Part 1: Analysis of Context
1. What do we know about our learners?
Beaver Creek Elementary is full of curious, energetic and friendly students who are each working to achieve their own personal learning goals. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds with 85% of our students speaking more than one language. Beaver Creek offers the option to take Punjabi or French language lessons in grades 5-7. (Our school goal is for all students to acquire skills to advance their reading, writing and speaking in English) Our students are connected to their culture and enjoy sharing their traditions at the many festivals we celebrate.
Beaver Creek Rockets are creative and enjoy participating in the Arts. We have an energetic Music and Theatre programs, including band for the grade sevens and lunchtime Art Club for intermediate students. Our students love to play! Grades 3-7 are encouraged to participate on the Cross-Country and Track and Field teams. Students in grades 5-7 are welcome to join the Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball and Badminton teams. Beaver Creek has a Breakfast Club that welcomes all students and supports a positive start to the day. Our school has partnered with Community School Programs to provide after-school activities for both primary and intermediate students.
2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?
Over 85% of the students are English Language Learners or English as a Second Dialect learner. Many of our students are recent immigrants to Canada and are developing in their learning English. Almost 10% of our students identify their Aboriginal heritage.
As a staff, we have been examining how we can support our students to develop deeper comprehension when they read. Our school-wide Reading Benchmark data (Fountas and Pinnell) demonstrates that our students, including our ELL and ESD students, are not meeting expectations in reading. Many students are able to decode the words but are unable to discuss the text and make meaning of what they have read.
Team teachers completed the Fountas and Pinnell Reading Benchmarks assessment for all students, Grade 1 to 7. Each grade was assigned a different colour post-it note and individual students were plotted on this grid. LST teachers discussed the results with individual classroom teachers. Having this visual was helpful in making the needs of the students explicit and LST/classroom teacher teams were able to plan for instruction together. The information made grouping students by their instructional level easier. Reading Benchmark assessments will be repeated in February and May. LST teachers have now transferred the data collected to an Excel spreadsheet so that teachers can continue to track individual student growth, over time.
Part 2: Focus and Planning
3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?
For the 2018/2019 and the 2019/2020 school year, both the primary and intermediate team will focus on increasing reading comprehension for our students. We are looking to see how implementing strategies from the book authored by Adrienne Gear, “Reading Power” will enhance student comprehension.
4. What professional learning do we need?
At the beginning of the year, Beaver Creek teachers participate a Professional Day lead by Adrienne Gear on the subject of effective reading practices. Primary and Intermediate teachers are currently using the Reading Power program to guide their collaboration. Primary teachers are working on fiction reading strategies focussing on connecting and visualizing while Intermediate teachers are supporting their students with non-fiction reading strategies within the Social Studies and Science curriculum.
5. What is our plan?
In September, the Beaver Creek Learner Support looked to the data to determine the need was greatest at the Grade 2 and 3 level. They have organized their schedule to give focussed reading intervention using Levelled Literacy Intervention for our most vulnerable readers. Classroom and LST teachers will collaboratively complete the Fountas and Pinnell benchmark assessment three times per year – September, February and May. Classroom teachers continue to offer guided reading practice in primary classrooms and literature circles in the intermediate classrooms with a focus on understanding what the students have read and to help develop background knowledge and vocabulary. Collaboration time will be provided for teachers monthly to meet and discuss the implementation of reading strategies and the use of formative assessment strategies. We will purposefully share our success and challenges with one another at staff meetings and lunch sessions. We will create a reading buzz with families through an evening Reading Carnival in November, an ongoing Home Reading program and Class Challenges to increase motivation, along with monthly assemblies that will have a component dedicated to Reading.
Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate
6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)
7. Based on the evidence, does our inquiry require adjustment?