Coaching Notebook: My Latest Version

Ever since I read The Café and The Daily 5 by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (the sisters) with my colleagues a year or so ago, I’ve had fun creating my own conferring notebook. As a literacy coach, the components of my notebook or pensieve are somewhat different than the components of a conferring notebook designed by a classroom teacher. Although my coaching pensieve is modeled after Gail’s notebook, I’ve tweaked it to reflect my own needs. Here is a tour of my latest version:

This year, I've decided to go "small". My
2011-12 coaching pensieve is a 5 1/2 by 8 1/2

When I open the notebook, I have a chart to track
my teacher conferences and a calendar to make
appointments. The section following the calendar
is a resource section. I keep leveling charts, a PLC
schedule, a district calendar, district curriculum
calendars and anything else I might need at my
fingertips when planning with teachers.

This is a smaller version of my appointment
calendar that I can use to assist the teacher
to backward plan the month or trimester depending
on the length of the coaching cycle.

During a coaching cycle, teachers can identify specific
areas of literacy instruction that they are interested in.
Our district literacy consultants and coaches developed the
"REFLECT" menu to help narrow the focus for a coaching

I use this simple form to plan lessons and
remember who will lead the lesson.
 How are you keeping track of conferences this year?


  1. I like the Reflection Menu. And the short poems at the end of the month are a nice touch! Well organized and it looks like you really made it your own.

  2. This is terrific, Diana. I too Iove the reflection page. I don't do these things, & may borrow some of your ideas if you don't mind. I have a page to record discussions, goals, how things are going, & next steps, & a folder for each teacher or group I work with that includes information I've given to help, etc. Thank you very much for sharing.

  3. Love how you created a conferring notebook that works for you in your role based upon the sister pensieve model. Smart thinking! I really like the REFLECT menu that was created too -- I'm trying to zoom in to get a closer look at it in the picture! So helpful for teachers deciding on an area they could use some guidance. Have a great year! Let us know how your mini-notebooks works for you!

  4. oooo- I'm not quite at the place where I can start thinking about my teaching tools - I've still got to get my classroom unpacked! Your pictures are an inspiration.

  5. So organized! I love the idea of a "reflect menu" - it would seem to help focus ideas/needs with greater ease.

  6. I love getting my pensive ready every year. I love how you've made it workable for you. I wish that we had someone as organized as you to help with literacy at our school. Have a wonderful year!

  7. LOVE the adaptation for coaching! I have been using Daily 5 for several years, and CAFE since it was released. I took the Leadership training that Joan and Gail offer, and it was an amazing experience! I am sure they would LOVE to see your adapted conferring binder if you would send them the link to your post! :)

  8. @jenb. - Thanks but I can't take credit. :) Gail has a video clip on Choice Literacy of how she made her coaching notebook just like her classroom conferring notebook. The sisters are so organized!

  9. Wow Diana,
    I love how you've organized your notebook...fantastic job. I plan to share your blog with the other coaches in our district!
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. You are well organized and prepared for this year. I think that tweaking a model to meet your needs is the key. I hope that you and your teachers have a great year of learning.

  11. Neat! I bet you are a valuable resource for the teachers in your school!

  12. How funny! I just created the same thing!! Glad I found your blog!

  13. I found your site because I am a first year Literacy Coach and am creating a notebook. I feel so overwhelmed right now! :) Any advice you have to give is welcome and I am going to subscribe to your posts!!! Thanks for creating this blog! I assure you it will greatly be used this year by a newbie!!

  14. I am also a first year Literacy Coach, and I feel like I'm designing the position as I do it. (It's the first year my district has had this position). Thanks for your inspiration!


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