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Running head: LEARNING GROUP FACILITATOR

Learning Group Facilitator

Norma Alejandro-Mattson

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

OLPD 5374 Leadership for Professional Learning

Chad Schmidt, Ph.D.

Becky Allen, M.Ed.

April 1, 2017
Introduction to the Learning Group
Rationale
Learning Labs Guided Reading

Dear Green Teachers:


As we launch into a focus on Literacy we are inviting teaching teams to focus together on
ensuring that students are growing as readers as measured by regular Fountas and Pinnell
assessments (F&P) and/or running record assessments. We are focusing on quality of
questioning AND the amounts of scaffolds and supports students are given to have language
to respond to questions.

Non-negotiable
Literacy focus on focused moving of students up reading levels
Literacy focus on comprehension
Scaffolds and supports for students to have the language resources to respond to
questions
Monitoring implementation of 2-3 components of Guided Reading Practice Profile
including the Critical Questioning Row
Scheduled time for Learning Lab (Joint Planning, Observation and Debrief)
Coach supported teams

Negotiable
Component Recommendations Comments

Portion of the We recommend uniting our work (The same strategies may be echoed
Literacy around Guided Reading. and reinforced in shared or modeled
Block. reading if that is more appropriate to
the Grade Level)

Scheduling of Option B (because we SIG can pay for a half-day sub or pay
the Learning value quality first time teachers for planning time.
Lab instruction)
Meet teacher-scheduling
requirements.
Time with subs minimized
for students, especially if
other demands have
teacher absence > 1 a
month.

Means of Videotaping Teachers can visit during sub covered


observing one hours OR coaches can support with
another videotaping

Team Grade Level Teams Grade level teams are the easiest to
composition schedule. We are open to cross grade
Minimum 3 team members groups choosing to work together, and
need a workable scheduling proposal in
Coach supported order to do so.

Learning Labs: An opportunity for a grade level team to look closely at one or two F & P level
guided reading groups, by studying running records, naming precise obstacles of kids in the
groups at that level, planning together by choosing texts, planning questions and then watching
implementation. Watching could be done by visiting other classrooms with sub support or
watching videotapes.

Resources for the Learning Lab:


o Guided Reading Learning Lab Intro for Kindergarten from January 2016)
o Guided Reading PPT from Sullivan
o Reading Assessment Checklists

Learning targets:
LT1: I can state the key components of a Guided Reading lesson.
LT2: I can identify where Guided Reading fits into the MPS Balanced Literacy Model.
LT3: I can develop and plan for each component a Guided Reading lesson.
LT4: I can implement what I have learned with a Guided Reading group from my
classroom.
LT5: I can use the information from the sessions to continue to build a foundation of
Guided Reading in my classroom.
Team Learning Lab Application

1. Our Learning Lab Team consists of these team members:

1st grade team, EL teacher, Math coach and Literacy coach.

2. Theme that unites our team (Grade Level, Strategy, Other)

Grade level

3. Which 1 or 2 lines in addition to Questioning in the Guided Reading Practice Profile.


Will your team choose to focus on?

a. Schedule
b. Text Selection
c. Learning Objectives
d. During Reading
e. Questioning
f. Context Clue

4. The format we prefer for our learning lab is:

Option A Option B Alternate


Proposal

Our team requests a half day Our team would prefer to Plan and debrief
sub during which we will during time already set aside (Collaborative
Plan 1 or 2 lessons Planning or PLC) and do our observations via
together video.
Watch one of us
implement with 1 group During PLC
of our students
Debrief

5. The underserved student group that our work will focus on


Native American
Black
Somali
Logistics

Literacy Coach Proposal


ILT roll out a PD cycle, Practice Profile and Learning Walk aligned with the targeted
planning of guided reading groups.
History:
Needs Assessment (Literacy)
ILT Survey of components of Reading Block (November 18)
Reading Workshop Survey Results
Components
Guided Reading Planning Practice Profile
Learning Labs (Joint Planning for distinct F & P levels)
Vertical Alignment PD
Learning Walk

