Blog

Demographics Are Not Destiny: Stults Road Elementary School

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Congratulations to Stults Road Elementary, this week’s AllThingsPLC featured school! The following is what Rick and Becky DuFour had to say about this shining example of PLC progress:  . . . Read more

Sustainable Improvement: Adlai E. Stevenson High School

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Over the next few weeks, AllThingsPLC will feature the work of five schools chosen by Rick and Becky DuFour as models of PLC achievement. This is what the DuFours had to say about this week’s school… Read more

The Seven I’s

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As principal of Viers Mill Elementary School in Montgomery County, Maryland, from 1997 to 2005, I learned a great deal about the benefits of operating as a professional learning community (PLC). As a community, we tried to keep our focus on the four critical questions… Read more

What Do We Do When They Haven’t Learned?

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The implementation of a PLC is not a silver bullet, but a pathway to follow in working to ensure student learning. Implementation requires dedication and a focus on desired learning outcomes as teams work to answer the four key questions that guide a PLC... Read more

Promoting Social and Emotional Learning Within a PLC

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Who among us doesn’t remember Stuart Smiley, Al Franken’s character from Saturday Night Live (“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”) While Stuart may not have been able to help Michael Jordan develop a stronger sense of self-esteem… Read more

Eliminating Bias in Grading: Teachers Collaborate on Student Assessments

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The work of a professional learning community team is never done. Instead, teachers continuously navigate the world of standards, assessments, interventions, and extensions, using inquiry in an informed way to improve student learning. They begin a journey that becomes… Read more

PLCs and Self-Efficacy: What Is the Connection?

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For those on the PLC journey, one of the most puzzling and frustrating realities is that we still see what Rick DuFour calls the “knowing-doing gap.” We know what to do, but we just don’t seem to… Read more

Fostering Shared Leadership

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When teachers begin taking ownership – alongside administrators – for poor student achievement, they will gain ownership of solutions that are developed as a team. In 1933, Edward VIII shocked the world by abdicating the throne of England in order to marry Wallis Simpson, a divorced American socialite… Read more

Twitter for Singletons in a PLC

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Bill Ferriter has been working to introduce learning teams and singletons to a range of free products and services that can make collaboration more efficient. This is an excerpt from his blog . . . Read more

Professional Learning Communities That Work in the Classroom

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While reading Professional Learning Communities at Work™, I considerably marked up the margins with check marks and the letter U; the check marks meant “this is so important” and the Us symbolized that the ideas, as I saw them, were important because… Read more

Grading Formative and Summative Assessments

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We received a question about grading, specifically how to balance grading between formative and summative assessments. The author was concerned because the grading practices of the teachers in the . . . Read more

Do We Have Team Norms or “Nice to Knows”?

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Some teams do a great job of developing norms. Members agree and commit to them, even posting them on chart paper to be prominently displayed at every meeting. Elementary school teams often add… Read more

How PLCs Use Assessments

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We received a series of questions from a school grappling with developing common assessments. I summarized the questions and attempted to provide a brief response for each… Read more

Adapting the PLC Framework for Small Schools

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The professional learning communities approach (a collaborative focus on learning with the yardstick for success being the results obtained) resonates with so many educators right off the bat… Read more

Building Consensus for Change

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Change involves managing the complex matrix of relationships and beliefs that exist in an organization and aligning them toward a mission of higher learning for all. In my career, there is no better example of this approach than when I recently implemented a new bell schedule to… Read more