Professional Learning Community @ SAC SCE

PLC Meeting March 2, 2018


 The PLC Meeting was held on March 2, 2018 at Centennial Education Center.  There were 12 Teachers in Attendance.  The purpose of the meeting was to develop and refine our writing rubrics by ESL Level.  The rubrics will be used in writing portfolios that ESL Teachers will begin to use during the Fall, 2018 Semester.  The PLC Teachers met by level, and completed the writing rubrics that they had begun designing at the previous meeting.  Most teachers decided to create rubrics that included a 1-3 or 0-3 evaluation scale along with specific categories for checking for grammar, mechanics, and composition skills (such as unity, organization, and development of ideas).  The rubrics for Beginning ESL Teachers were developed for word to sentence and for Intermediate Teachers, for sentence to paragraph​ level writing.  The PLC instructors decided to give a new writing assignment to their students, and to bring some copies of the students’ writing to the next PLC Meeting.  The teachers would then use the newly-developed rubrics to norm and evaluate the student writing among the members of the ESL level groups.  From the norming process, teachers will learn how to better revise the rubrics, increasing their effectiveness before the rubrics are used with the writing portfolios in Fall 2018. (more…)

PLC Meeting February 23, 2018


At the February 23rd Meeting of the PLC, there were 14 teachers present. Mr Rob Jenkins was unable to attend the meeting due to a presentation he was making at another school district. In his absence, Debora Karaffa served as his highly effective replacement. Debbye asked for teachers to report on their experiences using the formative assessments. After many successful reports, the teachers watched a video created by Rob Jenkins on creating writing rubrics. The video provided many useful hints for the teachers to use when making their rubrics. After watching the video, teachers met by ESL level with their colleagues to create the rubrics. The rubrics will be used to evaluate a writing portfolio that each teacher will keep of the formative writing assessments that the students will write during the semester. Some groups were able to finish their rubrics, while others were at least 50% completed. All groups promised to type their rubrics to bring to the next meeting on March 2nd, 2018.



PLC Meeting February 2, 2018

At the February 2nd Meeting of the PLC, there were 16 teachers and Mr. Rob Jenkins present. Initial discussion at the meeting involved the new curriculum and the role of the PLC in developing formative writing assessments. An additional goal was for the spring semester, 2018 was to create writing rubrics that teachers could use to evaluate the writing assessments. The assessments would be collected in a writing portfolio that teachers could use to make decisions for promotions to the next ESL level. After discussion, the teachers formed teams by level to make a writing assessment for students in their classes. The teachers consulted the curriculum as well as other available textbook resources to find appropriate writing prompts and create the assessments. By the end of the meeting, all groups reported success in writing their formative assessments. The assessments were to be piloted in the teachers’ courses with reporting on their experiences at the February 23rd Meeting.



PLC Meeting October 13, 2017

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.


PLC Meeting September 29, 2017

September 29

The first Fall Meeting of the Professional Learning Community (PLC) was held at Centennial Education Center from 2 to 4 pm on September 29, 2017. The next meeting is scheduled for October 13, 2017 from 2 to 4 pm.



There were 17 teachers in attendance including the PLC leader, Rob Jenkins. Rob established 5 goals for our Fall PLC:
(1) Identify gaps in student learning related to the newly-revised ESL Curriculum
(2) Identify effective instructional strategies to remediate those gaps.
(3) Create common formative assessments to measure progress.
(4) Test out the instructional strategies throughout the semester.
(5) Evaluate instructional strategies based on the assessment results.
After initial discussion of our goal framework, the PLC divided into groups based on ESL instructional level. Then teachers discussed writing pre/post test formative assessments. In addition, they ranked the importance of the writing tasks identified in the new curriculum according to greatest perceived need. The writing task of greatest importance was suggested as the primary focus for our pre/post formative assessments. After much useful discussion, it was decided to begin work on the assessments at the following meeting. Finally, PLC member, Monica Rojas, kindly volunteered to give a literacy presentation at the next PLC meeting as well as to take photos while serving as the PLC historian. Many thanks to Monica and Rob for their effective leadership and to ESL colleagues for their continued participation in Centennial’s Professional Learning Community.


PLC Meeting March 10, 2017

March 10, 2017
In this meeting, we first were privilege to hear from Dr. Eric Glicker, one of the PLC members who had done some research into writing strategies.  
The discussion morphed into a discussion about what might be done to meet the need of students with minimal to no literacy skills in their own language.  Garden Grove faculty mentioned how they have special literacy classes designated as A, B, and C.  They have had great success with this model.  In the program at the Santa Ana School of Continuing Education, literacy students are often combined with Beginning 1 which most agreed is not at all adequate to meet their needs.  _DSC9786
Monica Rojas, a Spanish Literacy teacher mentioned her success with preparing students for ESL classes by taking her class before they go to ESL.  We do very little of this cross disciplinary collaboration.  The discussion also moved toward identifying and working with students with learning disabilities.  Eric Glicker’s presentation and handout are available here. 1_Teaching_Writing_Toolkit
Also at this meeting, Ray Hernandez spoke about the Garden Grove curriculum and how their curriculum mirrors the model standards.  He discussed how adding elements of the College and Career Readiness Standards and the new English Language Proficiency Standards was challenging.
In preparation for the next meeting on March 24, a new binder was prepared that houses the following standards: RSCCD Course of Records, English for Multilingual Students (EMLS) from Santa Ana ESL program, and Garden Grove curriculum framework. 
Also included are CASAS content standards, level indicators, CB-21 rubrics, Common Assessment Initiative rubrics, the NRS rubrics, College and Career Readiness Standards and the English Language Proficiency Standards.  Rob agreed to obtain writing rubrics from ABE and HSS.  Each level in the room spoke to another level to identify what their expectations were for students advancing to their classrooms.  In the weeks to come, it is the goal of the PLC to create a rubric specific to our programs. 


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PLC Meeting February 28, 2017

PLC Meeting held on: February 28, 2017


This was the first PLC meeting in the pursuit of identifying writing expectations and developing writing strategies through classroom research for current and future ESL curriculum.


Garden Grove Adult School joined the team of 15 instructors to discuss writing.  In this first meeting, we discussed briefly different standards including CASAS and the College and Career Readiness Standards.   We compared our current curriculum with that of Garden Grove and met in groups of different levels of ESL to identify what was already happening in the classroom.


The discussions led to seeking common language when identifying sentences and paragraphs in student writing.  The group agreed that a continuum approach is essential when writing curriculum where students at each level need review of structures and skills of previous levels.  It was discussed how paragraphs may start in lower levels as loosely connected sentences from a model and progress at higher levels to more controlled and substantive writings.


It was also discussed how knowing where in adult education students might go after leaving ESL programs was essential.