Bayview Elementary SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith

I. General Information

School Name: Bayview Elementary

School District: SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Inquiry Team Members: Sarah Pike:
Lisa Blanchuras:

Inquiry Team Contact Email:

II. Inquiry Project Information

Type of Inquiry: NOIIE Case Study

Grade Levels Addressed Through Inquiry: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)

Curricular Areas Addressed: Language Arts – Literacy, Language Arts – Reading

Focus Addressed: Flexible learning, Other: Game based learning

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? How will gamifying literacy practices enhance student abilities to engage with, and grow phonemic awareness and phonics skills?

III. Spirals of Inquiry Details

Scanning: Expanding on our learning from the 2021/2022 school year, the team at Bayview engaged in the scanning phase and when that information was compared with our baseline literacy data, collected in the fall, we determined that the majority of students find themselves within the “early reader” category of the Foundational Skills for Reading continuum. Skills such as: phonemic awareness, early decoding, and listening comprehension are the foundational building blocks needed to establish growth as a learner and a lifelong love of literacy.

Focus: Through hands-on and online literacy games to ensure joyful experiences, we hoped to maximize student learning. Many of our students see themselves as technologically proficient, and we would love to blur the boundaries of literacy and gaming to help students see themselves in their learning.

Hunch: Traditional models of teaching such as whole group instruction and paper-based practice activities, were not working for our learners. Our learners have many social-emotional and self-regulation needs, so our teaching practices need to focus on highly engaging strategies to hook our learners and keep them on-task.

New Professional Learning: Teachers paired online and hands-on games to their phonological awareness/phonics scope and sequence that they were using. They learned to use our district reading screening data to zone in on skills that our students were missing.

Taking Action: We used a school-wide reading program called Reading Eggs that had built in games. During literacy stations, games were used in place of traditional paper and pencil activities, to focus on the phonics skill being targeted. We also did a week-long, school-wide literacy blitz. Students rotated through 10 stations with games that focused on a variety of literacy skills.

Checking: The classrooms that committed to both Reading Eggs and targeted games during their literacy stations showed the greatest gains in students engagement, focus and reading skills. We used our reading skills assessment as evidence, as well as anecdotal stories. The week-long literacy blitz really inspired some teachers to use games in their classrooms on a regular basis.

Reflections/Advice: We learned that the way to reach some of our most reluctant learners is to make learning fun through game-based activities. Teachers are motivated to work more games into their literacy practices. Many already used games during their math teaching blocks, and now see the benefit of using games for targeting phonological awareness and phonic skills too.