On-going, job-embedded professional development is essential for implementation of the English Language Arts (ELA) standards. As implementation progresses, professional development should become more intentional and more collaborative. Teachers of general education, English language, special education, and others must share common language around student expectations. They must consider the needs of ALL students in instructional decisions. If ALL teachers have a common understanding of the ELA Standards, it will help educators to coordinate interventions and provide instruction that builds the knowledge and skills of ALL students.
At the Initial Implementation stage, it is important to use data to inform professional development. Both grade-level and subject-area Professional Learning Communities can begin using data on student outcome and performance assessment to make improvements at classroom, grade, and school levels.
Professional development (PD) that is informed by data is intensive, ongoing, and connected to practice. It is focused on student learning and addresses the teaching of specific content. PD should be aligned with school improvement priorities and goals, and must be designed to build strong working relationships among teachers (Darling-Hammond et al., 2009; Garet et al., 2001; Guskey & Yoon, 2009).
Achieve the Core
(http://www.achievethecore.org/ela-literacy-common-core/professional-development/) website offers four ready-to-use modules on English Language Arts (ELA) literacy. Each module includes slides, videos, facilitator’s instructions, and hands-on activities to support the implementation of the ELA standards. These resources are ideal for professional development workshops, professional learning communities, and self-study.Success at the Core
(http://successatthecore.com/Default.aspx). This website offers a series of modules designed to facilitate understanding of standards implementation for school improvement. Educators can use the modules individually or in groups to create customized professional development experiences.Video: Herbert Hoover Middle School PLC 2011
(http://www.youtube.com/whatch?v=FtUa_yQOzGw). This 8-minute video shows a middle school Special Education Professional Learning Community using data and strategies to support student achievement.Video: Fishbowl Middle School Data Discussion
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2-VY1mogHA&NR=1&feature=endscreen). This 10-minute video follows two grade-level teams as they discuss language arts data and strategies. It includes a facilitator narrative and learning team work.Tuning Protocol
(http://www.nsrfharmony.org/protocol/doc/tuning.pdf). Learning-teams can use this three-page protocol when discussing student work. It provides a process work collaboratively to review examples and to design instruction to ensure that all students achieve grade-level benchmarks.