A.J. McLellan Elementary 23-24

OUR CONTEXT

Our AJ McLellan community acknowledges that we work, play, and learn on the traditional, ancestral, and unceeded territory of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and other Coast Salish Peoples. AJ is a school with a rich 21 year history, located in Cloverdale East. We pride ourselves on providing a safe, supportive, and inclusive school for all of our learners. Every member of our AJ community strives to contribute positively to our school culture. Students of all ages work towards making A.J. a positive place to be. Our primary students love helping to keep our grounds clean, intermediate students help to support and supervise younger peers at lunch time and our Grade 7s assist with leadership jobs throughout the school and are responsible for our morning announcements. We also have a wonderful parent community who supports the school in a multitude of ways, including through our very active Parent Advisory Council.

Our learners are proud to be Dragons who uphold our high expectations for positive student behaviour, social responsibility, and academics. At AJ, we are Dragons and we ROAR! This means:

We are respectful,

We own our choices,

We always do our best, and

We are responsible.

We are committed to developing our students’ Social-Emotional Learning. We have an SEL teacher lead and SEL committee at our school who regularly provide school-wide opportunities to learn together through evidence-based programs, lessons, activities, and assemblies. Students at A.J. McLellan are learning about fixed mindset versus growth mindset - just because something is that way now, doesn't mean it's that way forever. They are using this knowledge to increase perseverance and begin to see themselves as learners who are capable of many wonderful things. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies, including soft starts, belly breathing, class meetings, compliment circles and many others, have increased in use through the school to support students where they are at currently and provide opportunities for students to grow in SEL skills. All of these strategies help increase student capacity in communication of needs, wants, hopes, and dreams. 

Extracurricular opportunities are available to all ages. We provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and grow their passions. These opportunities include, but aren't limited to, a diversity club, various sports teams, a cheer club, grade 7 girls and boys clubs, a reading link program, a photography club, primary choir, a community service team, a spirit team, and an announcement team. 

 At AJ, we are more than just a school, we are a community. We celebrate our differences and come together to learn about our diverse backgrounds and cultures. We know that our diversity is our strength and that we have much to learn from each other.


OUR LEARNERS

At A.J. McLellan, we know that our learners learn in different ways and at different rates. To ensure that our students are provided with quality educational opportunities, the Core Competencies are embedded into the learning plans and activities in our classrooms. We teach competencies so that students become skillful when collaborating, problem solving, sharing ideas and expressing their individuality. Reflection and self-assessment of the competencies allow our students to discover and develop their individual talents and interests, to set goals, to gain greater ownership of their learning, to describe who they are as learners, to document their progress, and to share their learning. 


Our learners can share their mathematical thinking in multiple ways.

Our learners can develop and use multiple strategies in problem solving.

   






OUR FOCUS

The revised BC Mathematics Curriculum has an increased focus on competencies - what a student can do - in addition to the facts and information a student knows. Our aim is to increase the quality and richness of ideas and strategies students use to solve problems and to build student mathematical resiliency.

Students at A.J. McLellan have demonstrated significant growth and progress in numeracy.  As a staff we have come together to discuss the trends we are seeing in numeracy and achievement across the grade levels. The data we looked at included anecdotal teacher input, student test scores, FSA's and numeracy progress indicators reported. 

We have identified the use of multiple strategies when problem solving and developing mathematical resilience as our areas of focus.  When problem-solving, our students are encouraged to use multiple strategies (visual, oral, play, experimental, written, symbolic) in both abstract and contextualized situations. They are provided with opportunities to participate in deep-thinking activities. 

"Mathematics learning is not a race, and it is mathematical depth that inspires students and keeps them engaged and learning mathematics well, setting them up for high-level learning in the future." - Jo Boaler

Mathematical resilience is related to students' affective ability to deal with, and be able to overcome obstacles and negative situations in the learning process. It is rooted in growth mindset and a recognition that mistakes lead to learning. This focus will allow our students to develop the mathematical skills necessary for successful problem solving in most areas of life. 

This 2023/2024 year, we have been focused on a cohort of primary students in two separate classes. The teachers in these classes had noticed that their students were quite successful with simple and familiar math equations and problems. Their students, however, generally had difficulty sustaining effort and staying motivated when presented with new strategies, problems, or equations. They found that students would often become discouraged or disinterested when they were unable to quickly solve deep-thinking problems.

These teachers decided to focus on growing their students' growth mindsets and problem-solving skills. They developed lessons to help their students see themselves as mathematicians, to grow their stamina, and to encourage mistake-making as an important part of the problem-solving process. They explored resources and worked with our district numeracy helping teacher to support learning around three related competencies:

- I can reflect on and evaluate my mathematical thinking

- I can persevere when faced with challenging numeracy tasks

- I can take ownership of my numeracy goals and learning 

OUR NEXT STEPS

Evidence of Learning

Grade 4: Numeracy

Grade 7: Numeracy

Our Numeracy FSA trends show that the majority of our students are on-track or extending in their learning.


Our current (June 2024) teacher assessment data using performance indicators shows that the majority of our students are proficient or extending. 





While some of our students may not currently meet all mathematical expectations, it's essential to acknowledge their diverse strengths and the progress they've already made. Our approach is rooted in strength-based practices, which highlight the unique talents and capacities of every student. We understand that learning is a dynamic process, and we are committed to providing the necessary support and resources to facilitate growth and progress. By fostering resilience, we empower students to recognize their strengths, embrace challenges, and cultivate a positive attitude towards mathematics. Through targeted interventions, personalized instruction, and a culture of encouragement, we're actively working alongside our students to bridge the gap between where they are and where they aspire to be in their mathematical journey.


Our Cohort Results

We have found that students in our cohort have been positively impacted by our numeracy focus. They demonstrated growth in relation to using multiple strategies, participating in deep-thinking activities, and demonstrating mathematical  resilience. We compiled evidence from student self-assessments, teacher reflections and feedback, and numeracy assessments. What is evident when reviewing the evidence, is that our cohort made significant progress in building their resiliency and developing positive attitudes towards math. 

We conducted a numeracy survey with our primary cohort group and with our intermediate students. This survey allowed us to gather information in the areas of how students view their mathematical abilities, how they feel about their learning, and their math mindsets.  Here are some interesting findings from this survey:



Primary Cohort

Intermediate Students

See themselves as mathematicians


89%

46%

Feel confident in math

89%


53%

Interested in learning new math concepts

78%

45%

Believe their math skills can improve with effort and practice

100%

63%

Enjoy math activities


100%

71%


Moving Forward

This survey, coupled with teacher observations and assessment trends, guides us moving forward. We are ready to extend our numeracy focus from our study cohort to the entire school for the 2024/2025 school year.  We have seen significant success with our cohort and we are excited to build on that momentum.  We have planned a residency with our district numeracy helping teacher in the fall and we look forward to a year of growth and learning for all. We are committed to cultivating a learning environment where every student feels supported and encouraged to reach their fullest potential in mathematics. We aim to instill a lifelong love for learning mathematics, equipping students with the skills they need to succeed both academically and beyond.

Surrey Schools

Formed in 1906, the Surrey School District currently has the largest student enrolment in British Columbia and is one of the few growing districts in the province. It is governed by a publicly elected board of seven trustees.

The district serves the cities of Surrey and White Rock and the rural area of Barnston Island.

Surrey Schools
14033 - 92 Avenue Surrey,
British Columbia V3V 0B7
604-596-7733