School Name: Brackendale Elementary School
School District: SD#48 Sea to Sky
Inquiry Team Members: Beth Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Inquiry Team Contact Email: email@example.com
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Applied Design, skills & Technology, Arts Education, Language Arts – Literacy, Language Arts – Oral Language, Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing, Mathematics / Numeracy, Science, Social Studies
Focus Addressed: Indigenous understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation), Community-based learning, Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Differentiated instruction, Experiential learning, First Peoples Principles of Learning, Flexible learning, Formative assessment, Growth mindset, Inclusion and inclusive instructional strategies, Indigenous pedagogy, Inquiry-based learning, Land, Nature or Place-based learning, Self-regulation, Social and emotional learning, STEM / STEAM, Universal design for learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? The focus for this year was about connecting with others. Our essential questions were: “How do living and nonliving things make connections,” “Why do living and nonliving things make connections,” and “How does Math connect to the world around us.” By creating and sharing information about our community and local neighbourhood, we hoped to find and build connections with things in our local community and with other communities.
Scanning: When talking with my students, it was evident that they did not see many connections between themselves and the world around them. My students were not able to see clear connections between what we were learning at school and the world they live in. I wondered how I could increase student connections with the local community, help students to see the relevance of their academic learning, and understand how we impact the world we live in. When thinking about how students could share knowledge and information about themselves, I was curious about how to provide an entry point for all learners, as well as being able to reach a wider audience.
Focus: I selected this area of inquiry, as I wanted to help my students understand how they connect with the land they are learning on. I hoped that learning more about the land would help them to see connections between themselves, the land, animals and academics. While working with and talking to my students, I could also see the difficulties they were facing when trying to share their knowledge and learning. There was a wide range of abilities when looking at the ability to create written output; however, the students who find writing difficult also have a lot of knowledge and information to share. I wanted to find engaging ways to support all learners to share their learning and knowledge.
Hunch: I believe that students should be provided with a range of ways to share their knowledge. Traditional learning strategies do not work for all and they are impacting our students. The access to technology should be put to good use as a tool to support all learners. Also, students should be provided with opportunities to lead the learning and become the teacher of others.
New Professional Learning:
– Research into technology hardware and software that supports ways to share information with others
– Working with Google Suite, including Google Classroom; Google Slides; etc.
– Research linked to 360 cameras to collect photos of our community
– Research into software that supports all learners: “Read and Write”, “Speech to Text” and Adobe fill and sign.
– UBD/project-based learning to connect a variety of subject areas
– Historical information about our local community and connection to knowledgeable community members
Taking Action: Working in multi aged groupings, we were able to provide opportunities for all students to be leaders and teachers of knowledge. Exploring the land we learn on together provided opportunities for students to see and hear the opinions and thoughts of others.
We were able to connect community members who were able to share their knowledge of the land we learn on. Students enjoyed learning from other adults outside of the classroom.
Using support from other teachers in the building, we were able to support students with their learning about technology, and many students learned new accessibility features that support their ability to share their learning and knowledge.
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, we were unable to connect with other communities to share information and find new connections.
1) Students were given a more level playing field when they had access to technology that supported their learning needs. Students that face difficulties with written output, reading abilities and fine motor skills, had increased engagement and success across all subject areas.
2) The growth in student independence was very good. Revisiting the same apps/platforms allowed students to independently produce amazing pieces of work.
3) Working on the land, and learning about the land we live on, allowed students to build connections that reached out from the school. Students would often visit the land with their families on the weekend, and while in class learning was suspended to share their knowledge and interest.
Reflections/Advice: I would like to repeat this inquiry when all students are back in class. I feel that we weren’t able to work through the full inquiry during this difficult year. I would have liked to connect with other communities to share information about the land we learn on with others. Next year, I would like to look more into using the 360 camera to share what we know about our land with others. However, I am proud of what we were able to accomplish. Students were beginning to feel a greater connection with the land we learn on and take great pride in where we live.