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of A Highly Effective Professional Learning Community

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1 of A Highly Effective Professional Learning Community
CORNERSTONES of A Highly Effective Professional Learning Community

2 Cornerstones Leadership Collaborative learning teams Using data
PLCs sustain where we find committed, skilled leaders who continue to learn Collaborative learning teams Adult learning and student learning are directly related to the quality of team collaboration Using data Information (data ) informs –does not drive—decisions/solutions

3 What is your dream for the children?
What does it look like in and outside the classroom when your students are learning at a high level, feel successful, are successful and are nurtured in all the ways they need to be nurtured?

4 Social Capital “The Missing Link in School Reform” by Carrie R. Leana. Stanford Social Innovation Review, fall 2011. HUMAN CAPITAL – abilities, knowledge and skills developed through formal education and on-the-job experience SOCIAL CAPITAL – the relationships among teachers that promote a teacher’s growth and improvement peer helping atmosphere of high trust Human capital – believed to be the primary cause of success or failure of a teacher Leana cites several studies showing little relationship between formal education & student learning. Social capital – Cites research showing that teachers tend to go to other teachers for help less frequently than to experts or an administrator. One tea:“It’s dangerous to express vulnerability to experts or admin. b/c they’ll take your professional status away.” and replace it with scripted textbooks” Research shows when social capital is strong (frequent interaction & high trust), achievement scores improve.

5 Study in NYC public schools:
1,000 4th and 5th grade teachers in 130 elem. schools Corrected for poverty, attendance & special education status Focus on math (research shocking) Teachers 2x more likely to ask peers for help than experts & 4x more likely to ask peers than principal Teachers who reported frequent conversations w/peers re: math instruction & where there was trust among teachers – the students had higher gains in math achievement. So, social capital was a significant predictor of achievement gains above and beyond teacher experience or ability. – Research on math achievement: U.S. compared to 30 countries in 2009 Slightly over 1/3 of US 4th graders proficient in math 4th graders math proficiency declined Secondary: 26% of HS students proficient in math

6 Leadership Inspiration. Culture.
“Hope burns brightest in those who believe in their ability to impact the future. Leaders of learning communities will keep hope alive in their schools and districts by modeling that belief and calling upon all staff to do the same.” “Professional learning communities set out to restore and increase the passion of teachers by not only reminding them of the moral purpose of their work, but also by creating the conditions that allow them to do that work successfully.” INSPIRE + LEADERS create the right conditions Very Active – not giving teacher reins and backing away UPFRONT work for everyone is very hard, culture shift not easy

7 A good leader is a learner / Asks questions / Seeks solutions.
Leadership A good leader is a learner / Asks questions / Seeks solutions. Form a guiding coalition. Identify known and likely implementation challenges. Problem solve (include staff input regularly) challenges. Give teachers tools* to facilitate the PLC work. Communicate expectations. Focus is always on all students learning at high levels- whatever it takes. Teachers are valued, supported, empowered and invited to lead. Teachers know there are some non-negotiables. Here are good guidelines for leaders Book that walks you thru it – Learning by Doing * * LAST SLIDE - resources

8 Leadership Apply tight/loose leadership. Keep hope alive.
Flexibility in beginning Non-negotiables (high expectations, focus on results, communication) Empower staff but tight on team accountability Teams set their goals, but whole faculty sets vision, collective destination for school Using multiple data to inform decisions is non- negotiable; some decisions made by teams, some school-wide process Create and support shared leadership Leaders keep their eye on the big picture, know all the pieces that must be connected, working in concert— should seek input from Interpreters & teachers of DHH – seek him/her and offer your ideas for collaboration with the army of people you interact with. May need Ad hoc teams or regular communication, set schedule Input to permanent teams so their planning does not sideline DHH Deaf student/s Hearing students Classroom teacher Resource Room teacher Speech Language Pathologist Other teachers Parents Child Study Team Administrators All staff at school (cafeteria, maintenance, security, nurses)

9 Collaborative Teams: Learn by Doing!
Curriculum and Instruction Teams create, revise & monitor curriculum –align with NJCCCS and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – ongoing work, should be routine practice Teams use resources and their collective experience to improve instruction – serves to improve teachers’ pedagogy Last conference we stressed the “what” – to reiterate: Deepening teachers’ content knowledge Expanding pedagogical repertoire Learning to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners Increasing use of ongoing, formative assessment to identify students needs Fine tuning instruction That’s WHAT teams DO. This time we’ll emphasize the FOCUS of the WHAT : Curriculum / Instruction / Assessment

10 Collaborative Teams: Learn by Doing!
Teams focus on student learning objectives and track student learning. DuFour: What do we want students to know? What instructional strategies will be effective? How will we know if students don’t learn? What will we do if they don’t? What will we do if they already know it?

