Georgia Avenue Community School SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith

School Name: Georgia Avenue Community School

School District: SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Inquiry Team Members:Chris Creighton:
Kelly Inglis:
Julia Armstrong:
Laurel Lovstad:
Olivia Densmore:
Lisa Frey:

Inquiry Team Contact Email:

Type of Inquiry: NOII (focus on core competencies, OECD learning principles, etc.)

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

Curricular Area(s): Language Arts – Literacy

Focus Addressed: Differentiated instruction, Formative assessment

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? What will the impact of conferencing with students around reading/writing be on student outcomes and the teachers’ skills/knowledge of observing & noticing behaviours?

Scanning: In our school, we are learning to collect data for the purpose of using it to inform decision-making and guide planning / teaching in our classrooms. We are relatively new to the process of collecting data and want to use it in a variety of teaching areas including: the teaching of sight words, reading and in a social emotional / self-regulation capacity. Since we are relatively new to collecting data in this way, we think we can benefit from collaborating across teaching areas to share and develop infrastructures for data collection and analysis, with the universal goal of delivering content with increased relevance and improved quality of instruction for students.

Focus: As a group, we wanted to collect data to inform instruction, but also for the purposes of sharing assessment language with students so that they can be involved in their learning, goal-setting and self-assessment. Collaboratively, we will try new ways to collect data and reflect on the infrastructures that make data collection a streamlined and efficient process in the classroom. Furthermore, we will use this data to inform instruction and provide the language to support children in their own self-assessment of their learning.

Hunch: We expect that as we practice collecting data, we anticipate that:
• It will become a natural part of our daily teaching practice
• We will better be able to provide targeted feedback to support children in their learn
• We will become immersed in assessment language and will therefore feel more comfortable communicating / supporting student in their self-assessment of learning

New Professional Learning: By exploring data collection in a variety of teaching areas, we expect:
• To build confidence collecting individual student data for the purposes of analyzing trends and directing teaching.
• Collaborate and learn how data can be collected in multiple teaching areas
• Build sensitivity to noticing children’s strengths, for the purposes of informing instruction
• Become increasingly comfortable with assessment language, so we can better communicate and support children with self-assessment of learning

To learn more about writing, we used Ruth Culham’s 6+1 Traits to familiarize ourselves with the assessment language. For reading, we referred to Fountas and Pinnell’s Guide for Noticing Reading Behaviours… All within a differentiated, workshop framework, inspired by The Sisters’ Daily 5.

Taking Action: • Teachers will continue to prioritize the planning for opportunities to conference with students about reading & writing
• Teachers will continue to explore ways to document observations from 1 on 1 teacher-student reading & writing conferences as formative assessment
• Teachers will continue to keep records that inform:
o Student strengths
o Teacher feedback
o OCSL & summative reporting
• Teachers will continue to support children in book matching, based on student interests

Checking: We’re feeling that our understanding of conferencing is developing. We are becoming more comfortable with building infrastructure for a workshop model, which fosters the development of independence reading and writing. We’re becoming familiar with the Noticing Guide.

Reflections/Advice: It was first important for teachers to build an infrastructure where
• 1 on 1 (teacher-student) conferencing was possible
• Teachers tried / revised different recording systems to capture student conferences as data
• Teachers improved their sensitivity to noticing by:
o using the ‘Noticing Guide’
o learned about running records
• Learning more about student strengths allowed for:
o Focused explicit teaching
o Differentiation based on student interests
o Improved student engagement through book matching

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