Collaborative Learning Communities
Teaching is a profession that relies on a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and expertise, but often this is done in the isolation of an individual teacher’s classroom experience. Increasingly, teachers are finding that opportunities to build knowledge and expertise collectively is much more useful and rewarding.
Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs) enable teachers to meet in groups to discuss mutual interests and concerns about teaching and learning. They can improvise, innovate based on research and evidence, and share their findings with their similarly interested colleagues.
CLC’s will provide the opportunity to engage in the themes of Kindergarten, Mathematics, Technology and/or Well-being. These CLC’s will allow teachers to explore and share solutions to common professional dilemmas through action research, by developing resources, and/or implementing new instructional strategies.
The publication Collaborative Learning Communities was developed to assist teachers who are interested in establishing CLCs for their own professional learning. Each section provides specific guidance on the stages of developing a CLC. The adjoining appendices provide projects and resources for the group. During the 2009-10 school year, OECTA’s Professional Development department, with Ministry of Education funds, invited applications from teachers across the province to create CLCs in differentiated instruction, early learning, French (FSL and immersion), math, media literacy, technology, social justice, and virtues. The following are some of the resources produced.
Faith in Action
Developed By Aideen Moss, Lisa Claro, Bev Gregory, and Tara Warren-Vrbanc
This project built a series of lessons is for secondary teachers teaching the HRE 4M course. They focus on building an understanding of the links between living gospel values and affecting social change.
Teaching Student-Centred Math: The Three-Part Lesson
Developed By: Janice Smith, Ryan Ferguson, and Anthony Pappas
This project includes a video and six lesson plans designed to assit teachers of blended Grade 6 and 7 classrooms incorporate the two sets of expectations into their mathematics lessons.
Practical Applications for Handheld Devices in the Classroom
Developed By: Christopher Beacom, Robert D’Alessio, and Danik LaFleur
This resource provides three detailed lesson plans for practical applications for hand-held devices (e.g. cellphones, iPods) in the secondary English classroom. Also included is a sample letter to parents.
Using Outdoor Education to Enhance Literacy and Numeracy
Developed By: Christina Lucciantonio, and Corrine Boudrea
This resource provides hands-on, outdoor activities related to literacy and numeracy expectations for Grades 3 and 4. The project was one of several Ministry of Education funded Collaborative Learning Communities, and was intended to promote teacher action research with practical applications to the classroom.