island - professional learning communities

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This presentation provides a model of professional development that can be sustained within schools and districts so that teachers can continue growth while teaching, thus positively impacting student achievement. Through the development of teacher leaders within buildings, this model provides more immediate support for implementing change.


The ISLAND Program: Creating a Sustainable Professional Development Network for Teachers

An Integrated Professional Development Model for Fostering Teacher LeadersCheryl Bell, Anastasia Trekles,Karen Venditti, Carrie Cate-ClementsNorthwest Indiana Education Service Center

Disclaimer The instructional practices and assessments discussed or shown in this presentation are not intended to serve as an endorsement of the United States Department of Education.

2/23/112Participating Schools and PartnersISLAND (NW Indiana) Schools & CorporationsAspire Charter AcademyCharter School of the DunesCrown Point Community School CorporationGriffith Public SchoolsLake Central School CorporationLake Ridge School CorporationRiver Forest Community SchoolsSchool City of East ChicagoSchool City of HammondSchool City of HobartSchool Town of HighlandPartners:Indiana Dunes Environmental Learning CenterIndianaScience, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics Resource NetworkIndiana University NorthwestNorthwest Indiana Education Service CenterPurdue University Calumet


2/23/114TestimonialsAlicia Madeka, third grade teacher at Kenwood Elementary School (Hammond) received recognition as a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science TeachingAlicia was also recently accepted as a NASA Endeavor Fellow-Cohort #3Alicia said: I actually feel well prepared because of ISLAND. I am currently taking a methods class on S.T.E.M. and there are many similarities in our discussions between what I learned in ISLAND and the assigned articles we are currently reading ISLAND is an excellent resource I am thankful I had the opportunity to be a part of ISLAND. 2/23/1152/23/116

TestimonialsThe ISLAND program continues to bring science alive in my classroom! It provided me the opportunity to develop the tools and skills to create engaging, hands-on, inquiry-based meaningful lessons in my classroom. I consciously incorporate literacy skills within my lessons during science in my classroom and this brings a deeper understanding of the material we cover. ISLAND has improved how I teach science and therefore how my students experience it in my classroom!Christine Brenner, 6th Grade Teacher Griffith Public Schools2/23/1172/23/118

TestimonialsThe strategies and skills I learned and practiced during ISLAND changed the way I teach science. Overall, ISLAND caused me to think more about the order in which I teach a lesson, how I assess students, and am I reinforcing other skills such as reading and writing during science. I now use all hands on science kits, I use science notebooking in all grades, I try very hard to pick up trade books that match our science topics, use word walls etc. My participation with ISLAND has made me a more effective and confident science teacher.Kelly Bennett, Elementary Science TeacherCharter School of the Dunes2/23/119

2/23/1110TestimonialsOur district has embraced and supported ISLAND's beliefs by providing Professional Learning to our teachers. Teachers have also embraced ISLAND strategies and incorporated them into their teaching. This has impacted our district in a powerful way. Allowing teachers more time in their day, integrating subjects and seeing students shine is areas that they did not, are only some of the benefits of ISLAND.Heather Steege, 3rd Grade Teacher Joan Martin Elementary School2/23/1111ObjectivesParticipants at the conference will be able to take the following from the session:Define how content integration strategies can stimulate teacher motivation and interestIdentify topics, activities, and technologies for inclusion in professional development workshops for teacher leadersIdentify ways to create a sustainable program that develops camaraderie through the use of mentorship cohortsUse our model to develop a professional development framework for teacher leaders2/23/1112OverviewISLAND, or Integrating Science and Literacy: Achieving New Dimensions, is a partnership between seven Northwest Indiana School Districts, local universities, and environmental centersFocusing on helping students in grades 3-6 improve science and literacy skillsFunded through the US Department of Educations Math and Science Partnership ProgramForty-five participating teachers among two cohort groups; teachers receive summer stipends, ongoing professional development, professional memberships, and access to instructional resources2/23/1113Goals of the ISLAND ProjectEstablish a Professional Learning Community to provide an ongoing network of support to promote effective science teaching and learning,Expand elementary teachers science content knowledge and pedagogy to promote science content reading strategies,Enhance the teachers abilities to utilize reading strategies to significantly increase the science academic achievement of students in grades 3-6, andIncrease teachers knowledge and comfort level with technologies designed to enhance learning and retention of science and literacy, including WebQuests, digital video, Moodle, blogs, Google Earth, and specialized science-based software.2/23/1114The ISLAND ProgramTeachers attend summer institutes and fall workshops in content knowledge and methodologiesTeachers also take the Survey of Enacted Curriculum (SEC) at least twice to compare their curriculum to the Indiana Academic StandardsFacilitator performs observations and interviews with teachers in their classroomsTeachers develop action research plans and reports to gauge the improvement of their teaching effectiveness2/23/1115Professional DevelopmentWorkshops include: Content knowledge in science and literacyScientific concepts and methodsLiteracy and comprehension skillsReading and writing skillsBest practices in cross-curricular lesson developmentTechnology integrationMaterials available for loan, curricular materials, and videotaped on-site visitations are archived on the ISLAND website

2/23/1116Mentorship CohortsCohort model allows for teachers to network and learn from one anotherFirst cohort group becomes experts from which the next cohort group can learnBuilds a successful mentorship relationship where lessons, ideas, and materials are shared, and where professional learning communities are defined2/23/1117Materials and TechnologyMany resources made available for cohort members:FOSS and Delta KitsApple MacBook laptops with science and instructional material creation softwareContent area book sets, leveled readersThe most popular materials are the books, with science and literature cross-curricular content2/23/1118Integration and ObservationThe facilitator meets with each teacher and observes the classroom once the during fall and springTeachers use lessons they have created based on their professional development from ISLAND and are given feedback during and following the lesson2/23/1119AssessmentISLAND employs a program evaluator who determines the effectiveness of the program based on different benchmarksAssessment included:SECEfficacy surveysFeedback formsClassroom observationsAction research reportsState assessment data (ISTEP)2/23/1120Summary: Creating a Sustainable ProgramISLAND uses focused professional development and a cohort model to keep teachers engaged throughout the projectTeachers reflect on their experiences and find the program to be helpful in improving their knowledge of science, literacy, technology, and multidisciplinary lesson developmentGrant funding has helped the program to develop ($409,524.00); without incentives for teachers and money for equipment and workshops, the program would not exist2/23/1121

Resources and ReferencesThe ISLAND website: of Enacted Curriculum: http://www.seconline.orgProfessional Learning Communities:


ReferencesDuFour, Ri., DuFour, Re., Eaker, R., & Many, T. (2006). Learning by doing: A handbook for professional learning communities at work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree. Garet, M., Porter, A., Desimone, L., Birman, B., & Kwang, S.Y. (2001). What makes professional development effective? Results from a national sample of teachers. American Educational Research Journal. 39(4) 915-945.Joyce, B., & Calhoun, E. (2010). Models of professional development: A celebration of educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.2/23/1123ReferencesLoucks-Horsley, S., Love, N., Stiles, K.E., Mundry, S., & Hewson, P.W. (2003). Designing professional development for teachers of science and mathematics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.Mundry, S. (2005). Changing perspective in professional development. Science Educator. 15 (1) 9-15.National Research Council (2010). National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Stringer, E. (2007). Action research in education (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.2/23/1124ContactCheryl Bell, Bell Academic Opportunities, cabell@att.netCarrie Cate-Clements, Northwest Indiana Education Service Center, Anastasia M. Trekles, Purdue University Calumet, atrekles@purdue.eduKaren Venditti, St. Josephs College,



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