Our school district and our school have embarked upon a new adventure with the advent of Professional Learning Communities. What is a PLC you ask? The Professional Learning Community is a method of working in schools where educators are continuously improving teaching and learning through collaborative practices done in consistent and regular work sessions. Our district is following the research of Richard Dufour, Rebecca DuFour, Robert Eaker and Thomas Many in the book, Learning by Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work.
I feel like our school had a slight advantage in stepping into this initiative because we had been preparing for common assessments for two years. We spent the first year immersing our school in data analysis. The second year we spent reviewing data for student impact. This third year we are investigating and reviewing student AND TEACHER data to determine the differentiation needs and match them to the teacher practices! This is exciting work, and our campus has definitely got some pockets of greatness occurring. Even better, there is a collaborative dynamic all over campus, and it will only make us stronger and better able to serve our students. Everywhere on our campus we are moving forward which follows the greatest premise of the PLC mentality...
The goal is action, not perfection!
Here is a video of our first grade team sharing their work through the PLC process. The items of brilliance to watch for are:
- Use of Norms
- Distribution of Roles
- Data Analysis of Student Achievement
- Alignment to the Standards and 8 Mathematical Practices
- Increased Rigor
- The use of other resources when the provided resources are insufficient
- Teacher-developed items formatted to the standardized summative assessment(s)
- The use of performance items
- The use of rubrics and progression scales
- Student self-assessment
It is our hope to continue improving our practices at every opportunity, and this is definitely a step in the right direction. Click below to see the video on YouTube.