Shiloh Middle School Learning Labs

Sponsored by: Jamarla Bess (Literacy Coach)

What is a Learning Lab? Why are we doing this?

  • Learning labs are professional development opportunities that allow the delivery of information to support teachers’ examination and revision of assumptions about students, teaching, and learning that guide their practice.
  • Last year, I had an opportunity to work with several elementary schools and literacy coaches. After observing and participating in learning/literacy labs, I interviewed teachers to determine if the labs were helpful or dreadful.
  • In the elementary schools in both the Shiloh and South Gwinnett clusters, there are 6 schools who participate in learning or literacy labs. Out of the 6 schools, I interviewed teachers from 3 different elementary schools (Rosebud ES, Magill ES, and Centerville ES), teachers stated that "their beliefs about their own and students’ roles, responsibilities, and capabilities changed as a result of their participation in learning labs." They also felt more "comfort in implementing changes in their instructional practices because they had coach support, feedback, and were able to see, observe, and practice with their students."

What are the Learning Lab procedures for Shiloh Middle School?

  • Each content area teacher on each grade level will have 2 days that are concurrent per semester to participate in a literacy lab. They would fill out the Pre Learning Lab form (see button below) 1 week before their date, and I will receive it via email.
  • Why must I fill out another form? In order for me to make your learning lab experience an extension of your lesson and not a new lesson, I need to know what you plan to teach, and what you would like support with in regards to your current lesson.
  • I will meet with teachers 2 days prior to their lesson to go over their learning lab session so that there are no surprises.
  • The format of the learning lab will run in a gradual release model ("I do", "we do together", "you do") where Day 1 of the lesson starts with my instructing, and then the two of us will co-facilitate the chosen activity. Then, Day 2 is the teacher facilitating the continuation of the lesson and me assisting as your support.
  • On Day 2, I will record feedback on student engagement during the lesson and student learning observed during the chosen activity. I will share that information with each teacher via email or in person--your preference (which you will indicate on the pre-learning lab form).

This learning lab gives Shiloh Middle School content area teachers the opportunity

  • to receive coaching support
  • to co-teach instructional strategies using modeling and practicing
  • to receive immediate feedback
  • to receive technology support and additional resources from your instructional coach

Expectations for a successful experience

  • Teachers will be expected to participate in their learning lab on the date scheduled.
  • If you find that the learning lab experience was a beneficial or challenging experience that you would like follow up, please feel free to reach out for additional follow up support.
  • Please plan wisely by viewing the calendar below to record your (2) dates this semester.
  • Please arrive on time with students.
  • Please avoid scheduling conferences, bringing papers to grade, or leaving the class during these lab periods.
  • I would request that any bathroom breaks for students and teacher are taken at the end if necessary.

Where is the form that I will need to fill out 1 week before my Learning Lab date?

How will I know when I am scheduled to bring my class to the Learning Lab?