The second Fall Meeting of the Professional Learning Committee was held on October 13th, 2017 from 2:00 to 4:30 pm. The goal of the meeting was to create pre and post writing assessments to improve academic outcomes among our ESL students. There were 17 teachers in attendance.
The meeting began with a review of the goals of the previous meeting by Mr. Rob Jenkins. There was substantial discussion regarding the role of the PLC in developing the assessments, and how these assessments may help teachers become more effective writing instructors. To this end, Ms. Monica Rojas gave a PowerPoint presentation on classroom “Play: Shapes The Brain; Opens The Imagination; Invigorates The Soul.” Monica discussed ways to increase classroom interaction and promote greater student participation. Some suggested strategies included: Field Trips; Humor; Storytelling; Sharing Food; Tossing a Ball for Vocabulary Practice; and Role Play. Finally, she emphasized the importance of creating community and a sense of belonging in the classroom. After Monica’s presentation on active learning strategies, teachers met in their groups by level to develop their writing assessments. Most teachers decided to gather data from their students by asking them to complete a short writing project. Teachers will return to the next PLC with the results of their projects to create their initial writing assessments. The results of these assessments will also inform the work of the ESL Department in tweaking and adjusting the new ESL Curriculum to become more responsive to student needs and improve academic outcomes.