Sunday, November 20, 2011

What is a PLC? Part 1

Some of you may have heard that our school has began operating as a PLC also known as a Professional Learning Community.  I am going to explain as simple as possible as to what exactly our teachers are doing during these collaboration times.  Research has shown that PLC's have impressive results in student achievement.

PLC's are guided by these four critical questions:
1. What is it we want our students to know and be able to do? 
2. How will we know when they learned it?
3.What are we going to do if the student isn't learning the information?
4. What if a student already knows the information?

Currently we are deciding what we want our students to know and be able to do.  Leading researchers in education have calculated that for our teachers to cover all standards, we would have to extend our schools from K-12 to K-22.  Which has caused most of our teachers to cover all standards while just scratching the surface.  Using collaboration and time within the school day - teachers will merge and select important standards to create what we call 'Powerstandards.'  Each standard will get reviewed asking some basic questions.

Is it a skill needed for the next class?
Is it something they need to know and be able to do for life?
Is it important to know for the state assessment?

Each benchmark under the standard will get rated by the teachers.
1) Must know, 2) Important to know, and 3)Nice to know.

Must knows become a part of a Powerstandard, important to know and nice to know will still be taught, but teachers may devote less time to it.  I hope that this will help in your understanding of what we are doing. I will be making a few posts over the course of the year as we continue in this process.

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