Monday, June 11, 2012

Framework for Teaching


For the next few blogs, I will be discussing the Danielson Framework for Teaching. This framework provides teachers with effective teaching practices that impact student learning. Today I will highlight Domain 1, Planning and Preparation. As a teacher is developing units and lessons, these need to be considered:

1. Teacher knows the content that will be taught and prepares for any misunderstandings of students.
2. Teacher knows the students' abilities, backgrounds, cultures, skills, and special needs in order to plan the
unit or lesson.
3. Instructional outcomes are set for the unit and lesson and are assessable, are rigorous and are tied to the
Common Core.
4. Teacher uses a variety of resources to use in teaching students.
5. Teacher designs a lesson that is coherent and clear with learning experiences aligned to the instructional
outcomes and are differentiated for student needs.
6. Assessment is aligned with instructional outcomes, with clear criteria and standards. Assessment is intended
to be used to plan future instruction for students.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Professional Learning Communities

With the implementation of the Common Core standards, many educational experts are saying that while the Common Core have more rigorous expectations for students, the implementation of these standards will be difficult unless teachers unpack those standards, discuss assessments and more importantly discuss instructional methods and strategies that will impact student learning.

Do you know the 4 PLC questions? 1) What do we want all students to be able to know and do? 2) How will we know that they learned it? 3) What do we do when they don't learn it, and 4) What do we do when they know it already?

These are the guiding questions for Professional Learning Community teams as they look at student learning. These guide the standards and outcomes for students and how we plan units, how we assess students, what are core instructional practices that everyone should be using because they are effective, how we provide support and interventions to those students who have not mastered the outcomes we developed and lastly, how we provide enrichment to those students that are already proficient and are more self-directed learners.

PLCs are collaborative teams whose members work to achieve common goals, learning for all. DuFour says, "Collaboration does not lead to improved results unless people are focused on the right issues....Collaborations represents a systematic process in which teachers work together interdependently in order to impact their classroom practices in ways that will lead to better results for their students."

PLCs have a commitment to continuous improvement. They gather evidence of student learning, look at students strengths and weaknesses, discuss teaching strategies and then analyze the impact of those strategies as to what was effective for student learning. Teachers learn from each other and the learning of the whole is more important.