Schedule
Dec 1 K-2 Trending Thursday: Comprehension Questions Planning per
Guided Reading Levels

Dec 7 Grade Level Teams report back to ILT


Selected rows of practice profile
Proposal of structure of Learning Lab

Dec 12 Coaches Cabinet


Approves Learning Lab and Practice Profile requests
Proposes scheduling of Learning Labs

Dec 14 Grade Level Teams report back to ILT


Data to be analyzed in learning lab
F & P levels focused on

January 3rd PLC Vertical Alignment dedicated to Guided Reading (work with
Reading Assessment Checklists to tailor questioning to F & P level)

January 3 Grade Level Guided Reading PD and Learning Labs


February 13

Late February Learning Walk r.e. Implementation of Practice Profile


Targeted Reading Interventions Learning Lab work

Suggested Timeline

Date Who Task

Dec 8 ILT Approve Plan and Timeline/ approve


focus/structure of

January 3 Vertical Gina/Jeanne Look at Literacy Block as a Whole/ Standards


Alignment On ILTs Vertical Alignment
Direction Standards 1.2.2 and 2.2.2
What does that look like? (rigor)
DOK

January 10 Teams Kick off PLC - Set Smart Goal/ Determine data to
gather
Pick reading level to focus on

January 17 Teams Guided Reading PD

January 24 Teams Plan Joint Lesson

Jan 24-31 Teams Implement Lesson and teach

January 18 ILT Approve learning walk structure and look-fors


and schedule

Feb 2 TT ILT Debrief Lesson

Feb 8 - 13 Learning Walk


Guided Reading Learning Lab Session #1
Journal Reflection

What?
On Monday, January 9, 2017 I met with 1st grade team for our first group session. A total of 5
participants, including: 1st grade teachers (3), EL teacher, Math coach and Literacy coach.
Agenda - See the attachment

So What?
The first session went very well. The group was honest and present. We had enough time to
analyze F&P data, establish our SMART goal, to select specific strategies for guided reading
groups, and we started our guided reading professional development. This first session only
covered the introduction, lesson pre-work and before reading-strategy Focus & Introducing the
Text. During this session we reviewed:
Guided Reading vs. Strategy lesson
Different lesson plan templates for guided reading

Now What?
For the next session teachers need to bring guided reading books for which groups they will be
using. We will be planning the before reading portion for all of the guided reading groups.
Next weeks agenda:
1. Plan before reading for all guided reading groups
2. Plan EL scaffolds.
3. Plan EL teachers support for her pullouts.
4. Plan Shared Reading Connection.
Guided Reading Learning Lab Session #2
Journal Reflection

What?
On Tuesday, January 17,2017 I met with 1st grade team for our second group session.
Agenda See attachment

So What?
During our second session we covered during reading reading the text, watched the video, and
fluency. Teachers created a lesson for guided reading including EL scaffolds and supports.
During this session we reviewed:
Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading Characteristics of Readers
Areas for improvement
Better time management too much prepared! We ran out of time, my goal was to be done with
professional development today and start planning or lesson for the learning lab.

Now What?
For our next session we will continue our Professional Development on after reading.

We will review F&P Benchmark Assessments: Levels A-D (Early-Emergent) and Levels E-F
(Emergent). Aligned with English Language Development - signifies book suggested for EL
students.
Guided Reading Learning Lab Session #3
Journal Reflection

What?
On Monday, January 23, 2017 I met with 1st grade team for our third group session.
Agenda See attachment

So What?
During our third session we covered after reading discussing/revisiting the text, watched the
video. We discussed comprehension questions (examples of factual, inferential, critical thinking
questions). During this session we reviewed:
Guided Reading Goal questions
Comprehension questions for level text
Teachers created specific lesson plans during this time.
1. Lesson For Guided Reading including EL scaffolds and supports. We will be looking at
before, after and questioning during guided reading.
2. Sister Learning for Cats pullout groups to support the learning the classroom during
guided reading
3. Shared Reading Application
4. Independent Reading Application.

