Part 1: Analysis of Context

1. What do we know about our learners?

What do we know about our learners?

  • Our students are well cared for by their families – they are healthy and physically active
  • They have busy after-school lives
  • They are friendly, helpful, respectful, and creative
  • Our students do well on provincial-wide assessments and generally do well academically
  • For the past seven years, our learners have been learning French in a single-track French Immersion school
  • Some students find it difficult to always use French as the language of communication.  We have a school-wide focus on specific French language terms or phrases that changes every two weeks along with a positive motivation system to encourage students to speak French at all times while in school.
  • As most students who are learning French in an immersion setting, our students have difficulty correcting/unlearning fossilized errors typical to the French Immersion setting
  • Some students find it difficult to explain their thinking which is compounded by the fact that they are doing so in a second language.
  • Some students, and their families, have very high expectations for student achievement
  • Based on teacher observations and student self-reporting, an increasing number of students are working on and face challenges with self-regulating their thoughts and behaviours

2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?

We collected information from:

  • Teachers through staff conversations at staff meetings
  • Conversations with parents
  • Conversations with students

Part 2: Focus and Planning

3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?

We have observed that many FI students lack the communication tools and strategies to comprehend and communicate as well as explain and justify their understanding in various subject areas. We hope that by implementing specific strategies to target self-regulation students will be well equipped to focus and engage in French language acquisition. More specifically our question is:

  • How will the use of MindUp breathing strategies support student self-regulation in increasing students’ ability to focus on learning and using the French Language?

Sub-questions related to our inquiry are:

  • How will the use of MindUp breathing strategies support students’ self- regulation during outside play?
  • How will the use of MindUp breathing strategies support students in demonstrating greater empathy towards their peers?

It is our hope that through the implementation of a  school-wide breathing strategy students will be more focused; thus, better able to learn and use the French language and better able to demonstrate empathy towards their peers.

4. What professional learning do we need?

We need to deepen our understanding of:

  • mindful breathing
  • mindfulness in general
  • effective oral language learning strategies 
  • effective strategies to help students engage in more positive interactions with their peers
  • https://www.edutopia.org/video/getting-ready-learn-mindfulness  (Getting Ready to Learn with Mindfulness)

5. What is our plan?

Our plan is to implement a school wide initiative to focus on Mindful breathing.

  • we will sound a school wide chime each morning and after each lunch hour to help all staff and students practice mindful breathing
  • we will encourage staff members to repeat this practice on their own after each morning recess
  • we will start each assembly with mindful breathing
  • we will share resources and strategies staff members can use to continue to develop students’ stamina for mindful breathing
  • our staff has started a mindful book club – they are reading the book Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness by Deborah Schoeberlein David with Suki Sheth
  • our staff will be creating mindful baskets/trolleys for each hallway – with yoga matts, breathing exercises in French and various other items to help with mindful activities

Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate

6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)

We would like to see our students demonstrate an increased ability to effectively self-regulate during school hours. This may include:

  • Students using the French language more often when speaking with peers 
  • Students using French more often to explain their thinking related to social and emotional issues
  • Students voluntarily including peers in various outside games
  • Students voluntarily using breathing as a strategy to focus and remain calm 

Teachers will pick a small focus group within their classrooms to observe and monitor. We will continue to track the number of students receiving acknowledgement for speaking French.  Data collection, in the form of checklists, will help us to better understand student growth in positive social experiences.

7. Based on the evidence, does our inquiry require adjustment?

At this time, we continue to work on supporting and developing strategies with staff members to implement mindful practices.