Exploring Focus on First Professional Learning Community

Between 2018-2021, the Maine Department of Education has engaged in the development of interdisciplinary, open-source instructional programs for Pre-K and Kindergarten.  These programs, Pre-K for ME and K for ME, are housed on the Maine DOE’s website. A number of schools across the state have implemented the Pre-K for ME and K for ME instructional programs and the Maine DOE is planning to extend its work related to interdisciplinary, open-source instructional programming into grade one during the 2022-23 school year.

For grade one teachers interested in exploring the Focus on First instructional program developed by the Boston Public Schools that will serve as the foundation for Maine’s work, a PLC experience is being planned for the 2021-22 school year.  There is no obligation to implement the program, but this PLC will provide time to learn about the components of Focus on First and how the program connects to Pre-K for ME and K for ME.  Teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators interested in this instructional program are encouraged to participate.  Grade one teachers who participate may have the opportunity to pilot the program during the 2022-23 school year. An outline of the PLC series for Focus on First and a registration link is included below.

Exploring Focus on First

Second Wednesday of the month, beginning November 10, 2021 and continuing through May 11, 2022, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Registration Link 

In the Focus on First curriculum, the Boston Public School System has worked to develop an interdisciplinary instructional program that encourages children and teachers to work together  to develop understandings and communicate meaningfully. With texts at the core of classroom experiences, children ask questions about the world around them and consolidate ideas about their place in it as learners and contributors.

Participants will explore the components and design of Focus on First while taking a deep dive into the content of its 4 units: Building Strong Communities, Animals Surviving and Thriving, Resources in Our Communities, and Communicating with Light and Sound.

Exploring Focus on First
November Overview – A Child’s Experience with Focus on First – Storytelling and Story Acting
December Text Talk, Knowledge Building, Vocabulary and Language
January Studios, Thinking & Feedback
February Science and Social Studies
March Foundational Literacy
April Stations and Strategic Small Groups
May Writing and Assessment

If you have additional questions, please contact Elementary Literacy Specialist, Dee Saucier at danielle.m.saucier@maine.gov.