Now What?
Actions to do before next week:
Bring guided reading books for which groups you will be using. We will be writing
comprehension questions for different level books.
Guided Reading Learning Lab Session #4
Journal Reflection
What?
On Monday, January 31, 2017 I met with 1st grade team for our third group session.
Agenda See attachment

So What?
During our third session we covered observation Notes, MPS Literacy Course, and resources. We
continued our discussion about comprehension questions. During this session we reviewed:
Guide for observing and Noting Reading Behaviors
Reading Assessments Checklist Behaviors to Notice, Teach and Support
Guided Reading - Small group or Individual instruction Checklist
Examples of factual, inferential, critical thinking questions:
The Grandma Mix Up: Level J
How is Grandma Nan feeling?
How do you know?
When have you felt like that?
Why is everyone so grumpy?
How would you feel if you were the little girl?
What would you do if you were the little girl?
How could the parents have stopped the problem?

Create specific lesson plans during this time.


1. Lesson For Guided Reading including EL scaffolds and supports. We will be looking at
before, after and questioning during guided reading.
2. Worked on writing specific questions for different levels of books.
3. Tried finding - specific critical thinking questions to push beyond inferential and
factual.
4. Shoshana: Level G- Dannys dad- how did the boys feelings change from the beginning
of the text to the end? Why?
5. Level C - Can we have a pet: Does the mom want him to have a bird? Why or why not?
How do you know? What other animals could the boy have? Why would you want a
pet?
6. Sister Learning for Cats pull-out groups to support the learning the classroom during
guided reading
a. Working on question song
b. Question cube
c. Working on questioning rubric
7. Shared Reading Application
a. Working on higher order questioning during shared reading
8. Independent Reading Application.

Now What?

Next weeks agenda:

Plan all guided reading groups for the next week.

Bring any updated reading levels - bring any concerns about a particular student.

Norma will introduce the Student Work Protocol for Video.

Protocols are structured sets of guidelines to promote effective and efficient communication
and problem solving, and they offer a useful application of procedural knowledge to the work
of professional learning (Katz & Dack, 2013).
Evaluation Summary

According to Guskey (2000), an essential consideration in evaluating professional


development programs and activities, therefore, is whether the practices that result from
participants use of their new knowledge and skills are really different. To gather this information
requires either that participants be asked about explicit changes in their professional practice, or
that measures of their practice be collected both before and after the professional development
experience (p.189).

In order to evaluate the impact of this experience, I created an evaluation for participant
to complete at the conclusion of our last session. All of the participants (5/5) completed the
evaluation. Below is a summary of the questions I asked, as well as the responses I received. To
answer these questions, the participants were asked to use a rating scale in which, 1 = Strongly
Disagree and 5 = Strongly Agree.

1. The guided reading PLC/learning lab was a relevant and valuable learning
experience for me.
80% or 4 participants indicated Strongly Agree (5)
20% or 1 participant indicated Agree (4)

2. The time and effort invested were worthwhile to me in terms of the benefits I
received.

80% or 4 participants indicated Strongly Agree (5)


20% or 1 participant indicated Agree (4)

3. The purpose of the Guided Reading PD was to articulate how Guided Reading is a
critical strategy of the Balanced Literacy Framework, and to explain the essential
element/components of a Guided Reading lesson. Overall, did the PD achieve these
goals?

