PLL Glossary of Terms


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Article (PLL Professional Resource Subtype) - Link to a research or literature article.

Audio (PLL Resource Type) - May be one of a variety of audio types such as podcasts, speeches, and music.

AZ Academic Standards - All Arizona Academic Standards not included in Common Core Standards.  

AZ College & Career Ready Standards - Arizona's adaptation of the Common Core Standards







Book (PLL Professional Resource Subtype) - Professional book reviews and recommendations.






Collection (PLL Resource Type) - Two or more documents and/or links about a single topic.

Common Core Standards  -  Arizona joined with 46 other states to create the next generation of K-12 standards in English language arts and mathematics. These standards provide a consistent framework to prepare students for success in college and/or the 21st century workplace.

Co-Teaching Approaches (PLL Topic)

Alternative teaching - In most class groups, occasions arise in which several students need specialized attention. In alternative teaching, one teacher takes responsibility for the large group while the other works with a smaller group.

One-teach, one-assist - One person would keep primary responsibility for teaching while the other professional circulated through the room providing unobtrusive assistance to students as needed.

One-teach, one-observe - One teacher is on his/her feet (a visible presence to students), actively observing the other teacher and student behaviors in the learning environment.

Parallel teaching - On occasion, students' learning would be greatly facilitated if they just had more supervision by the teacher or more opportunity to respond. In parallel teaching, the teachers are both teaching the same information, but they divide the class group and do so simultaneously. Possible different teaching strategies for each group to differentiate.

Station teaching - Teachers divide content and students. Each teacher then teaches the content to one group and subsequently repeats the instruction for the other group. If appropriate, a third "station" could give students an opportunity to work independently or with the Clinical Instructor. Co-teachers are primary instructors at their stations.

Team teaching - In team teaching, both teachers are delivering the same instruction at the same time. Most co-teachers consider this approach the most complex, but satisfying way to co-teach, but it is the approach that is most dependent on teachers’ styles. No clearly defined “lead” in the lesson – fully collaborative.







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Early Learning AZ Standards - The Arizona Early Learning Standards have been developed to provide a framework for the planning of quality learning experiences for all children 3 to 5 years of age. The standards cover a broad range of skill development and provide a useful instructional foundation for children from diverse backgrounds and with diverse abilities. The standards are intended for use by all those who work with young children in any early care and education setting in urban, rural and tribal communities.

Early Learning NAEYC Standards - Ensuring the quality of children's daily experiences in early childhood programs and promoting positive child outcomes is the goal of the 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria.

English Language Proficiency Standards- The ELP Standards provide prerequisite language skills for English language learners (ELLs) to access academic content. The standards provide the foundational linguistic knowledge for students who are not proficient in English. A strong grammatical foundation is essential in the language acquisition process for ELLs. There is a purposeful overlap of the ELP and the Common Core language skills. The K-12 English Language Proficiency Standards should be utilized to guide instruction for English language learners. Classroom materials used in ELD instruction reflect content from a variety of academic disciplines including math, social studies, and science.







Field Trip (PLLResource Website Subtype)

    Physical - Involves traveling to a physical site for the experience.

    Virtual - Does not involve travel to a physical site for the experience.







Guest Speaker (PLL Resource Type) - Information about a subject matter expert  who is available to appear as a guest speaker.







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Image (PLL Resource Type) - Links to, or actual, image files.

Interest-based Community (PLL Resource Type) - Open and invitation-only online communities that support information and idea exchange,as well as collaboration.

Instructional Leadership (PLL Topic) - Those actions taken to promote growth in student learning.  It includes making instructional quality the top priority of the school and working to bring that vision to realization by planning, implementing, monitoring, and supporting teacher performance and student achievement.

Coaching - Moving one from where he or she is to where he or she wants to be through a process of self discovery.

Crucial Conversations - The Crucial Conversation protocol consists of reflecting using the Outcome Map,and then scripting the conversation.

Instructional Leadership: Individual/Professional Growth Plans - Within the TAP System, the Individual Growth Plan is developed by each teacher. The plan includes goals that identify the needs of individual students in a teacher's classroom based on the larger school goal, along with the individual instructional needs of the teacher, based on the TAP Instructional Rubric.

