Teacher collaboration reaches beyond “just sharing” materials. In the 2nd and 3rd grade learning community at PK Yonge Developmental Research School in Gainesville, FL, we as teachers push ourselves to truly collaborate each week.
One of the ways we collaborate with each other each week is around our SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words) instruction. Each teacher is in charge of teaching a SIPPS group. SIPPS groups are formed based on student need and using the results from the SIPPS screener. Each group is a mix of both 2nd and 3rd graders, therefore each SIPPS teacher is not teaching their own (assigned) grade level students. In order for the teachers to have an accurate picture of how their students are doing in reading overall, the teachers must collaborate on student progress.
Each week, in our professional learning community (PLC) of teachers, we use an agenda to methodically listen and push each other to think creatively about our SIPPS instruction. We problem solve ways to increase student achievement around phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, and sight word practice. We question one another as we each progress through the SIPPS curriculum. However, most importantly, in our PLC we analyze student data because the data drives our instruction. In order to be effective, we must respond and adapt to student needs. Collaborating as teachers, we are able to analyze the data together to make the best decision possible for the students.