60% or 3participants indicated Strongly Agree (5)


40% or 2participants indicated Agree (4)
Finally, the participants were asked a few open-ended questions in order to measure the impact
of the Guided Reading Professional Development, as well as, gather feedback about improving
the experience.
We need to make evaluation an Integral part of the professional development process (Guskey,
2000).
1. What has changed for your students as a result of the Guided Reading PLC/learning
lab?

o How to prep/plan wisely so Im getting the most out of every book.


o Using picture walks more often.
o I will use sound boxes in word work during guided reading.
o Asking questions more frequently during the reading.
o How to ask better questions.
o Im feeling more confident in my abilities to do guided reading effectively.
o After this PD I think I might try to ask more observational notes on my kids
while they read.
o Read the books before, use post it notes in the book. Its all about planning.
o Give students more time to pre-read or do a picture walk.
2. What suggestions do you have to improve this experience for future Professional
Development and/or PLC sessions?

o Loved having the PD on the beginning. More PD on high order questions.

o Liked brainstorming with everyone the questions to go with the leveled books.

o Planning - its hard to do it at the end of the day. Brain is fried.

o Video - helpful to see other teachers. How different teachers do things. Get some

ideas.

o This PD was good because it was a fundamental teaching skill.

o More time to share videos. We only had enough time for two videos.
Evaluation not only provides information to determine whether programs are effective, it
provides information about how to strengthen a program to increase its effectiveness (Killion,
2003).

Summative Reflection
Learning Labs

As a literacy coach at Green Central for three years, my primary role has been to support
teachers in learning strategies and working as a team. Being bilingual in Spanish has helped me
strengthen our Dual Developmental Language (DDL) team by having a clear vision for vertical
alignment.

My main goal this year has been to create strong grade level teams that collaborate and work
together ensuring a consistent experience for all students and minimizing work for team
members, while drawing on the different strengths of each teacher and also creating alignment
between the DDL and English Language Development (ELD) teams.

This work was especially important because Green has added a lot of new staff for the past 5
years, with 80% of the staff new to the building last year. With all new staff, grade level teams
had to start from scratch learning both the curriculum and each others strengths. The most
effective and efficient way to meet students needs was for team members strengths to
complement each other and to share the planning workload.

My first step was to get advice from the Grade Level Team coach from a different school that
had successful teams collaborating. She helped me recognize that Learning labs, a process in
which teachers and I plan, teach and reflect upon a lesson together, would be a great way to start
our teamwork and collaboration.

We needed to bring together the individual students needs, the standards and the curriculum
resources that we had. The book Great Habits, Great Readers- A Practical Guide for K-4
Reading in the Light of Common Core, helped give me some concrete steps to start the work. I
first used the model in Kindergarten focusing on the content area of Literacy, and this year I used
the model in first grade with the same content area.

Teachers chose something within their current lesson trajectory and brought any materials they
felt would be helpful in our planning. They also identified needs of particular students within
their classes. Together we planned a model activity. Two teachers volunteered to pilot the plan
with a group of students.

I was blown away by how comfortable this experience was for both teachers and students. After
the activity, we reflected on what they noticed and wondered about regarding the activity we had
jus experienced. The expectation after the reflection was for each teacher to be ready to try again.

I was elated by the feedback from teachers. They talked about positives such as: I learned a lot
from being in each others classroom. The planning session gave me different ideas to try out
and think about. Also, it was wonderful to hear the suggested improvements such as: It would
be better to have more time in the classroom 15 minutes was not enough. We should do half
day PD and half day planning and implementation.

Between the research, the advice from colleagues and the impact on students, this was truly a
complete cycle of Growth for everyone! After the Guided Reading Learning Labs success,
currently are being implemented in Math.

Teachers need learning structures that empower them professionally and enable them to
collaborate with colleagues.

Like our students, teachers need brain-based learning experiences that are relevant and
challenging and that provide opportunities for active participation (Sousa, 2006).
References

Bambrick-Santoyo, P., Settles, A. & Worrell, J. (2013). Great Habits Great Readers: A practical
guide for K-4 reading in the light of Common Core. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

Guskey, T. R., (2000). Evaluating Professional Development. Thousands Oaks, CA: Corwin
Press, Inc.
Katz, S. & Dack, L. A., (2013). Intentional Interruption: Breaking down learning barriers to
transform professional practice. Thousands Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.

