School Name: Frank J Ney Elementary
School District: SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith
Inquiry Team Members: Jacquie Poulin: email@example.com, Cindy Haack: firstname.lastname@example.org, Terri Zolob: email@example.com, Terra Hooyberg: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tana Sertic: email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Applied Design, skills & Technology, Arts Education, Career Education, Language Arts – Literacy, Language Arts – Oral Language, Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing, Matahematics / Numeracy, Physical & Health Education, Social Studies
Focus Addressed: Aboriginal understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation), Growth mindset, Self-regulation, Social and emotional learning, STEM / STEAM
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? How will using the program ‘Successful Learner Traits’ help us to develop a common language between colleagues and students, as well as enabling us to grow a positive school culture?
Scanning: This year we became a newly blended school that almost doubled in size. We realized that we needed some common language to be used throughout our entire school by all staff and students. We decided to use the common language of the Successful Learner Traits and we wondered what the impact of this common language would be in helping us to build our school community. This inquiry was to be one of the first steps on our journey to building and refining our school culture and community.
Focus: Our focus was clear from the onset, it was and is vital to build a positive school culture. We realized that bringing our two small schools together and becoming one of the biggest elementary schools in our district, would have its challenges. Therefore, we wanted to mitigate some of these challenges by all speaking a common language with our students and colleagues, and we thought the Successful Learner Traits would enable us to do this, as well as allowing us to continue to build and grow our positive school culture.
Hunch: Addressed above in Scanning and Focus sections.
New Professional Learning: At our first School Based Professional Development Day this year we had a full day workshop on the Successful Learner Traits. We continued the learning from that day in our classrooms throughout this past year and will continue to tweak and refine for next year. We also recognized that our Core Competencies blend very well with the Successful Learner Traits and we will be working on ways to seamlessly incorporate them, with student self-reflection, and student goal setting into our practice.
Additionally, we have also come to value the power of words and the need for our students and ourselves to have and continue to develop a ‘growth mindset’. We are starting to appreciate the infinite possibilities of believing that our traits and abilities are malleable & trainable, and that we can always change and improve. We have also learned that by embracing all 8 of the Successful Learner Traits we are in essence, developing a ‘growth mindset’. We remain optimistic about the year ahead and will be guided by not only our 8 Successful Learner Traits, and having a ‘growth mindset’, but also understanding the ‘Power of ‘Yet’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLeUvZvuvAs (Sesame Street: Janelle Monae – Power of Yet).
Taking Action: *Started with deciding on a common language – found Successful Learner Traits was a fit for us
*Had a full Professional Development Day at the onset of our school year, on the Successful Learner Traits from the creator of these traits
*Each month our school leadership team in conjunction with our administrators highlighted a certain Trait at a school wide assembly then had the ability to work on it in our classrooms
*We would meet and talk about our individual/classroom progress at some of our PLC times
*We put on a whole school Spring Concert at our local theater as one of our culminating activities that put into practice all of our Learner Traits
*Gradually the common language of the traits started to become part of our school culture and part of our vernacular
Checking: We knew at the onset of this journey that we would need at least two years to fully realize our results. In the process however, we have come to appreciate the value of having a common language within our school community. See above two responses for more detail.
Reflections/Advice: We learned that we will need at least another year to fully realize our results. We remain optimistic about the year ahead and will be guided by not only our 8 Successful Learner Traits, and having a ‘growth mindset’, but also understanding the ‘Power of ‘Yet’ (see Janelle Monae on Seasame Street singing about ‘The Power of Yet’ at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLeUvZvuvAs). Finally, as the creator of the Successful Learner Traits so aptly says; when we “… use the Traits as an appreciative lens with our students [we] provides them with very positive messages about their learning potential.”(successfullearners.ca)