Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘PLC’

It’s Not a Competition:Teachers and Sharing!

I think we all know them.  You see they have done a wonderful lesson or project with their students, and you excitedly ask for the details? Alas, the details are never forthcoming.READ MORE…

 

photo credit: pfala via photopin cc

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When is a PLC, Not a PLC?

 

I wrote a post with this title  in 2011.
Fast forward.
A couple of weeks ago we were handed a rubric. The purpose of the rubric was to provide feedback on our PLC. However, it should be understood that the rubric is NOT evaluative.
I think if it walks like it’s evaluative, and talks like it’s evaluative…READ MORE

 

My PLN Is My Education BFF!

My PLN (Professional Learning Network) is my Education BFF (Best Friend Forever)! That’s how I feel about my PLN!  It is not easy to teach in isolation, but I did,  for many years.  No more! I have surrounded myself with educators from all over the world and I, and my students,  have profited educationally, from my actions.

I have learned more in the last year since I discovered, and joined a number of  Professional Learning Networks and/or Communities,  then I have in my 27 years of teaching. No exaggeration!!

What should a PLN provide?  Here are what, I believe, are   important aspects of a good PLN:

  1. Your opinion matters!  Sometimes people get caught up in listening to ‘experts” and we forget that we are all experts in this field. We all have something to add.
  2. You get feedback, whether you ask a question, state an opinion, or provide information. (Not all the time, but at some point)
  3. Collaborate with people who share a common interest.
  4. It provides a forum for active, current, relevant,  discussions. (My favorite part)
  5. They are willing to share. (Otherwise, what’s the point of being in a PLN?)
  6. You gain relevant information that is useful.

I am a part of many, many,  PLNs, but I have my favorites!

Edmodo communities – You have to join Edmodo in order to join the communities. A plethora of information in every subject! Just a bunch of teachers, online, talking and sharing information. Have a question?  It will be answered.  It is very rare that I see a question or comment posted where a teacher does not get at least one response.  You can share links, blogs, files, projects, etc…, and then place them in your Edmdodo library so that you don’t lose it.

Linkedin– It’s not just for networking, even though that’s a great aspect of it. I am a part of a number of groups on Linkedin. Edubloggers, Elementary School Teachers of America, Teacher’s Lounge, and last, but not least, Technology Integration in Education. Not only do we share information, but the discussions generated in these groups are lively and informative! This is another PLN where if you need  advice, guidance, or  ideas,  plenty of teachers will jump in to help!

what a great teaching idea!  This group is pretty new and it is on FB. They are now at 1,000 members in a few weeks! The name says it all, teachers who have great teaching ideas that they are willing to share. It’s on FB, so you can add links, posts, videos,etc…, which makes it very easy to share those great teaching ideas!

And of course, Twitter, where I have made many, many, connections. I use Twitter more as a “get information” and “meet other teachers”  source.  I know there are teachers  who participate in “edchats”, which provides a venue on any and all topics in education. And just like the other PLNs, it is a huge source of information, ideas, and discussion.

I also subscribe to Education sites, like Education Week, so that I can stay current with what’s going on in our field.

And let’s not forget your school and district PLN/PLC!

You don’t need all the PLNs I mentioned above, especially if you are new to teaching, but just like a best friend, it’s nice to have at least  one to turn to when you need help!

This PLC Thing…

I have to say, this PLC thing  (Professional Learning Community)has really been working.  I went to Arizona in February to a PLC Summit, thought it was just a free trip to Phoenix. But it wasn’t, it was so much more. Very productive seminars, and I learned so much! 

 Fast forward to May, and I have to admit, I enjoy using what I’ve learned from  it. Now, as a school, we’re not quite there yet, but we are a lot farther than where we were when we started.  More people have ” got on the bus”, and it has really helped our students improve. Personally, I love what it has done for my team, we are collaborating and making decisions that are good for our kids.

 For example, we looked at our student scores on a common  math assessment, and decided to have Math workshops that focused on the skills they were weak in.  Each teacher chose the focus skill he or she was strong in, and taught based on the level of the group we saw. Can you say “differentiated instruction”?  Of course, I was the “tech” component of our workshop. 🙂  We each created an “Exit ticket”  that the students completed at the end of class, and we reviewed the results of the ticket at our next PLC meeting. 

The students LOVED it! They traveled with their friends outside their class, they got away from us for about an hour, they spent time with another teacher, and the skills were either reinforced, or enriched.  The results were amazing, and the students learned a lot, which was our objective.

When the new school year begins, our district is having all the participants in the summit meet once a month to share ideas. We already had one meeting last month, and one of  the teachers shared things that were so simple,  yet so helpful. I now get a chance to take that back, and share it with my colleagues.  I am part of a number of communities, Twitter, Edmodo, Technology Integration in Education, and so many more,  so I understand the importance of collaboration.

