School Name: Nakusp Secondary School
School District: SD#10 Arrow Lakes
Inquiry Team Members:Julia Flesaker: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheena Delong: email@example.com
Megan Martin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaime Sing: email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOII (focus on core competencies, OECD learning principles, etc.)
Grade Levels: Secondary (8-12)
Curricular Area(s): Mathematics / Numeracy, Science, Social Studies
Focus Addressed: Differentiated instruction, Inclusion and inclusive instructional strategies
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? We wondered how creating lessons and activities for Math 8, Science 8 and Socials Studies 8 students that are differentiated and inclusive help ensure success for all students at their individual ability levels?
Scanning: The removal of high needs students on modified programs from classroom learning is common practice in academic classes and we want to see this change. We noticed that these students often preferred to be removed from class during academic subjects. We want all students to feel success in their learning and participate in class to strengthen social connections with peers. Inclusion in classroom learning will develop life skills and help overcome personal learning barriers. We need to recognize all students can participate at some level and we want them to stay in the classroom to learn alongside their peers. With a few minor or significant changes all assignments can be adapted to meet individual learners needs. We asked ourselves what has the student been capable of doing in the past? What can the student do without becoming overly frustrated? How can we work the student’s interests into the adaptations? The purpose of our inquiry is to create adaptations so that all students, regardless of ability or learning challenges, participate actively in classes.
Focus: There are 135 students in our school. Forty-one are on the vulnerable student list and 17 are on specific IEPs. The diverse needs in our classes are ever growing and we needed to find ways to reach all students.
Hunch: Changing curriculum has provided the opportunity to change practice within the school. Historically and currently students with high needs and on a modified educational plan have been removed from the classroom and not participated in many educational opportunities provided to their peers.
New Professional Learning: Teacher Librarians and classroom teachers have a unique relationship that allows them to draw on a wide range of resources. In addition to the using the listed books, we also participated in workshops with Shelley Moore and working with her inclusive education unit planning template.
“It’s all about thinking: Collaborating to Support All Learners in Mathematics and Science” by Faye Brownlie, Carole Fullerton, and Leyton Schnellert
“It’s all about thinking: Collaborating to Support All Learners in English, Social Studies, and Humanities” by Faye Brownlie and Leyton Schnellert
“Developing Self-Regulating Learners” by Deborah L. Butler, Leyton Schnellert and Nancy E. Perry
Taking Action: The classroom teacher planned a unit using Shelley Moore’s template for inclusive education. The unit was based on a Big Idea in the curriculum and then built around curricular competencies. They then met with the Learning Resource Teacher and Teacher Librarian to about specific resources and building an entry point that all students could access.
Checking: Units were more intentional and thought out for all the students in the classroom. When there is a plan, it allows conversations between classroom teachers and between teachers and educational assistants to become meaningful and build a specific purpose. When all the teachers and support personnel are on the same page students have confidence in the tasks they are being asked to perform. It adds purpose and meaning for students, raising the standards and making success achievable.
Reflections/Advice: Following a common structure, started all educators in the same place and opened up discussion around teaching practices, beliefs and standards. Having multiple people work on the same problem/unit/question, while not necessarily being together, brought new ideas to the table and unique learning opportunities. Communication with EA’s was more defined, as they could see the starting point and overall vision of a unit. Students had a clear access point and purpose, which allowed support from multiple places or people. Collaboration was a key point in successfully of diversifying instruction.
Next year we plan to examine and purchase diverse resources related to the new curriculum and skills based learning. Focus on more intentional integration of curricular skills with content through labs and inquiry activities. Have inquiry projects integrated in every unit where every student can be included and freed to demonstrate their learning in many ways. We want to make sure that we find time to collaborate. Using the skills of multiple teachers made our work more meaningful.