Curriculum Clips

Updates and Information

Professional Learning Communities

Throughout the fall, the Instructional Coaches have been visiting many professional learning communities. This year, there is a focus on professional learning communities for several reasons. First, this is a targeted effort to ensure that curriculum remains a living document. Since many curriculum revisions occurred over the summer, it was important to have a plan to ensure that all teachers were aware of changes. Second, visits to PLCs provide the opportunity to ensure that teachers have all the necessary materials and resources to effectively teach content. Finally, through focused PLC conversations, teachers analyze standards, eligible content, and effective instructional practices.

To date, Instructional Coaches have visited more than 50 PLCs. This includes:


1 PLC per month focused on ELA grades K-5

1 PLC per month focused on Math grades K-5

Middle School

1 PLC per month focused on Grade 6 Math

1 PLC per month focused on Grade 7 Math

1 PLC per month focused on Grade 8 Math

High School

1 PLC per month focused on Advanced Placement

1 PLC per month focused on Algebra I

1 PLC per month focused on Literature

1 PLC per month focused on Biology

During future PLCs, teams will be asked to focus upon one or two lessons or priority standards. This increased focus will allow teams to analyze the information and make instructional decisions to meet the needs of all learners. In addition, teams will review an Innovation Configuration Map about highly effective professional learning communities.

PLC Innovation Configuration Map

Professional Learning Communities have been in place in the Pottsgrove School District for several years. During the 2014-15 school year, the district is working with PLCs so that the appropriate supports can be provided to maximize the time teachers spend.

As a result, the district will slowly introduce teachers to the PLC Innovation Configuration Map. An Innovation Configuration is similar to a rubric, but it differs for the following two reasons.

1. While there are domains to describe effective PLCs, the number of levels may vary from domain to domain.

2. The highest level of performance on an Innovation Configuration is always listed on the left side of the document while most rubrics note the highest level of performance on the right side.

This tool will be useful for teams to consider the ways in which interactions can be enhanced to support PLCs. It is important to note that no one team is expected to be at level 4 at this time. It is also important to realize that teams follow a natural progression through the levels.

The italicized words in each critical element highlight the importance of each statement.

As the innovation configuration is further investigated throughout the school year, teams will be encouraged to think about current practice. In addition, teams can identify the ways in which to enhance practice in one or more of the critical elements.

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Video Visits

The purpose of the Video Visits is to provide parents with visuals of the ways in which we can encourage children to interact with content. These videos are one piece of the overall communication plan with parents. Ongoing communication includes, but is not limited to Parent ELA Nights, Parent Math Nights, communication documents, and newsletters. The goal is to provide parents with resources so that students, parents, and teachers are working toward enhanced student achievement. As the year progresses, additional video visits will be presented here and shared with the community.

Please take a moment to view our first Video Visit featuring our Reading Specialist, Maura Lundstrom demonstrating the "Right Fit Book" strategy.

Video Visits - Conferring

Where Would I Find.....?

Trivia Question!

Identify critical element 4.

This information, or hints to this information, can be found within this newsletter.