PLC Very Final Presentation

Professional Learning Communities
What are the BIG ideas
in a PLC?
Collective Inquiry
How do we embed PLCs in an already
crowded field of expectations?
The Driving Force
• The driving force behind PLC’s should be
student achievement
– If PLC’s are not focused on the students, they will
not continue over time.
– Whatever you do and how you do it, if you
connect it to something specific about student
achievement, it is more powerful.
– It is not about the entire school. Look at the
individual faces.
Rick Dufour – Why PLCs? Why now?
A PLC is an environment of capacity building that goes beyond
simply attending professional development workshops. A PLC
incorporates the a daily habit of working together in
collaborative teams to achieve shared SMART goals, analyzing
student results, and using those results to revamp
instructional practices.
Leave Me Alone…
The “Mythological” Heroic Teacher
Critical Questions
PLC Focus on the Critical
Questions of Learning
1. What do we expect
them to learn?
2. How will we know when
they have learned it?
3. How will we respond
when they don’t?
4. How will they respond
when they already know
Team reflections:
What did we notice
about the student’s
response to today’s
lesson in math?
Team talk and
analysis time are
embedded in every
successful PLC
Group think time:
After looking at our
MAP scores for our
lower SES students,
what trends do you see
and what should be our
One third of the class
could not identify the
main idea. Which one
of my team members
can best assist me to
overcome this gap?
After every conversation, the team should leave with strategies and a plan of where
to go next. After the plan is completed, the teams check data to determine if the
goal was reached as well as what was successful and what was not.
“Mirror checks” hold
PLC’s accountable and
reflect the stated
Learning focused
Shared planning times critically affect the organization of a PLC.
Team focused on the critical questions of what will we learn, how to
measure what is taught, how to revise instruction when targets are not met
& what to do we extend learning when the target is reached.
Expectations are explicit.
Solid team norms established as tight agreements.
SMART goals are developed and always incorporated into analyses.
Frequent access to relevant data.
Questions Regarding
Collaborative Teams
How should they be organized?
What about the singletons? Small schools?
How do we find time to collaborate?
How do we make sure teachers use the time
well? How can we help teams establish effective
team processes?
• How do we know if any of this is making a
• What is the best single strategy for moving
Team Norms
• Establish Team Norms to Guide Collaboration
• Each team establishes its own norms.
• Norms are stated as commitments to act or behave in
certain ways.
• Norms are reviewed at the beginning and end of each
meeting until they are internalized.
• One norm requires teams to assess its effectiveness every 6
months. This assessment should include review of
adherence to norms and the need to identify new norms.
• Less is more. A few key norms are better than a laundry
list. “God only needed ten to guide life. We can have less.”
• Establish a process for addressing violations of norms.
Video link to a PLC conversation
among a group or duo of practicing
My experience with PLCs so far…
passion for
Student success..
experts/ building
Student focused
Student intervention meetings
Grade Level Team meetings
Vertical Teams
Team Leader meetings
PLCs focus on areas for specific
student achievement rather
than a one size fits all program.
What will you do next?
STAAR manual
Purchase orders
Cyber bullying SPED allocation
Data supports that very few (only 1/9
attendees) will use the information provided
in a workshop as intended. We all know why.
Planting the Tree
Administrative reflections:
>18 students (30%) performed below level in
either reading (PP1) &/or math in September
>20% of the students have special education IEPs
>LOW PES scores for 2 prior years in 2nd grade
>Change of team leadership 2011-12
Students will develop number sense as evidenced by using number lines, touch
points or memory retrieval to solve math problems rather than using finger
Students will read at or above the 2/1 reading level as evidenced by monitoring and
self correcting errors detected at the teacher table at a 90% accuracy rate. The 100
basic sight word vocabulary will be a resource for self correction and detecting
>teacher table for all of the lower reading & math groups 4/5 school days
>texts/lessons chosen strategically & with advice from campus instructional specialist
>embed 2 hours/ week where SMART goals are
discussed and monitored
Mirror Check:
>Did we reflect and then discuss how the week’s lessons developed?
>What changes in number sense and reading levels were observed?
