Blog

Connecting PLCs and RTI


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The fundamental purpose of the Professional Learning Community process is captured in Big Idea #1: When a school or district functions as a PLC, educators within the organization embrace high levels of learning for all students as the reason the organization exists and the fundamental responsibility of those who work within it. (DuFour et all, 2016) Read more

How Kids WIN Systematically

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My experience as a teacher was amazing! I loved teaching, my colleagues, my families, and my students; but I wish I could have a complete redo on my time in the classroom. Regrettably, as a teacher I never had the opportunity to function within a Professional Learning Community. Sure, I had amazing colleagues who became life-long friends. Yes, they were willing to share their “things” that worked for their kids in their classrooms. I definitely was able to get to know “their kids," just as they were able to get to know “my kids” because we shared them for periods of time throughout the week. We even shared data! If you’re reading this and thinking, “Why is Will suggesting he didn’t function within a PLC?”, let me explain. Read more

Opening Doors Leads to Greater Learning

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This past month I have been working with collaborative teams to answer the second question of a professional learning community, “How will we know when they have learned the content?” (DuFour, Eacker, & DuFour, 2008). The teachers are analyzing more than how many students got the correct answer on a common assessment; they are focused on students’ depth of understanding of the content. Teams are analyzing student thinking and the habits of mind aligned to the essential learning standards. These often come from the process standards in content areas that describe the habits of mind teachers must develop in their students (e.g., ELA Capacities, Mathematical Practices, and Science Practices). (CCSS0, 2010 & NGSS, 2013). Read more

Gaining Ground for Students with Special Needs: Honor their Abilities and Strengths

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Tailoring instruction for students with special needs is often the most challenging instructional demand for collaborative teams to navigate. Teachers want their students to feel successful, yet . . . Read more

Strategic School Schedules Support Interventions

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One common condition I often find in schools that are not improving is that they lack a strategic school schedule that provides time for intervention and extension. Schools that seriously embrace . . . Read more

Finding Time for Interventions

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How do I find the time to do interventions? When will I do this and also keep up with the pacing of the curriculum? One thing all teachers can agree on is that time is a limited commodity, . . . Read more

Want the Right Kind of Thinking About RTI? Ask the Right Questions!

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(This blog is a crosspost from the Solution Tree Blog) A few years ago, we wrote an article that appeared in Educational Leadership called “The Why Behind RTI.” In this article, we . . . Read more

A Case of Being Curious: How Do You Know?

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“It always annoyed me how in the old fashioned detective story, the detective always seemed to get at his results either by some sort of lucky chance or fluke or else it was quite . . . Read more

Three Reasons Your Team Needs Common Summative Assessments

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A hallmark feature of a PLC-based school is that everything is focused on learning. The three big ideas of a PLC—(1) focus on learning; (2) build a collaborative culture; and (3) create a . . . Read more

“Blurring the Lines” in an Elementary School

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What would it look like if we “blurred the lines” in our school? How would schools function if every student received what he or she needed regardless of disability or language? At a . . . Read more

Summer Projects for Advanced Classes: I Am the Gatekeeper!

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There is little argument that for our students to compete in a global economy and workforce, we must continue to grow, improve, and adjust our practices as educators to meet the demands of our . . . Read more

A PLC Alternative to Advisory

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There are many middle schools across our nation that have an advisory or homeroom period built into their weekly or daily schedule to meet the needs of the whole child. In theory, this concept . . . Read more

Using Your Best to Help the Rest: Another Thought on Intervention

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The growth of our students at Lakeridge Junior High has been exciting to watch over the years. We have committed to increasing the capacity of adults through the processes associated… Read more

Should We Provide Ability-Based Tracking in Our School?

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We received a question on the All Things PLC website from a high school English department that was in the process of revising its curriculum. The school offered three levels at each grade level . . . Read more

Both Sides of the Pyramid: Behavior and Academics

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“It’s hard to do the collaborative work of a professional learning community if your school is struggling with student behavior and school climate issues,” commented a teacher at . . . Read more