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Why This, Why Now, Why Bother

Page history last edited by Bill 8 years, 8 months ago

Why This?  Why Now? Why Bother?!


Direct link to these materials:  http://bit.ly/BSDJan2015WhyBother 


As a glass half-empty kind of guy, session presenter and full time classroom teacher Bill Ferriter has often struggled to embrace the change initiatives introduced to his school during the course of his 20 year teaching career.  The simple truth is that far too many of those initiatives were poorly thought out and made little real change for the students or the teachers of his schools.  But PLCs are different.  They are a change initiative that any teacher should get behind.  


In this presentation, Bill will detail the reasons that teachers should believe in PLCs; discuss some of the common reasons that teachers struggle to believe in PLCs; and help learning teams to identify steps that they can take together to make PLCs a productive experience.  



Session Handouts

Session Handouts - PDF

Session Handouts - DOC


This link connects to a PDF version of every handout that participants will explore during this workshop.  It is HIGHLY recommended that participants print a hard-copy of this file out to use during our time together.  While every handout is posted electronically in this session wiki, navigating the hard-copy can be easier than navigating the wiki for many participants.


*Note: Session presenter Bill Ferriter has converted the complete session handouts into a Word Doc to make it easier for participants to edit files as needed.  Be aware, however, that converting from PDF to DOC is not a perfect process.  Some files may need some formatting before they are usable. 



Session Slides

Session Slides - PDF


This link connects to a PDF version of the slides for today's session.  Participants who enjoy following along with the slides during a presentation may want to keep this file open on their desktop during today's workshop.



State of Your Learning Team Survey

Handout - State of Your Learning Team


One of the first steps that teachers can take to move their learning teams forward is spending time reflecting on the kinds of collaborative behaviors that they have already mastered and the kinds of collaborative behaviors that might make for logical next steps.  This survey can be used to spark that reflection.  



Eighty Minute Challenge


Often, teams and teachers struggle to make progress together simply because they are overwhelmed by everything that professional learning communities are expected to do. Knowing that PLTs are supposed to identify essential outcomes, develop and deliver shared assessments, intervene on behalf of struggling students, provide enrichment for students that are thriving in your classrooms, and amplify instructional practices that are working can leave teachers exhausted before they ever begin to work together.  


So keep things simple:  Start your collaborative work by developing ONE unit overview sheet during the course of ONE collaborative meeting.  Doing so will provide you with a tangible product that you can use in your work.  More importantly, doing so will provide you with one tangible product that you can use to move your team forward into ever more responsible and complex collaborative behaviors.  


Here's how:


Step 1:  Use the Identifying Essential Learning Targets handout to identify 5-8 essential outcomes for an upcoming unit of study.  


(Estimated Time Commitment: 40 minutes).


Step 2:  Use the Converting Learning Targets into I Can Statements handout to rewrite your identified essential outcomes in student friendly language.  


(Estimated Time Commitment: 10 minutes).


Step 3:  Develop a Student Unit Overview Sheet that can be used to communicate essential objectives and student progress to parents and students.  Use this K-2 Unit Overview Sheet, the 4-6 Unit Overview Sheet or the Grade 8 Unit Overview sheet as models/templates for your work.  


(Estimated Time Commitment: 30 minutes).





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