With summer right around the corner we wanted to put planning onto your radar. Hear us out—by commiting now to making time for instructional planning in the fall, it’s less likely to become the thing that gets put aside when August arrives. When the ELA team dug into the archives of Bridges to Learning, we found four years of amazing work from fellows and partners present and past. For this retrospective, we put together a collection of articles that speak to the importance of planning, what it looks like, and what planning does for student learning.  August will be here before we know it (we know, we know!) and now is the time to commit to making serious space in your schedule for collaborative planning with your peers.

Planning and Coaching

Conferring with Teachers & Coaches Requires Setting Clear Learning Goals

Planning for rigorous Accountable Talk® discussions is both important and challenging. Here we describe some specific ways that coaches can help teachers when they are first beginning to develop lessons for rigorous and interactive text discussions that build students’ reading comprehension skills.

Importance of Teacher Voice in the Planning Process

Student and Teacher Agency: One District’s Reflection on Taking Action

Kelly Natale, ELA curriculum leader and literacy coach for Grades K–5 in Chartiers Valley School District, shares her thoughts on the process of improving both teacher and student agency to provide a challenging and engaging curriculum that invites students to have a greater stake in their learning.

Planning High-level Instructional Work

Planning for High-Level Comprehension

Comprehension work is critical work when we engage students with a text. Understanding and enacting the steps for planning a high-level comprehension task will help teachers provide students with instructional opportunities that set every student up for success.

Importance of Planning High-level Work for Every Student

Engaging in Meaningful Accountable Talk® Discussions with Emergent Multilingual Students

Using Accountable Talk® practices as a tool to support EMLs to engage in conversations in the classroom around complex and engaging content requires a change in mindset about how we educate students learning a new language. Rather than limiting instruction to teaching students a language, we propose supporting students to use both their native language and their emerging English skills to learn concepts and ideas.

Bonus, because it’s that time of year again!

Liberating Your Summer Readers

A district’s goal for summer reading should be to help students continue to build their independent reading skills and to foster a love of reading. Students who take up summer reading typically have access to compelling books and choice in what they read (Shin & Krashen, 2008). To achieve a reading program with books that engage students, student voice should be central to summer reading lists.



Shin, F. & Krashen, S. (2008). Summer Reading: Program and evidence. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.


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