Colebrook Elementary SD#36 Surrey

School Name: Colebrook Elementary

School District: SD#36 Surrey

Inquiry Team Members: Monica Chiorean:, Sara Dhillon:, Karen Ladhar:, Corrine Bell:, Tam Manery:

Inquiry Team Contact Email:

Type of Inquiry: NOIIE

Grade Levels: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)

Curricular Area(s): Arts Education, Language Arts – Literacy, Language Arts – Oral Language, Language Arts – Reading, Mathematics / Numeracy, Social Studies

Focus Addressed: Indigenous understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation), Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Experiential learning, First Peoples Principles of Learning, Indigenous pedagogy, Inquiry-based learning, Land, Nature or Place-based learning, Social and emotional learning, STEM / STEAM

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Our focus was to explore the connection between First Peoples Principles of Learning and mathematics through hands-on experiences, and how this promotes student engagement.

Scanning: The scanning process allowed us to interview students and teachers using the four key questions. The four questions were adjusted to meet the students’ age and understandings. We noticed the majority of the students and teachers have some knowledge about the First Peoples Principles of Learning and their connections to our curriculum/learning. Teachers express the struggle of finding and using authentic Indigenous content with mathematical concepts.

Focus: We decided to focus on the connection between First Peoples Principles of Learning and mathematics because of students and teachers interests in learning more about Indigenous people. Beading was an area which allowed us to learn more about patterns and the materials beads are made of – connection to place; learn about beading regalia. We were hoping that our students would strengthen their mathematical knowledge about patterns, repeating patterns, and learn more about the significance of beading for regalia. We noticed students were engaged in learning at all times; they were excited to learn about regalia, pow wow celebrations, and diverse materials beads are made of.

Hunch: We enjoyed learning more about beading through our virtual presentations with Mrs. McSpadden, and the way beading is connected to the First Peoples Principles of Learning. The students were actively engaged in these presentations, were able to ask questions, and enjoyed the story telling.

New Professional Learning: Our learning was guided by the Spiral of Inquiry book, the First Peoples Principles of Learning, and diverse Indigenous literature. We shared stories with students that encouraged them to explore and learn more about beading as part of the Indigenous culture. The hands-on materials were very helpful for staff and students to explore new ideas and actively engage in all the activities provided. We appreciated the 2 virtual workshops our students had with Mrs. McSpadden, which were a great opportunity to learn more about Indigenous protocols, ceremonies, beading, regalia and storytelling.

Taking Action: We brought in new materials and resources to help build our choices for the students, and it worked out really well. Children were excited to learn more about different types of beading materials: wood, stone or bone. We will continue to do the same moving forward.

Checking: By bringing in more materials, we have moved in a positive direction and we are happy with our results. Students were able to make connections between the First Peoples Principles of Learning, and learn more about beading. They demonstrated their understanding of mathematical concepts (patterns) and connection with Indigenous learning. Our learners
are more capable of stretching their learning and building horizontal connections.

Reflections/Advice: We learn that students learn best by doing and making personal connections. When using hands-on materials, students are engaged, work collaboratively and are able to challenge their thinking. Looking forward we hope to continue strengthening our learning and connections we made with the First Peoples Principles of Learning.

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