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Professional Learning Community


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Professional Learning Community

  1. 1. “NONE OF US IS SMARTER THAN ALL OF US”ResourcesProfessional Learning Communities Team Guide. Increasing student learning throughcollaborative sharing. Northwest School Division. 2007, Steve and Harris, Karen. Improving the Writing Performance of Young Struggling Writers:Theoretical and Programmic Research from the Centre on Accelerating Student Learning.THE JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION VOL. 39/NO. 1/2005/PP. 19–33Vanderbilt University Learning Communities: An Exploration. InPraxis Group Inc. Alberta Education. 2006 (PLC Minutes) Date: November 20Introduction: 5 Minutes - Good morning and welcome to our first PLC meeting. We are here today to share ideas and set goals to improve our instruction as teachers in order to increase student success in our grade one classrooms. - We thank the grade five teacher, Mr. Ward for joining us today. Mr. Ward is looking to help support two students in his classroom who are at a grade one level in writing. - Thank you all for coming! - Why are we here? Why is this important? - Authentic interactions that include openly sharing failures and mistakes, demonstrating respect and constructively analyzing and criticizing practices and procedures characterize collegiality. Dr. Robert Marzano provides a research-based link between collaborative cultures and organizational climate, and school effectiveness and increased student achievement (3) - As educators it is important to be constantly finding new ways to improve our teaching practice. Through collaborating with one another we can learn better from our mistakes and move forward to work together to develop a better strategies for student success.Establishing a Team Norm: 5 Minutes (to create norms together)Mrs. Randell, Mrs. Jones, and Mr. Ward agree that: - We will meet every Wednesday after school for a 1 hour and a half to review and revise instructional practices. - Alternate leadership of PLC meeting. Our first facilitator will be Mrs. Randell today. - Discuss strategies to help students. - Collect and present various forms of student work to assess and analyze where areas of student improvement are most needed. - Collaboratively plan lessons for agreed upon skills that we need to further work on with our students. - We will address what skills we will discuss at future PLC meetings.Goals (2 minutes)
  2. 2. We have determined that students need greater support in order to enhance their writing skills. In order todo this, we need to start building a stronger foundation for their skills in punctuation.Learning Target: Our area of focus for this PLC meeting will be to improve student use of Capitals inwriting.Curriculum target (1 minute)3.4 use punctuation to help communicate their intended meaning, with a focus on the use of: a capitalletter at the beginning of a sentence; a period, question mark, or exclamation mark at the end.By the end of Grade One, students will: Use correctly the conventions specified for this grade.Research- Theory behind our goal (2 minutes)Research has shown us that writing is critical to school success. “It provides a flexible tool for gathering,remembering, and sharing subject-matter knowledge as well as an instrument for helping children explore, organize,and refine their ideas about a specific subject.” (Graham, S. and Harris, K. p. 19)CASL Study- Centre on Accelerated Student LearningShowed that students can improve in their writing when given explicit and systematic teaching instruction (Graham,S. and Harris, K. P. 19)National Commission on Writing (2003)“Cases of writing failure due to poor teaching can be minimized if these students experience effective writinginstruction right from the start.” (Graham, S. and Harris, K. P. 31)Time line for SMART (strategic and specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and time-bound) Goal:(2 min) - Percentage of grade one students scoring a level 3 or higher in teacher created writing assessment will increase from 65% to 80% by December 12.Research- Why are we doing this?: Problem Identified (8 min)Mrs. Jones shared that she did a mini-lesson on proper use of capital letters. After that, sometimes during bell work,students may have had a worksheet on capital letters. She has found this method to be unsuccessful. Student workrevealed that the majority of students were either not using capital letters properly, or they didn’t use them at all.Mrs. Randell felt that more support was needed for her grade one class to further understand capital letters. Shewanted to improve consistency in her students’ work. Their daily writing journals revealed that most of the studentsused capitals, however not consistently.Mr. Ward voiced his concern that his two students who are at a grade one level were not using capital lettersappropriately throughout their written work. Further support for his struggling students is needed.Research- Why are we doing this?: Data Collected and Review (15 minutes) - Prior to the first PLC meeting that was organized, Mrs. Randell, Mrs. Jones, and Mr. Ward agreed to collect student samples of work. - This was based on selected student writing samples and daily writing journals. - Mrs. Randell, Mrs. Jones and Mr. Ward examined various student pieces at different levels of achievement and discussed strengths and weaknesses. Observations made by PLC members: - Evidence in the samples showed that many students were omitting the use of capital letters to begin a sentence. A majority of students daily writing journals showed mostly lower case letters. - It was agreed upon by all 3 teachers that students did not understand when it was appropriate to add capital letters to certain words (i.e. names of people) - Major Issue: Consistency. In all 3 classes, students need to work on consistently using capital letters in the appropriate places. Result:
