Coaches Corner

Fun facts and finds from the world of education.

What's the Big Deal About PLC's?

I love that at this point in the school year everything is finally settling down. You pretty much know all your kids names, what personality each class holds, and who you need to keep an eye on. Now, we can finally focus on the learning instead of juggling lessons and all the things necessary to getting our classrooms rolling.

I thought this week would be a good time to generate momentum in our PLC's. I have read so much lately about them and how effective schools become when they implement them well. I know we have been doing using this model for a while now but we can always improve, right? I hope we can continue to be a school of planning and purpose instead of coming back around later to fix the learning. Yes, proactive not reactive. Yes, effective from the start instead of painstakingly catching them up at the end. We strengthen our systems by investing in our PLC's to move our students beyond what even they think is possibe.

This article from ASCD does a really good job explaining the “big ideas” that represent the core principles of professional learning communities". It's long but well worth the time.

I recently came across this article that is basically a "how to" piece with several examples. I like it! Their motto is "Student by Student, Target by Target".

Here are some key beliefs and practices when it comes to PLC's via Education World:

  • A relentless commitment to improvement;
  • A view of improvement as a team effort for which everyone is responsible;
  • An acknowledgement that teacher behavior is key to enhancing student learning;
  • A belief that knowledge is constructed from day-to-day experiences, along with the ability to share those experiences; and
  • A value placed on ongoing learning (continuous inquiry).

You can read more here!

I love that our district leaders fought for our common planning time - it allows us the time to really dissect and create lessons that reach all of our students. I am ashamed to say that my lesson plan book sometimes (and a few years ago - all the time) entailed only a few words about the overall concept i was teaching that day. ( ie. Parts of the atoms, Drawing Bohr models, Periodic table trends) The last couple of years I started using this lesson plan template and it really changed my whole approach to each lesson. What was I doing that day? What were my students doing? What questions was I going to ask? What TEK specifically was I teaching? What warm up? What exit ticket?etc...) I believe that now we have everything we need to guide us during common planning so we can be as effective as possible in the classroom.

Yep, this...

Common planning = intentional collaboration using the districts new Lesson Design focus (4 design areas) + our PLC focus (4 core questions) + our curriculum pacing guides.

I know this is wordy, sorry about that! I promise next week i will plunge into lots of links for cool stuff you can use in the classroom. :)

Have a fantastic weekend!!



Google Docs are a great collaboration piece to use in your PLC. (They are pretty much great for everything - just sayin'!

Any other technology you want to add? Put it in the comments!


This is collaboration...

Silentó - Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) (Official)

This is not...

Pee wee football players ‘Whip/Nae Nae,’ forget they are in middle of game

Just for fun...

We Are Your PLC