Part 1: Analysis of Context

1. What do we know about our learners?

Beginning in the 2016 school year teachers began to voice concerns regarding students abilities in Mathematics.  The perception was that students were not as strong with their basic math facts and the continued to struggle with the language based Math programs which required higher level thinking and problem solving.  Out of curiosity I pulled the provincial FSA data for grade 4 and 7 Numeracy Assessments and there has been a steady decline in student achievement levels since 2012 at Sullivan Elementary.

FSA Data 2012-2016 SKM_654e18010815050

At our May planning day we reviewed the Mathematics Goals and Rationale from the BC Curriculum and then brainstormed the following topics:

  1. Our students strengths and weaknesses: 

Our students in Math…

2.  Where we want to focus our Math teaching and Learning:

Where We Want to Go

3.  What are some potential Goals:

Possible Goals


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

In September all teachers administered a beginning of the year assessment.  Intermediate classes did the Island Net assessment for each grade level and primary classes used the SNAP assessment.  

One interesting piece of data emerged for our intermediate students.  Out of 143 students who wrote the assessment 69 were not meeting grade level expectations for Number Sense at their grade level.  This is 48% of all our intermediate students.

With 59  primary students who did the SNAP assessment 30 of them scored minimally meeting or not yet meeting for their grade level.  This is 51%.

Another 40 primary students (grades 1 and 2) did a one on one assessment created by Sandra Ball to assess number recognition, cardinality, counting on, sequencing and subitizing.  18 students were not yet meeting grade level expectations at this grade level.  This is 45%.

Part 2: Focus and Planning

3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?

4. What professional learning do we need?

Teachers learning at pro d

  1.  Summer Pro D at DEC August 30 2017–All teachers attended full day workshop “Mathematical Identities” with Marc Garneau
  2. Release Time for primary and intermediate groups-September 2017–All teachers met and watched DVD series on Number Talks which is published by Sherry Parrish
  3. Lunch Club Book Club (September -December2017)–All teachers met once every three weeks to discuss and review chapters from Van De Walle’s Teaching Student Centered Mathematics.
  4. BCAMT Fall Conference (October 2017)–a teacher leader attended this conference and shared back with staff
  5. Learning Lunches 2nd Book Club (December-April 2018)–All teachers met once every three weeks to discuss and review chapters from “Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had” by Tracey Zager
  6. BCAMT Spring Conference (February 2018) with keynote speaker Jo Boaler who wrote “Mathematical Mindsets”–Teacher leader and principal are attending this
  7. Team teaching opportunties (January – March 2018)–Principal visiting and participating in Math lessons with each class once a week for three weeks.  Afterwards they will collaboratively team teach some lessons together.
  8. Math Dinner Series (Spring 2018)–A team of three teacher leaders will attend this series which will be based on the book “Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had” by Tracey Zager.

5. What is our plan?

Our plan involves a concentrated effort when planning math lessons to reach our three objectives:

  1.  Students will build and use Math vocabulary to explain and communicate their thinking.  All classes receives the Math Word Wall posters for their grades and teachers agreed to use them to build a common shared vocabulary.
  2. Students will increase their computation fluency.  Teachers will use a variety of stations, drills, games daily.
  3. Students will increase their ability to communicate and justify their mathematical thinking.  Teachers will provide opportunities to talk about and share their thinking behind solving problems.

Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate

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

In order to know we have been successful with our Math goal, we will see a much higher percentage of students meeting expectations for their grade level by the end of May.  We will reassess students using the same assessments as in September.

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