Monday, February 29, 2016

Recharge with Professional Learning! ICE 2016

Written by Linda Ashida

February is a great time to take a break from our daily routines as educators and recharge by attending a professional conference.  And, as Kirsten Fletcher reminded us in her recent Collab Blog post, taking time out for professional learning benefits our students!

Last week I had the opportunity to recharge by attending the ICE 2016 Conference: Welcome to the Future.

In this post I will share highlights of just a couple of sessions that I attended. They were inspiring, stretched my thinking and re-energized me.

Keynote speech by Jenny Magiera

If you ever have the chance to hear Jenny Magiera speak, don't miss it!  In her keynote she inspired all of us to all be courageous, step out of our comfort zones, and "share our crazy pills" to encourage others to join us in our Edventures. She shared powerful examples about the power of student voice.  Check out the video her students submitted to the White House Film Festival campaign:  #YesYouCan.  You will be inspired!

Jenny also led an engaging workshop on Professional Learning.  Participant Katie Muhtaris captured many of the ideas presented in this sketchnote:

Katie's tweet is an example of how we can multiply our learning through social media. By following #ICE16 on Twitter during the conference, I expanded my professional learning network and learned from sessions, like this one of Jenny's, that I didn't even attend.

Social Curation by  Joyce Valenza

Curation is a search strategy, an activity to promote learning, a critical thinking activity and if we teach our students to curate, we teach them to take responsibility for their own learning, be a trusted guide, and form community and learning networks.  Joyce Valenza stressed the importance of teaching curation skills to our students. She shared a wealth of examples and resources. If you are interested in exploring curation resources, check out this this link to her presentation.

To "see" more about what ICE 2016 looked like and how it inspired participants, and for a wealth of resources, check out #ICE16 on Twitter.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Devoting time to our own skills can benefit our students

by Kirsten Fletcher

As teachers, we have a tendency to devote all our energy to planning lessons, meeting with students, grading, etc. and not take time for our own professional growth.  For example, I teach French and I often feel like my language skills are slipping. I can no longer keep up the pace of a conversation the way I used to, and I just can't find the time to maintain the level I would like to have. Yet if I want my students to devote time to improving their language skills outside the classroom, I need to work on my own as well. The broader my vocabulary, the more likely I am to expose them to idiomatic expressions and advanced structures.

One way that I can work on my own skills and still encourage my students is through field trips. Every year, we offer students an opportunity to leave English (and technology) behind for a weekend and immerse themselves in French with Aventure Fran├žaise. Students spend the weekend participating in trust walks, nature hikes, broom ball, tug-of-war, singing and skits... all while remaining in the target language! It is truly marvelous to observe.
214 students work together in French to accomplish a task

214 students use compasses, identify landmarks,
participate in trust walk in the woods while using French

Teachers refresh their skills as well

While it is always rewarding to see the progress that students make and the confidence they gain in such a short period of time, I also have a selfish reason for going. This weekend forces me to speak French as well. Even better, it gives me the opportunity to not be the expert in the room. I interact all weekend with my peers and I regain some of my fluency of expression. I return to the classroom energized and armed with new ideas.

The same can be said about honing our teaching skills. It is important to take time out to develop ourselves professionally. This may mean doing pull-out days with our PLC, participating in workshops, or attending conferences. While these experiences frequently mean extra work in the form of planning and sub plans, the payoff is worth it. For more reflection on the benefits of attending professional conferences, see this blog post by Kim Miklusak.

On a smaller scale, the Collab Lab at EGHS offers a variety of professional learning opportunities. Without having to get a sub or take time out for conferences, teachers can join our Teaming on Tuesdays workshops for one period (or even part of a period) to learn through observation and discussion with colleagues and students. Many teachers also just stop in to chat, get feedback, or exchange ideas.

In fact, stop by the Collab Lab during any period on a normal day and you can hear teachers challenging one another and having professional discussions about how our goals align to our assessments or how to best reach struggling students. I sometimes walk out overwhelmed, but more often I leave with new ideas that energize me and encourage me to improve my instruction. I acknowledge that it is hard to take time away from my ever-growing to-do list to engage in meaningful conversation about pedagogy - especially when I really just need to get things graded. However, I truly believe that devoting this time to improving myself and my instruction will benefit my students in the end.

Enhancing Language Learning with 1:1 Technology

Written by Linda Ashida

An invitation to present at the Winter Conference for AATSP (The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese) gave my colleagues Carmen Ruiz, Chris Cirrincione, and me a professional learning opportunity to reflect on, and share, ways that we engage students in language learning with 1:1 technology.

