Beach Grove Elementary SD#37 Delta

I. General Information

School Name: Beach Grove Elementary

School District: SD#37 Delta

Inquiry Team Members: Angela Vaughan:, Josie Zahn:, Jody Billingsley:

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 – Writing

Focus Addressed: Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Differentiated instruction, Formative assessment, Growth mindset, Inclusion and inclusive instructional strategies

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? We focused on writing.

III. Spirals of Inquiry Details

Scanning: Last year we began collecting data regarding our students as writers and looked at resources that might improve our writing instruction. Many teachers commented that their students needed support for writing. This year we wanted to narrow our focus down to our classes, in particular 1-3 students per class who we will track data for.

Focus: After analyzing collected writing data for specific areas that need support, will targeting specific lessons to those areas improve writing?

Hunch: We didn’t have a consistent writing program or consistent language that is used from grade to grade. We also didn’t have many opportunities to collaborate and talk about our students and writers.

New Professional Learning:

  • Adrienne Gear: Powerful Writing structures, Powerful Understanding, Powerful Poetry
  • The Writing Revolution
  • Daily 5
  • Neil Stephenson, Delta SD, what makes a sentence?
  • Janet Thompson, Delta SD- introducing “The Writing Revolution”
  • The staff tried a graphic organizer as a way to organize thoughts for writing

Taking Action: We started with a school-wide write in the fall and analyzed the needs of our classes based on this. Areas that stood out were organization of writing and sentence structure. We spent some time at one of our professional days talking about a graphic organizer that could be used from K-7 for organizing our students’ writing. We had some collaboration time for teachers to plan how they may use this organizer and other resources in order to focus on organizing writing. In the spring, we had a lunch and learn focusing on The Writing Revolution and sentence structure, and we did a second school-wide write. By focusing on one or two students in each class, we were able to take a closer look at how the organizer and resources supported the students’ writing progress.

Photo description: Graphic organizer used

Checking: By doing a fall and spring school-wide write with a focus on 1-2 “wonder” children, we were able to have a baseline and see the progress over the year. We used the performance standards to support our data. By doing focused lessons and using an organizer, students were able to progress in their writing, some significantly.

Reflections/Advice: We learned that change takes patience and time. This was a 2 year (so far) process for us and we saw more progress in year 2 than the first year. We will continue to focus on writing in the coming year and would like to see if continued use of the graphic organizer and The Writing Revolution will help our students to continue to make strides in their writing. Continued collaboration among teachers will help to keep the dialogue open about our students as writers.