>Which types of lessons were most successful? Why?
Mirror Check Your SAS Demographic Summary
What do you immediately notice about the data?
What are your top 2 concerns about student achievement in this group?
What are formative and summative assessments telling you about the rate of
expected improvement vs. the rate of actual improvement?
The Pathway to PLCs
PLC Game Reflections
• What did you notice about the “miss turn”
spaces and/or the “lose a turn” cards in
relation to DuFour’s PLC process?
• How do you see about DuFour’s PLC process
being implemented in the “roll again” and
“move forward” chance cards.
How Will You Use PLCs?
• The beauty is, it is up to you!
• Differentiation works, so why not practice the
expectations we have for our own teachers?
Differentiated PLCs, driven by highly
motivated staff members with a common goal
to increase student learning. Interesting
idea… Sounds like a great way to explore
Just The Facts, Ma’am…..
• Raised academic standards with more rigor and
cognitive demands – NCLB, College and Career
Readiness Standards, STAAR
• Continued gaps between minority and white
counterparts (graduation rates, test scores and
advanced proficiency)
• Increase in eligible free and reduced lunch
students – “are roughly two years of learning
behind the average better off student of the
same age” (DuFour and Marzano, 2011).
To Top It Off
• Public schools are being asked to do more
with less for an increasingly more needy
– Larry Lezotte
“If you always do what you
always did, you always get what
you always got”
The PLC Journey
• It is not…..
– A one-time event
– A program
– A once a week meeting
It is a process of continuous learning where collective
inquiry takes place and then there is a coming together
to share the data and strategies that produce high levels
of learning
• Shift the focus from teaching to learning
• Be involved in “Reflective Practice”
• Interventions can literally save a kid’s
life….focus on results, skill by skill
• In order for PLCs to be effective, we have to be
disciplined enough to look at EVERYTHING we
do through the lens of student achievement
Are You Willing To…
• Recognize the difference between a group and
a team?
– Build that collaborative team working
interdependently to be mutually accountable as
they look for evidence that what they are doing is
producing high levels of student learning
Are You Willing To….
• Restructure your teams in order to provide
them time to collaborate?
– Grade level teams
– Vertical teams
– Review use of staff meeting time
– Review use of PDH time
Are You Willing To…
• Ensure your teams are focusing on the right
– Be willing to examine the brutal question…..If I
teach it and they don’t learn it… it a deficiency
on the part of the child?
– Be willing to challenge the status quo of “This Is
the Way We Do Things Around Here”
– Be willing to reframe and say…I taught it, but he
didn’t learn it so what do I need to do to fix it?
Are You Willing To….
• Focus on the four critical questions:
– What is it we want our students to know?
– How will we know if they are learning?
– How will we respond when individual students do
not learn?
– How will we enrich and extend the learning for
students who are proficient?
Are You Willing To…
• Use existing resources, time, people, materials
and money to provide additional support for
ALL students to learn at higher levels than
ever before?
• Research says to have laser like focus on 6 or
fewer goals – limit the number of initiatives
undertaken (pg.40)
Are You Willing To….
• Monitor the work, providing direction and
• Celebrate the wins, while confronting those
who do not contribute?
Are You Willing To…
• As an administrator, do a mirror check too.
• Research supports “powerful school
leadership on the part of the principal has a
positive effect on student achievement” (DuFour
and Marzano, 2011, pg. 48) and the most powerful
strategy for having a positive impact on that
learning is to facilitate the learning of the
educators who serve those students through
the PLC process” (p. 63)
Are You Willing To?
• Do a mirror check?
If So,
• You are well on your way in your journey with
the PLC process.
District Support of the PLC Process
• Like campus groupings
– Collaborative, interdependent groups
– Created team norms
– Laser like focus on shared goals
– Susan Dantzler monitors the implementation
process as we produce artifacts to demonstrate
our team effectiveness
– Share out effective strategies and outcomes
As Leaders of Learning
• You must be the change you want to see in
the world.
– Mahatma Gandhi
Recommit to…
• Make Learning our Fundamental Purpose
• Build and Maintain a Collaborative Culture
Through High Performing Teams
• Focus on Results

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