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FAQ about the Confident Literacy Coach Course, BONUS Episode 4 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

The Confident Literacy Coach is open right now and I’m really excited for you to join! I know some of you may still have questions, and I’m here to help!

In this episode, I share frequently asked questions and the answers to help you decide if the course is right for you. I also give you an overview of the course and details on the updated literacy practices modules.

The Confident Literacy Coach

I know that many coaches feel overwhelmed when asked to coach teachers around reading and writing. That’s why I decided to create the Confident Literacy Coach course. It’s designed to provide coaches with all the necessary knowledge and resources to become successful literacy leaders.

Front facing Chrissy Beltran holding a yellow notebook and blue pen smiling in a classroom. The words "FAQ about the Confident Literacy Coach Course" are on the top in blue and "Bonus Episode" is on the bottom in orange.

The course is a comprehensive look at what we know about the teaching of reading and writing. It can give you so much to start with, think about, and grow from. The best part is that many of the resources are designed for teachers and can easily be used in your PDs and PLCs so you’re not reinventing the wheel.

The course has six modules and each is designed around a specific focus for literacy coaches. Here’s what you’ll learn about in each one:

Module 1 – Establishing yourself as a coach

Module 2 – Managing your time and responsibility

Module 3 – Building skilled readers

Module 4 – Building skilled writers

Module 5 – Coaching individual teachers – coaching cycles

Module 6 – Coaching teams of teachers or PLCs

Topics and Questions Discussed in Bonus Episode 4 – FAQ about the Confident Literacy Coach Course

  • Overview of the course
  • Details on the updated reading and writing modules
  • Frequently asked questions with answers to help you decide if the course is right for you including:
    • Do I take purchase orders? The short answer is yes!
    • How long does it take to finish the course?
    • How long will you have access?
    • What grade level is the course for?
    • Does the course align with the Science of Reading?

I recorded this episode because I wanted to let you know what’s new in the course, some of the reasons that it might work for you, and answer the questions I get most often. That way you could decide if it’s right for you. So, if you feel like you’re doing a lot of things, but not accomplishing a lot or just feeling a lot of doubt, this course can help you change that. I promise it can.

Be sure to join the Confident Literacy Course now before the doors close on April 17, 2023. If you have any questions or want more information, email me at chrissy@buzzingwithmsb.com. I’m happy to answer any of the questions.

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Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros

FAQ about the Confident Literacy Coach Course, BONUS Episode 4


Coach, I know you’re trying to figure this all out on your own. You’re investing in your own learning on your own time because you want to show up for your teachers in the best way possible. Building your coaching program is a huge challenge and it’s even more difficult when you’re asked to know about literacy practices and how to support them. That’s why I created the confident literacy coach. This self paced course gives you the knowledge strategies, processes, and downloadable tools that you need to be confident in your coaching work every single day. The new update to the reading and writing modules includes information about literacy that will help you grow your schools practices, and grow your students into skilled readers and writers. Check it out at competent literacy coach.com And stop reinventing the wheel.


You’re listening to buzzing with Miss B, the coaching podcast where we believe that every teacher deserves a coach, and every coach does, too. I’m Christy Beltran, an instructional coach, resource creator and coffee enthusiast, and I’m your host, stay tuned for practical tips and honest coaching talk that will help you coach with confidence.


Hey, coach, and welcome to a bonus episode of buzzing with Miss beat the coaching podcast. This episode exists to let you know that the competent literacy coach course is open. And you can grab it, you go to competent literacy coach.com and get the course. And if you still have some questions, you’re in the right place, because I wanted to share some of the most frequently asked questions I get about the course, I’m going to give you kind of an overview first, and then you can listen into the questions and answers that will help you decide if this course is right for you. So basically, the course is a six module course. And each module is designed around a specific focus for literacy coaches. So Module One is about establishing yourself as a coach, Module two is managing your time and responsibilities. Module three is building skilled readers. Module Four is building skilled writers. And module five is coaching individual teachers, whenever we talk about that we’re talking about coaching cycles. module six is about coaching teams of teachers or PLCs. So inside of each module, there are between four and five lessons, they all have five, except for module two, which only has four.


