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Mar 07

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WA STEM PD Work

Our middle school is on Year 2 of our work with a WA STEM PD project. Here’s a video I put together to share the major highlights of our work with WA STEM:

In the video I share some resources that we’ve been using for our PLC work. The WA STEM PD project was inspired by educator’s need for pertinent and effective professional development and training. Teachers need training if expected to implement any type of change to benefit student learning. Once source of PD is our PLC’s. The power of the PLC is not to be denied here, and although I’ve seen some more excellent training opportunities being offered here in WA state I do believe that our PLC’s are better for the day to day business of educating our kids. Even with excellent training, it’s through the PLC that we can support each other to follow through and truly transform our classrooms into the learning centers our students need.

One awesome protocol I’ve been using for years in my PLC work, because of how effective it is, is the Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle (PTLC). Links to that and more here (that link is referenced in the above video too).

Part of the PTLC is coming together to look at student work. I also share in the resources link a document that we’ve used for years that is a quick and easy way to analyze student learning through work samples. It’s simply called the Looking at Student Work (LaSW) protocol. The teacher teaching the lesson collects a sampling of student work, ten to 15 samples is enough. Each teacher sorts copies of the same pile into a high, students who really got it, medium, students starting to get it, and low, students not quite getting it yet, piles. The best part is when the teachers share and discuss their reasons for sorting the work the way they did! The discussions are always rich and very helpful to all.

By using some really cool technology, such as a Swivl base, the teacher implementing the lesson can record the lesson so that the PLC team can get an idea of what happened leading to the work they are analyzing. WA STEM provided us with a Swivl base and accounts with IRISConnect to share the recordings with each other. It is a fantastic platform and I show a little of how it works in the video.

I hope you find something useful in the video and the resources I’ve shared. Let me know if you have any questions because there’s some good stuff there! 🙂

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