I. General Information
School Name: Bothwell Elementary
School District: SD#36 Surrey
Inquiry Team Members: N/A
Inquiry Team Contact Name/Email: Melissa Chofirstname.lastname@example.org
II. Inquiry Project Information
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels Addressed Through Inquiry: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Areas Addressed: Language Arts – Literacy, Language Arts – Oral Language, Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing, Social Studies
Focus Addressed: Indigenous understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation), Experiential learning, First Peoples Principles of Learning, Land, Nature or Place-based learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Embedding Indigenous stories and traditional knowledge into the classroom.
III. Spirals of Inquiry Details
Scanning: When scanning our classroom community, I wanted to uncover a way to make our learning more meaningful. I wanted students to have a deeper understanding of what we are learning and connect their learning experiences to themselves.
In order to make the learning meaningful, I had to practice putting learners at the centre of my planning which really reminded me of the First Peoples Principles of Learning that learning supports the well being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits and the ancestors. In order for students to feel connected to their learning, I had to learn more about them and what motivates them.
Focus: I selected this area of focus because I was hoping to have learners gain an understanding of how important they are in their learning journey. I wanted them to understand that what they’re learning matters, as well as the fact that they matter as well.
Hunch: The pandemic made learning very impersonal. I found that students were lacking connection to one another, as well as connections with the adults that support them. Everything seemed very impersonal. I found that students enjoy learning more about your personal experiences and “aha” moments. It connects them to you.
New Professional Learning: I found that using the Sto:lo Sitel stories were helpful as they engaged the learners and created room for discussion about personal experiences from students.
Taking Action: I used the stories weekly when I could, and I made it a point to discuss the teachings in each story.
Checking: I would have liked to have more time to read all of the stories with my learners, but I have learned that it is better to create space for authentic, meaningful discussion rather than to rush through stories.
As evidence, I found that learners showed more interest in regards to their peers and listening to their stories. Learners enjoyed listening to the stories, and they were willing to share and learn from one another’s experiences.
Reflections/Advice: I am going to continue utilizing the Sto:lo Sitel stories to facilitate connections between learners and their personal stories. A piece of advice I would offer to other schools is to start small. Do not put so much pressure on yourself or your learners.