Friday, April 12, 2013

New Ideas That Matter

Yesterday there was a sense of excitement as our PLC worked together to finesse our RTI English language arts program.  As I sat there I realized how far we had come as a community and team in the past few years with regard to the program including the use of data, the collaboration of curriculum director, reading specialist/coach, special educators and classroom teachers, and our student-centered strategies and efforts.

I was also excited because everyone in the group was supporting the use of technology and other great tools and strategies to build students' skill. Together the group discussed and problem solved around the goals of using a tech tool for differentiated homework and attaining a new tech tool to build students' fluency skills in an engaging way. In many ways this was the first time that the entire group was embracing tech with a sense of excitement and promise rather than caution and fear.

This aspect of our PLC and RTI is working very well for the following reasons:
  • Data collection is streamlined, targeted and scheduled.
  • Data reports are clearly reviewed, shared and discussed by all in the group.
  • There is a sense of routine and pattern to this effort, yet there is also room for student-centered innovation and creativity.
  • Our reading specialist/coach is an expert in the subject matter who both works with students and shares important research and knowledge on a regular basis.
  • We keep students center stage.
  • The Director is open and willing to help us attain helpful materials and entertain new ideas.
There have been a number of bold new ideas, growing pains, and tremendous work and effort by many that have made our ELA PLC efforts successful.  Overall this is an idea and effort that matters.