Pre & Post Conferencing - Within the TAP System, the pre-conference is designed to encourage and provide support for the teacher through a reflective process. It is an opportunity for the evaluator to provide guidance on issues that may negatively impact the lesson. The post-conference is designed to provide support for the teacher through a reflective process that includes leading questions, along with the identification of a refinement and reinforcement.

School Improvement Planning - Using “Needs Assessment Data” to identify areas for growth and applying research-based best practices that will impact improvement in areas of need.  It involves a continuous cycle of analyzing data, planning appropriate strategies for improvement, implementing strategies, and monitoring impact.

School Leadership Team - In the TAP System, the School Leadership Team consists of school administrators, Master Teachers and Mentor Teachers. Their role is to move the school towards the identified goals that lead to student achievement. This includes overseeing cluster meetings, the evaluation process, and individual growth plans.

Instructional Plan (PLL Resource Type) - Link to or actual document that outlines an instructional event.

Instructional Practices (PLL Topic)

Data Driven Decision Making - Using data to drive decision making is essential to planning and adjusting of lessons. Teachers must gather data (both formal and informal) in order to plan for the next steps in their instruction so that they can lead students to mastering the learning goals and objectives.

Differentiation - Differentiating instruction and instructional materials is an essential Instructional Practice in order to ensure that all students achieve in the most effective, efficient manner. This Instructional Practice encompasses providing quality support and instruction for the wide range of learners, modalities and intelligences that embody our student population.

Environment - This indicator covers the physical and emotional environment of a classroom. Furniture in the classroom is organized to make movement efficient and desks are arranged to allow for individual and group learning. The setup of the classroom is arranged so that materials and supplies can be reached easily. All students and guests feel welcome, comfortable, and valued in the class. Student work is displayed.

Expectations - This indicator focuses on the high and demanding expectations set by teachers which: creates opportunities for students to experience success; encourages students to learn from their mistakes; and, students demonstrate pride in the quality of their work. Students take initiative and follow-through with completing assignments because of the expectations set.

Goal Setting - Goals are used in the classroom to motivate and invest students in their learning. Quantitative (academic achievement) and qualitative (long-term traits and mindsets, pathways to opportunity, and students' interests and aspirations) goals are meaningful and relevant to students. Goal setting includes goals at the year-long, unit, and daily level.

Grouping Students - Depending on the content, activity, and objectives of the lesson, students may be grouped in many ways. Grouping students in different arrangements (rows, in groups, in pairs, homogeneous ability, heterogeneous ability, etc) is one strategy teachers employ in order to maximize student learning and to best accomplish the goals of a lesson.

Instructional Planning - Effective and efficient lessons stem from strong and thorough planning. This Instructional Practice encompasses objective, activities, and materials alignment to the standard, accommodating for individual student needs, and a gradual increase in complexity within the lesson that is appropriate, and elements that engage the interests of the student population. Strong instructional plans are essential for an efficient path to standard mastery for all students.

Lesson Structure and Pacing - Lesson structure and pacing involves the timing and structure of a lesson. Instructional time is used efficiently and effectively, routines are in place for distributing materials, and transitions minimize or eliminate the loss of instructional time.

Managing Student Behavior - This indicator focuses on the management of student behavior throughout a class period. Students are consistently on-task and follow behavioral expectations. Clear rules have been established and the teacher utilizes a plethora of techniques to ensure excellent student behavior. Disruptions that are caused by individual students are also addressed one-on-one, quickly, and firmly.

Motivating Students - Teachers know their students and plan their lessons to make the learning experiences of their students meaningful by valuing inquiry, curiosity, and exploration. In doing so, teachers should also reinforce and reward student efforts.

Presenting Instructional Content - When presenting instructional content to students, teachers must provide resources that support the learning of the content in a structured sequence manner. All information and resources must be relevant and presented/modeled in a meaningful way.

Problem Solving - This indicator describes opportunities provided by teachers, which enable students to practice different approaches to solving problems. Over the course of multiple observations, teachers teach and reinforce multiple problem solving strategies, such as; Abstraction, Categorization, Drawing Conclusions, Predicting Outcomes, Observing and Experimenting, Justifying Solutions, Improving Solutions, Identifying Relevant/Irrelevant Information, Generating Ideas, and/or Creating and Designing.

