Millstream SD#62 Sooke

I. General Information

School Name: Millstream

School District: SD#62 Sooke

Inquiry Team Members: Catherine Lamarche
Isabelle Dion

Inquiry Team Contact Email:

II. Inquiry Project Information

Type of Inquiry: NOIIE Case Study

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

Curricular Areas Addressed: Mathematics / Numeracy

Focus Addressed: Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Differentiated instruction, Experiential learning, Flexible learning

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? To use vertical surfaces as a tool to increase student participation, motivation and efficiency during math class.

III. Spirals of Inquiry Details

Scanning: Students were not as engaged in problem solving and Math activities as we would like them to be. When in a team it was always the same students that spoke while others were not engaged. We also saw that they were a lot more comfortable with knowing exactly what to do with a lot of guidance (lack of independence).

Focus: More motivation from all students, even students that would be more shy or would not like to participate. More independence and thinking on their own.

Hunch: Students are used to having teachers that give a lot of hints instead of having them critically think to problem solve.

New Professional Learning: The book Building Thinking Classrooms was what we used. We also purchased vertical surfaces.

Taking Action: We used the strategies from the book: teams of 2 or 3; only one student with a marker that doesn’t talk, the others give ideas; random grouping, de-fronting the classroom, follow up after, teacher doesn’t help, they can go to other groups to be inspired, only use problems that are made to push their thinking abilities.

Checking: When I did use the vertical surfaces, there was a lot more engagement, and after a few times, they realized they had to rely on each other to figure out the answer. Students asked for Math to be used with vertical surfaces; they were all excited when we did use them. Next year, I will use them more often.

Reflections/Advice: I will be re-reading Building Thinking Classrooms and will try to set twice a week that will be used to this strategy. This will help me plan accordingly and push me to find the accurate questions best on what we are doing. I will spend a lot of time discussing ideal behaviours and routines, so it can be done more effectively. I will look into how to assess and guide them with taking notes.