Center Woods Elementary School
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As a professional learning community, we must be able to address the following: First, what do we expect all students to know and be able to do; Second, how will we know if they learned it; Third, how will we respond when they didn’t learn it; and Lastly, how will we respond when they already know it? To learn more about professional learning communities, please visit http://allthingsplc.info/.
What do we expect all students to know and be able to do?
Responsive Classroom is used at CWES to increase academic achievement, decrease problem behaviors, and improve social skills. The goal of Responsive Classroom is to provide an environment for optimal learning. There are ten classroom practices which allow children to feel safe, challenged, and happy. Some of those practices include Morning Meeting, Positive Teacher Language, and Guided Discovery. Please visit responsive classroom for more information http://www.responsiveclassroom.org.
Every teacher at CWES uses Houghton Mifflin Reading program and Everyday Math. Houghton Mifflin Reading covers phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension at all grade levels. Kindergarten through second grade also addresses phonemic awareness. Everyday Math is a comprehensive math curriculum which focuses on real-life problem solving through a whole class and self-directed activities. Both Houghton Mifflin Reading and Everyday Math are researched backed programs which have made dramatic gains in student learning. For more information, please visit their sites. http://everydaymath.uchicago.edu/
How will we know they learned it?
By sharing best practices and working in collaborative groups teachers created essentials which are the core pieces of knowledge all students must know. Our essentials align nicely with the state requirements and the curriculum programs. Common assessments are given to assess each essential in each grade. Teachers track whether students learned these core pieces of knowledge.
How will we respond if they don’t know it?
After tracking whether students have learned an essential, teaching teams sit together and discuss how to provide students with new learning opportunities. We created a WIN block, which stands for “What I Need”, where students transition into flexible groups so teachers can intervene and help students understand the information. Some flexible groups occur within the classroom and others occur across grade levels. In addition, CWES uses the RTI, Response to Intervention, process for responding to students who require a systematic intervention.
How will we respond if they already know it?
Because we know all students learn at a different pace, we must be able to reach students at all learning levels. In some cases, that means we need to enrich students because they already know some of the essentials. CWES introduced enrichment lessons into the general curriculum last year through the use of our very creative Special Teachers. However, we know we need to do more in this area. One of our goals is to further develop enrichment offerings to our students.