PLC-F Agenda: Oct. 20, 2011

1. Intervention – Case Studies [Pair up. Two pairs work on a single case study, but not together. Take 10 minutes (max) to discuss and devise a game plan for addressing the issue presented. Write your proposed intervention in the comment field. Then, we will discuss.]

a. What if…

a member of your PLC misses a team meeting? The member received a course transition so they have 4 student classes and a PLC instead of 5 student classes. You ask where she was, and she says, “I had a lot of work to do.” Or, she replies, “Oh, I scheduled my dentist appointment during PLC so it would not interfere with my classes.” What do you do? What if it happens again?

b. What if…

a member of your PLC seems to ask questions and make comments simply to “eat time” from other PLC work? He seems to argue with every point. What you hoped the team would accomplish becomes more challenging because of the “problems posed” from this member, rather than everyone being “solution-minded.” What do you do?

c. What if…

the work load is not shared equally?  You observe members of your PLC working in isolation in a group.  You observe members of your PLC acting as spectators in the team’s work and learning rather than as active participants.  What do you do?

d. What if…

your PLC seems to “coblabberate” a lot? The discussion is RICH and INTERESTING! It’s like grad school all over again. You are creating great cognitive dissonance along the lines of “I used to think, but now I know.” However, after the meetings, you learn that people are doing a lot of work on consequential action steps because they realized from the discussions that they could/should be doing things differently. So…PLC seems to be adding work instead of facilitating collaborative work. What do you do?

e. What if…

your team submitted a team SMART goal, but “Tony” is not doing something that is clearly detailed in the action steps…like archiving student data in a team spreadsheet? This inaction is keeping the team from performing the “bread and butta” of PLC work – analyzing student work to inform enhanced teaching and learning. What do you do?

2. Challenge: Brainstorming and building a bank of possible PBL ideas. AND enhancing our “PBL literacy.” [see #2-4 on professeurb2’s comments from last weeks agenda]


About Jill Gough

Learner, Love Questions, Problem-finding, Math w/technology. Interests: Collaborating, PLC, Formative assmt
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9 Responses to PLC-F Agenda: Oct. 20, 2011

  1. boadams1 says:

    Case Study D – Quick Write as Individual:
    Perhaps I (as facilitator) would first use an assessment so that members could provide feedback relatively anonymously. Perhaps a Google form, Poll Ev, or Survey Monkey. Take a “temperature” about how people are feeling about the discussion vs. work balance. Maybe a question about perceived time spent adjusting plans – outside of PLC – because of a discussion in PLC. Maybe a prompt that “allowed permission” for us to use PLC time to actually get work done so that when we walk out the door, people say, “Wow, we got a lot done. I feel very prepared for the next week.”

    If the assessment proved unhelpful, then I might try a more formal agenda of team meeting activity. I might become more directive in the short term to recalibrate the team about us being here to analyze student work to filter what students should learn, how we will know if they are learning, and what we will do if they need intervention or enrichment. And team time would be agenda-ized to get this work accomplished together during the team meetings – not as people left to work alone.

    • boadams1 says:

      Case Study D – Response as a Duo:

      MI and I discussed this case, and she had a different, good idea. In some cases, what might be seen as “coblabberation” is a team getting on the same page about a content idea or concept. However, that discussion could turn to lesson study with facilitation so that the team could polish its content as a team working together to implement a better lesson for students. Instructional rounds could even be used to check in on how members are implementing the shared lesson that communicates a growing expertise in the content area. This may help turn discussion into more action.

      Perhaps a team assessment could be used to check on this idea of discussion becoming lesson study and IR.

  2. jplgough says:

    What if…the work load is not shared equally? You observe members of your PLC working in isolation in a group. You observe members of your PLC acting as spectators in the team’s work and learning rather than as active participants. What do you do?

    We have (spectator)
    1. Revisited our norms.
    2. Directly asked “What is it that you need to work on today?”
    3. Directly given the team member a task to accomplish.

    We have (working alone)
    1. Revisited our norms – with comments about working alone.
    2. Attempted to integrate two teams together to include those working in isolation due to the configuration of the teams.
    3. Set a schedule of teams to meet on a given day of the week.
    4. Actively and directly invite our hybrid members to come on needed days.

  3. LeslieAnn says:

    I am not sure whether I would treat this any differently than I would when it happens with younger learners. One bit I might employ first is to ask everything one to do some writing before a topic is discussed so that I can be sure that everyone has something to say. I have even had students write on notecards and then mix them up and pass them back out so that everyone does speak and contribute. I think if it persists that it warrants a conversation, asking if anything in particular is going on and soliciting ways that I/we could help. On occasion, it is all people can do to unplug, get to and be in that room, but I am always glad they have. It’s sort of like what my grandmother used to say about being in Church.

  4. tsadtler says:

    #2: Speak with the team member privately. Tell them how you perceive the behavior, ask him if there is something that you’re not seeing (i.e., what was the reason you argued about Suzie’s point regarding assessment criteria?) Tell him how the behavior impacts the group (we are having trouble accomplishing our goals because of the daily discussion obstacles). Devise a way for member to let his concerns be voiced (an objection wall?) without stymieing (whah?????) conversation.

    • tsadtler says:

      If multiple people complain about getting off topic, this would be a great time to revisit norms. Have a survey pre-loaded so that you can deploy it at the most effective moment.

  5. Danelle Dietrich says:

    a member of your PLC seems to ask questions and make comments simply to “eat time” from other PLC work? He seems to argue with every point. What you hoped the team would accomplish becomes more challenging because of the “problems posed” from this member, rather than everyone being “solution-minded.” What do you do?
    *First, I think there are people who do this without knowing they are doing it. They have not pre-meditated to sabotage the meeting. So, I think any action should bear this in mind.
    *During the meetings, I might try to make a comment that in some way validates the comment if that is possible. If not I would try to site a reason I disagreed with that point. Third, I would try to just change the subject to move the discussion back into a more productive direction.
    *After trying these things, I might consider some intervention with the team member. But this is where is gets really sticky. Some of our members have made huge positive leaps in the past few years in their pedagogical theories and practices and this has the potential to stop their progress. So this plan would need to be made with several facilitators’ input.

  6. Mecia Israel says:

    In Science teams, I love the content-based discussions in PLC because we are uncovering material that is not being taught accurately, which may be the most important part of what we are doing. I am guilty of changing the course of the conversation to directly address an issue that is not clear to me, which then tends to loan itself to three other people examining how they explain a concept. We often times will come to a consensus and move on, while other times more research is necessary to ensure the topic is accurately and clearly explained to our 8th grade students.

    These discussions do add work instead of increasing collaborative work; however, the conversations are necessary. As a facilitator, I believe my role it to support and pace the balance of discussion and action-steps to ensure we are moving in line with supporting our goal.

  7. wmshistory says:

    Someone doesn’t come bc they have work or something else. What we decided to do was let it slide once, and then if it happened again we would say something. I feel like a doctors appointment is different than having work to do. A doctors appointment once a semester happens. All of your appointments always scheduled during PLC is something different. So I say, grace the first time. If it happens again, then I would let Fred handle it. Just kidding. 
    I would blame it on the expectations of the PLC–“we really are supposed to treat it like a class, and we are expected to show attendance…”
    What if we did take attendance?? Just for “records” if it really becomes a problem.

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