Cayoosh Elementary SD#74 Gold Trail

I. General Information

School Name: Cayoosh Elementary

School District: SD#74 Gold Trail

Inquiry Team Members: Angela Stott:, Keri Remple:

Inquiry Team Contact Email:

II. Inquiry Project Information

Type of Inquiry: NOIIE Case Study

Grade Levels Addressed Through Inquiry: Intermediate (4-7)

Curricular Areas Addressed: Language Arts – Reading

Focus Addressed: Inquiry-based learning

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? How can independent reading and story studios be combined to increase student accountability around just right texts, as well as formative assessment?

III. Spirals of Inquiry Details

Scanning: At the beginning of the year, students were not selecting appropriate texts for independent reading. They often chose overly simplistic stories or too challenging novels that they could not comprehend.

Focus: I chose to investigate independent reading because it involved a strong element of student choice and differentiation.

Hunch: My work with the literacy network team members suggested that I was not adequately supporting students in selecting books, or in reading with purpose and intention.

New Professional Learning: I read a professional development book on supporting independent reading conferences, attended a learning lab on story studios, and had a literacy mentor (Lori Kelly) observe my one-on-one conferences with students.

Taking Action: With grant money from NOIIE I was able to buy a story studio materials cart. Once a week students created a scene using those materials to retell what was happening in their independent reading. They shared their retelling with me (on camera) and also with classmates.

Checking: Very quickly, I noticed students selecting different texts on story studio sharing days. Students also seemed to be interested in books after hearing their classmates talk about them. One of the most significant realizations was that in a short amount of time I could have a formative assessment of student comprehension that was completed in a non-stressful (and even joyful) manner.

Reflections/Advice: I will definitely be pursuing the impact of independent reading and story studio again next year. I am interested in developing students’ understanding of genre to empower them to select future books without as much teacher support. I also hope to create a “Heather’s pick” style of student endorsement of certain books, after seeing the influence of students sharing their thoughts with the group. I also only did my own outdoor story studio, and I would like to increase those events next year to be more thoughtful of land- and place-based experiences.