LE 1: Reading Leadership

Reading Specialist Summer 2014

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We challenged ourselves to consider our role as leaders outside of the classroom. The Specialist course asks us to become leaders in the broader sense of the word. We need to use what we know about effective reading practice as we work with colleagues, parents, and the community. We also need to look at the opportunities available within our boards to share our knowledge and expertise.


Within this Smore you will find the key concepts that were discussed in this LE along with some of your own ideas. I hope you find this a useful summary of our collective learning.

Welcome to the Reading Specialist Course--summer session!

Did you know. . .



  • Clare and Michelle H are Walking Dead fans
  • Nikki, Heather and Michelle L-S are travellers (Michelle is going to Mexico after this course)
  • Lillian, Sherry and Sara try to balance course work with their children's nap times; they would love more sleep time!
  • Lindsay is going to do some home renos this summer
  • Lauren is a golfing, movie watching piano player
  • Arla, Taye and Belinda are teaching FDK in the fall
  • Belinda is expecting her second child in December
  • Wendy and Jill are dog lovers
  • Jill does karate and Kristina is considering taking it up

Share a Reading Experience

These are the reading experiences you shared. . .



  • Robert Munsch book study (Jill)
  • Daily 5 + the Cafe (Wendy, Lauren, Clare, Lillian)
  • Reading Assessment (Michelle)
  • First 20 Days of Independent Reading (Lindsay, Sara)
  • STAR: Striving Together for Achievement in Reading (Heather)
  • Home reading--familiar books vs. unfamiliar books (Arla)
  • Empower Reading program (Sherry)
  • Reading response blog (Nikki)
  • Home reading--Raz Kids (Kristina)
  • Oral Reading comprehension assessment (Belinda)



I included Taye's description of her reading activity below. If there are any others that you want to know about in greater detail, don't forget to go back to the discussion area for e-1.

Morning Message (Taye)

I use the message as a way to engage students through shared reading and writing of the message. To begin with, I'll ask the special helper to read the calendar (a large copy of the newsletter calendar with students names on it to indicate their special day) to add the date to the top of our message. Next I might either think-aloud about what I'm going to write about or ask the students for some ideas (ie/ news from their lives). Together we'll either sound out the words or I'll write a high-frequency word for them to identify. After the message is completed, I'll ask the students to show me with their fingers how many sentences they see, how many words in a given sentence, or how many letters are in a given word. This allows the students an opportunity to decompose the message and learn how to identify letters, words, and sentences. We might also play games where students have to match a letter or word in the message using magnetic letters and words. This allows the students an opportunity to build their phonetic skills too. Finally, we'll read the message together.

What Does Leadership Mean to You?

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Reading Leadership in the Classroom

  • Make sure to incorporate differentiated learning and celebrate all growth in the classroom. (Sherry)
  • Inspire students to learn, dream, and do (Michelle)
  • Create students as reading leaders in their classroom and school. (Belinda)
  • Encourage students to think critically as they respond to and reflect on what they have read (Lindsay)
  • Showing empathy for the needs and struggles of all (Clare)

Reading Leadership in Relation to Colleagues

  • Never force; always invite (Michelle)
  • Using best practices in your own classroom (Lauren)
  • Having time to meet with colleagues and discuss successes, struggles and goals is so essential to fostering the sense that the students belong to all of us not just the homeroom teacher. (Kristina)
  • Prompting with questions or new thoughts (Clare)
  • I think that it is important for leaders in a collegial setting to remember that we are all working together as a team and that all teachers bring strong skills and experiences to all discussions that must be honoured by everyone. There should not appear to be a 'Leader' within the group, perhaps only a facilitator. (Taye)

Reading Leadership in Relation to Parents

  • Do not use ‘teacher jargon’, make sure parents understand what you’re talking about. (Sherry)
  • Continual Feedback on the Progress/Needs of Their Children is Key (Nikki)
  • Provide parents with resources to keep them up to date (Arla)
  • Educating parents on what they can do at home to support learning going on at school (Lauren)
  • Making expectations about students’ reading clear at the beginning of the year (Heather)

Reading Leadership in the Board

  • Promote initiative that encourage reading (Jill)
  • Create opportunities among schools in order to share best practice and new learning (Lindsay)
  • Participate in board offered reading professional development (Sara)
  • providing other staff members in the board with examples of personal positive reading experiences through the board's form of teacher communication (e-mail, discussion boards etc) through the sharing of successful lessons, experiences, resources (Lillian)
  • remaining open to new ideas and initiatives (Wendy)

Leadership Styles

Teachers as Mentors

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Mentoring Skills

Here are some links to resources about mentoring that you might find useful.