Fraser High School math teachers suggest strategies for planning a semester's essentials and creating the first unit of instruction.
At our March 18, 2014 Macomb PLC meeting, Sandy LaPerriere, a Southfield elementary principal, spoke of how student-led conferences may help to bolster the culture of students "owning" their learning. Sandy has done some wonderful things to improve learning at her school and sees this conferencing change as an important next step.
Click here to read an Educational Leadership article & comment.
(Click here for more from DuFour) - A list of PLC team activities can be found on pp. 130-131 of Learning by Doing (2nd ed), by DuFour, DuFour, Eaker & Many (2010). The authors build up to this list by stating:
“In a PLC, the process of collaboration is specifically designed to impact educator practice in ways that lead to better results. Over and over again, we have seen schools in which staff members are willing to collaborate about any number of things—dress codes, tardy policies, the appropriateness of Halloween parties—provided they can return to their classrooms and continue to do what they have always done. Yet in a PLC, the reason teachers are organized into teams, the reason they are provided with time to work together, the reason they are asked to focus on certain topics, and complete specific tasks, is so that when they return to their classroom they will possess and utilize an expanded repertoire of skills, strategies, materials, assessments, and ideas in order to impact student achievement in a positive way.
“Therefore, one of the most important elements of reciprocal accountability that district and school leaders must address is establishing clear parameters and priorities that g=uide the work of teams toward the goal of improved student learning.” (p. 128)
A list of activities to adapt (not adopt) - these activities, by themselves, do not constitute PLC work. Activities done outside of a PLC culture are just going through motions.
Adapt vs. adopt this activity - after sufficient practice an exercise like this can serve as a PLC team evaluation tool.
5 key questions for PLC teams to answer - Feel free to comment
School Psychologist Jane Sturgell & principal Ed Skowneski presented on Twain Elementary's data meetings to examine student progress & adjust instruction. Keys:
8) Principal roles:
This Education Week article by Rob Kriete touches on clarifying goals, creating a roundtable atmosphere, sharing work, developing action plans, and selecting meaningful data. A quote: "We have agreed never to give an assessment if we are going to do nothing with the results but record them."
Click here to read & comment on the article.
This 11 min RSA Animate video by Sir Ken Robinson criticizes the current reliance on standardized testing for evaluating schools and teachers. Robinson calls for schools to stress divergent thinking and encourage collaboration. He states, “Most great learning occurs in groups. Collaboration is the stuff of growth. If we atomize people and separate them and judge them separately, we form a disjunction between them and their natural learning environment." Share your thoughts on the video.