In our presentation we shared strategies that impact student learning by:
  • Personalizing instruction
  • Improving feedback
  • Increasing Collaboration
  • Connecting with Authentic Resources
  • Expanding Learning Beyond Classroom Walls 
While our examples related specifically to World Language classes -  developing interpretive, interpersonal and presentational communication skills - the activities can be easily adapted to any content area.

Some examples of strategies we shared:
  • Give all students a voice with backchannel activities using TodaysMeet or Twitter.
Today's meet is quick and easy to set up!  It takes just a minute!

  • Give real time formative feedback with ClassKick or GoFormative .
Embed audio and video links for formative listening practice / feedback

  • Encourage collaboration with Google Docs and Schoology Media Albums.
Crowd source resources and learning collaboratively! Divide class into groups.  Each group becomes an expert on a text, audio or video source and fills in Google Doc with main point, key details and key vocabulary!

Students upload infographics related to AP themes. Practice creating questions for their infographic.  Engage in paired speaking activities.  Share written comments for peer review.

  • Practice listening comprehension skills with Play Post It or EdPuzzle (Shout out to our Prospect High School colleagues Teri Buczinsky, Ryan Schultz, and Mike Aldworth for sharing their example!)
Embed questions in videos for comprehension checks to build listening comprehension of authentic resources!

  •  Engage students with Authentic Resources with, AudioLingua and more!
Search for native speaker samples by level,  topic, gender and country!

  • Expand learning beyond classroom walls with Google Earth, Virtual Field Trips and Skype.
 Transport yourself around the world with Google Earth or Virtual Field Trips. Try a Mystery Skype!  Connect with another class and guess where they are from.

To learn more about these and other examples we shared, check out this link to our presentation slides.

Do you have other strategies that work?  Please share!

Would you like to learn more about any of the strategies from our presentation?  Please connect with us in the Collab Lab!  
ing Beyond the Classroom walls

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Teaming on Tuesdays: Next Steps with Schoology

By The CollabLab Team
Today during our Teaming on Tuesdays series, we had the opportunity to see multiple teachers using Schoology in a variety of ways. If you missed this Teaming on Tuesday, read on to see what we learned, and check out this previous post, Schoology Resource Bonanza, for helpful resources.

Our Teaming on Tuesday format once again gave teachers the opportunity to visit a classroom for ten minutes to see strategies in action, and then follow up in the Collab Lab to continue to share ideas and examples to apply to our own classes. However, today for the first time, we invited students to join us for our class-visits and follow-up Learning Labs.  Each period,1-2 student tutors from the Mastery Lab joined us. We learned so much from the perspective of the students!

During periods 1 and 5, we watched French students in Kirsten Fletcher's classes upload pictures to a Schoology Media album, then engage in impromptu discussions based on those pictures. This activity allowed for some student choice and creativity while at the same time curating resources for later use.

Sandra Lee and Katie Winstead were gracious enough to pause their independent reading and have students engage in a Schoology discussion about what they like and dislike about Schoology. It was interesting to hear their perspective on how some of their teachers use the technology.  It was a good reminder that technology alone does not foster learning. It depends on how it is used.

In Quinn Loch's AP Environmental Science class, students began with a Schoology agenda, clicked on a link to a video, and completed a formative Schoology quiz. Students also gave us feedback on how their teachers use Schoology.

Carmen Ruiz-Bergman's classes showed us the benefits of a clear course set-up, as well as using the event feature to share the day's agenda.  Students like seeing what is expected of them that day, when upcoming assignments will be due, and being able to go back to look at things they missed if they were absent.

Just a few of the many takeaways from the day:
  • Students report that they like having an agenda (calendar event) posted so they can follow along in class, make up work when absent, or check to see what homework is due.  Some students also liked how teachers post the handout for the day on the agenda as well.
  • Students like the organization of Schoology. They like being able to find documents easily and not having to carry papers to class.  They suggest teachers take a look at how they name documents to help make things easier to find!
  • Students do like when teachers post reminders via Updates.
  • Students only really look at comments and feedback if they have notifications turned on. More would look at them if teachers gave a few minutes in class to do this. Also, comments show up in different places in Schoology depending on whether an assignment is graded or not.
  •  Students really appreciate getting immediate feedback via Schoology and having the opportunity to do practice quizzes before summative tests. They like when teachers give feedback on free response quizzes and discussions.

