Blog

“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

The Forest or the Trees: Navigating Substantial Cultural Change at the School Site

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In my career, I have found that some people are “big picture” people and others are not. Helping a large staff navigate the big picture of a PLC can be a daunting task, but . . . Read more

Helping a Board of Education Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

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There is a time-honored management axiom that stipulates, "What gets monitored gets done." It’s another way of saying that we express our priorities by what we pay attention to . . . Read more

Data-Informed Versus Data-Driven PLC Teams

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One of the three big ideas of a professional learning community calls for us to be data driven. A recent blog raised an interesting perspective when it was suggested that we should be more . . . Read more

A Powerful Tool for Student and Teacher Learning

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I remember early in my leadership constantly assessing where we were as a school and setting goals for where we needed to go as a school. With a clear vision in mind, we would chart incremental . . . Read more

Experimentation Within a Professional Learning Community

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One of the professional learning community’s critical questions is, “What do we do if the kids don’t know it?” The answer is the pyramid of interventions. The first and . . . Read more

Are Your Assessments Good, Not So Good, or . . . Great?

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“What does a good formative assessment look like?” “Can you please show us some examples?” These are the types of questions that often surface as collaborative teams in PLC schools delve into the work of... Read more

Is It Worth It? Sharing Data From Successful PLCs

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As we speak about professional learning communities, we know that excitement for student learning is palpable. It is impossible to not be jazzed when we speak about all students learning at high . . . Read more

Teaching vs. Learning: How Assessment Informs Instruction

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One of the most overlooked and understated aspects of the common formative assessment process and the role these assessments play in a professional learning community has to be the degree to which . . . 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

Getting the Most Out of Common Assessments

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Like most schools that begin implementing PLC practices, the faculty at Pioneer Middle School learned about the importance of common formative assessments and decided to utilize this powerful tool to help us focus on learning. Unfortunately, as time progressed… Read more