Questioning - Questioning utilized to its fullest potential will help garner student engagement, develop higher thinking, and incorporate large amounts of varied student participation. This Instructional Practice is also essential when gauging a class’ progress toward a lesson objective and allows a teacher to adjust by analyzing the feedback they are receiving. Excellent feedback can only come by means of excellent questioning.

Respectful Culture - This indicator focuses on establishing and maintaining a respectful culture in which interactions, amongst students and between students and the teacher, are polite, friendly, and demonstrate caring and respect for one another; the teacher is receptive towards students' opinions and ideas.

Standards and Objectives - In order for teachers to plan, create and execute effective lessons that are aligned to standards, they themselves must have a clear understanding of what they want students to know and be able to do at the conclusion of the lesson. This Instructional Practice is paramount because so many others are reliant on the students and the teachers knowing what is to be achieved by the end of each lesson.

Student Investment - Student investment describes the techniques being used to invest students in the class content and goals. This includes a tracking system, involving families and influencers, and developing the students' belief in their ability and desire to reach their goals.

Student Work - Assignments require students to organize, interpret, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information rather than reproduce it, draw conclusions, make generalizations,and produce arguments that are supported through extended writing, and connect what they are learning to experiences, observations, feelings, or situations significant in their daily lives.

Teacher Content Knowledge - This indicator involves a teacher's knowledge of the content he/she teaches. Additionally, a teacher's ability to utilize content-specific strategies to enhance student learning is embedded in Teacher Content Knowledge. The final component involves connecting the content to other ideas and concepts.

Teacher Knowledge of Students - Teacher knowledge of students goes beyond just knowing individual student's academic ability level; it also means teachers should know their students' interests and cultural heritage. Furthermore, using the knowledge of their students, teachers are able to anticipate any difficulties they may have in acquiring a set of skills/knowledge so they differentiate their instruction to make the learning accessible for all their students.

Thinking - This indicator describes the ongoing focus of teaching students to think. Teachers consistently and thoroughly teach four thinking types (analytical, practical, creative and research-based), which can be observed over the course of multiple classroom visits. Teachers provide students opportunities to generate a variety of ideas and alternatives during learning experiences. Students also analyze problems for multiple perspectives and viewpoints as a result of thinking opportunities created by the teacher.








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Learning Module (PLL Resource Type) - Self-paced online learning opportunity that may or may not be taken for professional development hours.







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National Content Standards

Geography  - The Geography Standards Framework consists of two levels. At the first level, the subject matter of geography is divided into six essential elements. By essential, we mean that each piece is central and necessary; we must look at the world in this way. By element, we mean that each piece is a building block for the whole. At the second level, each essential element contains a number of geography standards, and each geography standard contains a set of related ideas and approaches to the subject matter of geography.


NCTE  -  National Council of Teachers of English. These standards are designed to complement other national, state, and local standards and contribute to ongoing discussions about English language arts.

NCTM  - National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The mathematical understanding, knowledge, and skills that students should acquire from Pre-K through grade 12.


Next Generation Science Standards - Next Generation Science Standards for Today’s Students and Tomorrow’s Workforce:  Through a collaborative, state-led process managed by Achieve, new K–12 science standards are being developed that will be rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The NGSS will be based on the Framework for K–12 Science Educationdeveloped by the National Research Council.







Organization (PLL Professional Resource Subtype) - Information about, and links to, professional organizations.







PD Facilitator Kit (PLL Resource Type)  - Materials needed to conduct a face-to-face professional development workshop.

Presentation (PLL Resource Type) - Slide file  that may or may not have audio narration.

Primary Source (PLL Resource Type) - Original materials.

Professional Administrator Standards (ISLLC) - Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards.

Professional Development Opportunity (PLL Resource Type) - A structured learning opportunity that may take place face-to-face or online for which registration is required.

Professional Resource (PLL Resource Type) - Link to, and information about, a professional article, book review/recommendation, and professional organization.

