Teachers Continue Study of Best Practices and Teaching Tools

     Teachers from each of the Federation schools, along with their colleagues from St. Ann School, gathered on Friday, October 4th for a morning workshop titled “Standards Based Total Instructional Alignment” (using learning goals to determine assignments and instruction). Then, in the afternoon, Professional Learning Teams (PLT) had their monthly meeting.  Mr. Chris Masterson, coordinator of the PLTs, urged teachers to focus on real-time classroom instruction needs and work together on real-time usable solutions such as fine-tuning lesson plans.   “Through this PLT collaboration, we are developing a library of knowledge and best practices that can be used to improve our teaching and student learning,” said Masterson. 

       Principals are observing a positive impact from their teachers’ participation in PLTs. "Our Lady of Guadalupe is definitely a better school because of our faculty's participation in the PLTs," said Peggy O'Brien, principal at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School. "The PLTs provide a network for the teachers where they can share ideas, successes and challenges with one another, providing a source encouragement and problem-solving that did not previously exist for our teachers. Over the past few years this has brought a new level of excellence to our classrooms."

During the October 4 morning workshop, the teachers are working with learning standards for Reading Literature. They are building a jigsaw puzzle by trying to determine the grade level of each standard from K to 12th. The idea was to notice how 
properly aligned standards increase the skill level from one grade to the next and prevents complete repetition of teaching the same skill- like being able to point out the main character of a story but not understanding how that character may change throughout the story (or in math only teaching 2+2=4 in 1st grade and not increasing to 2-2=0 in 2nd grade or 2x2=4 in 3rd grade 2/2= 1 in 4th grade).