What I’ve done in this, this round of the course that I’m releasing right now is I’ve actually updated left modules three and four, the literacy practices. And I’ll talk a little bit about that later on in this episode. But I wanted to let you know what is special about this time that you can join the course. And so reasons that it might work for you. So if you are struggling with feeling, but you are being productive as a coach, feeling like you know what you’re there to do, feeling like your boss knows what you’re there to do, or your teachers know what you’re there to do. Feeling like you’re doing a lot of things, but not accomplishing a lot, or just feeling a lot of doubt in the decisions that you’re making every day as an instructional coach, this course can help you change that I promise it can. I actually had a special episode with a guest who was a coach who took this course, a while back and is now very excited for the updates. And you can listen to that. That’s the other bonus episode that came out about a week ago. And in that episode, I talked to Christie rice about her experience and taking the course what it’s like to take an online course and how this course has impacted her coaching work. So you can check that out if you’re still unsure. But go and First listen to the FAQs because maybe this will answer some of your questions. The first question that I get a lot is do you take purchase orders? Yes. Email them to Chrissy at buzzing with Miss b.com. And I will give you access once I receive the purchase order and I’ll send an invoice for your school or district to respond to. If you need me to send a quote first. Absolutely, I can do that just send a request email to Krysia buzzing with Miss b.com Put quote request in the text in the Subject box. And I’ll send you a quote for the course. And then we can go from there once I receive the purchase order.


Another question I get a lot is how long does it take to finish the course? Well, there are six modules with four to five lessons in each one, like I mentioned. So the thing about this course is this isn’t a course you have to rush through to get it all done at once. You could actually do the first two modules and implement that learning, then you could do modules three and four or three or four and implement that then you could do five or six as you’re ready and you need them. Each lesson is about 10 to 30 minutes long. Most of them are around 1520 minutes. So you can actually accomplish a lot in a short time. If you were to give yourself a PD day you could knock out most of the course I’d say probably about half of it. And then you probably want to do the other half at another time. So the modules three and four that have that new update. do have some lengthy videos in there as well because there’s so much good information to share with you


But, again, I think that you could do this in pieces over time.


I think they actually included in the course guidebook is a recommendation like a possible calendar that you could use at the beginning to kind of help you imagine what it would look like if you did the course in pieces.


Another question that I’ve gotten is, how long will I have access? Or how long will I have to finish the course.


I was thinking forever. That was a terrible Will Ferrell depression from else but you get the idea, you have access, as long as I am able to have Kajabi hosted, you’re not going to lose access to the course because I believe that it’s one of those pieces that’s best when you dip in and out of it as you need specific components. The first two, again, are great for the beginning of the year. And then the other modules are great as you’re going throughout the year trying to figure out how what how to train teachers in certain practices, what your PLCs can look like how to implement coaching cycles that are really effective, you can go back into the models for that purpose. So you’re gonna have access forever once you have access to the course.


Another question I get is, what levels is this course for? So I was a K five literacy coach on a campus when before I became a coach consultant, all this outside stuff, I was a K five Literacy Coach. And this is basically how I eventually did my job. Once I figured out my systems and my approaches. However, I have worked with middle school coaches, and middle school teachers. And I found that while some things are obviously different, a lot of the basics are still the same. And I’ve spoken to high school teachers who have completed the course and found a lot of value. So the course was designed for case eyes. But it can be applicable to different levels beyond that, depending on what your needs are. The areas that you might not if you’re middle school or high school, you might not feel immediate value is when you’re taking modules three and four in the first couple of lessons. Just because of those modules at the beginning, I focus on the components of skilled reading and the components of skilled writing. And we start with the basics in terms of how we learn to read, like what components are there that’s going into skilled reading, and what components go into skilled writing. And that gives you kind of the knowledge base of what kids need to have in place in order for these things to be successful. So the issue is, once kids are at a certain point, instructionally like if they’re on grade level in middle school, they don’t need you to go back to phonemic awareness or handwriting or, you know, these very basic, you know, basic components of reading and writing to work with them. They don’t need that from you. However, as an upper elementary teacher, and I’m sure as a middle school teacher, I can say that many of the kids who struggled to read and write on grade level, are missing these very components. They miss them the first time around in Kinder or first grade, and they didn’t master them. And they spent their whole school careers compensating for this. So if you have a lot of students at your school who struggle and you’re unsure about why they’re still struggling, it could be really helpful to watch modules three and four, and get an idea of the foundational pieces that they’re missing. And how you can use that understanding to support teachers in intervening and providing quality support to those kids who tend to get the backburner because they’re just so far behind. So again, with that being said, the course was created with Kinder through fifth in mind, and even sixth grade. But coaches in middle and high school have told me they loved it and pre K coaches as well, because it’s good coaching doesn’t look really different. Depending on where you are in the you know, grade range, the biggest difference is going to be how you implement the content in the reading and writing modules what that looks like at your school.


