School Name: Nakusp Elementary School
School District: SD#10 Arrow Lakes
Inquiry Team Members:Sheri Boswell: email@example.com
Keith Greenhalf: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lorna Newman: email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3)
Curricular Area(s): Applied Design, skills & Technology, Language Arts – Writing
Focus Addressed: Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Growth mindset, Self-regulation, Social and emotional learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Developing self-regulated learning and emotional well being through digital story telling.
Scanning: In this class and in past classes, I have noticed (along with Mr. Greenhalf our school councilor and LRT) that students are finding it more difficult to identify their emotions and be able to label them. This is an important skill for children to develop their social/emotional well being. If children are not aware of their emotions and thoughts and how it effects their choices it can make it more difficult for students to self-regulate. The four questions made it clear how students need to understand why they are learning and the importance of it. That way, they can then reflect on how they are doing regulating their behaviour and emotions to best fit various learning settings in a classroom. I also wanted to see if the use of technology such as the ipads, would help the students to be more engaged and reflect on their learning in more meaningful ways.
Focus: According to my scanning, this was an area of growth for students to be explored. By using the ipads as a tool to help students develop their self-regulation through digital story telling. We focused on the core competencies regarding social/emotional learning as a way to guide their self-reflection and growth. We were hoping that incorporating techology in the teaching and learning about emotions, would help student engagement and make the process of learning emotions more meaningful,
Hunch: Our hunch was was that families are no longer connecting with each other in meaningful ways and in turn, levels of anxiety are rising in adults and children. We thought that explicit teaching and modelling emotions at school, could make a difference for our students and engage parents in conversations about how to improve social and emotional well-being in their child. Our school also has a goal on our school growth plan regarding students struggling emotionally, since it seems to be effecting students at all grade levels. It is said that improvement in self-regulation, the ability to control and manage thoughts, feelings and behaviours, has been linked to academic achievement. We hoped that if we focused on making emotions and self-regulation a focus using tools such as the ipads, might helps students become more self aware and confident.
New Professional Learning: Using the ipads as digital stories was very new for me. I had to learn aps such as Explain Everything and Book Creator. Mr. Greenhalf also used imovie to capture student’s self reflection. We also used chatterpix for kids called ChatterKid. We used as book resources, Zones of Regulation and parts of Fun Friends, which is now called EASE (Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators). We attended a day workshop for EASE and build capacity and knowledge there.
Taking Action: Strategies:
1. Teach a variety of emotions to students (as found in Zones of Regulation) weekly.
2. Introduce the ipads and teach students how to access the aps and how to take images and save them
3. Use the senses (touch, smell, sight, etc) as a way to help students access their emotions. E.g. sight of a spider might make you feel scared.
4. Introduce the idea of red light thoughts and green light thoughts (Fun Friends) as a way for students to identify their thoughts as a way to categorize them as helpful or not and then provide examples how they can change their thoughts to be more helpful. Eg. I can’t learn to read…(red thought) to I can ask for help and keep trying ….(green thought).
5. Help students to recognize emotions in other people through games and the ipads
6. Introduce students to “tools” that they could access when they are feeling anxious, worried, sad, etc. (e.g. deep belly breathing, etc.)
7. Use ipads as a way to record their learning and emotions.
Checking: The differences made were the students have a large vocabulary of emotional words besides simple sad, mad, happy. They can identify their emotions and sometimes in others and can with adult help, find ways to self-regulate using tools that they have. I am satisfied with the results because my students are happier and are able to understand and manage their emotions appropriately in different classroom settings. It also provides language that we are all familiar with, including families who were included in the weekly lessons via FreshGrade. It was a challenge for two teachers to manage a class of 19 five year olds when using the ipads. We had a class set of 10 from SetBC Synergy Project and that was adequate, but the learning curve was quite steep and many complicated procedures needed one – to – one guidance and help. The students could see that they are in charge of their thoughts and their emotions and that there is no such thing as a “bad” emotion.
Reflections/Advice: Next year, I would plan on finding a way to mirror an ipad to my projector so students could see me model how to use the ipad and aps directly there, instead of in small groups. If other schools are interested, I would become familiar with the EASE program and Zones of Regulation as tools to assist and provide guidance. The use of picture books are also a useful tool when talking about emotions, etc.