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Professional Learning Communities (PLC)

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Presentation on theme: "Professional Learning Communities (PLC)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Professional Learning Communities (PLC)
Where do we begin? (Adapted from Professional Learning Communities at Work Designed by DuFour, DuFour and Eaker)

2 What does PLC mean? An on going- process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the student they serve. PLC’s operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous, job embedded learning for educators. DuFour, DuFour, Eaker and Many (2010) Many times the term PLC is used to describe work done in schools, but it is much more than just meeting as a group. PLC is not a workshop, program, book study, or meeting.

3 PLC Big Ideas & Core Values
Ensuring that students learn Learning for all A Culture of Collaboration Teamwork Focus on Results Data-Driven Decisions When talking as group about what is important from the PLC conference the three big ideas stuck out most.

4 The PLC Big Ideas #1 Learning-
We accept learning as the fundamental purpose of our school and therefore are willing to examine all practices in light of their impact on learning. “the fundamental purpose of the school is to ensure that all students learn rather than see to it that all students are taught-an enormous distinction.” from Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap-Whatever it Takes The focus in not if the curriculum was taught, but if it was learned.

5 Critical Questions of Learning
What is it that we expect them to learn? How will we know when they have learned it? How will we respond when they don’t learn? How will we respond when they already know it? Common Curriculum- This will be discussed later also as it relates to formative assessment. Common Assessment Common Pacing The ideal shift here with these critical questions would be to get teachers to the point that when things aren’t going well they look in the mirror to say what can I change? We want to move past the excuses of that is how he/she is or a blame on parents. Once teachers see these questions they may feel scripted or the need to teach identically to their neighbor. This however is not the case, the beginning is the same (focusing on the big ideas) the end is the same (formative assessment) it is the middle where the teacher gets to show their art of teaching.

6 The PLC Big Ideas #2 Collaboration- To co labor
We are committed to working together to achieve our collective purpose. We cultivate a collaborative culture through development of high-performing teams. A systematic process in which we work together, interdependently, to analyze and impact professional practice in order to improve our individual and collective results. DuFour, Dufour & Eaker

7 Why Collaborate? Gains in student achievement
Higher quality solutions to problems Increased confidence among all staff Teachers able to support one another’s strengths and accommodate weaknesses Ability to test new ideas More support for new teachers Expanded pool of ideas, materials, and methods Judith Warren Little (1990) When teachers are collaborating, egos need to be left at the door.

8 “Wide ranging research…shows it is impossible for even the most talented people to do competent, let alone brilliant, work in a flawed system. Yet a well-designed system filled with ordinary-but well trained-people can consistently achieve stunning performance levels” Pfeffer and Sutton (2006) Let me give you a minute to read this slide. Now I know you have a lot of outstanding teachers in your school but for now just have one pictured in your head. This teacher is the beginning of this quote. He/She is brilliant in their classroom. The students in there benefit greatly. How do you get this teachers brilliance shared across the grade level and throughout the school? More collaboration and less isolation.

9 Seven Keys to Collaboration in a PLC
Lucky Number 7 Seven Keys to Collaboration in a PLC Embed collaboration with a FOCUS ON LEARNING in routine practices of the school. Schedule time for collaboration in the school day and school calendar. Focus teams on critical questions. Make products of collaboration explicit. Establish team norms to guide collaboration (See next slide.) Pursue specific and measurable team performance goals. Provide teams with frequent access to relevant information. 3 and 4: Hand out Critical Issues for Team Consideration questionnaire Example Timeline for products: By the end of the 2nd week: Team Norms 4th Week: Team SMART Goal 6th Week: Common essential outcomes 8th Week: First common assessment 10th week: Analysis of student performance on first common formative assessment: This is a great time to sit in and listen to the group discussion and ask them what they need from you.

10 Why Norms? When all is said and done, the norms of a group help determine whether it functions as high-performing team or becomes simply a loose collection of people working together. Positive norms will stick only if the group puts them into practice over and over again. Being explicit about norms raises the level of effectiveness, maximizes emotional intelligence, produces a positive experience for group members and helps to socialize newcomers into the group quickly. Adaptive Schools Handbook NSDC-how to establish norms

11 TIPS for Team Norms Each team establishes its own norms.
Norms are stated as commitments to act or behave in certain ways. Norms are reviewed at the beginning and end of each meeting until they are internalized. One norm requires team to assess its effectiveness every six months. This assessment should include review of adherence to norms and the need to identify new norms. Less is more. A few key norms are better than a laundry list. Violations of norms must be addressed. Great way to start this conversation off is to discuss their pet peeves. This is a step that was stated that it cannot be skipped because it goes beyond just getting along.

12 The Big Ideas of PLC #3 Results-
We assess our effectiveness on the basis of results rather than intentions. Individuals, teams, and schools seek relevant data and information and use that information to promote continuous improvement. Share Meaningful teamwork, results oriented goals, regular collection and analysis of performance data. This is where the team also develops its SMART goal. We liked the quote that without data, your just another person with an opinion.

13 Keys to Formative Assessment
How Should We Determine what is the right work?- Best available evidence of positive impact on student learning Keys to Formative Assessment It is used to identify students who are experiencing difficulty in their learning? Are students who are having difficulty provided with an additional time and support for learning? Are students given an additional opportunity to demonstrate their learning? How do we know that we are working on the right work?

14 If We Implemented What We Know to be Best Practice
Common Curriculum -Learn What? Teachers must come together to agree on the “Learn What” Common Pacing -Implementing the Common Curriculum collaboratively Common Assessment -Formative Assessments designed around the common curriculum to monitor student learning If we help kids learn by focusing on what is the most essential, the test scores will follow.

15 Are PLC’s an Option? Loose vs. Tight- Procedures are “tight”
Effective school cultures don’t simply encourage individuals to go off and do whatever they want, but rather establish clear parameters and priorities that enable individuals to work within established boundaries in a creative and autonomous way. Procedures are “tight” Agreement on what is to be taught, not how it is to be taught

16 Changing the Focus Old Focus New Focus Every student can learn
Focus on teaching Isolation Assessment OF learning (Summative) Failure is an option New Focus Every student will learn Focus on learning Collaboration Assessment FOR learning (Formative) Failure is not and option A summary Cedar Rapids Power Point

17 Culture Shifts in a PLC Shift in Fundamental Purpose …… From teaching to learning Shift in Use of Assessments …… From summative to frequent formative Shift in the Work of Teachers ….. From isolation to collaboration Shift in Response When Students Don’t Learn ….. From remediation to intervention Here is just another way to look at the previous slide.

18 Resources
AEA staff

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