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The Principal as Early Literacy Leader
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The Principal as Early Literacy Leader



February 2009 | 160 pages | Corwin

Published in Association with Ontario Principals' Council

The purpose of this book is to provide school leaders with an easy to understand synopsis of how three, four and five year olds learn, and with tools to apply this understanding to early literacy in order to provide early support to children who will struggle with literacy learning later in the primary grades. It walks educators through the fundamentals of how young children learn, what constitutes good literacy programs, how to build a school team and school culture that will support and sustain good programs and ensure continuous improvement in the early literacy, and how to work with teachers and school teams toward implementing and improving early literacy programs.
 
Acknowledgments
 
Introduction
 
1. What Every School Leader Needs to Know About How Young Children Learn Differently
Young Children Learn…Differently  
Play: A Window Into Children's Learning  
Young Children Learning Language Through Social Interaction and Intellectual Play  
Language: The Early Framework for Later Thinking  
The Intellectual Behavior of Young Children  
Early Literacy: It's More Than Sounds and Letters  
 
2. What We Know Makes the Difference
Transforming the Culture: The Role of the School Leader  
Assessing Program: One Size Does Not Fit All  
Recognizing Teacher Perception: Think They Will or Think They Won't, You're Right!  
Developing the Early Dispositions to Be Readers, Writers, and Critical Thinkers  
Creating the Conditions for Literacy: Six Ts for Exemplary Teaching  
Developing an Inclusive Literate Community: Providing One-on-one Support Through Multi-Age Buddies  
Strategizing for a More Flexible Curriculum  
Defining the Teacher's Role  
Developing Literate-Rich Environments at School  
Building Partnerships With Parents  
Early Identification Processes  
 
3. Instructional Leadership: The Tools You Will Need
Developing a Vision: Changing Cultures  
Guiding Principles  
Defining Literacy: Three Key Expectations  
Assessing Learning: What Counts as Evidence?  
Management by Walking Around and What to Look For  
Planning Models  
Re-Conceptualizing Traditional Unit Plans  
Timetables  
Communication With Parents  
 
4. Continuous Improvement: The Next Steps
Creating Professional Learning Conversations  
Setting SMART Goals  
Evidence-Based Decision Making  
Teacher's Professional Development  
 
Conclusion
 
Glossary
 
Tools for School Leaders
 
Must Reads
 
References
 
Index

“This series of publications addresses some of the most important improvement challenges facing school leaders today. The authors of the series bring a remarkable combination of deep, practical experience and academic sophistication to these challenges. The series should be required reading for all school leaders.”

Ken Leithwood, Professor
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

“At last, a series of outstanding books by practicing administrators, for practicing principals. Avoiding high-flown theory on the one hand and mere lists of bullet points on the other, these books represent the best that highly expert leaders have to offer—intellectually informed ideas about how to deal with the compelling practical issues of principalship. Getting down from the ivory tower and stepping out of the principal’s office, these authors offer some of the most important and useful books about leadership that principals can buy.”

Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

“This series of little volumes offers a plethora of rich ideas ranging from practice and specific methods right down to easy-to-use worksheets. It provides a valuable resource for new principals who would become accomplished instructional leaders and also for seasoned principals looking to strengthen their leadership capacity.”

Roland S. Barth, Former Teacher and Principal
Founding Director, Harvard Principals’ Center

“This is a great series that allows school principals to integrate theory and practice themselves, resulting in highly insightful and practical strategies that will make a difference in schools. Practitioners: lead thyselves!”

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

For instructors

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