Saturday, February 1, 2014

Best PLC Meeting Ever!

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I am a firm believer that the Professional Learning Community (PLC) model is one of the best tools we canpublications provide strategies that are easy to implement and can produce results quickly.
utilize to support teaching and learning for our students, and for one another. This purpose of this post is not to describe what a PLC is, or how to establish one in your building. If you want to start using PLCs with fidelity start by reading up on the Dufour's work on the subject. Their

The purpose of this post will hopefully paint a picture of why PLCs can ROCK!

Our grade level PLC meets every other week to discuss student performance, upcoming events, and discuss any issues among the grade level or the building. A couple of days before, our admin team meets to draw up a broad agenda, and I send it out to the grade level so that they know what to expect. I send it out as a Google doc so that they can add items if they need to. The really nice thing about using a Google doc is that the agenda transforms into the meeting minutes when our note taker types notes under each agenda item. I also have all agendas stored under a single shared folder.

On this past agenda, I added a line titled academics, and put this underneath:

  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
I asked teachers to share with one another what was going on within their content area. The results were pure magic! The language arts teachers shared that they were working on the concept of comparing and contrasting. While they were discussing their strategies, the math teachers jumped in and said they easily integrate the vocabulary and strategies when they talk about graphing. Social studies and science teachers began to ask questions about reading strategies and non-fiction passages, and wanted to learn how they could help. I was soooo proud of my teachers! The teachers left feeling energized and ready to work. I really thought it was one of our best meetings so far. 

I've said before that I am new to this building this year, and the first thing I did was implement PLC procedures and protocols. I've also made the commitment to never miss a meeting unless I'm out of the building. Though these norms are revisited often, we still get off track from time to time, but bringing the team back to task gets easier; and when they are on task, there is nothing they can't accomplish! 

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