The March meeting of the Professional Learning Committee was held on March 6th, 2020 in Room A-110 at Centennial Education Center. The meeting had two main purposes: first, to assist the EL-CIVICS Coordinator at Centennial with reviewing the new EL CIVICS assessments, and second, to revise and finalize the Writing Rubrics for pilot-testing at Centennial in our ESL courses.
Sandra Watts, the EL CIVICS Coordinator at Centennial passed around the new EL CIVICS unit to the Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced ESL teachers to examine. Teachers were asked to make comments on the assessments and suggested revisions to improve the readability of the tests for ESL students. Sandra expressed satisfaction at the high quality of input received from teachers. She stated it would help her to improve the EL CIVICS assessments before they were sent to production.
After Sandra completed her presentation, teachers met in their respective ESL level groups to finalize the Writing Rubrics for assessing student writing. Teachers spent the next hour discussing and revising the rubrics. A group of teacher-volunteers has been recruited to test out the Writing Rubrics with their classes. They will be compensated for their work. The pilot-testing of the Writing Rubrics will help PLC members to gauge their utility for evaluating Formative Writing Assessments completed by the teacher-volunteers.
Once the pilot process is completed, further revisions to the Rubrics may prove necessary. PLC Teachers will be working closely with the teacher-volunteers during this Spring, 2020 Semester.
The PLC group discussed the potential use of the newly developed various-level writing rubrics by teachers in their classrooms.
A 2 hr. CEFOMS activity was developed and involved the following wording, as is now stated in the CEFOMS workshop description:
“The Professional Learning Community (PLC) has developed writing rubrics to help our ESL instructors assess their students in formative assessments throughout the semester. These rubrics will eventually be used as one of the multiple measures to assess our students and determine if they are ready for the next level. We are currently working on validating results. Instructors who participate will: 1) Get a 30 minute training from a member of the PLC at a time convenient to them, 2) give students a task in the classroom, 3) after class, use the rubric to evaluate the student effort, 4) report back to a member of the PLC. Teachers will earn 2 hours of flex for participating and can repeat the process as many times as they would like. Flex time is calculated based on time spent outside of the classroom.”
After this CEFOMS description was agreed upon, the PLC continued to work on the writing rubrics within their individual level groups.
Eight teachers attended the meeting, along with special guest, Sandra Watts.
Sandra Watts, El Civics Coordinator, provided the PLC attendees with information about current work on EL Civics projects, including improvements on the following:
–the annual student surveys
–the process of teacher preparation/feedback prior to administration of the
From the discussion at this meeting, it was agreed that, on a regular basis, the PLC could play a major role in providing essential support and feedback on EL Civics projects. Sandra will return to the PLC on March 6th (scheduled meeting date) to continue this coordination between the PLC and EL Civics.
Discussion /work-groups: All groups agreed that our current focus would be on implementing the final form of the writing rubrics. Following that, we would then continue work on the listening assessments and rubrics.
- The Beginning group presented their finalized writing rubric with examples of student writing (sentence level) for analysis by PLC attendees. The group’s summary of this activity is as follows: “Marti presented authentic student sentences, which we all graded with the final version of our Beginning Low Writing Rubric. We did agree to the point system of the rubric, and that it is a valid rubric which will be used by the PLC teachers in attendance.”
- In addition, it was determined that this rubric could be used for compound sentences (as well as simple sentences) with a slight modification of the scoring points.
- The Intermediate group also presented their revised writing rubric to be used with Int. Low and Int. High students only. They will implement this version with student writings and follow up on results.
- The Advanced group will continue with their writing rubric already in use. However, some revisions may be made to the wording, as needed. Implementation will be ongoing with analysis of results of use.
The teachers present for all three groups agreed to write clear instructions for use of the rubrics on the back of the rubric document. As we recruit other teachers to use these rubrics, the written instructions are meant to guide them. We discussed whether there was a need for actual training sessions for piloting teachers, and opinions were divided.
