Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Data Driven PLCs- Cyber Observing Excellence in Action

Do you ever wish you could be a fly on the wall of another PLC's meeting? We know the value of observing in classrooms, but have we ever considered the value of observing another dynamic and effective PLC in action? 
Knowing that it's impossible to be in two places at once, I'll try to offer a window in to other PLCs at Buckner. 

Here's this week's highlights: 

Wow! Check out some of your colleagues data driven PLC minutes. I know that many of you don't get the opportunity to see these gems, but they really are worth checking out. The collaboration opportunities are many.
Some snippets from the 2nd grade PLC minutes. 

Instructional/Behavior Strategies and Celebrations:
  •     As a team we celebrated our narrative writing. In our ELA unit 5, the kids were just to get their feet wet with narrative writing. The past couple of years we have reflected and revised, but haven’t been happy with the outcomes. This year at extended planning we totally revamped this mini-unit. We began with what the students know about all great writing and then did a few days of reading like writers to notice similarities and differences between narrative writing and other types of writing we have done over the course of this year. We spent a day writing our beginning, middle and endings taken from a seed planted earlier in the year or a new moment. After that, we spent 4-5 days zooming in on one craft of narrative writing and trying it out in their current “piece”. The last few days of the mini-unit were revising/editing and publishing. For the amount of time spent on the min-unit, we were pretty impressed with the writing produced compared to previous years. We feel that we were successful with frontloading for the upcoming full blown unit on narrative, in unit 6.

·      Analysis of our March Reading Common Assessment and Math Common Assessments.
-    Reading Celebrations/Noticings: 
  • -100% of our 2nd graders were able to identify the main idea from the non-fiction text. In October and November a funnel graphic organizer, along with non-fiction texts to funnel out the important details and synthesize the main idea based on important details. Throughout the year, we have embedded main idea as we have read aloud non-fiction texts and when students have written non-fiction pieces.
    -97% of our 2nd graders answered the determining importance question correctly. Again, in reading, writing, math and science/social studies we have determined importance. It has become almost second nature to our kids to think about what is most important. 
Math Common Assessment:
We celebrated that 98% of our students answered the value and expanded form questions correctly. We used place value concepts to introduce our math workshop at the beginning of the year and then came back to review during our Unit 5. We were impressed with the amount the students retained. We attribute these successes to our intentional use of place value vocabulary throughout all of our units.
-93% of our students answered the telling time and AM/PM questions correctly. We just finished our unit on time so it was exciting to see that the students understand how to tell time to the nearest 5 minutes. 

Technology and Next Steps:

We made a few revisions to our ELA plans. We are currently studying opinion writing. We decided to move our book trailers that we typically do at the end of the year to now. We are having the students share their strong opinions on the best book they have either personally read this year or that we have read as a class (model texts, read alouds, book clubs, ECT). The plan is to have the students create a list of their favorite books, determine what was most important from the books and why in their opinion they are the BEST books. Then, the student’s will work in a small group to write a script, create a storyboard and publish a book trailer using iMovie to share with the school their opinion on the best book and try to hook their audience (the school) into reading this book in their classes, over the summer or as one of their books in their smart stack. We plan to work on our book trailers the week before spring break and wrap up the first few days back from break. 

Buzzz! Did you feel like you were there? This is just one peek inside a single BES PLC. More to come!

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