I. General Information
School Name: Morgan Elementary
School District: SD#36 Surrey
Inquiry Team Members: Carrie Mogollon: firstname.lastname@example.org, Sharon Dhudwal: email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Name/Email: Carrie Mogollonfirstname.lastname@example.org
II. Inquiry Project Information
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels Addressed Through Inquiry: Primary (K-3)
Curricular Areas Addressed:
- Applied Design, skills & Technology
- Arts Education
- Mathematics / Numeracy
- Indigenous understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation)
- Indigenous pedagogy
- Inquiry-based learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? We wanted to explore and learn how to authentically infuse Indigenous perspectives through the math and art curriculum. We wanted to Incorporate First Peoples worldviews and perspectives to make connections to mathematical concepts amongst grade 2 and 3 students.
III. Spirals of Inquiry Details
Scanning: We have noticed that we have 30 looms that are currently in our school and that have not been utilized in one year. We would like to learn how to use the looms and to teach our students how to weave using the new acquired knowledge of how to include First Peoples perspectives in math. We have spent the last two months getting to know our students and we have learned that our students love art, hands-on activities and that they love to share stories about themselves.
Focus: We want to ensure that First Peoples knowledge and perspectives are taught and shared respectfully without appropriating culture. We would like to learn how to weave using a loom and learn about local First Nations and the importance and history of weaving. We want to learn about the significance of the patterning and choice of colour and materials.
Hunch: Our hunch is that staff would like to learn how to use the weaving looms. We believe that teachers need time to learn how to weave and to learn about Coast Salish weaving. We recognize that these looms are not traditional Coast Salish looms, and we wanted to create an opportunity to increase students’ and staff’s curiosity about weaving.
New Professional Learning: First, we connected with our District’s Helping Teachers regarding resources that were applicable to our learning. We also connected with a community member, who shared her knowledge of Salish weaving.
Taking Action: Our inquiry project was slightly delayed, as one team member was off work due to an injury. The conversations with the community member were very impactful to our learning because she helped us understand the approach that we should take when teaching our students about Salish weaving. We were worried about cultural appropriation, and these conversations helped us feel more confident to share with our students in a way that honours First Peoples knowledge.
We decided to spend half of a school day in the staff room, where we learned how to set up the looms and how to weave a small mat. By working on our weaving in the staff room, we were able to have conversations with multiple staff members about our inquiry. These conversations led to further curiosity and interest by our colleagues. Many staff members were interested in learning how to use the looms, making connections to Salish weaving, Cedar weaving, and Métis Finger weaving.
For the remainder of the school day, we decided to buy yarn for our future projects with our students.
Photo (above): Weaving on the loom (photo credit: Carrie Mogollon)
Checking: We feel that our inquiry was impactful to our school because we noticed that more teachers were interested in learning how to use the looms; for example, one teacher decided to take the loom home so that she could learn how to use it over the summer. We also noticed that our students were very curious about weaving and were excited to learn how to make small mats. Our students explored patterning in Math, along with opportunities to explore Salish weavings. Our students were able to identify different shapes in the weavings.
Reflections/Advice: We have learned that weaving takes patience and time. We have also learned that we need more time to learn, before we feel confident to teach our students how to weave. This is an area where we will continue to practice over the next few months. We have learned that we can continue to build lessons into our Math and Art curriculum that are connected to Salish weaving. We can use pattern blocks and graphing paper to help students create their own designs for their weavings. Due to our delay in our inquiry, our plan is to continue this inquiry in the next school year. We also will incorporate collaborative weaving projects and the opportunity for students to create their own weaving projects. In addition to the 30 looms that we have, we also plan to use cardboard looms.