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Collaborative Teams Toolkit

The Collaborative Teams Toolkit is intended to help schools establish productive collaborative teams of teachers and administrators working and learning together to help their students. This toolkit focuses on supporting the monitoring of Student Growth Objectives (SGOs) and other student data by providing the necessary tools to promote the environment for having successful evidence-based conversations. This toolkit is built following New Jersey's Standards for Professional Learning.

Three New Jersey school districts collaborated with the New Jersey Department of Education ("the Department") and the United States Department of Education (USED) in the creation of this toolkit. Over the course of spring 2015, teachers, principals, central office staff, and superintendents from these three districts met together virtually and in person to discuss SGOs and collaborative teaming in their districts, what they have tried, and what has been effective. The Department's Office of Evaluation looked nationally at best practices in both developing and supporting collaborative teams and with feedback from the three districts, compiled the resources, and developed new tools that comprise the current toolkit. In addition, the Department sought feedback and insights from the AchieveNJ Advisory Committee. Every piece has been thought through by New Jersey educators, with New Jersey educators in mind.
Tools and Resources

  • Collaborative Teams Toolkit [PDF]
  • Collaborative Teams Self-Assessment [Word | PDF]

  • Strategy 1.1 Time For Collaboration

    • Sample Elementary Schedules
      • Marzano Sample Schedule [PDF]
      • All Things PLC Sample Schedule [PDF]
    • Sample Middle School Schedules
      • North Carolina Sample Schedule [PDF]
      • Virginia Middle School Double Block Proposal [PDF]
    • Sample High School Schedules
      • North Carolina Sample Schedule [PDF]
      • Piedmont High School Sample Schedule [PDF]
      • Watchung Hills Sample Schedule [PDF]
    • Teams Made of Specials Teachers
      • All Things PLC Guidance [PDF]
      • James Madison University Elementary Guidance [PDF]
    • Sample Block Schedules
      • Thomas Jefferson High School Sample Schedule [PDF]
      • Virginia Middle School Double Block Proposal [PDF]
      • Piedmont High School Sample Schedule [PDF]
    • Sample Rotating Drop Schedules
      • Watchung Hills Sample Schedule [PDF]
      • University of Cal Berkley Samples [PDF]
    • Sample Schedules Using Shortened Periods and Before or After School Time
      • Rockwood High School Guidance Document [PDF]
      • Carmel High School Sample [PDF]
      • Auburn School District Samples [PDF]

  • Strategy 1.3: Clearly Articulated Roles and Responsibilities

    • Facilitator Role [PDF]
    • Team Roles and Descriptions [PDF]

  • Strategy 1.4 Building Consensus Around Vision and Goals

    • Getting Buy-In
      • Zones of Comfort, Risk and Danger: Constructing Your Zone Map [PDF]
      • Compass Points: An Exercise in Understanding Preference in Group Work [PDF]
    • Goal Setting and Reflection
      • Team SMART Goal Setting Plan [PDF]
      • Sample SMART Goals [PDF]
      • Support for Advanced Goal Setting [PDF]
      • Goal Setting Protocol [PDF]
      • Work Plan Tool [PDF]
      • Watchung Hills PLC Worksheet [PDF]
      • Watchuing Hills End of Year PLC Report [PDF]
    • Meeting Norms
      • Examples of Norms [PDF]
      • Seven Norms of Collaboration [PDF]
      • Forming Ground Rules [PDF]
    • Effective Facilitation
      • Facilitation Guidance [PDF]
      • Consideration for Responsive Facilitation [PDF]
      • Facilitator Tool Kit [PDF]
    • Questioning Routines and Discussion Starters
      • Warm, Cool, Hard: Feedback Provided During Protocols [PDF]
      • Guide to Good Probing Questions [PDF]
      • PLC Discussion Questions for the Team [PDF]
    • Setting Meeting Objectives
      • PLC Year Long Cycle [PDF]
    • Creating Agendas
      • Data Meeting Agenda [PDF]
      • Math Team Meeting Agenda: Moving Beyond Data [PDF]
      • Long Branch PLC Sample Agenda [PDF]

  • Strategy 2.1: Mechanisms in Place for Making Effective Data-Driven Decisions

    • Team Decision Making and Problem Solving
      • Consensus [PDF]
      • Five Whys Tool for Root Cause Analysis [PDF]
      • Turning Protocol [PDF]
      • Peeling the Onion: Developing a Problem Protocol [PDF]
    • Using Student and Classroom Data in a Team Setting
      • Consultancy: Adapted for Examining Student Work [PDF]
      • Walkthrough Planning Guide [PDF]
      • ATLAS: Looking at Data [PDF]
      • Benchmark Data Analysis [PDF]
      • Common Assessment Data Analysis Protocol [PDF]
    • Action Items and Commitments
      • School Action Planning Example [PDF]
      • Excel Action Items Template [XLS]

  • Strategy 2.3: Engaging in Practices for Continuous Improvement

    • Data Audit Worksheet [Word] [PDF]
    • Student Assessment Inventory [PDF]

  • Strategy 2.4: Alignment with Key Instructional Deadlines and Activities

    • The Big Picture and Calendar Integration Activities [Word] [PDF]