Planning for Learning: Collaborative Approaches to Lesson Design and Review

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Planning For Learning: Collaborative Approaches To Lesson Design And Review

Forms for Planning, Collaboration, and Documentation Description: This web page includes documents and forms that are very useful when planning for libraries and collaboration with other stakeholders in the school community. High School LMS Collaboration Video Description: This video features four vignettes that demonstrate key aspects of collaboration between teachers and library media specialists, including standards-based instruction and assessment.

Competitive Advantage Description: This is a chapter from the book School Library Management that details the benefits and barriers to collaborations. The Competitive Advantage Description: In today's struggle for recognition of the importance of school libraries, it is especially important to make it known that school libraries are essential components of education. Raising the Bar Description: The article discusses how Pine Grove Middle School's library program is engaging staff and students in a culture of participation. In Theory Making the Classroom-Library Connection Description: This report focuses on the outcomes of a workshop for preservice student teachers.

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Coteaching and the Learning Commons: Building a Participatory School Culture Description: This article describes strategies to foster co-teaching with library professionals, rather than focus on professional development centered upon solo educators. Three Heads are Better Than One Description: Twenty-first-century standards progressively call for librarians to step in as instructional leaders, connecting educators and students to materials, methods, and technology across the curriculum.

Consultant Name: Heather Turner Email: haturner gmail. Get the Latest Updates! Sign up. Many other countries with higher-performing students give teachers more planning time within their contracted hours.

4 Ways to Build Effective PLCs

Secondary teachers in the United States and Chile spend significantly more time instructing students than the average of 20 hours weekly in other countries OECD, a. Yet students in Chile and the United States score below other countries where teachers spend less time with their students. Primary teachers in other countries spend an average of 21 hours a week on teaching OECD, b. How can these countries provide more planning time within contract hours for teachers?


  1. Teaching for Learning: Collaborative Planning.
  2. Fury on earth: a biography of Wilhelm Reich.
  3. What Is the Collaborative Classroom?.

In some cases, class sizes are much larger than typical American schools, and in other cases, students have shorter school days so teachers can have more time to prepare each day. Individual planning time is needed every day in order to prepare materials for upcoming lessons, review student work, and interact with specialists and parents about individual students.

Common planning time occurs once or twice weekly and is often set aside for meetings with teachers in the same subject or grade level, or specialists who work with the same students. Common planning time enables teachers to meet and collaborate on important work and decision making about students and instruction. In many schools, this happens through professional learning communities PLCs when groups of teachers collaborate to plan, implement, reflect on, and modify instruction as they strive to help students learn.

PLC work in my building felt very productive to me and was something I looked forward to. One year, administrators at my elementary school decided that teachers needed individual planning time every day and common planning time once a week. They modified the schedule to provide an extra minute block on Friday for PLCs in addition to individual planning time. They accomplished this by asking qualified teaching assistants to lead computer lab activities and Spanish classes for students on alternate Fridays. This meant that teachers could talk about plans for struggling learners, compare notes on lessons and instructional strategies, and determine who needed enrichment or review of current topics as we thought ahead to the next week.

This administrative decision was very helpful in supporting the development of our professional learning community.

Collaborative design as a form of professional development | SpringerLink

Sadly, staffing changes and budget cuts resulted in elimination of this extra planning time, and teachers at that school now have PLC time instead of individual planning time some days. Districts differ in the extent to which they encourage or provide collaborative planning time. Some simply encourage teachers to collaborate during their individual planning time, and others designate blocks of time and even prescribe agendas or tasks during that time. Teachers in Shanghai have much more planning time than U.

They regularly meet with colleagues to design, enact, and reflect on effective lesson ideas, and they have a lot of autonomy over how they use their individual and common planning time. In other words, they are treated as professionals who know what they and their students need and are allowed to set agendas and plan meetings as needed. Accomplishing more planning time for teachers requires knowledge of the teacher contract, state policy expectations, and scheduling constraints in any school or district. But many districts are coming up with creative solutions that can be considered by others.

Shorter days for students.

Some districts have added more planning time for teachers in response to the demands of unions and teacher leaders. Late arrival and early release times can provide teachers with common planning time for PLC work. For example, the Mason Public Schools district in Michigan follows a late-start Wednesday schedule so teachers can meet in their PLCs for an hour before students arrive.

Parents have the option of registering for free before-school care on Wednesday mornings where students can participate in computer activities, independent reading, math games and homework help led by paraprofessionals who work at the schools. Many districts are providing information for families about the reason for schedule changes, and how students will benefit when teachers participate in PLCs. If students are in school for less time, but the time is better planned and more focused, teachers and students will benefit. Work days embedded within the school year.

My colleagues and I all greatly appreciated full days that were set aside for individual and collaborative work. On these few precious days, I would work on any of the following tasks:. These days allowed me to catch up, rejuvenate, and think ahead. There is wide variability in the number of teacher work days provided to teachers, from two to 18, with an average of nine days per district NCTQ, District leaders need to build in these professional development days and balance meetings and professional development days with other days where teachers have autonomy to collaborate and work independently as needed.

Increased staffing. Another way to extend planning time within a regular school day is to have students attend more electives or instructional activities with specialists other than the classroom teacher. To give teachers more planning within a regular day, productive activities with skilled professionals need to be planned for students during that extra time. As time for literacy and mathematics instruction continues to increase, other meaningful activities are left out.

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Here are a few ideas for staffing additions that could provide high-yield activities for students and time for regular classroom teachers:. These are just a few suggestions for increasing planning time while also adding beneficial learning activities for students. Focus groups that include parents, teachers, administrators and students could provide other creative ideas, or help decide what would work best within a specific district. Considering how often teachers raise the issue of needing more time, especially for planning, there is remarkably little hard evidence on questions related to planning time.

Early release days, teacher work days, and increased staffing all cost districts money, and these changes must be justified to parents and taxpayers. Yet no available evidence exists that allows us to weigh these budget decisions against other important expenses, such as class-size reduction. Educators, policy makers, and the public need research that systematically examines the amount and type of planning time as a factor in outcomes that we all care about, such as teacher job satisfaction, implementation of evidence-based practices and new reforms, effective instruction, student learning and engagement.

Existing studies are descriptive or correlational and do not provide enough information to motivate districts to change policies. Natural and randomized experiments can be used to study planning time as a key variable. Similar to longitudinal studies where students were assigned to varying class sizes, planning time studies could vary duration, timing, or type individual vs.

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