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Sara Kugler is a literacy coach in Fairfax County where she learns along-side teachers and students. Sara believes deeply in observing and listening to students and using this data to make powerful instructional decisions. At the core of Sara’s work is a belief that students bring their knowledge, understanding of the world, and interests into the classroom and that it’s our job as teachers to build on their strengths.
Sara began her career in Fairfax County Public Schools before transitioning to Brooklyn, New York, teaching Kindergarten through third grade. She then joined the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University as an intermediate staff developer for third through eighth grade. She learned how to adapt to the needs of a wide variety of schools and design responsive professional learning experiences that meet teachers where they are and stretch them to develop and deepen their current practices. Sara has led demonstration workshops in classrooms from San Jose, California to Naples, Florida to Gothenburg, Sweden.
After working in New York, she returned to Fairfax County Public Schools and served in a variety of roles such as Literacy Collaborative coach, district-wide school support coach, and curriculum specialist. She received training in Cognitive Coaching and designed and led professional learning for reading teachers and literacy coaches across the district. Sara designs professional development that is focused, engaging, and (above all) practical so that teachers and coaches return to their schools and classroom inspired and ready to apply new learning and innovate off of it.
Sara has presented at multiple state and national conferences including the National Council for Teachers of English conference and the Literacy for All Conference at Lesley University. She presents on a variety of topics including critical literacy, writing workshop, developing academic discourse, and deepening reading comprehension.
Sara is the author ofBetter Book Clubs: Deepening Comprehension and Elevating Conversation. You can find Sara in Annandale, Virginia with her husband, two kids, and Pitbull. If she had it her way, she’d spend the day baking, hiking, reading, and talking with friends.
In her comprehensive guide, Better Book Clubs: Deepening Comprehension and Elevating Conversation, literacy coach and staff developer Sara Kugler shows you how to combine the power of book clubs with assessment-driven instruction to support your students as they talk and think about texts together. Using authentic book club conversations as an assessment of academic talk and text understanding, Kugler raises the bar on typical professional discussions about book clubs, moving beyond teacher-directed interactions and surface-level conversations to include:
Structures, teaching methods, and routines that support authenticity and independence in book clubs
Suggestions for starting, scaffolding, and sustaining effective, student-centered book clubs
Tips for listening in on clubs as a way to assess academic talk and text understanding
Methods for moving from observation into instruction that improves conversation and comprehension
Touchstone anchor charts and sample lessons for launching and maintaining strong clubs at a variety of independence levels
With a dual focus on stronger comprehension and improved conversations, Better Book Clubs will help you establish effective book clubs that will engage your readers, enhance your learning communities, and become an indispensable component of your literacy classroom.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion