Ongoing Projects The Adirondack Teacher Center supported two pilot projects in the 2013-2014 school year: Professional Learning Communities and the iPad Pilot Project. During the next school year funds will be available for PLCs, Technology Integration Projects, and professional development projects (Strengthening Our Learning Community). See "Project Supports" for descriptions and applications.
Professional Learning Communities This support program provided educators with structured time for reflection on classroom practices enabling teachers to take responsibility for identifying and satisfying needs for professional growth. Following are the projects that were supported during the 2013-2014 school year. The ATC Policy Board has decided to continue funding for a limited number of PLCs in the next school year. The application may be found in "Project Supports."
1. Development of Effective Teaching Practices (Malone Middle School
2. Book Study: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Lake Placid Central)
3. Book Study: What Drives Us? (Lake Placid Central/FEH BOCES)
4. Trauma Sensitive Schools at Davis Elementary (Malone Central)
5. Trauma Sensitive Schools at Brushton-Moira Central (Brushton-Moira Central/FEH BOCES)
6. Google Apps in Education (Lake Placid Central)
7. Common Core Writing Curriculum
8. Resource Vocabulary and Reference Guides for Math Modules
9. The Problem with Math is English
Facilitator/ Participants Charlene Delarm Erin Burke Lynn Cady-Poirier Kitty Eldridge Chris Kelly Deb Martin
Bill Duffany Sarah Allan Kim weems Theresa Lindsay Angie Carlisto Dana Wood Laurel Riehs Amy Spicer Connie Hammaker
Kristin Harvey Sarah Adams Amy Gotham Sandra Huber Denise Krawezyk Nancy Thoreck Christian Wissler Shelly Wood
Marcy Bright Cecilia Benware Lisa Dupree Kelly Finnerty Bobbilyn Gast Donna Lamica Deborah Swan Andree Tower Christopher Van Houten Katie Varin Jody White
Marcy Bright Julia Aubrey James Berns Paula Erno Boyea Ashley fregoe Paul Jadlos Meeghan Marlow Sara Palmer June Parmeter Jillian Riley Donna Steenberg
Angela Carlisto Sarah Allen Olaf Carlson Bill Duffany Theresa Lindsay Kass Mariano Jodi McKinnon Amy Spicer
Laura Griffin Renee Jock Deanna Lauzon Shelby Bero Morgan Hetu Charity Sprankle Debbie Beck Michelle Bailey
Art Trombley Steve Lang Helen Boyea Shelly Cook Jason LaPlante Carrie Blair-Wilcox Megan Nemier-Green Kate Dwyer Dan Liegel Mary Ann Pageau Liz Harrigan
Description of Project
Teachers at the Malone Middle School formed a Professional Learning Community to explore and discuss EngageNY topics. These topics included: questioning strategies to engage all learners, differentiating the learning environment, response to intervention, resources to help parents to help their children learn, strategies to ensure that struggling students receive additional time and support.
This PLC focused on a book study of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. The discussed the chapters of the book and brainstormed ways to stimulate a growth mindset culture among faculty who will in turn help students develop a growth mindset about their own performance. Their goal was to develop capacity to engage more teachers in "Teaching is the Core" practices and assist their colleagues to have a greater belief that growth is possible for themselves and for their students.
Using the book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink, participants in this group collaborated to discuss and make connections between motivation and the new Common Core Learning Standards. The original plan for sharing the learning included presentations at a Superintendent's Conference Day. Plans changed and were modified. Both Professional Learning Communities in the district combined (Mindset and What Drives Us) split the staff at the Middle/High School and shared with colleagues the premise of the book and facilitated discussions on how to help communicate, support, and integrate the CCLS, and increase student motivation to be ingaged with the material and to learn.
This PLC focused on building a foundational understanding of how trauma impacts students and their families. Their gold was to translate that new knowledge into action. Participants learned how to implement concrete and practical strategies to support students in the classroom. Study for this group will be based on the book Reaching and Teaching Children Who Hurt, Strategies for Your Classroom by Susan E. Craig. Each member of the group provided instruction on the material from the readings.
Teachers have learned they must create a certain type of classroom environment in order to implement the rigors of Common Core. This group use the book Reaching and Teaching Children Who Hurt: Strategies for Your Classroom by Susan E. Craig for simple and creative ideas to assist in creating compassionate classrooms. This PLC gave teachers structured time for reflection on classroom practices especially those related to classroom environment. the widespread nature of exposure to trauma must be considered an integral part of instructional planning. Participants in the group will focus on building a foundational understand of how trauma impacts students and families and translate that new knowledge into action.
Participants in this Learning Community were looking for an opportunity to collaborate and grow as a community of learners and educators. They used the platform provided by Google Apps for Education modules to explore each app and then discuss their learning and its implication in the classroom. Strategies used in the classroom were created and used with students and then reviewed by the group both face-to-face and via video chat.
Teacher members in this PLC analyzed the Common Core State Writing Standards as well as the writing within the Writing Modules to ensure effective teaching of writing , strategies, and skills for all students. They created and enhanced writing strategies within the modules to better align them to the CCSS and support student learning.Additionally, they reflected on the NYS Teaching standards and Elements to ensure and align effective instruction.
Educators in this PLC analyzed the Common Core Math Standards, as well as the math modules in order to create a resource book which will contain math vocabulary words to be mastered at each grade level. The resource book will also contain examples of important concepts taught at each grade level for parents to use as a guide for helping their child at home.
Using the book The Problem with Math is English by Concepcion Molina, participants looked at typical math lessons and how they were taught. They also explored other sample materials and the NYS modules to see how vocabulary is used. Math is a language all by itself and teachers owe it to students who struggle with reading comprehension to make sure math teachers are as clear as possible. They kept detailed notes and specific instances of where vocabulary can be cleared up were compiled. Methods of presenting skills were developed and catalogued.