One of the questions that I get asked all the time when I’m working with schools and districts that are functioning as professional learning communities is, “We get that we are supposed to ‘collaborate,’ but what exactly does that MEAN? What does collaboration look like in action?”
The simple answer to that question is that collaborative teams spend their time working together to answer four questions for every unit in their curriculum:
- What do we want our students to know and be able to do?
- How are we going to assess the progress that our students are making at mastering the skills and content that we’ve identified as essential?
- What will we do to intervene on behalf of students who haven’t mastered the skills and content that we’ve identified as essential?
- What will we do for students who have mastered the skills and content that we’ve identified as essential before our teaching even begins?
To help learning teams better understand their work, I’ve developed a quick checklist of tasks that teams tackle when they are working on each of the four key questions.
Check it out here:
What I love about using this document is that almost every team can find something that they are ALREADY doing, something that they are READY TO START doing, and something that they’d NEVER CONSIDERED doing. The result: Teams that walk away feeling better about the work they’ve done and excited about the work they are about to do.
So what do YOU think? Is this a handout that you’d consider using with teams?
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