A Clearinghouse for Martensdale-St. Marys Community Schools Professional Development

Monday, December 6, 2010

Whatever It Takes, Chapter Six

The last few chapters of Whatever It Takes have allowed us to examine the practices of high school and middle school staffs related to DuFour's theory of professional learning communities. This next chapter focuses on an elementary school's response to children who aren't learning. While there may be some differences in instructional practices, pedagogical theory, and content between an elementary staff and a secondary staff, there are some common linear themes in their approaches to struggling learners.

1) Boones Mill began its process of creating a school-wide system of time and support by building shared knowledge of the current reality in the school in terms of how the school responded when a student was not learning. Its staff demonstrated the discipline to confront the brutal facts of that reality. What is your current reality? What happens in your school when kids don’t learn?

2) How did Boones Mill Elementary School . . .
a. Identify students who needed additional time and support for learning?
b. Provide that additional time and support?

3) Review the steps in the “Team Learning Process” utilized by Boones Mill. How did this process contribute to the implementation of Project PASS, the school’s system of time and support for students?

4) Once Boones Mill was able to create a time each day when students were available for additional support, staff members were able to identify a variety of ways to enlist the assistance of others in giving students personal attention. What additional human resources could you enlist in the effort to help all students learn at high levels?