Leading Literacy Classroom Visits

Literacy leaders know the importance of understanding literacy learning and effective instructional practices in order to support their teachers and students. Educational leaders need a system to collect and analyze timely information about literacy instructional practices and how students engage in their learning.

Literacy Classroom Visits are brief, frequent, informal, and focused visits to classrooms by observers designed to gather data about literacy practices, identify patterns of strength and need within the school, and engage in follow up. This model looks through a focused lens on literacy, integrating instructional best practices and purposeful student engagement proven to foster student reading development.

Collecting Literacy Classroom Visit data over time is a valuable investment that can:

  • Establish a body of evidence about the overall literacy culture and instruction;
  • Identify instructional patterns in teacher teams, grade levels, and content areas;
  • Detect professional development and resource needs;
  • Guide professional learning planning and PLC content;
  • Establish common beliefs, practices, and language within the community;
  • Inform a school or district about the implementation of professional learning goals;
  • Ensure that students are learning and mastering grade level standards and expectations.

Literacy Classroom Visits meet the needs of leaders as they collect and analyze accurate information about classroom practices to provide teachers with the support necessary to grow. Continued visits monitor ongoing progress in the developing literacy culture and instruction of a school or district and can ensure that every child is continuously learning and growing as a reader.

Article by:
Bonnie Houck, Ed.D., University of Minnesota Reading Program Coordinator
Sandi Novak, Educational Consultant with Scholastic Books


Want to build your proficiency as a Literary Leader in your school? The MESPA Principals Literacy Academy professional learning experience will provide literacy leaders with tools and resources for visiting literacy classrooms in order to determine patterns of need throughout the school. Click here to learn more and to register.

We are also excited to share the release of our book based on this work entitled: Literacy Unleashed: Fostering excellent reading instruction through classroom visits! The book will be released the last week of July 2016, so we will make them available to attendees at this summer’s Prinicpal Literacy Academy sessions!

Sandi Novak is an education consultant in Lakeville, MN. Sandi works with Scholastic Books and has authored an Aria through ASCD called Student-Led Discussions. She can be reached at snovak9133@aol.com or www.snovakeducationalservices.com.

Bonnie Houck, Ed.D. is the Reading Program Coordinator at the University of Minnesota and an education consultant in Victoria, Minnesota. Bonnie has partnered with over 30 school district in Minnesota and several in the Midwest. She can be reached at houckreadz@gmail.com.

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