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Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Positive Intersection of PLC and RTI

Today's #satchat made me realize once again that the positive intersection of PLC and RTI  is moving our teaching/learning forward.

Yesterday's PLC was a good example.

We were scheduling an in-house grade-level assessment. The discussion led us to think about students with depth using the following questions:
  • What room set-up leads to success?
  • Who needs a separate setting?
  • Who has special accommodations?
  • What materials need to be available for learning?
  • What success strategy do we want to share before the assessment?
As we talked, deep conversation emerged about specific learners. We pushed each other to think differently and search for better ways to support the learners for this task.


Week after week we use student data, formal and informal, to discuss student learning and needs as a grade-level team of classroom/specialist educators, coaches, assistants, and leaders. We share materials and focus. We debate approaches and priorities. We plan for RTI learning experiences, experiences where all or almost all teachers are involved in direct instruction to students. 

We've developed PLC/RTI approaches over time starting several years ago with a magnificent presentation by Austin Buffum. (Additional notes) Since that time the approach has evolved getting better and better with each year, and truly leading our collective teaching and learning efforts forward. 

The system leadership smartly made time for these approaches. They also continue to revise for better effect. Teachers also gave some of their off-school time to support the effort.

I do believe the intersection of these two approaches will continue to help our schools to evolve into organizations that better teach students in meaningful, child-centered ways. 

So as we discussed math teaching and learning today during a vigorous #satchat, it was clear to me that we're on the right track with our PLC/RTI efforts, and what we need now is continued professional learning, teaching efforts, share, exploration, and analysis to deepen this positive movement.


Addition:
This post from Sue Dunlop offers further information on growing the PLC/RTI model.