Professional Teacher Standards (InTASC)Interstate New Teacher Support and Assessment Consortium (InTASC) Core Teaching Standards. These standards outline the common principles and foundations of teaching practice that cut across all subject areas and grade levels and that are necessary to improve student achievement.

Professionalism (PLL Topic)

Digital Citizenship - Making use of technology, social media, and other web resources in an ethical and meaningful way.


Growing & Developing Professionally - Seeks feedback and actively works to improve practice by participating in professional development.


Home-School Communication - Provides accurate and complete instructional program information as required. Is fully aware of resources available through the school or district and works to gain access for students.


Maintaining Accurate Records - System for maintaining information about student progress on the AZ Standards is efficient and effective.


Professional Competencies - The professional competencies are suspending judgment, asset-based thinking, locus of control, and interpersonal awareness. These professional competencies allow teachers to tap into their most productive mindsets about students, families, and colleagues. They provide a framework for effective and appropriate communication and behavior, as well as a lens for critically reflecting upon and successfully navigating challenging situations.

Showing Professionalism - Relationships with colleagues are characterized by collaboration and cooperation. Presumes positive intent when addressing issues of concern and demonstrates willingness to learn from others. Actively acquires knowledge of and adheres to the rules, policies, and procedures established by the school, the district, the university and/or the law.

				Provider - Organizations that have provided or recommended content that appears within the PLL. 







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Resource Website (PLL Resource Type) - Includes Field Trips (Physical and Virtual), Virtual Manipulatives, and Web 2.0 Tools.







Special Education Standards  - As the recognized leader for special education professional standards, Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) develops standards, ethics and practices and guidelines to assure that individuals with exceptionalities have well-prepared, career-oriented special educators. CEC collaborates with other professional organizations to ensure that all educators have a robust professional working environment and are well-prepared to support the learning of individuals with exceptionalities.

Student Strategy (PLL Resource Type) - Available only to TAP members, information about a specific instructional/learning strategy that may be used with students.








Technology: NETS-S  - National Education Technology Standards for Students. The standards for evaluating the skills and knowledge students need to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly global and digital world.

Technology: NETS-T  - National Education Technology Standards for Teachers. The standards for evaluating the skills and knowledge educators need to teach, work, and learn in an increasingly connected global and digital society.

Teaching Foundations (PLL Topic)

Assessing Learners - This assessment moves beyond basic knowledge-level multiple-choice formats to measure students’ mastery of reasoning or skill performance (includes the creation of products).


Authentic Learning - This authentic learning task requires students to creatively apply academic learning to important day-to-day realities.


Digital Collaboration - This task or activity requires students to collaborate using digital tools and/or media.


Digital Products - This task or activity requires students to use digital tools to create products, enhance presentations, and/or contribute to Web 2.0 communities.


Digital Research - Students are required to use digital research tools to create, find, organize, manipulate, analyze, and share knowledge and information.


Discipline Connections - This activity or task encourages students to make connections between ideas or concepts (within and/or outside the discipline).


Engaging Learners - This activity, task, or instructional strategy engages students by requiring them to think, communicate, and/or participate at uncommonly deep levels on challenging topics.


Oral Communication - Students are required to make an oral presentation (formal or informal) that demonstrates discipline-specific knowledge, reasoning, and skills.


Thinking Skills - This activity or instructional strategy challenges students to think and act intentionally.


Written Communication - Students are required to use written communication for processing their learning, reflection, and/or demonstration of understanding.

Twenty-first (21st) Century Skills (PLL Topic) - The twenty-first century skills used in the PLL were developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Their framework describes the skills, knowledge and expertise students must master to succeed in work and life;  it is a blend of content knowledge, specific skills, competencies, and literacies.






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Video (PLL Resource Type) - Link to a video file.

Virtual Manipulative (PLL Resource Website Subtype) - Usually in the form of Java or Flash applets, virtual manipulatives allow teachers to provide digital, concrete models of abstract mathematical concepts for learners of mathematics via the Internet.







Web 2.0 Tool (PLL Resource Website Subtype) - Variety of tools that educators can use to engage students and enhance essential skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, media literacy, technological proficiency, and global awareness.






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