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Carolyn Ashford Ed.S


 Instructional Coach

Welcome to the website of Carolyn Ashford, Ed.S, a highly regarded Educator, Coach, Wife, and Mother. 



With 20 plus years in education, I knew from early on that I wanted to pursue a career in teaching and learning. I have been lucky to have been taught and inspired by a number of mentors who have had and still have a meaningful impact on my academic life. A proud attendant of Alcorn State University and graduate of Mississippi Valley State University, I am an enthusiastic and devoted Educator who  strives to share my love of teaching and learning to all that I serve.  Education has never been a job for me, It's Who I Am!

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           FDHS Literacy Program

Frederick Douglass High School Literacy Plan


* All students can learn.

* All staff members are invested in ensuring that literacy is a priority.

* Students are instructed and supported at their level and they all receive differentiated instruction.

* All instruction is explicit and standards based.

* Professional development is a necessary component to support literacy instruction.

All instructional decisions are data driven.

* All stakeholders are vital to the creation of a literacy culture at FDHS.


All students will read and write at grade level or higher and will continue to progress in reading and writing across the curriculum throughout their high school career.

* 80% + of students will increase by at least one grade level each year utilizing Reading Plus.

* 80% + of students will show growth towards meeting or exceeding the standards on the STAR Assessments.

* 80% +of students will show growth towards meeting or exceeding the standards on Unit and EOC Assessments.


* All students will take the following assessments;

- Reading Plus Beginning of the Year Screening Assessment

- Mid Year Benchmark

-End of the Year Summative Assessment

- All students will complete a sample constructed response item at the beginning of the year.

- Mid Year constructed response

- End of the Year constructed response

* Progress Monitoring will occur weekly for Reading Plus and monthly the constructed responses.

All students will take the STAR Reading and Math Assessments; to include Fall, Winter and Spring Assessments.  Lexiles will be collected and utilized to drive and enhance daily instruction.


Instructional Strategies for Reading Comprehension

* All students will receive 20 to 50 minutes of Reading Plus weekly and 60 minutes of writing instruction monthly.

* All instructors are required to include at least 15- 20 minutes of Reading Plus weekly in their lesson plans.

* Vocabulary Instruction

- Providing a student friendly definition

- Discussing examples and non-examples of the word

- Creating semantic maps

- Using existing knowledge of words and word parts

- Guided practice using word parts and contextual cues

- Direct teaching of word meanings using subject-specific materials, focusing on

  Tier 3 words (i.e., specialized academic words), prior to reading

* Comprehension Instruction

-Generate questions

-Teachers read aloud passages, stopping to model kinds of questions successful readers ask

-Answering questions

-Teachers model how to construct answers using various information (explicit, implicit, synthesis of prior knowledge) 

-Monitor comprehension (modeled “think aloud”)

-Summarize text (identify and formulate main ideas, connect the main ideas, identify and delete redundancies, and restate the main idea)

-Use text structure

-Use graphic and semantic organizers

* Motivation

-Provide goals for reading (give a purpose or a question to answer)  

-Give students opportunities to choose text to support student autonomy

-Use interesting and culturally relevant texts

-Allow opportunities for students to collaborate during reading  

-View mistakes in reading as growth opportunities to increase student confidence

Comprehension Strategies to Support Text-Based Learning

Before Reading


● Encourage students to observe text organization and text features

● Help students to anticipate new content

Activating Prior Knowledge

● Prepare students to engage actively in new learning

● Help students remember relevant knowledge

Understanding Relationships

● Strengthen students’ abilities to categorize, classify, and hypothesize

(For example, use anticipation guides and generate questions)

During Reading

Increasing Thinking and Memory Skills

● Build cognition and metacognition

● Help students learn how to remember new information

● Help students develop and see relationships among ideas

(For example, use graphic and semantic organizers, interspersed questions, paired

reviews, reciprocal teaching, comparing and contrasting, and mental models)

