PLC-F Agenda: Oct. 13, 2011

  1. SMART goal bright spots.
    a.  What and where are our strengths?
    b.  How can we focus on strengths?
    c.  How can we make more of the strengths?
    d.   How can we obsess about the things that are going well and do more?
  2. Game Plan development – Planning our next steps.
    a.  Plan with a focus on spending time in the bright spots.
    b.  Plan how can we “get a little lost” and try to “play each others’ instruments.” [see Oct. 6 PLC-F agenda][How are you keeping your own PLC focused on their team’s SMART goal and the Game Plan to get there?]

About Jill Gough

Learner, Love Questions, Problem-finding, Math w/technology. Interests: Collaborating, PLC, Formative assmt
This entry was posted in Agendas PLC-F 11-12, Discussions PLC-F 11-12 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to PLC-F Agenda: Oct. 13, 2011

  1. professeurb2 says:

    I am having issues typing on the Google doc, so I’d like to propose some action steps for our PLC-F team SMART goal based on what we have been doing in the Language PLC:

    1. Focus on a PBL bright spot and have team members present (in our case: Zeke and Estefania QR code project).
    2. Brainstorm other projects of a similar nature/using a similar technology on Google docs:
    3. Watch videos from Bo’s PBL-CBL Keynote from Faculty Forum (slides 3 and 4); have group backchannel on Today’s Meet while watching videos:
    4. Debrief activity #3; define PBL (
    5. Look at PBL examples online. Are they really PBL? What does/doesn’t make them PBL?
    6. Find PBL ideas online specific to discipline. Best site I’ve found: (but there are not a lot of good examples out there for language or incorporating language)
    7. Return to QR code Google doc (#2 above). Which ones are really PBL?
    8. Develop one PBL idea in #7
    9. Lesson study
    10. Instructional rounds

    • wmshistory says:

      We’ve had some conversation in our Diversity Committee about how to be more inclusive to the Latin American community at Westminster. I wonder if there is some PBL possibility here…Who is a part of this community? What are their concerns? Do they feel valued and included and visible here? How do we celebrate their culture beyond food and dance?

  2. tsadtler says:

    The language PLC has gotten started on a conversation regarding PBL by looking at Zeke and Estefanía’s QR code project. After they described the project we did a brainstorming session to think of other ways in which we could use QR codes. While building the Google Doc, Sophie suggested that some of our ideas did not involve a “real audience.” This will be our starting point to talk about what is and is not PBL. By the end of this week or middle of next week, the entire PLC will be able to differentiate between “class projects” and PBL.

    Kristen, do we have an expectation as to when our adult learners will have selected a common QR code-based project-based learning project? That was fun to say…

  3. boadams1 says:

    Bright Spots:

    1. We have a slide deck resource from which we can “jump off.” The PBL-DBL-CBL Keynote made for JH faculty at least gives us a place to start with some research from BIE, Edutopia, TED, etc.

    2. Several of the PLCs have examples, case studies if you will, of PBL. We can study these, as if we were at HBS for PBL, for deeper understanding of PBL and heightened PBL literacy. Additionally, we could assist our teammates in workshopping actual PBL practices to make them better…LESSON STUDY! I think of the Algebra I Age Estimation and Phases of the Moon, Language’s QR codes, Science’s parachute drop, the video-storm that Jill and I made to provoke Kindezi’s possible whole-school PBL, etc.

    3. Kristen’s suggestions from yesterday – in another comment here – are a bright spot. A plan emergeth!

  4. Sam Gough says:

    a. What and where are our strengths?
    In the PLC-F, our strengths are our diversity and the belief by all that what we are doing will enhance student learning. All of us are generally positive about our mission and are willing to take risks to meet our goals.
    In my PLC, I think the strength is that more members see the power in what we are doing and want to make PBL/CBL part of the mathematics curriculum
    b. How can we focus on strengths?
    This is a challenge because I keep hearing that I cannot leave anyone behind and so we do focus on the weaknesses to keep all in the fold.
    c. How can we make more of the strengths?
    For my PLC, I probably need to have more that just facilitators leading discussions. Showing multiple views of an area of discussion will focus on the positives and hopefully help those struggling to “see the light”
    d. How can we obsess about the things that are going well and do more?
    Keep stating the things that are going well. But again human nature is to “let off steam” about things that are going poorly. We should stem that talk and turn it into what is going well. Many meetings in general start with “So, what problems do we have?” We do that in class as well.

