Coal Tyee Elementary SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith

School Name: Coal Tyee Elementary

School District: SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Inquiry Team Members: Kirstin Funke Robinson <>; Catherine Dickie <>; Tammy Reynolds <>; Judith Tye <>; Shannon Pakulak <>; Debbie Taylor <>; Ann-marie Brayden <>

Inquiry Team Contact Email:

Type of Inquiry: NOIIE

Grade Levels: Intermediate (4-7)

Curricular Area(s): Language Arts – Reading

Focus Addressed: Differentiated instruction

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? We wanted to know if we could increase all students’ reading comprehension, by explicitly targeting their reading fluency and monitoring it through ongoing formative assessment.

Scanning: Although our efforts to use a daily reading fluency monitoring program were cut short by the need to transition to remote learning, we were able to begin to initiate the program and start investigations with the students. Simply introducing students to examine and understand the importance of reading fluency was our first step. Students quickly engaged and were excited by the growth they saw in such a short time. The student-led nature of the program gave students a chance to reflect on their own learning and make adjustments, as per the Indigenous principles of learning.

Focus: In reviewing our school-wide and class-wide NLPS data, we saw that there was low reading comprehension across classes. We then explored the research behind the correlation between reading comprehension and reading fluency. Our hope was to increase both the fluency, and therefore, the comprehension of all of our learners.

Hunch: We believe that our school had focused solely on decoding as a mark of good reading. As a group of intermediate teachers, we did not fully understand the definition and importance of fluency to the five pillars of reading. There was an assumption among us, that if students were reading at or near grade level on levelled texts, there was not a need to explicitly teach strategies to build fluency.

New Professional Learning: We used the DIBELS assessment tool to obtain a baseline of each reader’s fluency and comprehension. After investigating numerous literacy strategies/resources, we collectively decided to use the Six-Minute Solution. During our PLC sessions, each of us shared our experiences with the new resources and brainstormed solutions to challenges that arose.

Taking Action: We developed kits with the materials students needed to be independent with daily partner reading. First, we taught students the process explicitly, so that they could be independent with one another. Next, we provided them with their own kits so that they could practice with each other. Unfortunately, our plans to do follow-up assessment were cut short by the pandemic.

Checking: Our initial implementation demonstrated promise of a positive buy-in from the students. The potential for growth was evident. It is challenging to be able to comment on the impact of our efforts at this time, given that we had to transition rapidly to remote learning in the early stages of our implementation. This is something that we will re-examine in the fall.

Reflections/Advice: We have learned the importance of addressing all five pillars of reading acquisition and instruction throughout the intermediate years. In the fall, we will continue our explorations with the hope of continuity of a full year of on-site learning. Our staff has already done some sharing of our inquiry with another school in our district. We hope to pair with them for further learning in the fall.

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