Part 1: Analysis of Context
1. What do we know about our learners?
The students at David Brankin are happy, enthusiastic and caring. They are brave, risk takers and collaborators in learning. Our students are curious, resourceful and creative. They enjoy learning, playing and working with a variety of peers and staff. Students understand that each of them is special and unique and part of what makes David Brankin a diverse and vibrant learning community.
2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?
We know that our students are unique, talented, creative, brave, collaborative, resourceful and risk takers because they ask deep questions, they embrace new learning such as coding, FreshGrade posts and reflections, story workshops, musicals, reading, writing and math with gusto and they are willing try again and again.
We know that are students caring, empathetic and inclusive by their actions on the playground, in the hallways and in classrooms. They want to help others and share their ideas with peers and little buddies.
Part 2: Focus and Planning
3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?
- How can we provide better feedback to our students to help them gain an understanding of where they are at in their learning and what learning/processes to pursue next?
2. How can we play, learn and work together in the most inclusive, collaborative and positive manner?
4. What professional learning do we need?
As a staff we have decided to have four focus groups:
- SEL focus group that meets once each month to select our school wide SEL book of the month, plan appropriate and relevant learning to go along with each book and to coordinate our SEL assembly
Linked with the first focus group and SEL school wide initiative is the curriculum transformation inquiry related to priority practices?
As a school we are focusing on developing perseverance as part of our Social and Emotional Learning. Currently, each month our school selects picture books and learning opportunities related to this theme to discuss and share what perseverance looks and feels like. Students are working towards demonstrating increased ability to persevere in a variety of learning and social situations.
How can we support students’ to foster a growth mindset to deepen their learning and increase their personal confidence? We wonder if we focus on developing our student’s awareness and understanding of a ‘Growth Mindset’, including how to persevere, if we can affect change in their learning and positive personal identity.
- Our CSL focus group meets once every two weeks to look at quality assessment both online and using a template – the group is discussing and working on the following quality assessment components:
–>Clear learning intention(s) or description of the learning
–>Criteria (known, understood and posted)
–>Performance scale (3 or 4 point with descriptors), posted and consistent use of the same one
–>Teacher feedback to students including next steps or how to improve upon learning
–>Student self-assessment and reflection with guiding questions
- Our fourth focus group applied for a district grant to look at how to better communicate student learning using digital portfolios. Their guiding question is:
What can I do to support student language development (self-assessment) and ownership of learning through digital portfolios?
5. What is our plan?
Our plan is strongly linked to our four focus groups which includes bi-monthly and monthly gatherings to review progress, discuss challenges, share successes and to select new action goals/areas to focus on.
We have also received funding to have 10 release days for teachers to collaborate.
Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate
6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)
· Students using language related to formative assessment (learning intentions, learning targets, rubric, criteria, meeting expectations or proficient)
· Gather data from first and third term CSL in literacy and numeracy (increased number of students meeting expectations or proficient)
· Observations/feedback of students engaging in deeper learning, interested in learning, motivated to learn…
· Fewer behaviours in class during learning time
· Increased understanding of FA – a number of teachers attended FA dinner series, focus on using common language.
· The teachers are requesting a formative assessment book study for the upcoming school year 2017-18 using one of Dylan Williams’ book.
· Students using the common language throughout the school when students apply what they learned to their own situations (example: One student told her teacher that when she saw someone being unsafe, she knew she had to “say something”, just like what was described in the book, “Say Something”.)
· Students are “self-regulating”
· Students using manners without being prompted
· Students following the school rules of being safe, kind, respectful, responsible, and healthy without being prompted
· Fewer problems being reported to classroom teachers
· Fewer office referrals
· More observed behaviours that demonstrate self-regulation and perseverance in learning situations
We would like to be more intentional in locating and sharing readings and videos that support these learning goals – perhaps post under staff room on our school website and share links at staff meetings.