PLCs and Resources

PLCS - Background and Reasons Why

PLCs are a wonderful opportunity to build a robust culture and strong teaching practices that lead to authentic student learning. This guide is to introduce admin and teachers to information that forms the basis of strong PLC groups, but it is not a step-by-step guide with prescriptive approaches. It instead offers the information at the heart of PLCs -- the 3 base foundational areas that support PLCs and 4 driving questions for student learning -- in addition to showing some tools that developers and leaders could use to guide a PLC as we:

  • Focus on the Learning (driven by 4 key questions)
  • Build Collaborative Culture (supported by norms and protocols as needed)
  • Examine Data and Results (using assessment data such as formative/summative assessments and STAAR)
Why PLC Handbook - Croll

Background and Frameworks for Big Picture Consideration

If we take a longer term view of PLCs in which we use a combination of fluid and flexible approaches to work together to focus on student learning, using data, and student results--otherwise known as planning through backward design or Understanding by Design (UbD) and sharing best practices --- we develop a framework for Purposeful Planning.

Daily Functionality of a PLC

A PLC can be fluid and flexible over time but also adapted to meet the needs of teachers when we function with a daily or weekly view of PLCs that examines the process through the lens of an instructional framework (ie., do we have an opening, a work session and a closing as designated in a learning plan or agenda?).

Daily or Weekly View of PLCs : An Instructional Framework

Training - What supports do we need?

To help teachers learn more about the structure and frameworks of PLCs, teachers and administrators could benefit from training. The training options below can be adapted to suit the campus or administrator needs.

PLC Training Example Lessons

As shown above there are several big picture frameworks through which to view and act within PLCs, and as the work ebbs and flows, teachers and administrators will need tools to communicate. For example, a checklist could be developed by teachers, focusing on 3 key areas as shown, as a way to record the work and guide the conversation.

Observer Checklist Template

As an alternate option, work could be recorded on a spreadsheet with notes and minutes about the areas covered.

PLC Minutes / checklist

Additional Resources

PLC Diagram - Possible Process to Build a Strong PLC.pdf
PLC Diagram
PLC - Goals and Focus of our Shared Learning Time