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, 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, First Peoples Principles of Learning, Flexible learning, Formative assessment, Growth mindset, Inclusion and inclusive instructional strategies, Indigenous pedagogy, Inquiry-based learning, Self-regulation, Social and emotional learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? The focus for this year was about the four blankets of resilience and understanding ourselves.
Scanning: When talking with students it became evident that some students do not have much sense of self or pride in their own uniqueness. I wanted to know what the students knew or understood about the four blankets of resilience and how they help and support us. The questions asked of the students were:
Do you know what the four blankets of resilience are?
How do you feel about yourself?
What makes you unique?
What do the words self, family, community and culture/language mean to you?
Focus: While asking questions I found out that some of my learners have a hard time talking about themselves in a positive way. Some students found it hard to express pride in their own identities and abilities. Most students had little knowledge of how community and culture/language can support us. None of the students had heard about the four blankets. By creating and sharing information about ourselves and our community, we hoped to grow our understanding of the four blankets and how they support us.
Hunch: I believe that sometimes the focus of school is mainly academic, reading, writing and math. I believe that if we want students to succeed then we need to support them in finding out more about themselves. I also 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 learners when necessary. Also, students should be provided with opportunities to lead the learning and become the teacher of others.
New Professional Learning: I did more learning this year about the four blankets of resilience, in order to find engaging and interesting ways to teach my students about themselves. I used “Ripple Effect of Resiliency: Strategies for Fostering Resiliency with Indigenous Children” by Monique Grey Smith. I supported other colleagues in the building through staff meetings and discussions about activities they could try in their rooms to foster a greater understanding of the four blankets. I also looked at different ways to make the learning inclusive for all learners, therefore I continued to look for and learn about different technologies that can support students with their output.
Taking Action: This year we spent the first term focused on the blanket of self. A few activities included writing about ourselves and creating identity masks.
The second term was spent on the blanket of family. A few activities included writing about our favourite person and writing letters to family to stay connected.
The third term was focused on the blankets of community and culture, land and language. A few activities included writing about our favourite place, learning language connected to our area and learning the history of this place we live in.
One class created their own blankets using paper to share information about their family, themselves, community and land/culture. Another class created shields to share this information about themselves.
We used iPads and chrome books to gather, create and share information about ourselves, our family, and this land we call home. The apps and online programs we used were:
a) Book Creator
b) Do Ink Green Screen
c) Camera Tool
d) Google Drive
e) Google Slides
f) Google Classroom
The students learned how to use the accessibility features of the iPad, such as text to speech and speech to text.
Checking: I feel that this project could be bigger, especially sharing with others. Due to Covid, it has been harder to share with families what we are doing and to encourage them to be involved in the learning. I loved that other classes joined in with this work and are beginning to see the importance of children understanding themselves and being able to talk about it. I watched the students in my room find connections with others and stand a little taller when sharing what makes them special and unique. Most students now can explain the four blankets and are beginning to see the importance in knowing what they are and also connecting to them.
Reflections/Advice: Next year I would like to keep this going and growing, and I would like to include more classes maybe in a sharing activity so students can find more connections outside of the classroom. We have been unable to do any mixed class activities this year due to Covid. I would like to do more learning about the blankets and maybe connect with Monique Grey Smith about our learning in school. I would like to repeat some of the activities with a different class and see if they have more knowledge than this years students. Some work has been done in earlier grades this year. Maybe with more time we could dig deeper into community connections and language/culture.