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Building on the Collaborative Foundation - FUSD

Page history last edited by Bill 5 years, 4 months ago

Building on the Collaborative Foundation - Fremont Unified School District


Direct link to these resources:  http://bit.ly/FUSDoct2015


Backchannel for today's session:  https://todaysmeet.com/FUSDoct2015 


No opportunity has changed full-time classroom teacher Bill Ferriter more than having the chance to work collaboratively in a professional learning community.  Once skeptical about his future in the profession, Bill was revitalized by the professional energy that studying collaboratively with peers reintroduced to his work.  Not only did he enjoy teaching again, he saw dramatic improvement in his practice -- and in the learning of the students in the sixth grade classrooms on his hallway.  


The work hasn't always been easy, though -- and along the way, Bill has learned a TON of valuable lessons about the structures that can help professional learning teams to get off on the right collaborative foot.  This page houses materials for a 1.5 day workshop designed to introduce the teacher liaisons and instructional coaches to a few of those first-hand lessons.  




Handouts for Today's Session

Handouts - PDF


Today's workshop is designed to introduce teams to a series of tools and templates that can help to structure the collaborative work of learning teams.  As a result, it is ESSENTIAL that all participants have access to the tools and templates that we will be exploring together.  All of those tools and templates are organized in the PDF linked above.  Please consider printing a hard copy and bringing it with you to our training session on October 12th and 13th.  



Slides for this Workshop

Slides - PDF

Slides - PPT


While session presenter Bill Ferriter doesn't spend a ton of time marching through slides during his presentations, he does have a collection of slides for today that participants might find useful as organizing tools and/or reminders about the content covered.  You can download them as a PDF or a PPT by selecting the appropriate link above.  



Essential Resources for this Workshop


While participants are likely to find all of the content shared in this workshop to be worthwhile, having direct access to the following documents will be essential.  


PLC Unit Overview Sheet - A document that session presenter Bill Ferriter will use to model the role that unit overview sheets can play in classroom instruction.


Sample Unit Overview Sheets:  The following links connect to sample unit overview sheets developed by teams and teachers across grade levels and subject areas.  These samples can serve as starting points for teachers thinking about using unit overview sheets to guide the work of their learning teams.  Special thanks to Flynn Elementary School in Burlington, Vermont for sharing their unit overview sheets as references for other elementary school teachers.


Ecosystems Unit Overview Sheet 

Revised Ecosystems Unit Overview Sheet 

Atoms Unit Overview Sheet

Samples of Elementary Unit Overview Sheets

Sample of Completed Unit Overview Sheet



Workshop Overview


This workshop will be broken into six sessions.  Each of those objectives is described in detail below.  


Session 1: Back to the Basics


The first step to convincing teachers that professional learning communities are worth embracing is having a clear sense for just what a PLC is and how a PLC works within a school community.  In this portion of the workshop, participants will review the fundamental tenets of the professional learning community model and will learn how to communicate those fundamental tenets to the classroom teachers that they are charged with supporting.


Activity 1: Rick DuFour on Groups v. Teams


One of the first steps towards developing highly-functioning learning teams is for teachers to understand the differences between Collaboration RIGHT and Collaboration LITE.  After hearing the stories of two different learning teams, watching professional learning community expert Rick DuFour describe the differences between groups and teams, and exploring a Learning by Doing rubric detailing the characteristics of highly-collaborative teams, participants will use this handout to reflect on the developmental status of their current team. 





Session 2:  Why are Unit Overview Sheets Worthwhile?


No single tool has influenced the practice of session presenter Bill Ferriter or his learning teams than unit overview sheets.  In this portion of the workshop, participants will (1). discuss the impact that a guaranteed and viable curriculum can have on student learning in a professional learning community and (2). reflect on the role that unit overview sheets can play in guiding the early work of PLCs.  



Session 3:  Introducing Teachers and Teams to Unit Overview Sheets as a Collaborative Starting Point


Developing unit overview sheets is an approachable process that can be taught to learning teams in a series of simple steps.  In this portion of the workshop, participants will (1). practice a process for deconstructing standards and identifying essential learning targets, (2). review a process for writing essential outcomes in student friendly language and (3). decide on a format for sharing essential learning targets with parents, students and other teachers.  


