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Professional Learning Community: Emergent Literacy

With support from a trained facilitator, the Professional Learning Community: Emergent Literacy engages preschool teachers in regular, collaborative learning experiences to support their use of evidence-based language and literacy strategies when working with young children. The PLC materials are designed to guide preschool teachers as they collaborate through discussions, engage in hands-on activities, and reflect on their own implementation of strategies learned during the PLC with the support of peers and a trained facilitator. Through this collaborative learning experience, preschool teachers expand their knowledge base as they read, discuss, share, and apply evidence-based ideas and strategies.

The PLC suite of materials includes four modules: Print Knowledge, Phonological Awareness, Vocabulary, and Oral Language. Each module comprises four resources: a Participant Guide, Facilitator Guide, PowerPoint presentation, and Videos.

Each module includes 3 sessions, for a total of 12 sessions. The timeline for completing the modules is flexible; they can serve as a year's worth or more of professional learning. Each session follows a five-step process for collaborative learning.

Although the modules were designed to be used as a complete set of materials and implemented in sequential order, they can stand alone. A group could decide to complete one, two, or three of the modules in any order. Because later modules reference earlier ones, participants' knowledge and understanding are enhanced when the modules are implemented as recommended.

Because the PLC sessions involve group opportunities, sessions should include at least 3 teachers and a facilitator. The ideal facilitator will be an educator with an understanding of emergent literacy, good communication skills, and the ability to relate well to adult learners. We recommend groups of 6–12 teachers for the PLC; however, a larger group can be accommodated as long as all participants are actively involved throughout the sessions.