Presentation on theme: "Professional Learning Communities Whatever it Takes!"— Presentation transcript:
Professional Learning Communities Whatever it Takes!
The most promising strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement is developing the ability of school personnel to function as professional learning communities. -Richard DuFour
Essential Questions What is a PLC? What are the components of a PLC? How does a PLC address the needs of struggling learners? Where do we begin?
A PLC is… Composed of collaborative teams whose members work interdependently to achieve common goals linked to learning for all “The way we do things” “Another program” Just a series of meetings A PLC is NOT…
Why? A single, shared, fundamental purpose: – Ensuring high levels of learning for ALL STUDENTS
Why School Reform Efforts Fail – Complex task – Misplaced focus – Lack of clarity on intended results – Lack of perseverance – Failure to appreciate and attend to the change process
Essential Components of a PLC 1.Shared mission, vision, and values 2.Collective inquiry 3.Collaborative teams 4.Action orientation and experimentation 5.Continuous improvement 6.Results orientation
Shared mission, vision, & values Why do we exist as an organization? What do we want to become? Envision our school 5 years from now. In what significant ways would you like it to be different than it is today?
Collective Inquiry Continuous search for best practices Inquire about current realities and student achievement Question the status quo, seek new methods, test the methods, and reflect on results Curious and open to possibilities
Collaborative Teams Not effective by “invitation” Embedded into daily life Teams = effective structure Time to meet needs to be built into the schedule Purpose must be made explicit Structures to facilitate collaboration needed Training for staff Accept responsibilities for working together as true colleagues to LEARN
CoBLABoration Don’t ask: Are we collaborating? Ask: What are we collaborating about? – What is it we want our students to learn? – How will we know if each student has learned it? – How will we respond when some students do not learn it? – How can we extend and enrich the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency?
Action Orientation Aspirations -> Action Visions -> Reality Teachers collaborate to serve as a catalyst for action Until we “do differently” there is no reason to expect improved results
New actions New experiences New awareness Shifts in attitudes and beliefs, which, in time, transform the culture of a school
Continued Improvement Constantly search to do things more efficiently and effectively Seek to create conditions for perpetual learning Not a “fad diet!” – a commitment!
Results Orientation Assess our efforts on the basis of results rather than intentions Subject initiatives to ongoing assessments Use of data/technology Data drives action research and the continuous improvement process
Why? We all share the same needs: To feel successful in our work To feel a sense of belonging To live a life of significance by making a difference A PLC can help address these needs in all of us: staff, teachers, community.
Critical First Steps Curriculum updates Develop common assessments Strengthen assessment practices Increase communication among staff Build collaboration time into schedules Build shared knowledge of the current reality – What does the data say? – What do we currently do for struggling learners?
PLCs Seek to Answer… What do we want students to learn? How will we know when they’ve learned it? How will we respond when they do not learn?* *The answer to the third question separates learning communities from traditional schools.
Agree or disagree? Individual teachers working in isolation as they attempt to help all of their students achieve at high levels will eventually be overwhelmed by the tension between covering the content and responding to the diverse needs of their students in a fixed amount of time with virtually no external support.
Helping Struggling Learners HOW – Interventions provided in a timely manner – Direct students to participate – Students are guaranteed to receive the support no matter who their teacher is WHY – Learning must be the constant – Regard time as a tool, not a limitation – Ask: Was it learned? Don’t ask: Did I teach it? – Formative assessments are pointless if we do not intervene when we discover some students aren’t learning
So what do we do about it? Provide a collective response in a timely, directive, and systematic way Create schedules that support interventions for all struggling learners Assess the appropriateness of daily schedules Provide appropriate accommodations for ALL learners Shift the focus to learning, not teaching
Expectations for All – Plan differentiated, small group reading instruction for ALL students, to be delivered in the regular classroom – Non-benchmark students receive daily small group instruction in the classroom – Plan activities for students not meeting in small groups – extending or supporting essential content
Up Next – 9:00-9:30 Grade Level Teams – Share your small group reading schedule, including time and frequency in which you meet with each group – What are your other students doing while you meet with small groups? – How are you including LS students (if any) into both core instruction and small group instruction? – What instructional activities do students complete when intervention group is not meeting? Specialists: “Adopt” an anchor work
9:30-10:00 Cross-grade Level Groups – Share the same ideas as you discussed in your grade level teams. – How can your colleagues in other grade levels help you in planning for small group reading instruction?
Cross-Grade Level Groups GROUP 1- Audra, Kelli, Mandy, Steffany, Cristen, Laurette, and Amber (Conf. Room LH Side) GROUP 1- Audra, Kelli, Mandy, Steffany, Cristen, Laurette, and Amber (Conf. Room LH Side) Group 2 – Julie, Bonnie, Margaret, Donna, Heather, Karen (Conf. Room RH Side) Group 2 – Julie, Bonnie, Margaret, Donna, Heather, Karen (Conf. Room RH Side) Group 3 – Jena, Sharon, Kelly, Bev, Ryan, Tracy, Wendy (Library) Group 3 – Jena, Sharon, Kelly, Bev, Ryan, Tracy, Wendy (Library)
10:00 Session Groups With Liz: Jena, Bonnie, Mandy, Margaret, Ryan, Laurette, Amber, Lei (Conf. Room LH Side) With Liz: Jena, Bonnie, Mandy, Margaret, Ryan, Laurette, Amber, Lei (Conf. Room LH Side) With Greg: Kelly, Kelli, Steffany, Donna, Tracy, Karen, Sue (Conf. Room RH Side) With Greg: Kelly, Kelli, Steffany, Donna, Tracy, Karen, Sue (Conf. Room RH Side) With Mrs. Hilt: Audra, Sharon, Julie, Bev, Cristen, Heather, Wendy (Library) With Mrs. Hilt: Audra, Sharon, Julie, Bev, Cristen, Heather, Wendy (Library)