  5. professeurb2 says:

    My mind is going kind of blank this morning. I guess the one thing that stands out to me was a comment that Sophie made when we were trying to come up with ideas for using the QR codes. As we were brainstorming ideas individually and collectively, she pointed out that what was necessary was an audience, and she may have even used the word “authentic” (at least that’s what I was thinking when she talked about it). That is what I am trying to focus on most as we move forward with our PBL goal. I think we as language teachers already do a lot of pseudo-PBL work (if you can call it that) in the form of performance-based assessments, but what is most lacking but what perhaps is also most crucial is the idea of an authentic audience. So Sophie’s grand pronouncement was a major bright spot for me because that is what we will keep in mind as we move forward.

    • tsadtler says:

      In addition to the audience missing, I get the sense that we are also missing the “pressing need.” We’ve cut down on long-winded justifications for our PBAs, but the “why” still seems inauthentic.

  6. jplgough says:

    Our strengths:
    – Algebra I team integrating pbl as a team, debriefing and refining lessons
    – Writing Workshop Environmental Writing Blog
    – 8th Math/Sci team building a lesson together
    – More collaboratively built assessments in 4th Period Math/Sci
    – More 4th Period Math/Sci teams analyzing student results
    – HIstory & Math 7 working to connect learning

    Ways to Focus on these Strengths
    – JH Faculty meeting bright spot stories
    – Sharing and modeling in PLC
    – Cross-pollinate PLC work – have guest speakers for show and share
    – Peer Observations/Instructional Rounds for PLC-F

    Make more of these – Obsess over these
    – Tell these stories in different ways – multiple representations
    – Model willingness to DO something (perhaps) different

  7. wmshistory says:

    Bright spots in History PLC related to our PLC-F SMART goal…Our increased focus and attention to PBL (not that we are actually using that term in the group) has been a huge step for us. This year when the World Cultures teachers met with the Science 6 teachers was the first time we have ever met with another department as a group and collaborated on a project or idea! PLC work and PBL work seems much easier and more natural in this group of teachers than in US History.
    In US History, we were much more agreeable about a how to implement the plagiarism project with Kathy after somewhat of a blowup last year. That is progress toward PBL!

    How can we focus on our strengths? For me, it’s probably just a shifted mindset. Instead of coming away from a meeting frustrated with what went wrong, why not think first about what went well? The dude in the video is right–it is so much easier to obsess over what went wrong. And while I don’t think it’s healthy to obsess over anything, I think it could be beneficial for Fred and I to debrief our meetings by starting with what is going well.

    Moving forward, it seems that the World Cultures PLT is excited about the prospects of working interdisciplinarily (is that a word?) toward deeper student understanding and engagement in climate and geography. I think the coolest moment of our meeting was when we realized our classes were asking the same essential question.
    Science: How does climate affect life? WC: How does geography affect culture? How cool is that?

    • tsadtler says:

      My Spanish 5 is finishing a project now that will lead in the second semester to how geography and climate affect import/export decisions and migration. Can we come over to play, too?

  8. Mecia Israel says:

    4th Period Bright Spot: Our team feels growing pains! Dana, 7th G Science, merges into our team fittings in vertically with the 8th G science team and horizontally with the 7th G Math team. For the second week, we have identified ways to cross the curricula and momentum is increasing. It’s a great feeling to work with a team so dedicated to the mission of our school. My “bright”est spot is the many, many opportunities to grow this semester: problem based learning, lesson studies, technology, common assessments, analyzing student work, etc.

  9. Fred Young says:

    A recent strength/bright spot in our PLC was Angela’s taxation activity in which she distributed 10 pennies (or was it more than that?) to her students and had them pay a portion to the Parliament and to the King. The response of her students was lively, to put it mildly. I think this was a breakthrough for Angela in collaboration with the group. It went beyond the easy to do “Now let me show and tell what I do in my class.” She was, in my view, buying in to the PLC at a deeper level than she had to this point. And of course this taxation project was a great use of numeracy in teaching history.

  10. Pingback: PLC-F Agenda: Oct. 20, 2011 | PLC-Facilitators: Learning is the Focus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s