  • Students would like Schoology to add a private message feature so they could message their teachers directly from the app.
Look for more blogs about these topics again in the future! 

Thanks to the following staff members who took time out of their busy day to join us: Effie Kalkounos, Matt Smolka (intern), Cassie Yoon, Jon Wong, Sue Montemayor, Sharon Horwath, Matt Bohnenkamp, Katie Kalmes, Sandra Lee, Elyse Hoffman (Wheeling High School), Cliff Darnall, Dean Burrier-Sanchis, and Kristina Lopez (student teacher).

Thanks also to our incredible Mastery Lab tutors who gave us the student perspective on Schoology: Irene Tijerin, Katelyn Eul, Sam Ivers, Gabby Vazquez, Hana Crnovrsania, Emily Gable, Justin Ethithira, Tiffany Waldrom, Niki Tingas, Breanna Keenly, Sejal Vora, and Ray Salarzano.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Using Class Olympics to Motivate Students in ACT Practice

By: Rachel Barry

First off, I love the Olympics.  I believe that the Olympics motivates and unites people of various backgrounds in a common goal.  I enjoy the multitude of events, the rivalry and comradery of athletes, the interactions of people from multiple countries...I could go on and on.    So I thought, "Why not bring this to my classroom?"  

Now, I should preface this by noting that I have already tried implementing the Olympics in my classroom four years ago.  The first time around, I will be honest, I bit off more than I can chew.  I gave too many ways for students to win medals, I switched groups too often, and it became very cumbersome to keep up with.  

This year, I decided to develop the Winter Olympic Games focused around our weekly 10 ACT questions.  As part of our curriculum, we have created one set of 10 standardized-test questions for each of our skills.  Throughout first semester, students completed these either on paper or the Socrative app, but I could sense that students were getting bored by these methods.  This is why I chose to develop the Winter Games around these ACT questions, to re-engage my students when heading into the ACT.

For the Games, I placed students into groups based on EPAS scores, so that the groups are balanced in ability.  Each group chose a country that they would be representing.  For the competition, students would work individually on the ACT questions for 8 minutes, and then have 3 minutes to discuss with their group members.  Upon completion of the 11 minutes, each country would submit one final set of answers.  The medals (gold, silver, broze) are awarded as such:

To add motivation each week, the team that gets a gold medal chooses candy from my candy bucket.  

The weekly medals get converted into points:

Gold = 3 points
Silver = 2 points
Bronze = 1 point

I'm keeping track of all of these scores in a GoogleDoc that is shared with my students on Schoology.  

In the end, the winning country gets to pick from a grab bag of items!

In the early stages of the Winter Olympics, I have found students taking these questions more seriously. I don't necessarily know whether this is due to the ACT date coming up in April, the ability to discuss with peers, or the rewards of candy and grab bag items, but I like that they seem to have a resurgence of motivation. I also find the conversations to be intriguing. Students are defending their opinions as to why they believe a question is correct, some students are explaining to others how to answer a problem, and some are just feeling more confident in their own abilities without second-guessing themselves. It is always really exciting to witness students helping one another out and fighting over correct answers in math problems!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Instructional Goals vs. Learning Targets

By Kim Miklusak

In our last Lead Learners meeting we spent time analyzing the differences between instructional objectives vs. learning targets.  Specifically one of the documents we were reviewing was this one: Knowing Your Learning Target

I remember being told in my first year of teaching: always put your objective on your board.  So I would put something like "Complete questions at end of passage" or something similarly vague, but it felt like an objective because we completed it at the end of the period, and the students knew what task we had to accomplish.  But that's just it, it was a task with no connection to why students were doing it.  They wouldn't have been able to articulate the relevance of the task and maybe at times I couldn't as well!

However, as I've taught for longer and worked more on revising various courses, I understand better now why I sequence units together and what my skills and summative goals are for each unit, each lesson, each task (I'm not there yet, obviously, but it's a clear path I'm on). 

This has brought up a few questions:
1.  Do each of us on our PLTs understand clearly why we do each unit, each assessment, each task?
2.  Do I communicate clearly enough to students why we are doing our lessons each day?  Do I spend the right amount of time reviewing the objective?  Would students be able to articulate it and connect it to the broader instructional objective for the unit?
3.  If I were to word the objective in a way that focused on instructional objectives and used academic language, would students understand it?  Would student-friendly language lose the instructional focus?
4.  If I have multiple tasks in one day, do I only write the objective that I am assessing immediately as opposed to the ultimate one that we will be assessing in a few days?  For example my students were writing an argumentative practice paragraph on a specific text we had just covered.  What I wanted to see was the evidence they selected from the text, but they demonstrated that skill through a paragraph, which prepares them for a full essay they will be writing next week.  Does my objective focus on "evidence selection" or is it "comprehension of a text" or is it "preparing skills to create an argumentative essay later"?  I realize any of these is valid, but my ultimate goal for them to demonstrate these skills is the essay; these other skills are mini-lessons assessed on the way.

