I. General Information
School Name: Beach Grove
School District: SD#37 Delta
Inquiry Team Members: Josie Zahn: firstname.lastname@example.org, Angela Vaughan: email@example.com, Mark Douangchanh: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquiry Team Contact Name/Email: Josie Zahnemail@example.com
II. Inquiry Project Information
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels Addressed Through Inquiry: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Areas Addressed:
- Language Arts – Writing
- Differentiated instruction
- Flexible learning
- Universal design for learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? How do we meet the wide range of writing needs in our school?
III. Spirals of Inquiry Details
Scanning: In Sept/Oct, we did a school wide write on the topic “The Best Day Ever”. After the write, teachers worked in grade groups to track the needs of their class. They used Adrienne Gear’s class summary sheet. They also had access to the BC Performance Standards https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/teach/resources-for-teachers/curriculum/bc-performance-standards as well as Delta’s literacy continuum https://deltalearns.ca/elementaryliteracy/assessment-materials/. We found we had a broad range of writing needs for our students from K-7 and wondered how we could meet everyone’s needs.
Focus: We had a lunch and learn on the resource, The Writing Revolution, with the idea that the new learning from this resource would help us to focus on areas of need in writing. However, we found that the lunch and learn was attended more by primary teachers and student teachers, and the interest in this specific resource was mixed. We decided to look at Adrienne Gears resources: Powerful Writing Structures, Powerful Understanding and Powerful Poetry https://www.readingpowergear.com/store and found that teachers were eager to use these resources. For this year, we decided to focus on exploring the new resources and think about ways we could use them to focus on the specific writing needs in our classes.
Hunch: Our hunch was that getting resources in the hands of the teachers, as well as providing time for collaboration, would create excitement for focusing on the writing needs in our class.
New Professional Learning:
- The Writing Revolution: https://www.amazon.ca/Writing-Revolution-Advancing-Thinking-Subjects/dp/1119364914?asin=1119364914&revisionId=&format=4&depth=1
- Adrienne Gears Resources: Powerful Writing Structures, Powerful Understanding and Powerful Poetry https://www.readingpowergear.com/store
- Shifting the Balance: https://www.stenhouse.com/content/shifting-balance
Taking Action: In grade teams, teachers had collaboration time to reflect on the needs of their writers, plan lessons and talk about their scope and sequence for types of writing, while making use the new resources. We had originally planned to do a spring school-wide write in order to compare it to the fall assessment, but decided to leave this for the following year as we hadn’t had enough time to work with the new resources yet. We were able to offer 2 lunch and learns to discuss The Writing Revolution resource and to share writing ideas from the resources we had ordered. We also had a book club on Shifting the Balance, which overlapped with our inquiry.
Checking: We did another lunch and learn in May to check in on how teachers were using their new resources, lessons they had tried, and questions that had arisen. We also looked at purchasing picture books to support our writing lessons. Next year, we plan to do a fall and spring school wide write to have a more formal tool for assessment.
Reflections/Advice: Our advice would be to start small. We started with a lot of ideas and narrowed it down to a smaller focus. We also had to remember that this process will take time and may go over more than one school year.