Killion, J. (2003). Solid Footwork makes evaluation of staff development programs a song.
National Staff Development Council, 24(4), 15-21. Retrieved from
http://www.NSDC.ORG

Pinnell, G. S., & Fountas, I. C. (2012) Continuo de adquisicin de la lectoescritura: Grados


PreK-2 Gua para la enseanza. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Pinnell, G. S., & Fountas, I. C. (2008) The Continuum of Literacy Learning: Grades K-2 A
Guide to Teaching. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Pinnell, G. S., & Fountas, I. C. (2008) The Continuum of Literacy Learning: Grades 3-8 A Guide
to Teaching. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Pinnell, G. S., & Fountas, I. C. (2007) The Continuum of Literacy Learning: Grades K-8
Behaviors and Understandings to notice, teach and support. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Sousa, D. (2006). How the brain learns (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Videos
K Adams. (2012, January 14) 2nd grade Guided Reading Day 1: Grade 2 Model Classroom.
Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AHxqggc-yI

K Gray (2016, February 12) Coaching Towards Collaborative Learning: Creating a Culture of
Collaborative Learning. Retrieved from https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/build-
collaborate-learning-culture
OLPD 5374: Leadership for Professional Learning
Norma Alejandro-Mattson
Guided Reading-Learning Labs

What?
My main goal this year has been to create strong grade level teams that collaborate and work
together ensuring a consistent experience for all students and minimizing work for team
members
This work was especially important because Green has added a lot of new staff for the past 5
years, with 80% of the staff new to the building last year. With all new staff, grade level teams
had to start from scratch learning both the curriculum and each others strengths. The most
effective and efficient way to meet students needs was for team members strengths to
complement each other and to share the planning workload.

So What?
My first step was to get advice from the Grade Level Team coach from a different school that
had successful teams collaborating. She helped me recognize that Learning labs, a process in
which teachers and I plan, teach and reflect upon a lesson together, would be a great way to start
our teamwork and collaboration.

We needed to bring together the individual students needs, the standards and the curriculum
resources that we had. The book Great Habits, Great Readers- A Practical Guide for K-4
Reading in the Light of Common Core, helped give me some concrete steps to start the work. I
first used the model in Kindergarten focusing on the content area of Literacy, and this year I used
the model in first grade with the same content area.

Teachers chose something within their current lesson trajectory and brought any materials they
felt would be helpful in our planning. They also identified needs of particular students within
their classes. Together we planned a model activity. Two teachers volunteered to pilot the plan
with a group of students.

Now What?
I was blown away by how comfortable this experience was for both teachers and students. After
the activity, we reflected on what they noticed and wondered about regarding the activity we had
jus experienced. The expectation after the reflection was for each teacher to be ready to try again.

I was elated by the feedback from teachers. They talked about positives such as: I learned a lot
from being in each others classroom. The planning session gave me different ideas to try out
and think about. Also, it was wonderful to hear the suggested improvements such as: It would
be better to have more time in the classroom 15 minutes was not enough. We should do half
day PD and half day planning and implementation.

Between the research, the advice from colleagues and the impact on students, this was truly a
complete cycle of Growth for everyone! After the Guided Reading Learning Labs success,
currently are being implemented in Math.
Table of Contents

Introduction to the Learning Group .1-5

Rationale ..1-2
Team Learning Lab Application 3
Logistics ...4-5

Session #1...6-40

Agenda .6-9
Learning Activities ..10-39
Reflective Entry 40

Session #2.41-55

Agenda .41-43
Learning Activities ..44-54
Reflective Entry 55

Session #3.56-75

Agenda .56-59
Learning Activities ..60-74
Reflective Entry 75

Session #4.76-90

Agenda .76-79
Learning Activities ..80-88
Reflective Entry ...89-90

Evaluation Summary ...91-94

Summative Reflection .95-96


References ...97-98