Muskogee High School English PLC

“You can teach a child a lesson for a day, but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” Clay P. Bedford

Team members: Leader: Lisa Dotson, co-leader: RayTosha Craft, reporter: Rory Lynch, administration: Sonja Humphrey, Mee Chang, Debi Gould, Sharon Brewster, Jeremy Griffith, Doyle Rowland, Kyra Swift, Sarah Dennis, Scott Eaton, Kara Sholes, Paula Elsky, Brenda Spears, Ramona McDaniel, Janeen Fowler, and Jana O’Neal.

Next year’s leaders: Sarah Dennis & Debi Gould

Description of Process: With the installation of the 1:1 initiative throughout the high school, our PLC decided from the beginning to be “proactive” in developing interactive lessons, modeling new instruction, and incorporating digital curriculum and resources within our classrooms. We have immersed ourselves in several workshops to become competent and confident in our own digital literacy. Our dual purpose within each PLC meeting is to share resources that will be beneficial to our students and to support each other as we navigate this digital path. With these goals in mind, we have each carried the responsibility of being the teacher and the student, the speaker and the listener, the adviser and the advisee. To help with future planning, we also created a quick reference handout of educational websites that are relevant to our content area, easily accessible, and FREE!

How does this strengthen the district curriculum? Teacher collaboration is a critical component in a successful transition from the teacher centered classroom as we know it to the student led classroom that requires students to actively participate in their own education. We have worked together to find websites that provide excellent resources, lessons, and tips for engaging students. We are realistically aware that students need to be both engaged and challenged for the 1:1 initiative to fully be effective; therefore, we are working as a team to create lessons that engage, motivate, and inspire students while simultaneously challenging them to think critically and creatively. We are implementing lessons that empower students to use technology as a valuable resource and tool for their own academic success.

How do we use real time data to create remediation and/or differentiation to close gaps in student performance? We are currently using a variety of resources to assess and identify “gaps” in academic progress such Study Island individualized student reports, benchmark exams, and, of course, the student’s scores on individual classroom assignments. The Study Island program offers a plethora of score reporting options that helps us identify areas of concern for individuals or for an entire class as a whole. Based on benchmark individualized results, we can assign individualized practice sessions to help the student with his/her particular weakness instead of re explaining a concept that he/she has already mastered. Write To Learn is an exciting program that we feel will positively impact students’ writing skills. This program offers numerous writing prompts and delivers immediate feedback on submitted essays which helps the student clearly identify, edit, and revise weak areas. The teacher can also adjust individual scoring perimeters based upon IEP modifications and knowledge of the student’s capabilities.

What improvements have we seen as a result of this process? Programs like Study Island allow students’ levels to be adjusted and their work customized. With this differentiation, students can be assigned individual assistance and tutoring, as well as, work that addresses their strengths and weaknesses. By presenting information in a variety of ways, we are producing students that can actually process, synthesize, and retain new concepts within the classroom.