Fairview Community School SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith

School Name: Fairview Community School

School District: SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Inquiry Team Members: Holly Shelton: holly.shelton@sd68.bc.ca
Kyla Royle: kroyle@sd68.bc.ca
Jenessa Vanzandwyk: jenessa.vanzandwyk@sd68.bc.ca

Inquiry Team Contact Email: valerie.muir@sd68.bc.ca

Type of Inquiry: NOIIE

Grade Levels: Primary (K-3)

Curricular Area(s): Language Arts – Literacy

Focus Addressed: Differentiated instruction

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? The primary teachers were interested in looking at early reading intervention and differentiation of skills practice.

Scanning: Scanning showed us that although we have a very rich environment for reading (library, bookroom, read alouds, etc.), we still have students struggling to read fluently at grade level.

Focus: We found that some students are moving on to the next grade without key foundational skills that should be solidified in early primary. A weakness in phonological and phonemic awareness such as letter sounds, rhyme, syllables, blending and segmenting words were contributing to challenges students are facing as reading becomes more complex.

Hunch: Our focus has been so much on students seeing themselves as readers and writers, that we came to notice we have been lacking in providing opportunities to develop phonological/phonemic awareness.

New Professional Learning: Our beginning step was for teachers to learn the progression of phonological skills by age, and understand how those skills contribute to fluent reading. Opportunities for Professional Development around literacy skills were provided. We learned and listed foundational skills, and researched how to deliver differentiated instruction and skills practice. We made sure to consider a universal design for learning and provided a variety of opportunities for practice.

Taking Action:

  • First we assessed all our students with the PARS and scanned the group as a whole to identify gaps in learning.
  • We began the Words Their Way program in September.
  • We began weekly poems to target teaching of skills. These skills were flexible for learning needs and changed weekly.
  • We practiced blending, segmenting and manipulating sounds.
  • We developed literacy stations and games for independent practice.
  • Some teachers used Heggerty, and others used Lexia, to further practice skills.

Checking: We assessed our students at the end of the year with the PARS and students showed significant mastery of skills. We also looked at PM benchmarks for reading, as well as compared beginning and end of year writing samples. We noticed that students were more confident in working with words, and their writing and reading progression showcased these skills.

Reflections/Advice: We were so happy with the growth and engagement in our students this year. We are excited to continue with the changes we implemented and will continue to build upon our knowledge.

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