As we go forward with our new PLCs, there will be an adjustment period as everyone begins to use the new documentation process. We have tried to keep it as simple, yet meaningful, as possible. As discussed in our PLC meetings in November, we have seen progress over the last few years in several areas. However, we must always move toward improvement. Many of our students are lacking basic skills and those that are mastering standards deserve to be accelerated.
As you discuss the four PLC questions each week, be specific with your documentation.
1. What do we want students to learn? What standard/skill/behavior will you be working on? Have you shared with the students what your expectations are? If so, explain how that was done.
2. How will we know when students have learned? What assessment, formative or summative, was given? If you have an upcoming assessment, decide as a group what common formative could be given to measure their current knowledge so results can be brought to the table in subsequent meetings. Be specific...what question or problem will you ask and when?
3. How will we respond when students haven't learned? How are individual students receiving remediation for their specific struggles? Whole group reteaching is not the answer unless everyone in that group was not successful. Asking students to make test corrections without further instruction will not help that student. And, many of our students cannot stay for after school tutoring. We must think outside the box and try something different. Several groups have found some success in this area so reach out to your peers and ask what they are doing (Geometry peeps).
4. How will we respond when students have learned? Moving faster is not acceleration! Regardless of whether you are teaching an Inclusion class or an Honors class, the standards and pacing are the same. Challenge the students with a higher level of difficulty. Our data shows very clearly that we have few students scoring at an advanced level. Ensure that students are being given the opportunity to demonstrate full knowledge expected from the standards at levels that would be considered advanced. Is peer teaching helping these students move to the next level? Try something different. Examples would be real-world application, writing, predicting, debating, or error analysis.
For those of you who do not have peers teaching the same content, your meetings may focus on similar skills or behaviors. Are students demonstrating difficulty with transitions, struggling with completing work, or unable to stay focused for long periods of time? What instructional strategies can you try as a collective group?
The goal for all PLCs is to work on student improvement collectively, identifying areas of concern, gathering and analyzing data, and learning from each other.