Okay, a big question that I’ve gotten, that I’m excited to answer is does this course align with the science of reading? This is a great question. And the short answer to this question is, yes, bucks. I know how complex this is. So I want to explain exactly what this yes looks like. Because I mean, it’s easy to say yeah, sure, totally meets the science is definitely aligned. But I want you as a person who might consider taking this course I would want to know what does that mean? How do you know?


The science of reading is a collection of research that helps us understand how the brain learns how reads how it writes, it helps us understand how these things happen, because of what science of reading actually means. It’s not a program or even an approach. The approach that people are trying to build out of this body of information and body of research is referred to often as a structured literacy. So we’re saying that okay, literacy practices that are based on this knowledge bank is, you know, information bank, that is the science of reading. That’s called structured literacy, right? So here’s the thing. I know how vocabulary works at schools. And if you had asked me if I was a balanced literacy teacher about 12 years ago, I would have said, Yeah, but some of the practices that I’m now seeing that are being attributed to balance literacy later


didn’t happen in my classroom? Some did, and some did not. So my definition of balanced literacy was also different than some of the definitions I’m seeing pop up now, this experience has really made me question how consistent we are when we’re saying that we are doing this kind of approach that we are doing structured literacy, for example. And so I feel like we’ve spent so much time talking about practices, but not really about the basics in our own understanding our own teacher knowledge, when it comes to how students learn to read and write, and how they get better at it. So that was the issue with like, Okay, I’m doing balance literacy, I’m doing structured literacy, whatever, okay, fine. But do you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing? And what does that look like, because it’s gonna look different at different schools, the way that we implement things looks different, even if we’re all coming from the same body of research, right? Our our implementation is going to be based on the way that we interpret the information and what we can make that look like at our schools. So I’m not going to say there’s any one way to do this, we are taking the information and implementing it as best we can based on what we know from the science of reading. So instead of jumping in to what we should do in the first couple of lessons in these modules, I really wanted to start with what kids need to do to build the foundation for literacy, and to grow that foundation into becoming skilled readers and writers. So it was really important to me in these updates that I removed, anything that we know is not helping students learn to read, and that I instead focused on the actual components of skilled reading. So for example, in Scarborough’s reading row and the writing group of pros by city, I did a lot of reading and research around these components to make sure that I was providing you with accurate and thorough information so that you can provide quality information to your teachers as well, because we want to support teachers in their fundamental understanding of what is happening, and what components are going into skilled reading, so that you can build your best possible day to support students in those areas. From there, after the first couple of lessons, I get into how we can support teachers in implementing these ideas in their classrooms, and how you can coach it. So I tried to take a very like structured approach to this in terms of this is what’s essential. This is what it could look like whenever you work with teachers in this way. That’s why you’ll see that the lessons in each of the literacy modules are based around this reading rope and writing rope because even if no matter what your program you’re using at your school, because some schools are still tied to programs, right that they have no control over teachers and coaches don’t necessarily get to control what program they’re using at their schools. If this is the case, you can still take your knowledge of how reading and writing happen, and find ways to improve the instruction that kids are getting based on that knowledge. So that’s why it was important to me to share it in that way. So let me introduce to you what the lessons are in each of the modules, so you can ensure that you’re getting the information that you’re after. In module three building skilled readers. Lesson One is an introduction to skilled reading. And so here I introduced the idea of Scarborough’s reading robe and the simple view of reading. And I introduced the main components of word recognition and language comprehension, what we know goes into actual reading. And lesson two, I look at word recognition, we really zoom into this one thing and we dig into what makes up on illogical awareness, decoding syllable types for your knowledge. And I provide you with some resources that can help you introduce these ideas to your teachers. There’s even actually a slideshow presentation about syllable types in case you want to share that. As an upper elementary teacher, one of the best professional developments I ever received as a teacher was whenever I sat in a 45 minute PLC session, and our dyslexia teacher and our reading coach shared the they call them Keys to Literacy, but they actually were the Wilson programs, tools. And so they shared like phonics tools with us. And they shared how they teach kids to decode words and Wilson, and I My mind was like, This is what I’ve been lacking. Okay. So that’s why I think it’s so important that we can turn this training around to teachers, because that training impacted me so much. And it happened, you know, 15 years 20, almost 20 years ago, in my teaching career, and it couldn’t have happened soon enough, it was so important for me, even as an upper elementary teacher, because I did not have access to that kind of training prior to that. So I think it’s so important that we have what we need to introduce teachers to these ideas so that they can support students in their classrooms at all levels. Lesson three is about language comprehension. So we’re going to dig into the components of language comprehension, including background knowledge, language, structures, vocabulary, verbal reasoning, and literacy knowledge. And then I share with what each of those looks like in the classroom.


