Blog

Put the “R” back into RTI by Reconnecting to the PLC at Work™ Model

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Many schools are frustrated by their attempts to answer Question 3 of the PLC at Work™ process, “How will we respond when students don’t learn it?” In many cases, this frustration is caused by the fact that they are attempting to answer Question 3 before answering Question 1, “What is it we want all students to know and be able to do?” In other words, what do we want all students to learn? Read more

Prioritizing the C3 Standards to Address Question 1 of a PLC

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Many schools have already adopted or are in process of adopting the new C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards. The C3 Framework is organized into 4 dimensions. As schools using the PLC adopt the framework, the first step is to engage in the process of addressing Question 1: What do we want our students to learn? As with other standards documents, there are numerous standards in the C3. Read more

Celebrating and Curating for Curriculum Alignment

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Curriculum alignment is important. It is essential to ensuring rigorous learning for all and appropriate vertical and horizontal articulation. Curricular alignment requires assessment and instruction to be aligned to standards, including the intended rigor of the standard. It ensures that students have a clear, cohesive experience from year to year and leads to a guaranteed and viable curriculum. While many educators see the value in this work, it isn't necessarily something that many look on as an exciting or worthwhile experience. Read more

So, what’s changed?

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21st Century Skills require a balance of content and process. How have teaching and learning shifted to meet these demands?

James Melsa (2007) says it best, “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist using technologies that haven’t yet been invented in order to solve problems we don’t even know we have.” We can no longer prepare students for our past, we must prepare them for their future. But what does this mean and where should we start? Read more

From STEM to TEAMS

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There's been much discussion these days about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education and what it really means. In fact, you may have been a part of the discussion and are looking to infuse STEM in one way or another into your existing curriculum. Proponents argue that if we can increase math and science opportunities while infusing engineering and technology, it would expose students to the areas of STEM, and could tackle potential career deficits while preparing them for successful 21st Century careers. 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

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

Collaborative Teams, the Common Core, and the Aflac Duck

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“My teacher collaborative teams don’t need to spend time taking apart standards. Our district does that work, and breaks it down so every teacher in every content area knows exactly . . . Read more

The Common Core and Common Pacing

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We received an email from a high school teacher questioning her district’s effort to establish common pacing across the three high schools in the district. She seemed to object to this effort . . . 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

Common Core Implementation in a PLC - Part 3 of 3

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Change can be a challenge for schools—for the individuals within the school, as well as for the school as a whole. Common Core (CC) implementation presents the opportunity... Read more

Common Core Implementation in a PLC - Part 1 of 3

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A new school year has begun—the 33rd new school year for me. Every year holds great anticipation and excitement as we welcome back students. I finally stopped having the recurring nightmare of sleeping in on the first day of school or coming to school in my pajamas... Read more

Achieving Unprecedented Learning Results for Students With Disabilities in a PLC

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I was recently asked how our school had such great success in helping students with special needs learn at high levels and how, as a PLC school, we work collaboratively to achieve unprecedented . . . Read more

Our State Adopted the Common Core Standards—Now What?

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Many schools and districts that have been implementing the PLC process are now wondering how to respond to the new Common Core Standards that their states have adopted. They’ve worked hard to . . . Read more

Moving School Improvement Into the Classroom With SMART Goals

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School districts across the United States are faced with improving achievement for all students. The complexity of this issue has resulted in the expansion of organized walkthroughs taking place . . . Read more