After Reading

Answering Comprehension Questions

● Focus on the essence of the question

● Help students answer the question accurately and succinctly


● Increase factual recall and conceptual understanding of content information

(For example, use multiple choice questions, think/pair/share for answering

written questions, and Cornell notes with a summary)

Close Reading

● Reread to improve comprehension

Effective Teacher Delivery Checklist

- Teacher models instructional tasks

- Teacher provides explicit instruction

- Teacher engages students in meaningful interactions with language 

- Teacher provides multiple opportunities for students to practice instructional tasks

- Teacher provides corrective feedback after student responses 

- Teacher encourages student effort 

- Teacher engages students during teacher-led instruction

- Teacher engages students during independent work 

- Teacher develops student ownership of learning

Traditional Library

Partnership Principles

             (Adapted from Jim Knight)

➢ Equality: Instructional coaches and teachers are equal partners in the process who listen to and learn from one another.

➢ Choice: Teachers should have choice regarding what and how they learn. The coach’s goal is to meet teachers where they currently are in their practice and offer choices for learning.

➢ Voice: Professional learning should empower and respect the voices of teachers. Instructional coaches view coaching as a process that helps teachers find their voice, not a process for making teachers think a certain way.

➢ Dialogue: Professional learning should enable authentic dialogue. Instructional coaches avoid manipulation, engage participants in conversation about content, and think and learn with collaborating teachers. ➢ Reflection: Reflection is an integral part of professional learning. Instructional coaches encourage collaborating teachers to consider ideas before adopting them and recognize that reflective thinkers, by definition, must be free to adopt or reject ideas.

➢ Praxis: Teachers should apply their learning to their real-life practice as they are learning. For instructional coaches this means that in partnership with collaborating teachers they focus their attention on how to use ideas in the classroom as those ideas are being learned.

➢ Reciprocity: Instructional coaches should expect to get as much as they give. Learning about each teacher’s strengths and weaknesses while implementing new teaching practices will enhance a coach’s ability to collaborate with all other teachers and the coach’s skill in using the new teaching practice.

Classroom Lecture

All Things Literacy

Why is literacy important?

Students need literacy in order to engage with the written word in everyday life.

Think of how often you use your own reading skills in everyday life. It’s not just articles like this one that require literacy, but signs, labels, and the messages on your phone, too.

The same goes for writing. Nowadays, even phone calls have given way to instant messaging and text-based communication, making the ability to read all the more important.

But beyond the functional level, literacy plays a vital role in transforming students into socially engaged citizens. Being able to read and write means being able to keep up with current events, communicate effectively, and understand the issues that are shaping our world.

Ways to support literacy development

Literacy development should be a combined effort between home and school. Here are a few things you can do to support early learners’ literacy skills:

Encourage reading

Reading is the first pillar of literacy, so encourage young learners to immerse themselves in it frequently and deeply. This should involve exposure to a broad variety of different genres, such as newspapers, novels, comics, magazines, films, reference material, and websites.

Discuss texts together

Actively discussing what has been read encourages learners to make connections and think deeply about the ideas contained in texts. Follow up the reading or viewing of a text with a discussion of what it made learners think and feel.

Use games and activities that support literacy development

  • Write a half-page story that makes use of a new and unusual word or phrase.

  • Describe a person or object with as many adjectives as you can think of.

  • Information scavenger hunt: scour the web to find facts on a given topic within a set time frame.

  • Recap the plot of a novel or film in your own words (as learners progress they can try to do this in as few words as possible).

  • Have a competition to see who can find as many rhyming words as possible, starting from a given word. Learners could also write poems or songs with rhyme.

Make use of the library

Immersing children in a huge range of texts encourages them to dive in and explore. There’s no better place to do this than the school or community library.

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Open Book

Contact Me

225 Hamilton E. Holmes Dr. SW  Atlanta, Ga 30318


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