Blog

10 Years In: Time to Reboot

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At the core of the PLC model is a school culture and system that clearly identifies what students need to know, measures and tracks individual student mastery, and applies instructional . . . 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

Spring Is a Great Time to Re-energize Staff and Score a Win!

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While it may be tempting to blame staff members for a decrease in energy toward original goals, the time is right to go for some WINS! As Dov Seidman states, “We are now asking for so much . . . 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

PLC Master Schedules Provide Time for Collaboration and Interventions During the Day

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The importance of teachers having time to collaborate during the contract day in order to build their professional practice and foster shared responsibility for student learning is critical for . . . Read more

Leadership Lessons Learned From a Corporate Barista

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Walk into the Evernote headquarters in Redwood City, California, and you are bound to be impressed by the full-scale espresso bar in the lobby. Whether you are in the mood for a vegan raspberry . . . Read more

Realistic SMART Goals

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We recently received a question about SMART goals. The author wanted to know where he could find information about the required specificity and realistic nature of SMART goals. He asked, “Is . . . Read more

Should Teams Be Required to Submit Meeting Agendas?

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We received a question from a principal who wanted to know if there was research to support requiring her teams to prepare and submit agendas for their team meetings. Here is our response:  . . . Read more

PLC Lessons Learned From the Corporate World

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I thought it would be interesting to see how the corporate world might describe what PLCs are and are not by looking at slogans. Slogans like Kellogg’s “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” . . . Read more

Data, Data Everywhere But Not a Drop to Drink

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“There is too much testing . . . just let them teach!” How many times have you heard that from parents and state legislators? I hear this mantra as a consultant and a school board . . . 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

Focusing on the Work

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Unlike the show Survivor, in education we do not have the option of voting tribe members off the island when they aren’t effective PLC members. Most PLCs function well, but for those with . . . Read more

Homework

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Is it possible that the word homework could be relabeled? As educators, we know that the purpose of homework is to make sure students can do the work independently. Unfortunately, many classroom . . . Read more

Clarity Precedes Competence—Applies to Kids Too!

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When I do quick observations in classrooms, I’ve found that one simple question tells me more about the level of learning taking place than just about anything: “What are you supposed . . . 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