Blog

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

Should the Textbook Determine the Essential Skills We Teach?

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We received a question from a district with three high schools that was struggling to agree on the approach to take in answering the first critical question of a PLC: “What do we want our . . . Read more

From Cool Technologies to Critical Thinking

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Why is it that the 21st Century education is being defined by where the teaching is occurring and the technology that is utilized? There is the brick and mortal classroom where teaching is delivered in a traditional school... 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

Should We Adhere to Our District’s Prescribed Curriculum or Engage in the Team Learning Process?

We recently received the following message from a principal: I’m trying to understand the relationship between essential outcomes and a math program. My interpretation is that the math program would support the students’ learning… Read more