More on this later in the year as we continue to work in EGLLT, to revise our courses, and to continue to talk on our teams.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Orchestra Observation

By Mark Heintz

I recently observed Maura Brown and her orchestra class.  It was amazing!

Maura told me that her starting routine is common practice amongst almost all orchestras around the globe, but it was still inspiring.  The first few minutes of class were spent having students readying themselves.  Students fine-tuned their instruments as they changed their state to be ready for the lesson.  Finally, a student leader stood up and directed the entire orchestra.  It was incredible to see such student ownership over the readiness of the class. Ever since witnessing her starting routine, I have been puzzling out how to adapt my instruction to mimic hers. I wish I had the courage to begin my class the way she did.

The lesson focused on two goals.  One pertained to the introduction of learning a new scale. The second was to build background knowledge for an upcoming piece of music.

To accomplish the first goal, Maura gave the students the new scale and they practiced as a whole class. Then, the students split up into elbow partners, people right next them, to watch, listen, and provide feedback.  The feedback each student was supposed to be on the proficiency of their peers ability to perform the scale.  The students gave this feedback orally.  They took turns and after the first listened, the students provided feedback to their partner.   Maura realized they needed specific guidance in the way to provide feedback. She augmented her instruction by redirecting the class to provide a specific piece of feedback from a list of three choices.

It was great to see formative assessment in action AND actually see how changed instruction! It was great!

The second part of the lesson centered around students reading about Faust and then watching the opera music they were about to perform.  After the students read about Faust and the opera, they posted to a Schoology discussion blog.  Maura attempted and was successful in getting students to feel the emotion in the music they were about to play.  It was great to see the power of building background knoweldge in helping students play a piece of music with greater passion and emotion.  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Create - Annotate - Publish!

Written by Linda Ashida

"Create - Annotate - Publish" is the framework that Ben Friesen from EdTech Team used in the workshop on Student Engagement that he presented to District 214's ITF / DTC team.  For each category Ben demonstrated several apps and gave participants time to try them out.  This blog post will highlight a few of our favorite apps from the workshop.


Turn learning over to the students!  Encourage them to use apps that engage them in creating to demonstrate their  learning:

Paper by 53:
A great app to do visual notetaking or sketchnoting.  Make thinking visible and demonstrate your learning!  If you are interested in learning more about sketchnoting, and uses for this app, check out this previous Collab Blog post on Sketchnoting.

Last week our Teaming on Tuesday professional learning day focused on AdobeVoice.  Vidra is another presentation tool,similar to Adobe Voice, that it is "user-friendly" and a great tool for students to create presentations with their voice and photos to demonstrate their learning.

Green Screen with Do Ink:
Give students the opportunity to unleash their creativity, have fun, and demonstrate their learning with this green screen app!

Help students dig deeper and analyze the learning they create!

Notability is a versatile app that students can use for notetaking, presenting, and also annotating.  Students can use Notability to annotate work they create to engage in the metacognitive process of reflecting on their learning and demonstrating it to others.

Thinglink is a great interactive app that students can use for presentations, but also to annotate to reflect their learning.  Ben shared this blog post that gives great ideas for creating Thinglinks.  Check it out!


One of my favorite quotes from the workshop was, "What if student work were published instead of just ending up in the "wire basket" for just the teacher to see?"

Publishing can have a tremendous impact on student learning.  If students know they are publishing for an audience beyond their teacher, it raises the bar for them to reflect more deeply on their learning before they share it.  Furthermore, publishing creates an opportunity for students to receive more feedback on their work.

Publishing can done on very open social media forums, but to control the audience more, apps such as Schoology and Seesaw offer great options. Students can publish their work to just the peers in their class. Those classmates can share comments and offer feedback. Furthermore, the published examples can serve as models of work to inspire improved learning.

Schoology Media Albums are a great way to publish student work, just to members of the class.

Seesaw:  Seesaw is a great app to create archives of student work, and to give students the opportunity to do peer review.  It is a great app to curate artifacts of student learning.

