Forming Professional Learning Networks

Positive Interdependence: Introduction to Professional Learning Communities

It is important that group members take time to "check-in" with each other at the beginning of the meeting to build rapport, trust, and respect, and strengthen relationships among members of the group. Using the protocol CONNECTIONS, helps to balance Maintenance Activities (those that satisfy the needs of the group) with Task Activities (the work done by the group). Logan, Kind, and Fischer-Wright (2008) call the maintenance process "an oil change" (p.178). Three questions help the group talk through the oil change:
  • What is working well?
  • What is not working well?
  • What can the team do to make the things that are not working well, work?


Asking group members to express their interests and share their hopes, expectations and fears for the group is also part of the Forming Stage.

Essential Question:
How does asking a Question Behind the Question (QBQ’s) foster a culture of learning for all members of our community?


  • Finding a focus could be difficult- many things in ELA to explore
  • This is another passing fad
  • How will this help with PSSA’s
  • Accountability of Daily 5- how will students show that they are working?
  • Walk away feeling lost (like now)
  • Big learning curve- taught 10 years, but this is all new information
  • Teaching curriculum with structure of Daily 5 is difficult
  • Students will have a hard time transitioning with this process- can’t start mid-way throughout the year
  • In spite of new insight and learning, no change will occur
  • Possible classroom management problems using movement
  • In the past I could have used this time better and I hope it’s not going to be like that this time
  • I know little about the topic and may not have much to contribute
  • What if I can’t use any of it – I want to make some changes & know I should
  • Learning could become an information overload
  • Finding time to read or add one more thing to do
  • Not sure exactly what “Brain-Based” means.
  • I have been limiting my students without realizing it
  • It will generate more work for me
  • Fear of learning that I’m doing something wrong
  • We are already over-stressed
  • I will be unprepared or forget to do an assignment.
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Technology won’t work
  • Will be observed and judged using the technology when it does not work
  • New learning will just be used to better prepare for PSSA’s
  • It will be a waste of time.
  • We will learn something we will never be able to implement it
  • Goals will not be able to be met
  • There is a lack of support and resources to implement the new learning
  • The logistics will cause it not to work
  • The schedule will not support it using new techniques
  • We will not use it effectively
  • Available technology will fail students
  • Resources are not available for learning support
  • Not having proper training and support for teachers
  • Limited knowledge about the new content and new ways of learning


  • Make transition from grade to grade more smooth because of consistency in using Daily 5 structure
  • Find a meaningful way to structure LA block
  • Find a solution for LA block that can accommodate a huge range of learners
  • Learn ideas from other people
  • Blend new information with direct instruction for Special Education
  • More movement will help with more engagement
  • Policies will change such as having no punishment that takes away recess
  • Sensory needs will be met
  • Will have working relationships with people I normally do not interact with
  • Will be able to use what I learn
  • Will use new information immediately and long term.
  • Will gain insight and new perspectives
  • It will be productive- something to improve my instruction
  • Learn ways to apply new concepts in my classroom
  • To learn new technology
  • To learn new ideas
  • Being able to keep up
  • Learn a meaningful way to use it with young students
  • Learn how to use technology to allow authentic learning to occur
  • What we do is useful, interactive, and creative
  • To be able to be successful immediately
  • Be able to incorporate our new learning into more lessons
  • Share and learn from one another
  • Be able to integrate our new learning, not add on
  • It will be easy to implement
  • It will help us save time so we can be with students more
  • It will become a comfortable and natural process
  • We will not upgrade without helping us be able to use the new programs