More than 40,000 in print!
Cover Graphic

The Literacy Coach's Handbook

Second Edition
A Guide to Research-Based Practice

Sharon Walpole and Michael C. McKenna

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
November 27, 2012
ISBN 9781462507719
Price: $83.00 $62.25
252 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
November 29, 2012
ISBN 9781462507702
Price: $33.00 $24.75
252 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
November 29, 2012
Price: $33.00 $24.75
252 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $66.00 $36.30
252 Pages
Professors: free copies available for adoption consideration
Download an e-book copy now or order a print copy

This bestselling book gives preservice and practicing literacy coaches the tools they need to build a successful schoolwide reading program. The authors, well-known experts in the field, describe the literacy coach's crucial, evolving role in today's schools. They offer step-by-step guidelines for implementing curricula and assessments, selecting instructional materials, and planning for differentiation and intervention. Specific ways to support teachers by providing high-quality professional development are discussed. The book is grounded in state-of-the-art research on PreK-5 instruction and the characteristics of effective coaches.

New to This Edition See also The Literacy Coaching Challenge, which guides more experienced coaches in choosing among different coaching models and addresses typical issues of implementation.

“This book, with its abundance of ideas and suggestions as well as background information, provides valuable insight and guidance for any literacy coach, whether the person is new to the position or is a seasoned coach seeking to further her professional development.”

Childhood Education

“Drawing on extensive recent research, this second edition provides an up-to-date look at the components, complexities, and complications of literacy coaching. Walpole and McKenna write in a direct and engaging style. They present relevant, practical information and advice for coaches, teachers, and administrators. The book covers the terrain of coaching with a level of expertise that is seldom seen. A 'must read.'”

—D. Ray Reutzel, PhD, Emma Eccles Jones Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor of Early Literacy, Utah State University

“A tour de force. The authors know elementary classrooms in and out, and they know what literacy coaches should be well informed about and able to do. The second edition provides the latest research on coaching and reading instruction. It is filled with practical ideas that will assist coaches in their daily work in classrooms and schools. This is a great text for reading endorsement/coaching courses and administration courses for elementary principals.”

—Janice A. Dole, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Utah

“This is an indispensable book for any educator involved in school reform surrounding literacy. It contains practical strategies and research for literacy coaches that could also inform the practices of teachers, reading specialists, and administrators. The grouping configurations, assessment systems, and representative schedules are particularly valuable. With its insight into professional development and leadership, the book will be especially useful for graduate students. No other text is as comprehensive and concrete, or has the potential to make such a difference in the lives of elementary students.”

—Christine McNair, MSEd, English Language Arts Supervisor, Roanoke (Virginia) City Public Schools; Adjunct Instructor, Virginia Western Community College

“Walpole and McKenna have done a fantastic job of revising a book that was a lifesaver for me when I was training literacy coaches. Like the first edition, the second edition is packed with information; the expanded grade range and the rich research updates make it even more useful. This is an essential book for coaches as well as other educators seeking to implement lasting literacy changes to benefit students.”

—Lisa Albert, EdS, third-grade teacher, Twin Oaks Elementary School, Leesburg, Georgia

“Walpole and McKenna have done it again! The second edition of this comprehensive guide incorporates current research and gives more attention to expectations at the preschool level and the impact of the Common Core State Standards on instruction and learning. The book is reader friendly; it's obvious that Walpole and McKenna have worked closely with literacy coaches in the field. They describe many different tools and resources that literacy coaches can use to do their job more effectively. This text is a valuable resource for those preparing reading specialists and coaches, and is a 'must read' for practicing coaches.”

—Rita M. Bean, PhD, Professor Emerita, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh

Table of Contents

1. What Is a Literacy Coach?

2. Research on Literacy Coaching

3. What Is a Schoolwide Literacy Program?

4. Finding and Applying Reading Research

5. Reading Assessment

6. Instructional Schedules

7. Instructional Tasks and Procedures

8. Selecting Materials and Programs

9. Schoolwide Response to Intervention

10. Providing Professional Support

11. Leadership

About the Authors

Sharon Walpole, PhD, is Professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. She has extensive school-based experience designing and implementing tiered instructional programs. Dr. Walpole has also been involved in federally funded and other schoolwide reform projects. Her current work involves the design and effects of schoolwide reforms. She has coauthored or coedited several books, including How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction, Second Edition: Resources for Grades K–3; The Literacy Coach’s Handbook, Second Edition; and Organizing the Early Literacy Classroom. Dr. Walpole is also Series Editor, with Michael C. McKenna, of The Essential Library of PreK–2 Literacy. She is a recipient of the Early Career Award for Significant Contributions to Literacy Research and Education from the Literacy Research Association and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Delaware.

Michael C. McKenna, PhD, is Thomas G. Jewell Professor of Reading in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. He has authored, coauthored, or edited more than 20 books, including Assessment for Reading Instruction, Third Edition; How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction, Second Edition: Resources for Grades K–3; and Organizing the Early Literacy Classroom; as well as over 100 articles, chapters, and technical reports on a range of literacy topics. Dr. McKenna is also Series Editor, with Sharon Walpole, of The Essential Library of PreK–2 Literacy. His research has been sponsored by the National Reading Research Center and the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement. He is a corecipient of the Edward B. Fry Book Award from the Literacy Research Association and the Award for Outstanding Academic Books from the American Library Association. Dr. McKenna is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame.


Literacy coaches, reading specialists, and staff developers in grades PreK–5; curriculum directors and school administrators; classroom teachers; teacher educators and graduate students.

Course Use

Serves as a text in courses on coaching and mentoring teachers, foundations of literacy coaching, and supervision and administration of literacy programs.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 2004
ISBN: 9781593850340
New to this edition: