by Jamie Tyson
Our grade level team meeting began with a reflection about our experiences working with the pillar of collaboration in Quarter 1. Team members shared ideas for improvement based on these reflections around the guiding question, “How do we move forward?” We utilized the Goals of Morrill Grade Level: Professional Learning Committees document as a support for our conversation.
Our reflections moved into rethinking the structure of our grade level meetings. Was meeting in a 4th and 5th grade combination working? Was it the most effective use of our time? After a lengthy discussion regarding pros and cons of meeting together, the group came to the consensus that we would like to meet as separate grade level teams. Although there were some cons shared regarding the separation, the pros far outweighed these issues.
Benefits to meeting as separate grade level teams:
- Conversations connect more closely to our unit plans
- Units can become the frame of our discussion about the selected pillar
- Teachers can have more concrete discussions about instruction within the units
- Opportunities for cross-curricular connections within units
And the list went on and on…
Moving forward, we generated a list of goals for our Quarter 2 grade level meetings. We shared ideas about how we could ensure our time is utilized effectively.
The following ideas were shared as possible areas of focus throughout Quarter 2:
- Collaborative, cross-curricular planning
- Peer Feedback (stage 3 of units)
- Preparing for differentiation within day-to-day instruction (co-teaching)
- Discussing student work and effectiveness of instruction
- Scaffolding and planning large projects throughout the quarter
- Building intervention time within the units
- Sharing resources/research
- Analyzing data
(All of these should be considered through the lens of the chosen pillar)
Moving forward (even further) to next week…
Our team plans to meet separately and map out a course for Quarter 2 meetings, based on our list of goals/areas of focus.