11 Collaborative Teams: Learn by Doing!
A word about curriculum and instruction— Things can get disconnected. Curriculum, instruction and assessment must be tightly connected. It’s your primary work and teams are the glue! Teachers are knowledgeable. But they need each other to bounce ideas, share strategies, plan interventions, share kids, think about barriers to learning & solutions, and have fun together. This is a culture of inquiry! A team may get sidelined on things ancillary to the REAL WORK. If you do a book study, ask if it improves a weak spot in CIA / if you talk about attendance, does the conversation connect to your goals for improved learning? WHOLE GROUP SHARING OF QUOTES, IDEAS

12 Collaborative Teams: Learn by Doing!
What do we want students to know and what instructional strategies will be effective? Establish common goals (school, team, classroom) based on adequate information Determine individual and team professional learning needs to meet those goals. Seek resources and tools to help you structure team meetings focused on curriculum, instruction and assessment. This is a tall order - Goals (SMART goals) What do I need to learn/improve? Individual and as team How should we structure mtgs – what tools? How work on curriculum? work on strategies so students learn? Improve assessments and use data?

13 Tuning Protocols Defined
1. a professional learning process that honors the work we as educators are trying to do (our practice). They help us fine TUNE (think of tuning a radio to get the clearest reception or tuning a car so that it runs better) our practice using a PROTOCOL or formal process for examining our work in a supportive, problem-solving group. Lois Brown Easton 2. a teacher presents actual work before a group of thoughtful “critical friends” in a structured reflective discourse aimed at “tuning” the work to higher standards. Joe McDonald GOOD NEWS – Easton’s two-day workshop - VIDEO doe Web site. (Quicktime) Powerpoint Materials – 20 or 30 pages handouts, tools, activities Suggest return to school - get your principal and a few teachers to look over the video/materials and consider how they might be used by teams. Introduce at faculty mtg. Plan to post video in Windows Media Player soon. Powerful Designs…….

14 Collaborative Teams Hope is Alive
“Teaching at this school is a better experience than I could have ever hoped for It is amazing.” Elementary school teacher PAIR UP: discuss for 2 minutes what makes/can make your school amazing. Be ready to share ideas – something you or a colleague said that helps to keep us passionate. 5 minutes Together you CAN figure out how to get all students learning at high levels.

15 Analyze Student Data in Teams
Using Data Analyze Student Data in Teams Collect multiple data on student learning Summative data Formative data Social-emotional data Data = information Data is information – tests, student work, affective profile – all influence learning and must be considered The school Leader leads staff to figure out the best way to collect info. and facilitate analysis that leads to good decisions on instruction, interventions, support for students and teacher improvement. Teachers always sift through lots of info. in their heads. This is a structured approach to gathering informative data for important decisions on instruction

16 Summative Assessment Data
What do we want students to know & how will we know if they learned it? INFORMS COLLECTIVE DECISIONS RE: SCHOOL-WIDE GOALS Sources: state tests gr. 3-8, 11 school-wide interim assessments teacher-made tests, team designed tests Opportunity to create SMART goals that everyone agrees on and aims to achieves

17 Formative Assessment Data
What will we do if students don’t learn it? What will we do if students already know it? ADJUST INSTRUCTION, RETEACH/GROUP, APPLY INTERVENTIONS Sources Interim assessments Commercial District School Common formative - team created (weekly, monthly, quarterly –intervals determined by team) Student work assignments, quizzes, projects, portfolios, etc. Teacher-made tests

18 Social-emotional Data
How will we factor in influences beyond academic learning? AFFECTIVE CONCERNS, STRENGTHS & GIFTS Sources: Counselor Social worker, Nurse Anti-bullying specialist Other teachers (coaches, electives, tutors, etc.) Parents Surveys Administrators Other students Referral & attendance records

19 CORNERSTONES Leadership. PLCs sustain where we find committed, skilled leaders who continue to learn Think of an excellent leader you know or work with. What attributes qualify this person to be a PLC leader? 5 minutes

20 CORNERSTONES Collaborative learning teams. Adult learning and student learning are directly related to the quality of team collaboration. Think of a collaborative team you know or work with. What attributes qualify this team to be called exemplary? 5 minutes

21 CORNERSTONES Using data. Data informs – does not drive - decisions
Think of a collaborative team that uses data (information) to improve teaching and learning. What are they doing right? 5 minutes

22 Resources NJ Tool Kit ) all staff members should download a personal copy Teacher Leader Model Standards Learning by Doing (2006). Richard DuFour, et al., Solution-Tree. Team to Teach: A Facilitator’s Guide to Professional Learning Teams. (2008). Anne Jolly, National Staff Development Council.

23 Resources Powerful Designs for Professional Learning, 2nd ed. (2008). Lois Brown Easton, National Staff Development Council. Leading Professional Learning Communities. (2008). Shirley Hord & William Sommers, Corwin Press.

24 NJDOE Online Resources
Professional learning planning documents: PLC videos and materials:

25 THINKSHEET Instructions
Col. One Decide on one, two or three PLC elements you would like to implement in your school or district. Col. Two If present in the school/district, circle “Yes” and describe the successes and challenges experienced. If not, circle “No.” Col. Three Reach agreement on some short-term and long-term steps to take to reach your implementation goal. Your steps may fall into one or more of the three themes; it is not essential to address all three.

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