This post highlights just some of our favorite apps from the workshop. We hope you will be inspired to try at least one of them.  If you would like support, please contact us in the Collab Lab.  We would love to play and learn with you!  And, if you have examples of your own experience with these apps, please share with us!

To conclude, we'd like to give a big shout out to Ben Friesen and the EdTech Team for inspiring our D214 team in our professional learning and our collaborative learning with our students!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

SBG Grade Reporting in Biology

Written by Quinn Loch

The biology team has been transitioning to standards based grading over the past year. You can read more about the practice and the philosophy behind SBG here. Our goal was to align our assessments (both formative and summative) to our learning targets so it was clear to both us and to students what their current level of understanding was for a specific learning target.
Standards based grading can provide meaningful feedback for a specific skill or standard.

Our transition is still a work in progress and needs fine tuning, but I feel that it has increased transparency in the grade book. I can say to a student that they have a "C" in class not because of arbitrary points earned on quizzes or homework, but because they have not met basic understanding of specific learning targets.

The struggle with this system so far has been how to effectively communicate progress to students. My students check their grades on Infinite Campus regularly, but I wanted to provide a more accurate representation of their learning progression. Here is what that looks like:

What my custom SBG progress report looks like.

To create these grade reports, I use a google sheet add on called "Autocrat." It takes information from a spreadsheet and inputs it into a template. From there, a PDF or Google doc is created and can be emailed to the specific student. With a little set-up, all of this becomes automated with a single click! It is a little extra work on my end, but I have found that the clarity helps my students understand what specifically they need to improve.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Dual Lesson

By Mark Heintz

Two days ago, I was out for EGLLT.  My substitute was an alumni of Elk Grove and the students did not behave well in my absence.  I was in the building, so when the alumni contacted me to tell me I had a rough first and second period, I came upstairs in hopes to settle the class down.  I was all fire and brimstone! I displayed my dismay!

Keep in mind, I love my first two periods.  They are the best group of freshmen I have taught.  They are generally well behaved, albeit on the loud side, but typically do everything I ask.  Out of fifty-five students, only four did not complete the activity I had in my sub plans.  

Despite my love, it is always embarrassing when an outsider has a negative experience with your class. So, the next day I wanted to teach the students a lesson about being respectful. In addition, the lesson was supposed to be about communism.  I thought I could combine the two.  To teach these lessons, I cut twenty-five small squares that had the number twenty on it. 

When the class started, I told the students that the substitute wrote five names down who were on task, respectful, and helpful.  I had the students guess which five student names were written down.  I gave those five students five of the twenty point strips.  I told the class that those five students earned their full percentage and the rest of the class would receive nothing. What happened next was amazing.

The five students were incredibly generous and empathetic. When the class started to argue that they all finished the work and more points should be given, the five students started to give their points away to their classmates, knowing they would receive a failing grade.  The students blew me away with their compassion.  They were hurt for being singled out because they saw how great most of their classmates were.   Moreover, the students were so compassionate they hurt their grade in hopes to be "fair" to their peers.  I cannot say how amazing they are!

Eventually, the discussion led to resource allocation and the need for governments.  Since the students basically gave every student equal share of the points it spoke the merits of equal allocation of resources (communism), but the problems with limited quantities of resources (how communism actually works).  The examples the students were using from the twenty point strips were heartfelt and personal.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Teaming on Tuesdays #2: Student Presentations Made Easy!

By The Collab Lab Team

Today was our second Teaming on Tuesday of the Second Semester.  Our Teaming on Tuesdays offer staff an opportunity to participate in a short professional learning experiences, as short as ten minutes, that usually involves a brief visit to a classroom to see a strategy in action, followed by collaboration time in the Collab Lab to brainstorm applications in our own classroom and/or "play" with the apps.

The American Literature team invited us to observe their students doing presentations with Adobe Voice. Students projected their creation through Apple TV, but also gave an introduction in person and shared their presentation with their teacher digitally--mainly through a Media Album on Schoology. Much like ShowMe, Adobe Voice allows students to include images and text, then record their voice in the same slide. One advantage of Adobe Voice is that if a student makes a mistake, he or she can re-record one slide without having to record the entire presentation again.

When we returned to the Collab Lab, we brainstormed possible applications of Adobe Voice. In addition to presentations, one idea that emerged was to have students summarize the day's lesson in Adobe Voice as an exit slip. They could add one slide a day so that they have a review activity by the end of the week. We also discussed how students could create their own review videos to share with class--a type of podcasting, for example.  Other teachers liked the idea of having students take their own photographs around where they live and to create their own "About Me" presentations for their foreign language classes.  If you have more ideas and/or examples, please share them with us as the year goes on.

