address the CCSS through the strategies offered here.”

—Elizabeth Sturtevant, PhD, Director, Division of Elementary, Literacy, and Secondary Education, George Mason University

“Based on research and peppered with common sense, this book is respectful, timely, and easy to follow. The authors have artfully incorporated seminal work on teaching adult learners throughout the book—information that literacy coaching books often lack. This is a wonderful addition to the field and a great resource for teacher leaders in the era of not-enough-time.”

—Enrique A. Puig, EdD, Director, Morgridge International Reading Center, College of Education and Human Performance, University of Central Florida

“With pressure growing to implement the Common Core well, this book is a superb, hugely practical addition to the field. It offers insightful at-your-fingertips material that will jump-start beginning coaches who want to quickly be successful. Seasoned coaches also will benefit greatly from the book's specific coaching strategies—whole school, small group, and individual—along with examples of how they are put into practice. I am very excited to engage in the discussions and efforts this book will spark. For those in coaching roles who care deeply about nurturing both teachers' and students' learning, I believe this book will quickly become a 'must-have' resource.”

—Nancy L. Shanklin, EdD, Literacy, Language and Culturally Responsive Teaching Program, University of Colorado Denver

Table of Contents

I. Coaching toward the Common Core

1. Getting Ready for Coaching

2. Tools for Effective Coaching

II. Large-Group Coaching toward the Common Core

Strategy 1. Establishing a Climate for Literacy Coaching

Strategy 2. Building Shared Understanding and Language

Strategy 3. Conducting an Article Study Group

Strategy 4. Providing Professional Development at Faculty Meetings

Strategy 5. Unpacking the Common Core Standards

Strategy 6. Examining the Vertical Alignment of the Common Core Standards

Strategy 7. Presenting Powerful Professional Development

III. Small-Group Coaching toward the Common Core

Strategy 8. Developing Implementation Guides for the Common Core Standards

Strategy 9. Reviewing Assessment Data to Plan Instruction

Strategy 10. Examining Student Work

Strategy 11. Reviewing Units of Study

Strategy 12. Conducting a Lesson Study

IV. Individual Coaching toward the Common Core

Strategy 13. Setting Goals

Strategy 14. Modeling

Strategy 15. Co-Planning

Strategy 16. Co-Teaching

Strategy 17. Observing

Strategy 18. Implementing the Coaching Cycle

V. Putting It All Together: Profiles of Highly Effective Literacy Coaches

Profile 1. Establishing and Maintaining Administrator Support

Profile 2. Getting into Classrooms

Profile 3. Working with Hesitant Teachers

Profile 4. Staying the Course

Profile 5. Embedding Coaching into Other Assigned Duties

Profile 6. Organizing for Success

Final Thoughts

About the Authors

Laurie Elish-Piper, PhD, is Distinguished Teaching Professor, Presidential Engagement Professor, and Director of the Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic in the Department of Literacy Education at Northern Illinois University, where she also serves as Deputy Provost. Dr. Elish-Piper's research and teaching focus on literacy leadership and coaching. She has published and presented widely with Susan K. L'Allier on literacy coaching at the elementary level. She has worked extensively with school districts to develop and implement literacy coaching programs at the elementary and middle school levels, and she teaches graduate courses related to literacy coaching and leadership. Dr. Elish-Piper has coauthored seven books. Prior to joining the faculty at Northern Illinois University, she worked as an elementary teacher, a middle school reading teacher, and an educational therapist in a clinical setting.

Susan K. L'Allier, EdD, is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Reading Program in the Department of Literacy Education at Northern Illinois University. She and Laurie Elish-Piper have conducted multiple research studies to examine the relationship between literacy coaching and student literacy achievement. In addition to their journal articles, chapters, and presentations about literacy coaching, they also have published a video “workshop in a box” titled The Literacy Coaching Series, which enables viewers to see and analyze interactions between literacy coaches and teachers. Prior to joining the faculty at Northern Illinois University, Dr. L'Allier worked as an elementary teacher, a lead teacher, and a principal.


Literacy coaches, teacher leaders, reading specialists, and administrators in elementary schools; teacher educators and graduate students.

Course Use

May serve as a text in graduate-level courses such as Literacy Coaching and Leadership in School Literacy Programs.