So lesson four, we set teachers up for success. Okay, so these are some ideas of things that you can do to support teachers in embracing new or different ideas. And then there are some things


We can do to help them implement ideas that maybe they haven’t used before. This lesson gives you the tools and the ideas that you need to help these foundational pieces foundational pieces actually find their way into classrooms and continue to grow. We talk about how to build a schedule that meets your teachers and students needs for reading, how to create meta text baskets to support alignment and background knowledge instruction, what kinds of authentic texts you can use, how to use data, and what needs to be done to support better phonics instruction at different levels.


In Lesson five, I share about coaching reading practices. This lesson is all about how I can how you can coach reading practices to help teachers grow and implement them in better ways. So I give you some things to focus on the principles you can use to do this. And specific coaching strategies that work for each area of focus. We look at read alouds, Word Study shared reading, independent practice mentor sentences, and small group instruction to identify the coaching methods that can help teachers gain proficiency. And we also talk about where PLC and PD fit into all this. That’s a big lesson. It’s a good one, then module four, I do all of the same things, but I do it through the lens of writing. So I started out in lesson one examining the components of skilled writing, which is the actual production of the written word we call transcription, and then what it means to compose pieces of writing. In lesson two, we dig into the skills of transcription, which are spelling and handwriting, and an understanding of why the automaticity of these two things is so essential. And lesson three, we talked about the composition of writing, including critical thinking, tech structure, syntax, and Writer’s Craft, basically all of the decisions that writers have to make, and then what it looks like when we instruct kids in these areas. In lesson four, we identify how to set your teachers up for success by talking about how to help teachers get organized, practice together, learn from each other, and so many more things that you can do to make sure that teachers have the support they need to teach writing well from the get go. And then in lesson five, I again share specific methods for coaching each component of writing, including what your whole group lessons can look like, what practice looks like how mentor senses can support your writers and your teachers and having a consistent approach and what your PLCs and PDS can focus on to create ongoing learning in this area. And I actually throw in a bonus slideshow presentation about Metro sentences and a guide that your teachers can use to plan Metro sentences by the week. So that makes sure they’re teaching those grammar structures. They’re using different vocabulary, they’re teaching kids craft through the lens of that sentence, which I have found to be such a beneficial approach. I’m so excited about these updates, because they do include more of the pieces that have been so overlooked by many schools for for years, coaches are often asked to move mountains and without the fundamental information, they’re left to piece it all together themselves.


This course is a comprehensive look at what we know about the teaching of reading and writing. And it can give you so much to start with, think about and grow from. And the best part is that many of the resources are designed for teachers and can easily be turned around in your PDS and PLCs. So you’re not reinventing the wheel whenever you go to work with teachers. It’s I’m really excited about these updates. And I think that you will be too. If you want a little taste of the course you want to know what it’s like you can actually get, you can give audio listen to episode 138 of this podcast. And that is the audio of module one, lesson two. So Module One is all about establishing yourself as a coach. And so the first lesson is about defining your coaching role. The second is about communicating with your administration. And so if you’re wondering kind of what information would be in those coaching modules, you can listen to module one, Lesson Two in Episode 138 of this podcast, it’s actually a piece of the course that I’m sharing with you for free because I think that it’s good information and it’ll help you out.


If you still have questions for me, please email me at Christy at buzzing with Miss b.com I would love to hear from you and answer any questions that you have. And next week, we are getting back into our regular episodes episode 140 is improving our communication with teachers with Nicole s Turner so I’m excited to share that with you. I love to talk with Nicole on the podcast she is my coaching bestie go to confident literacy coach.com to grab the course and until next week, happy coaching


Thank you for listening to buzzing with Miss B the coaching podcast. Want more coaching ideas? Check me out at buzzing with Ms. b.com and on Instagram at buzzing with Miss B. If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too. Or leave me a review on iTunes. It’s free and it helps others find this show. Happy coaching


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