Here are some more examples of some of the American Literature students' projects!
1.  Mahatma Gandhi
2.  Dennis Rodman
3.  Lorde

Monday, February 8, 2016

Building Professional Learning Networks at Elk Grove High School and Beyond!

Written by Linda Ashida

Elk Grove Lead Learners Team (EGLLT)

EGLLT Workshop #5

Who:  40 Learners:
  • 26 Teachers/Division Technology Coaches from Elk Grove High School
  • 7 Administrators from Elk Grove High School
  • 5 Teachers from Grove Junior High School
  • 1 District 214 Technology Systems Supervisor
  • 2 Innovative Technology Facilitators from Elk Grove and Rolling Meadows High Schools
  • 5th in a series of monthly Professional Learning workshops on focused on Assessment Literacy.  Today's session focused on establishing and communicating clear learning targets.
  • Professional learning characterized by examining research-based learning strategies, sharing examples and models of work from our own practice, and planning next steps to improve our practice to impact student learning.

When: 8:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m. 

Where:  Elk Grove High School

  • Grow our own professional learning
  • Build professional learning supports and networks within our PLCs, across disciplines, across schools
  • Impact student Learning! 
Today's EGLLT workshop followed the format that characterizes all of our EGLLT professional learning meetings.  Activating our background knowledge (from previous sessions and teaching experience), building background knowledge (often by reading and processing a research-based professional reading), sharing examples of our practice (with the whole group and in small groups), reflecting on and self-assessing our practice, and planning next steps for our instruction.

The focus of today's session was on establishing and communicating clear learning targets. Establishing clear learning targets allows us to align our instruction, our assessments (both formative and summative), and feedback to students, thereby impacting student mastery of essential learning in our courses. It also fosters students motivation, engagement, and ownership of their own learning.

I left EGLLT today feeling inspired and energized, once again, by the interdisciplinary collaboration, conversations, and examples we shared. And, it was great to expand our learning networks beyond Elk Grove High School with participation from from 5 Grove Jr. High School staff and 2 colleagues District 214 colleagues.

To get a better idea of what our day "looked like"  -  the engaged professional learning - check out the photos below:
Principal Paul Kelly starts us off! Sharing our Essential Questions that drive all of our learning for the year, and sharing examples of the impact on student learning.  Our unprecedented Freshman success rate is just one example!

Activating Background knowledge from our previous EGLLT meeting.  Interdisciplinary groups coach each other to demonstrate learning of key concepts.

Discussing the benefits of Clear Learning Targets for Teachers, Students and Parents

Learning from peer examples / models of work:  Quinn Loch shares "I used to . . . " "Now I . . . " and "What I noticed as a result . . ." related to the progress of his science PLC with communicating clear learning targets.

Learning from peer examples / models of work:  Mark Heintz shares the progress of the Human Geography team in establishing clear learning targets and aligning the targets to instruction and assessments.
Learning from peer examples / models of work:  Colleen Mullaney shares examples of her practice from several years ago, and several steps that reflect modifications in her communication of learning targets to engage students more in their own learning.
Associate Principal Megan Knight prepares staff for a self-assessment activity.  After sharing peer examples,  examining models of learning targets, and engaging in an activity to distinguish between learning targets and activities, we prepared to examine our own learning targets and determine next steps to improve our communication of clear learning targets to our students and to align our instruction and our feedback to students in order to improve student mastery of essential learning in our courses.

Intradisciplinary, interdisciplinary and cross-school collaboration:  A division chair from Math/Science and a psychology teacher; our Elk Grove Health teachers; and a PE teacher from Elk Grove High School and Grove Jr. High School reflect on their practice.

The Math / Science team reflects on their practice and plans next steps.

English/Fine Arts and Special Education teams reflect on their practice and plan next steps

Elk Grove High School and Grove Jr. High School reflect on their practice and share ideas to continue their collaboration across schools!

Social Science Division Chair and teacher brainstorm ideas to "break down" the learning targets and scaffold instruction to engage students with the essential learning in their courses.  

Human Geography Teachers take next steps with instructional design and assessment.

When I look back at the photos from the day, I can't help be inspired by the sharing and collaboration and learning with my colleagues.

For more details about the Essential Questions that drive our learning, and the specific learning targets and activities for EGLLT 5,  check out our slide presentation:  EGLLT #5 Clear Learning Targets.