Part 1: Analysis of Context
1. What do we know about our learners?
Frost Road Elementary is a Kindergarten to Grade 7 school with an Intensive French program at the Grade 6 and 7 levels. We have undergone significant growth at Frost Road with the recent development of several townhome and condominium complexes in the neighbourhood. Our school is a multicultural, multilingual school with families representing countries all over the world and many English Language Learners in our student population.
At Frost Road we have a dedicated and committed staff. Our staff works together to ensure Frost Road is a safe, caring and positive learning and working environment for the students and for each other. Our school Code of Conduct, “Respect Ourselves, Respect Others and Respect Property” is highly valued by staff and parents to help create a positive school climate. A rubric for respectful behaviour in our school, grounds, and community is posted in each classroom so students and staff share a common language of respect.
2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?
As our learners have changed, so too have their learning needs. A team of intermediate teachers, under the guidance of our Learner Support Team, undertook an inquiry to determine how using Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment would inform and guide reading instruction and impact student achievement in reading.
This initial reading inquiry demonstrated the need for teachers to incorporate methods of assessment that include finding a baseline where students are at before instruction begins. Therefore, students are taught at their individual level and instruction is both meaningful and accessible for every student.
Part 2: Focus and Planning
3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?
How will reorganizing into a Late Literacy model improve literacy in the intermediate grades and foster a love of reading in our students?
Based on the findings of the initial inquiry, the LST model is being reorganized, with the support of District Helping Teacher, Joanne Holme, as a “Late Literacy” model. This model allows teachers and LST staff to collaborate and co-facilitate literacy instruction in our intermediate classrooms. As a staff, we are incorporating the use of Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment system in September and June.
4. What professional learning do we need?
· Training in Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment
· Release time to administer the assessment
· Professional development in literacy approaches including teaching our students to be metacognitive readers and to understand when meaning breaks down and how to fix it
5. What is our plan?
Professional Development sessions with Literacy Helping Teachers, Joanne Holme and Lillah Martin
· Making Your Thinking Visible and Tracking Your Thinking; A professional development session for intermediate teachers focussed on helping students make their thinking visible when actively engaging with text
· Knowing Your Students, Formative Assessment: Research & Practise, Learning Intentions, Criteria & Feedback; A day long workshop attended by all staff
· Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment an all day training session for all intermediate staff
· Late Literacy Support, Read It, Talk It, Write It, Do It; a day long workshop attended by all intermediate staff on the Late Literacy model of support for students in grades 3-7
November 2017, January 2018, February 2018
· A Novel Approach; a series of workshops attended by intermediate staff to implement guided, levelled book club study in intermediate grades
Classroom teachers are administering the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment in September to guide instruction and again in June to determine changes in student achievement.
Classroom teachers and LST are collaborating to build shared understanding and common language for literacy. Action criteria is co-created with students and teachers are teaching students how to make their thinking visible when engaging with text in a variety of formats.
We have a newly formed literacy committee and are working together on ways to involve parents and families in the reading journey. Primary staff is doing a book study to support literacy in the early years and have revised their reading program into levelled guided reading groups across grade groups.
Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate
6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)
Through the ongoing sharing of student work, reflections and self-assessment, we will be able to gauge student success. Including teacher reflection and observation to support our understanding is a key piece of evidence to know whether or not our plan is making a difference. We will survey parents and students regarding attitudes toward reading and lastly, we will gather the Benchmark assessments for students in September and June and compare to determine student achievement.