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    PLCs
    By ABM

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    Our school has three years of PLCs under our belt now. The first year was the hardest, because we were told we were doing it but not everyone bought into it. However, our principal has been great about letting each grade level team undertake it in a way that is makes sense to them.

    Our team meets once a week during our common plan time (specials time) for an hour to discuss PLCs. Then, we also meet during one lunch period to do all of the typical coordinating. During our PLC time, we discuss what skills our math and reading series aren't covering well, what skills we need to beef up for our state assessments, how we will pre- and posttest the kids, and how we will teach it.

    Our team has created reading and math "clubs" to cover these PLC skills. On Monday and Tuesday for 30 minutes, the students are flexibly grouped for math clubs. On Wednesday and Thursday, the students go to reading clubs. To figure out their groupings, we look at how they did on their pretests. We try to make the groups with struggling students smaller and we go ahead and do more enrichment and extending activities for the kids that seem to get the concept already. That way, every one is working on what they need to be working on.

    Believe it or not, it isn't always the same kids in the highest and lowest groups, so usually the kids just know that they are in that group because that's what they need to work on. We teachers also vary up which group we teach as well, so sometimes I'm teaching struggling students basic probability principles and other times I'm extending kids' concepts of time with time zone word problems. It sounds complicated and like a lot of work, but we have really perfected this over the last three years, and I really feel like the students are benefiting from it.

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