  3. 3. - It has become evident upon the review of this data that students in these classes need more instruction on Capital letters.Skills and knowledge students will need in order to achieve this target (3 min)Progression of Learning: 1.) Students should be able to write a complete sentence. 2.) Students understand that there is a beginning to every sentence. 3.) Students can identify capital letters that are in a text. 4.) Students understand that capital letters are used for a specific purpose in the text. (I.e. beginning of a sentence, names of people, named of Places...etc.) 5.) Students begin to use capital letters correctly in their own writing.Ways to modify teaching to become more effective (New Teaching Strategies): (10 min) - Re-teaching of concept: Capitals - Interactive- use SmartBoard - Visual- Create a visual of appropriate uses of capital letters to be hung on the wall. This can provide extra support to students who need it. “Capital Reference Guide” (Appendix A) - Differentiated Instruction- providing different ways of getting through to students. - Gradual Release of Responsibility (Demonstrate expectations for students. Think aloud while modelling. Show them exactly how it should be done. Then, do the same task, but guide students. Have them input ideas. Get students to complete work independently.) - When students are working in their daily writing journals, take the time to conference with students. Go through journal and point out strengths in students writing and develop individual goals with them to improve.Collaborative Lesson (to be practiced by PLC members before next meeting) (23 min) - Check to see if students understand the learning target. What are we learning today? Why is it important? - Increase student understanding: have students talk about the learning target. - Ask if anyone knows what a capital letter is. Get a student to go to the SmartBoard to provide an example of what a capital letter looks like compared to a lower case letter. - On SmartBoard, write down the letters of the alphabet in lower case letters. Have students copy it and tell them to write the correct capital letter that goes underneath each lower case letter. (walk around the room to monitor and assist any students) - Ask if anyone knows when we use capital letters in writing (potential student responses: to begin a sentence, a person’s name, days of the week, the name of a place, holidays...) - On SmartBoard, model writing a sentence that needs capital letters. Make sure to think aloud to show students your thought process. (do a few examples of capital letters that are needed at different parts throughout the sentence) - Ask students to think of a few sentences. Write their ideas on the SmartBoard using only lower case letters. Have student volunteers come up and circle the letters that should be capitalized. - Hand out worksheets on capital letters (appendix B). Have students work independently. - Take this opportunity to quickly walk around the class to make sure everyone is getting started. - Pull a few students who need additional support and work with them at the back of the class.Method to assess student learning: (5 min) - To be done the following day after re-teaching the lesson on capitals. - Put up a short paragraph on the SmartBoard that has no capitals. (Appendix C) - Have students re-write and correct the paragraph using capitals in the proper places. - Have students submit journals upon completion. - Students will be given a mark based on the number of capitals there were in the paragraph. (Appendix D) - This assessment will be collected for analyzing at next PLC meeting to check for overall improvement.How We Provide Additional Support (2 min)
  4. 4. - Provide a copy of the short paragraph for students who need limited additional support. Have them circle where capitals should be. Provide a mini copy of the “Capital Reference Guide” for these students to have at their desk with them to refer to. - I.E.P- for those students who need a lot of support, give them the short paragraph with the capitals already put in them. Ask them to highlight all the capitals. - Sentence strip- another idea is to provide students with sentence strips. Have sentences that use proper capitals and sentences that don’t use capitals at all. Have students match up the same sentence that has capitals with the one that doesn’t.Academic Extensions for those students who understand learning target.(2 min) - Challenge students who are properly using capital letters in their writing. - Have them make a list of things they can see around the classroom that need a capital letter at the beginning when you write them down. Have them refer to a dictionary if they are unsure of spelling.Next Steps for continued learning (5 min) - Capitals and Periods - Student editing: Green means go, red means stop Activity - Students are given a paragraph. Read and circle all beginnings and anything that needs a capital letter with a green pencil crayon- this means GO! The sentence is starting. Read it again. Take a red pencil crayon and underline where periods should be- this means STOP! The sentence is ending.Appendix ACapitals are used for names of people and places. EXAMPLE: Tony took Mary to NewYork.A: INSTRUCTIONS: Circle the word that needs a capital letter. Hint: there are 15. 1. did you know that george visited the grand canyon? 2. she rode on a boat on the grand river. 3. do you like going to disneyland? 4. he is from brantford, ontario. 5. molly loves the toronto zoo.B: INSTRUCTIONS: Write the sentences with the correct capitalization. Hint: There are 16. 1. i want to visit china. 2. she loves burger king. 3. the children’s museum is fun. 4. do you enjoy african lion safari? 5. you and steve both like harry potter.Whenever you refer to yourself, you use the letter “I” and it is always capitalized. Days andmonths are always capitalized. Titles of movies, books, and television shows are alsocapitalized. Usually, you do not capitalize small words in titles, like a, an, and, or the.EXAMPLE: On Tuesday, I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  5. 5. C. INSTRUCTIONS: Put an X next to the sentence that does not have the correct capitalization. 1. _____ Last week, i watched Spongebob. 2. _____ Do you like Where the Wild Things Are? 3. _____ Every friday, we get pizza. 4. _____ my favorite month is july. 5. _____ Susan loves to swim on saturday. 6. _____ She and I went to see Avatar. 7. _____ School starts in August. 8. _____ henry hates watching sesame Street. 9. _____ Ice cream is my favorite Food. 10. ____ How is the Weather outside?Appendix C INSTRUCTIONS: In the following paragraph, circle the words that should be capitalized. Thereare 25.there are so many things i love to do. i love going to the movie theater called galaxy cinema. myfriend sam went with me last sunday. we watched toy story. then i took him to kentucky friedchicken. in december, i love to ice skate at glacier park. mostly, i like to play mario brothers.Appendix DRubric- Use of the capitalization in short paragraphLevel 4: Demonstrates exceptionally strong control of the standard writing convention-CAPITALIZATION. No errors present.Level 3: Demonstrates strong control of the standard writing convention- CAPITALIZATION.Errors are so minor that they do not impede readability. 5 or few errors.Level 2: Demonstrates little control of the standard writing convention- CAPITALIZATION.Errors are numerous. 12 or few errors.Level 1: Demonstrates very little skill of the standard writing convention- CAPITALIZATION.Errors are so frequent that they impede readability. 13 or more errors.