Part 1: Analysis of Context
1. What do we know about our learners?
McLeod Road Traditional School is a choice school located in the south zone of the Surrey School district. We have a steady student population of 205 who come from a wide variety of neighbourhoods from all over Surrey.
McLeod Road Traditional School has a strong, supportive PAC who has enabled the school to move forward by supporting us to purchase tech tools and playground structures and hosting special school events to support the wide variety of learning through a wide variety of ways.
We have the unique position of having many of our students stay together for most of their elementary school years. We have a community of learners who truly grow together.
2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?
After completing an initial scan of the state of our students’ social/emotional learning in January 2015, the staff at MRT concluded that students are having some difficulties with social responsibility. We noticed that students have a difficult time solving problems and communicating with each other and with self regulation skills. As well, anxiety to perform and behave well is evident in the intermediate grades.
To find out more, we decided to collect data through three different methods:
- We had our students complete a student survey,
- Teachers filled out a quick social responsibility performance scale on each student
- Observations and discussions with students, parents and staff related to the social responsibility of our students were completed.
Here are the results:
Teacher Quick Student Social Responsibility Scale
Staff, Student and Parent Observations re: areas related to social responsibility needing further attention
Part 2: Focus and Planning
3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?
Social emotional learning is a broad area of the curriculum that consists of three interrelated competencies:
- Positive Personal and Cultural Identity
- Personal Awareness and Responsibility
- Social Responsibility
Looking at the data, as a school, we decided to focus on social responsibility.
Social responsibility involves the ability and disposition to consider the interdependence of people with each other and the natural environment; to contribute positively to one’s family, community, society, and the environment; to resolve problems peacefully; to empathize with others and appreciate their perspectives; and to create and maintain healthy relationships. Social responsibility consists of four facets;
- Contributing to Community and Caring for the Environment.
- Solving Problems in Peaceful Ways
- Valuing Diversity
- Building Relationships
Since each class is different, each teacher has chosen their own inquiry question to work through. We have decided that every year, teachers will examine their questions and decide whether or not to continue with the same question or create a new question. This plan outlines each teacher’s process through the spirals of inquiry.
Here are some of their questions:
- How does teaching growth mindset effect resiliency in my students?
- How can teaching problem solving skills change my classroom enviroment?
- How can students develop empathy for others that leads to a cooperative problem-solving aproach with their peers?
- Can my students identify a problem or conflict and use appropriate strategies to resolve the issue?
- Will teaching students how to identify their own feelings and other people’s feelings help my students develop problem solving skills?
- In what ways can literature help me teach morality?
- How can I help foster empathy in our students?
- How can our behaviour expectations effectively transition into the home environment?
- Will focussing on personal identity help my students to be more accepting of their peers’ identities?
4. What professional learning do we need?
We have participated in a few professional development opportunities to help us with our inquiries
- School Vision Planning: Staff spent a day with district helping teacher, Karen Coumant, to come together with a common vision related to our inquiry questions.
- Social Emotional Learning Helping Teacher, Taunya Shaw led a workshop about the Second Step and MindUP programs.
- Karen Coumant, spent a day with us and lead a session on using picture books as an aid for reflection and to help teach skills related to social responsibility.
- A team of three staff members attended the Social Emotional Learning Dinner Series, which was a series of workshops offered by the district that covered SEL Fundamentals, Research, Spirals of Inquiry Core Competencies and Measuring outcomes
- We will continue to learn from other teachers in the district by visiting classes.
- We will continue to attend district workshops related to SEL .
5. What is our plan?
- Take part in professional development related to our inquiry questions.
- Touch base every staff meeting on how our inquiry is going (discuss observations, pose questions, collaborate).
- Implement the Second Step, MindUP and/or Kids in the Know program in our classes.
- Meet individually or with small groups of students to discuss how students are reflecting on social responsibility on Fresh Grade.
For information about the Second Step program click here
For information about the MindUP program click here
For information about the Kids in the Know program click here
Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate
6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)
- We will have discussions with students to see if they are able to share if they know and use strategies to help with problem solving.
- We will have discussions with lunch time supervisors, secretaries, counsellor, teachers and principal to see if there has been a noticeable change in students needing adults to help them with problem solving.
- We will touch base at every staff meeting to see how inquiry plans are progressing.