by Crystal Pelletier
The Pensieve, or conferring notebook, is a key component to using the CAFE methodology to track and maintain records of student progress while working to engage students in daily literacy assessment and instruction (Boushey & Moser, 2009). Using the conferring notebook provides the educator with an organized, easy-to-access tracking method that allows for portability and mobility in the classroom. It is perfect for classroom teachers of all grade levels.
As a learning coach, I have also found that the Pensieve is a great tool to help me track the growth I am seeing with my colleagues. I now use the CCPensieve to track my coaching. I have created groups based on schools. I entered the names of the teachers I am currently working with and the principals at each facility.
I use the individual conferring pages to track coaching sessions with individual teachers. Although I do not have the same five forms as I did in my original binder, I do have areas for individual colleagues, areas for special groups (such as schools, teachers, and principals), areas for focus (such as reading, writing and other), and a calendar to track appointments and meetings.
My next goal is to create a menu like the CAFE Menu that would address the needs of my colleagues when it comes to areas for coaching support. If I were to venture into this challenge, I would include coaching from various models mentioned by Jim Knight (2007), such as executive coaching, coactive coaching, literacy coaching, instructional coaching and developmental coaching. I would also include ideas from West and Staub's content coaching model identified in their book Content-Focused Coaching (2003).
Tracking and focusing on teacher-selected areas of learning helps support and build our capacity to increase student achievement. The CCPensieve is an important tool to enhance the support I offer my colleagues as their learning coach. The web-based nature allows me to have all my information at my fingertips, regardless of which school I am visiting.
Boushey, G. & Moser, J. (2009) The CAFE book: Engaging all students in daily literacy assessment and instruction. Portland, ME: Stenhouse. Knight, J. (2007) Instructional coaching: A partnership approach to improving instruction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. West, L. & Staub, F. (2003) Content-focused coaching: Transforming mathematics lessons. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.