Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hoover High Literacy Plan - First Quarter Update

In August, I wrote about our school's implementation plan for our focus on improving literacy with six common strategies. The team planned for two training days, the first in August and the second in September. Also in early September, each content-area PLC received a copy of the book pictured below. 

Members our literacy team presented each of the six strategies found in the book, and we created videos of each strategy so that we would have a video library for teachers who were out or could not attend the training in person.

This week, the literacy team met to review the PLC reflection forms that each PLC filled out about their discussions on their implementation of their chosen literacy strategy (each PLC had to choose one area of focus for first semester and one for second semester.) 

Click the link to see the form we use:

Since the team is divided into sub-groups by strategy, each sub-group collected the forms about their strategies so that they could give targeted assistance to the PLCs that are focusing on their particular strategy. ("Vocabulary's CODE" is the focus of most PLCs.)

At the meeting, I posted 3 large post-its with questions for the team and asked them to respond.

How do we help this to be less of an exercise in completing the form than in reflecting on practice?

Team responses:
Record your strategy during your lesson and watch it later. Reflect on your own.
Observation. Teachers within the PLC should observe one another practicing new procedure/lesson.
Share transformational successes with other staff members.
Assign partners to "check in" 

What if teachers don't believe that using literacy strategies makes a difference?

Team responses:
I think as teachers we know that practicing literacy will only improve those skills. We need help realizing the importance for EVERYONE to participate.
Fire them.
Why so resistant? 
Has it been defined well enough?
If they could just see how it can work and help ALL students.

How do we help teachers who say that they don't have time to do literacy strategies?

Team responses:
Help them understand what they are doing already.
Keep trying to get them to aim at the target.
Show them how these strategies make what they are already doing easier.
Sit down with then one-on-one and show them how they are already doing it. Don't let it be an "add" but an "enhance."
Show success stories. Make it APPEALING to carve out time for it. 

Next steps for the team?

Invite teachers to their classrooms. Model the strategies in action. In a math class, in a science class, in an engineering class, in an English class, etc. 

Touch base with the PLCs. Visit their meeting if possible. 

Share success stories.

How would you answer the questions above?

What suggestions would you make to the team for next steps?

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