This week for PLCs we had a presentation about Content Language Objectives. These are what you will find posted in our classroom to help give students an understanding about what we are learning. I think they are even more important for me as a teacher to make sure that my thinking was clear in the planning of my lesson.
We also had a presentation by our SLT to help clarify questions around Writing Standard One (Argumentative Writing) and Writing Standard Two (Informational/Explanatory Writing). We looked at student writing to help decide where opinion writing falls as well as looking at the Common Core State Standards Exemplars. This was really important for our staff to do because we are focusing on Writing Standard Two for our School Imp
Today we had a short meeting as a staff to discuss our next step towards our mission and vision as a school. The staff then spent time doing various activities. These included: preparing for October Conferences, preparing hallway displays of student work, catching up on grading, meeting with teams (vertical and grade level) planning, or a variety of other options. This was such a gift to our staff as October can be very stressful with the amount of work that seems to compound during this time of year. During this time I was able to catch up with my grading and read through student writing from their inquiry circles and respond to each group. You will see the benefits of this time in my classroom by the more focused work with each student. I value the time I get to sit and reflect and write to my students so they know that I respect their views and beliefs and want to help them be successful learners. I was also able to meet with my teammates and make plans for future activities and discuss the similar vocabulary we want to use in our classroom around the thinking strategies and other areas.
Today we had Michelle from PEBC to facilitate our PLCs. Each teacher brought an artifact that related to Chapter 4 from our book 'Making Thinking Visible'. We then shared them with each other in small groups and received feedback. We talked about how we integrated the thinking routines into our classrooms and which ones worked and which ones we'd alter next time. We then planned which ones we'd try to incorporate from Chapter 5 during the next few weeks to prepare for our next PEBC meeting. In our classroom we used what was called 'Chalk Talk'. This routine involves students writing their thinking down (whether a question, comment, connection or thought) about a certain topic on an anchor chart. We used the question 'What makes leaves change color?' and did some investigation and added to our chart over the course of a week. It was the perfect timing for our plant unit and the fall colors changing all around us. It is currently hanging in our classroom if you'd like to come check it out!
You will find information about what the teachers at Bill Roberts are learning about and exploring during our Early Release each Friday from 1pm-3:30pm.