We may need to provide extra training for teachers who are unfamiliar with rubrics as one of the multiple measures for assessment. This discussion can be taken up again as the rubrics are presented to additional teachers.
The by-level groups will continue to meet in small group sessions, implement their rubrics, and report back in the next general PLC meeting on Feb. 21st. The goal for all the groups is to be working with the final version of their writing rubric by that time.
The December 6th meeting of the PLC was held in Room A-110 at Centennial Education Center. There were 12 teachers in attendance. The meeting was led by Eric Glicker. The focus of the meeting was finalizing goal setting for the Spring 2020 semester as well as continuing work on the writing and listening rubrics. It was decided to hold a 30-minute training session at the ESL Faculty Meeting during Spring Flex to demonstrate the new writing rubrics for the Beginning and Intermediate/Advanced ESL levels. For the Intermediate Level, Mara Tavantzis will lead the Morning Session and Eric Glicker will lead the Evening Session.
The Beginning Group will inform Rob whom they will choose as their leaders for the Morning and Evening Flex Sessions. Prior to the PLC Meeting, Rob suggested continuing revisions of our listening rubrics. To facilitate this goal, both the Beginning and Intermediate PLC groups have been meeting during the week; testing out the listening rubrics with their classes; and revising the questions in the formative assessments they had created. Rob Jenkins will attend the next meeting of the PLC during the 2020 Spring Semester, and presenters for the two-hour Flex Training on the writing rubrics will be chosen.
The November 15th meeting of the PLC was held in Room A-110 at Centennial Education Center. There were 14 teachers in attendance. The meeting was led by Rob Jenkins. The focus of the meeting was goal setting for the Spring 2020 semester as well as continuing work on the writing and listening rubrics.
It was decided to hold a 30-minute training session at the ESL Faculty Meeting during Spring Flex to demonstrate the new writing rubrics for the Beginning and Intermediate/Advanced ESL levels. In addition, a two-hour Flex Workshop for teachers who wish to pilot the writing rubrics will be scheduled.
Finally, it was announced that a part-time Faculty Coordinator for EL CIVICS will be hired. This instructor will work closely the full-time EL CIVICS coordinator at the Orange Campus to consider and implement revisions and updates to the EL CIVICS units in consideration of the valuable feedback provided by the PLC at the most recent two meetings.
The Professional Learning Committee (PLC) met November 1st, 2019 in Room A-110. The EL CIVICS Coordinator, Rita VanDyke Kao, listened to our concerns regarding the EL CIVICS units. She promised to bring the Safety EL CIVICS unit (to be used during the Spring 2020 Semester) for us to review at the next PLC Meeting in late November. Some of us said we may pilot the Student Unit in our classes this semester to provide Rita additional feedback. Finally, Rita mentioned a PT EL CIVICS Coordinator was to be hired at CEC; and most likely, we’d be working more closely with her.
After Rita left, we turned to our Writing and Listening Rubrics. We decided to the Intermediate and Advanced Levels will definitely use the same Writing (and perhaps the same Listening) Rubric. The Beginning Levels will be using their own Rubrics. All levels will be meeting separately with their group members. Both the Intermediate and Advanced Levels will do a formative writing assessment in their classes on Monday or Tuesday of this week. Then they’ll use the Rubric to grade the assessments and share the results at their Level meetings. Then they’ll use the Rubric to grade the assessments and share the results at their Level meeting. In addition, the Advanced group will also complete a formative listening assessment and grade the results with the Listening Rubric. They will bring that data to the next PLC Meeting on Friday, November 15th, 2019.
At the next meeting, the Intermediate and Advanced group members will decide on cutoff (passing) scores for Int Low; Int High; Advanced Low; and Advanced High so we could all use the same Listening Rubric. For the Writing Rubric, which has a total of 50 Points, we agreed on the cutoff (passing) scores for each level. For Adv High, a minimum of 45 out of 50; For Adv Low, 40 out of 50; for Int High, 35 out of 50; and for Int Low, 20 out of 50 on our common Writing Rubric. Finally, Mara Tavantzis agreed to record the dialogue of one of our previously created Listening Assessments. Then the Intermediate Level group could try that formative assessment after the next PLC Meeting and present the results at the final December Meeting. The goal is to share the Writing and Listening Assessments with Faculty during Spring Flex.