You don’t hear too much grumbling about “PLC” anymore, it’s just something that we do now, and I’m loving it! Please Let’s Collaborate!

“How to Create a Professional Learning Community”

Another Reason to Love Edmodo!

After attending the PLC Summit 2011 in Arizona, I gained a greater insight into  how important collaboration is.  Not just within my school, but in the U.S., and other countries.  With that being said, I give Kudos to Edmodo for allowing collaboration to take place on their site.  Edmodo is not just a site for my students, but it is also a site for me.  You might not know this, but Edmodo allows you, not only to join communities, but to create them.  I have only created one community, a school district PLC community, but, unfortunately, they’re not ready for Edmodo. They think it’s too high tech, and so I sit, the only member in that community. Hopefully, some day, but I digress.

I joined the Edmodo communities, just as I did EduPln, Twitter, LinkedIn, hoping to find other teachers who were into what I’m  into.  Who share my passion, and see nothing wrong with going home, getting on the laptop, desktop, Ipad, whatever floats your boat, and looking for other teachers to help them make teaching what it should be, engaging,  interesting, and passionate. (Hmmmm… is passionate too strong a word?) Understand, I am by  no means downing the other sites, it’s just that Edmodo is my favorite.:)

 Edmodo is , different.   I not only have two, yes two, pen pal buddy classes  for my class, which by the way they love, (Which one Mrs.M, our Cali Pen pals or our NJ friends?) , but I have learned so much from  my unknown, unseen, colleagues. If you join  an Edmodo community, you notice a number of things.

  1. They are very, very,  generous with their knowledge. 
  2.  These teachers share links, files, sites,student work, etc…
  3. They provide unsolicited information, valuable, usable, information!
  4.  They answer your questions, not just one teacher, but many teachers!
  5. They say things like “Thank you”, and “Great idea!”
  6. They are so helpful, really, I am not exaggerating!
  7. They have a community for each  subject, so you can pick and choose which ones you want to join.

Here’s an example. Every year, I have my students perform poetry for their parents. I call it “Poetry Day.” It is great, everyone loves it, BUT, I struggle to get the students to write various types of poetry, Well, the other day, one of my Edmodo colleagues posted this link, ETTC Instant Poetry Forms. Voila! My problem is solved. Of course, I immediately thanked her, as all good  Edmodo community members do.:)

Love it! I will continue to learn from my colleagues, and share my knowledge with them.  I just thank Edmodo for giving me the opportunity to collaborate with teachers who are serious about what they do, teach!

3 Steps to Creating Your Personal Learning Network(PLN) – An Edmodo Blog

What is a PLC? (Professional Learning Communities)

I knew this time would come. It’s presentation time, the punishment for attending the 2011 PLC Summit in Phoenix, Arizona. 🙂 Well, it was worth it. I have continued to use what I have learned and it’s paying off. Step by step, little by little.  Sooooo, this week we have to do an overview of what PLC is. We took a lot of our information from Solution Tree’s HUGE book they gave us at the summit. We COLLABORATED and came up with this Powerpoint. I also created an animated video using GoAnimate using  ideas we got from Dr.Anthony Muhammad. Check it out! And if you like, let me know what you think!

What is a PLC? – told in Powerpoint

(Check out the characters listed in Dr.Muhammad’s “The Quandary” in my animated video, “The PLC Bus”   http://goanimate4schools.com//api/animation/player
Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate4Schools. It’s free and fun!

ANOTHER PLC DAY!

The word that comes to mind, after today’s conference  is “rethink.”  I have used that word so many times between today and yesterday, it’s unbelievable. But trust me when I say I am not using the word in vain!  It is the only way I can describe what PLC is making me do.  It is making me RETHINK the way I have been teaching.  Now mind you, I consider myself a pretty good teacher, not perfect, but good.  I keep my students engaged, I maintain discipline,  I teach using a variety of methods, and hey, we’ve even begun incorporating PLC in my school .  However, this  PLC summit  has brought me to the realization that I have not done the best that I can for my students!

 I know, you’re thinking, isn’t this the same person who was trashing professional development about two posts ago? Yes, that was me. 🙂  But this summit, this is what I want! I don’t know how many people were in that room, but each presenter, and I mean, each presenter, had us engaged practically every minute.  If teachers were talking , they were talking about PLC, not about where to go for lunch.  We met so many teachers from so many places, and we learned, not only from the presenters, wait for it, but from EACH OTHER! Wow!

 I have to share what I learned, so over the next couple of posts, I am going to share some key concepts that were presented.  Hopefully, this will twinge your curiosity and you will  find out what PLC is, and what it can do for your school.  Tonight, I am going to the top of the Hyatt and eat at the revolving restaurant. I’ll be ok, my head is still spinning from all I’ve learned in the last two days. 🙂

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