Click here for materials that can be used to introduce teachers to unit overview sheets through a process called The Eighty Minute Challenge.



Session 4:  Using Unit Overview Sheets to Encourage Student Involved Assessment


While developing unit overview sheets can provide much-needed guidance and structure to the work of professional learning teams, developing unit overview sheets can also hvae a direct impact on the quality of instruction happening inside of classrooms.  In this portion of the workshop, participants will (1). explore the research around student involved assessment and (2). think through the role that unit overview sheets can play in making student involved assessment a more regular part of the learning happening inside their buildings.  


Learning About Grading from the Baljeetles




Learning about Feedback from Bushkrafft





Additional Tools for Facilitating Student Involved Assessment


Student Data Tracking Tools

Sample 1

Sample 2

Sample 3


Oftentimes, we forget that formative assessment isn't JUST about getting information that teachers can act on.  Formative assessment information can be just as valuable to students, who can develop a more sophisticated sense of what they have mastered and what they are still struggling to master.  To make this work more doable, North Carolina first grade teacher Andrea Knight developed a series of graphing templates for her students to complete as a part of their data notebooks.  Samples of three of those templates are linked above.  You can read more about Ms. Knight's process here on her blog.  You can purchase her templateshere on her Teachers Pay Teachers page.


Using Exemplars to Grade Subjective Tasks

Metaphorical Thinking Rubric

Metaphorical Thinking Exemplars

Metaphorical Rating Activity


To help students master the skills of assessing their own progress towards mastering subjective tasks, it is often necessary to provide them with exemplars representing different levels of performance.  Doing so helps students to recognize their own level of performance on tasks that they may not be familiar with.  These materials represent session presenter Bill Ferriter's efforts to make sets of expectations for a subjective task explicit for his students.  Would developing similar materials be a productive task for learning teams to tackle?




Session 5:  Five Tips for Integrating Unit Overview Sheets into the Work of Your School


No single practice is more important for improving the early work of PLCs than the development of unit overview sheets.  That means it is ESSENTIAL that coaches, principals and teacher liasions understand their role in supporting teams as they develop unit overview sheets.  In this portion of the workshop, participants will be introduced to a series of five tips that can guide their work while pushing the notion of unit overview sheets forward in their buildings.




Session 6: Simple Tips for Making Common Formative Assessment Doable


Once learning teams have developed unit overview sheets to use to guide their instruction and planning, they are ready to move on to question 2 of a professional learning community:  How will we know that our students are learning.  That requires teams to begin tracking progress by both student and standard.  Some of the following tools and protocols may help to make that work more doable. 





Mastery Connect -  Tool for delivering traditional assessments and tracking progress by student and by standard. 

Socrative - Tool for collecting all kinds of information during the course of regular instruction.  

Plickers - Tool that makes collecting information during the course of regular instruction doable in classrooms with limited access to technology.

Class Dojo - Tool originally designed for classroom management, but that can be easily tailored for recording observations of student performance as well.



Once your learning team has collected information on student performance, it is time to begin having conversations about what that information means.  Taking action on information is the essential next step after a formative assessment has been given.  The following tools and templates may help to structure learning team conversations around data -- a critical step towards making learning about learning safe for everyone. 


Data Meeting Plan and Data Meeting Protocol - One of session presenter Bill Ferriter's favorite resources on common formative assessment is Common Formative Assessment - A Toolkit for Professional Learning Communities written by assessment experts Kim Bailey and Chris Jakicic.  In the text, Bailey and Jakicic share tons of resources, including the Data Meeting Plan and Data Meeting Protocol linked above.  Both tools are direct, simply structured, and easy to follow -- making data meetings approchable for every learning team.  



Session 7:  Working on Sample Templates to Share with Your Teams


The greatest takeway from this two-day workshop will be samples of unit overview sheets that can be used to guide the early work of learning teams.  In this portion of the workshop, participants will (1). review the sample unit overview sheets shared by session presenter Bill Ferriter, (2). decide on -- or create -- a template to pitch to teachers back in their buildings and (3). develop a few samples to use in the work that they are doing back in their buildings.





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