Blog

Give Your Teaching a Jump-Start

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Part of teaching in a professional learning community is having to confront not only our individual strengths, but also our weaknesses as teachers. By being accountable for common formative and . . . Read more

Data: More Than a Number

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Over the last several years, I have had the privilege of working with schools and districts as they develop and use common formative assessments to help assure that all kids learn at high levels. . . . Read more

The Law of the Vital Few

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When Robert J. Marzano conducted a review of the average state or provincial curriculum, he confirmed what teachers already knew: it is not possible to teach all curricular outcomes to every child . . . 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

“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

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

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

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

Assessing Your School’s PLC Progress

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“What should we do next?” is a question I frequently hear as a PLC consultant. But without data, I can’t answer this question. I have to understand where a school is on the PLC . . . Read more

From the PLC Summit: DuFour’s New Assessment Resource

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Rick DuFour kicked off day two of the Summit here in Phoenix with the release of a new assessment resource called a Data Analysis Protocol (PDF). It’s a worksheet that teams can use to ensure . . . 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

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

Three Rules Help Manage Assessment Data

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We live in the Information Age, when never before has so much data on student learning been so readily available. It is the best of times... And yet, to harried principals struggling to make sense of the mountains of assessment data, the Information Age may feel like the worst of times... Read more