Part 1: Analysis of Context
1. What do we know about our learners?
The students at Maple Green Elementary come from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. They are kind to each other and have worked hard to create a positive culture within the school. They are inclusive of new students and there are 27 different languages spoken by students at Maple Green. As a whole the students struggle with their learning as many of them are ELL learners or have limited access to prior knowledge due to their circumstances. Currently, over 60% of our students speak a language other than English at home (266 / 411 have English as a second language). Our community consists of multi-family housing – where many families live in very close quarters with each other. Many are struggling financially.
The school has worked on self regulation for the past three years, and the students are much more able to identify their learning needs and places/devices they can use to regulate their behaviour. They do, however, struggle with accurately assessing their work and abilities.
2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?
The transiency rates at Maple Green have increased in the last three years. During the first six months of each school our transiency rates were:
2014/15 – 55 ins to 21 outs
2015/16 – 54 ins to 19 outs
2016/17 – 61 ins to 26 outs
During conversations with students they readily tell you they are the best. When questioning them about their work – it is the best, also. Their self-assessment on learning rubrics is often not reflective of their true level. The same applies to their written work. When they are completing their rubrics, they are not accurately placing themselves into the different areas.
This is a trend throughout the school with all teachers noticing the same thing within their classes.
Part 2: Focus and Planning
3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?
Staff conversations have led to two key questions:
• What is their (students’) understanding of Self-Assessment.
(This would be our baseline data.)
• How accurately are our students able to reflect upon/assess their learning? And set goals for themselves.
4. What professional learning do we need?
Teachers need to deepen their knowledge of communication competencies and explore assessment strategies. This will be done through professional development sessions at school and presentations by the district, committee work and collaboration time with grade group teachers.
Teachers will also engage in collaborative time to learn from each other and develop consistent language to be used throughout the school. We have also discussed having a book club and are looking into possible titles to meet our need.
Teachers need to develop their understanding of the relationship between core competencies and curricular competencies.
5. What is our plan?
Working as grade groups, teachers will develop grade specific rubrics reflective of the communication competencies. There will be three different progressive rubrics corresponding with the three school terms. In September, all students will be assessed by their teachers and themselves on the first rubric. During the term, class conversation/teaching will occur, projects will be assessed through a variety of means and students will practice self-assessment, which will all culminate in the final marking of the rubric for that term. This will be repeated for each term with the teaching focus being on the key concepts within these rubrics.
There will be posters developed and placed throughout the school reflecting ‘I can’ statements. Staff will also be introduced to the District Core Competencies document.
Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate
6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)
• Students will be able to better communicate their learning ie. teach others.
• Students will demonstrate an increased ability to make accurate statements about their learning as reflected in:
– communications with teachers
-accurate ‘I can’ statements
-appropriate completion of self-assessment core competencies document
7. Based on the evidence, does our inquiry require adjustment?
This is year one of this goal area, so we are collecting student samples and creating grade level rubrics related to the communication competencies.