The Professional Learning Committee (PLC) held its first official meeting of the year on Friday, October 18th to set its goals for the 2019-20 school year. The PLC made a list of its vision and goals with the able assistance of Rob Jenkins. The goals identified by the teachers were as follows:
(1) Identify and promote formative assessment rubrics for multiple measures;
(2) Create innovative ideas to improve instruction for increased student outcomes;
(3) Pilot and edit revisions of the EL Civics Units in cooperation with the Coordinators;
(4) Identify and delineate specific multiple measures and required standards for promotion;
(5) Share, disseminate, and provide info on new CEC teacher action research to OTAN.
Pending approval from Dr. Sergio Sotelo, PLC teachers would be paid for up to 4 hours per week of documented work toward achieving the above goals with the supervision of the ESL Department.
The February 22, 2019 Meeting of the Professional Learning Committee (PLC) was held at Centennial Education Center in Room A-110. Within level, two groups (Beginning level and Intermediate/Advanced level) met to continue work on the writing and listening assessments and rubrics.The Beginning group refined their listening assessment so that it now focuses more directly on listening skill. The listening rubric was also completed and several members of the group will do initial trials of the assessment/rubric prior to the March 8, 2019 meeting.
The mixed Int/Adv group (including ABE Composition, ESL Int/Adv, & Academic ESL) worked on team rubric scoring of 6 students writings. With few exceptions, there was fairly close agreement on the scores given. The group discussed that, within a semester, it would be important to do at least 3 writing assessments using the rubric. The average of the resulting scores could then be one of the multiple measures that helps to determine passing to the next level (with 70% and above = passing writing; may need to work out a percentage range for specific levels.
Regarding listening, this group selected one of the completed listening assessments, the “Job Interview” dialogue/questions to try out in the classroom. Results will be brought to the 3/8/19 meeting. For now, the group will use the percentage correct on the listening assessment questions as a measure of listening skill. Nancy Rucker offered to assist in working on an Int/Adv listening rubric design for possible future use.
The February 8, 2019 Meeting of the Professional Learning Committee (PLC) was held at Centennial Education Center in Room A-110. There were 12 teachers in attendance. Within level, Beginning and Intermediate groups agreed on level appropriate writing assessments and worked on refining writing rubrics for in-classroom use during the next two weeks. Teachers will bring results to the next PLC meeting on February 22 for team scoring and discussion.
Sue Garnett attended and her expertise helped us to re-work the Intermediate Writing rubric toward a more practical score-weighting and organization of the scoring categories. The Intermediate group divided forces, so some teachers worked with Sue on the above, and some planned the appropriate writing assessments to use. The teamwork was amazing!
Also within level, Beginning and Intermediate groups worked on listening assessments and rubrics. Most have agreed on the type of assessment to use, but development, recording, etc. will require more work prior to implementation in the classrooms within the next month. The goal is to implement the listening assessments/rubrics prior to the March 8, 2019 PLC.
The Beginning level group had a really productive session related to this and they are working on finishing their rubric in preparation for classroom use. Towards the end of the meeting, they gave a helpful mini-report on their process and considerations in creating the rubric.
The December 7th Meeting of the PLC was held at Centennial Education Center. There were 7 teachers in attendance from the Beginning ESL Group. The meeting was held in order for the Beginning Group to complete their second set of formative assessments.
The group met for two hours and was able to finish their assessments. Both the Intermediate and Beginning ESL Teachers plan to continue their work on the formative assessments during the Spring 2019 Semester. In Spring, the new curriculum for the Santa Ana College Continuing Education ESL Department will put into effect. The teacher groups will complete additional assessments and pilot test the assessments with their classes so appropriate modifications may be made. The PLC’s work will help inform the decisions on curricular assessment made by the ESL Department.