Brookside Elementary 23-24

OUR CONTEXT

Brookside is a wonderful place to learn, work, and play! Here is what our students have to say about why they like about Brookside:

"Playing on the playground."

"I really like our gym, and being able to play on the Basketball  Team." 

"Our school is a lot of fun, and you can make a lot of friends."

"I like the free food!"

"It is fun playing at recess."

"The lower field is so fun, there is so much space!"

"The teachers are really nice."

"I like the friendliness of other students."

"I like having sports teams."



OUR LEARNERS

OUR LEARNERS

At the beginning of every school year, teaching staff at Brookside assess the Reading Fluency and Comprehension levels of all of our learners using the Fountas & Pinnell levelling resource. After completing the testing and analyzing the data, it was recognized that there was a need to focus on enhancing student fluency and comprehension skills in Reading. As a school community, we  recognize that reading is a fundamental skill that serves as the foundation for all other subjects and areas of learning. It empowers students to become independent learners, critical thinkers, and effective communicators. By focusing on enhancing reading skills, at Brookside we aim to find innovative and engaging ways to empower our learners with the tools and strategies to enhance their love of reading.

"The Core Competencies are sets of intellectual, personal, and social and emotional proficiencies that all students need in order to engage in deep, lifelong learning. Along with literacy and numeracy foundations, they are central to British Columbia’s K-12 curriculum and assessment system and directly support students in their growth as educated citizens" (https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/competencies).

The Communication competency is essential for finding satisfaction, purpose and joy. It encompasses the knowledge, skills, processes and dispositions we associate with interactions with others. Through communication, students acquire, develop, and transform ideas and information, and make connections with others to share their ideas, express their individuality, further their learning, and get things done.  Communication is an integral part of becoming a proficient reader. When reading, we communicate with our community, our teachers, our students, our friends, and ourselves!

At Brookside, we have collectively decided to focus on the following learning intentions:

  • The Big Idea: Language and text can be a source of creativity and joy.
  • Curricular Competency: Engage actively as listeners, viewers, and readers, as appropriate, to develop understanding of self, identity, and community.
  • Curricular Competency: Use a variety of comprehension strategies before, during, and after reading, listening, or viewing to deepen understanding of text.

Language and text can be a source of creativity and joy.

To help foster a love of reading and encourage our students to become lifelong readers, we have implemented the following events during the 2023-2024 school year:

  • Reading Kick Off Assembly
  • Teachers' Favourite Books Board
  • Hot Chocolate and Reading Under the Stars (whole school)
  • Reading Train (whole school)
  • Buddy Reading
  • Drop Everything & Read
  • P/VP Grade Group Read Aloud
  • Weekly Reading Draw
  • Parent Communication in Newsletters


OUR FOCUS

After conducting initial reading assessments at the beginning of this school year, several of our teachers gleaned from their research that many of their students were not at grade level with regards to reading fluency and comprehension and sought out opportunities to assist their students in bridging this gap. Our district has identified reading fluency as one of its key focus areas and has created an intervention called Responding to Readers, which several of our teachers were involved in during the 2022-2023 school year. The events of the past few years have had significant impacts on students in our learning communities. This initiative provides an opportunity for a small cohort of teachers to look closely at their readers and engage with a community of curious professionals exploring reading, quality assessment practices, and responsive instruction. Our teachers committed to this project and began working with district colleagues last year to further develop their capacity as learners, leaders, and educators, with the goal of improving reading practices for their students. These teachers shared their findings at the beginning of the year (admin professional development day) with the whole staff, and everyone agreed that they had reached the same conclusions about their learners. This was the start of a school-wide focus on Reading.

Our team used the following resources to support student learning:

  • Daily 5
  • Running Record (1-Minute)
  • Reading Goal Bookmarks
  • Words Their Way
  • Catch Up the Code
  • Jargon Journal
  • Word Manipulation
  • Epic
  • Spark Reading

With this understanding, the cohort then looked at our readers, asking; What do they know how to do? What areas do they need support in? Where do they need to go next?  The staff also looked at their own teaching practice in the same way, asking; What areas do we feel confident in? What needs to change? What do we need support with in our own learning?

Some assessments that the cohort used to guide their practice and to determine where readers were at, include:

  • Running records
  • Reading fluency rubrics and WCPM (word count - mistakes made)
  • Listening to students read out loud
  • Asking questions/interviewing students about their feelings about various aspects of reading
  • CORE Phonic Assessment
  • Fountas & Pinnell
  • San Diego 

Student Self-Assessments

The key to creating an effective intervention, is to have a partnership and open communication between teachers, their students, and the families. All of these resources and interventions require students to be active participants in their learning. 

OUR NEXT STEPS

Evidence of Student Learning

Cohort Data

Illustrated above is the data for the two cohort classes. The average increase in reading levels for each student over the course of the year was 3.67 in both classes. After the implementation of the interventions mentioned above, the cohort teachers did see growth in the areas of reading comprehension and fluency in almost all students.

Moving Forward

At school, we assess student learning in a variety of ways, each providing us with evidence in different ways and in different forms. One such measure is the Foundations Skills Assessment (FSA) that is administered to students in Grades 4 & 7 each year. The FSA measures student progress in Literacy and Numeracy. In the area of Literacy (Reading & Writing), students in Grade 4 scored 43% Emerging, 46% On Track, and 11% Extending. In Grade 7, students scored 35% Emerging, 63% On Track, less than 2% Extending

**It is important to note that in the last several years, a large percentage of students were excused from writing the FSA. This year however, close to 95% of students in Grades 4 & 7 wrote the exam. Moving forward, the results should show a clearer picture of student learning in these areas. As noted above, the FSA is only one measure of student achievement and must be used alongside classroom assessment.

Moving Forward, we would ideally like to see the majority of our students scoring in the On Track or Extending categories.

Next Steps:

  • Review FSA results at first staff meeting in September 
  • Administer Fountas & Pinnell reading assessment in September in all classes
  • Continue current interventions and encourage professional development that supports our goal of improving student fluency and comprehension in reading
  • Continue with school-wide reading events and opportunities to share and develop the joy of reading amongst students and staff

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