School Name: Randerson Ridge
School District: SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith
Inquiry Team Members:Laura Jacobs email@example.com
Kim Needham firstname.lastname@example.org
Rylan Rogers email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Matahematics / Numeracy
Focus Addressed: Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Experiential learning, Formative assessment, Growth mindset
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Attempting to increase student engagement and competency with number sense
Scanning: The district math assessments completed at the beginning of the year showed number sense as an area of need for many of our students. Daily math activities, including intermittent use of the SD33 SNAP assessment also highlighted a need in this area. The core competency and INA self reflections asked students to reflect on their learning in math and identify their next steps with math.
Focus: At the beginning of the year, intermediate teachers met as a group to discuss math and how to best support our learners. We consulted with the grade 8 teachers at our feeder high school to understand areas where their grade 8 students need the most support. Based on this and other assessments, we understood that many students are struggling with basic number sense and application of math skills. Many students are also reluctant math participants, so attempting to engage them through math games and other fun activities can help to support and hopefully change this mindset. Teachers began to use the SD33 SNAP assessment to target specific areas of need within their classroom.
Hunch: We believe that manipulatives and more visual forms of math are being used with our primary students but are less commonly used in our intermediate classes. We wanted to try to increase this practice to see if it would help students make connections through math. We also felt that family involvement through math needed to be strengthened.
New Professional Learning: The SD33 SNAP resource was the most impactful in our practice this year. We did internet searches for math games as well as using Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks for a variety of math games. We have looked into some resources from Carole Fullerton and will be attending a workshop with her in August. Teachers used the SPRINT technique to implement targeted instruction/assessment. Additionally, we met with a district instructional coordinator to gain his insight on how to support our teachers and students.
Taking Action: Our intermediate teachers utilized the SNAP math assessment several times to see how their students were understanding number sense and where they were needing additional support. Some classes began ‘math talks’ where students would work in small groups to decode math problems. During these activities they were able to write on desks, windows and whiteboards to increase engagement. The Island Numeracy Assessment was used for both individual and collaborative assessments as well as the reflections to connect to the core competencies.
Two classes learned a variety of math games and played them on a regular basis to encourage recall and understanding in an exciting way. After the students became well-versed in these games the two classes hosted a family math night which was very successful. Families were all given a package to take home including easy to play math games and a set of cards.
Checking: In general, students who learned and participated in the math games felt they made math more fun and helped with recall. Some students reflected that they felt their math skills had improved as a result of the difference in math teaching delivery. Teachers felt that the SNAP assessment was a great tool to help their students and plan for future teaching. Teachers didn’t see a significant increase in student performance, so this will continue to be a focus area for us.
Reflections/Advice: Next year, we will have a school goal focusing on numeracy as this is an area we believe can impact a majority of our students. We will continue to search for helpful resources to support this focus. Teachers with grade levels where there is an INA available will use this as a tool for each unit they teach next year. We realized that this requires a shift in mindset for teachers as well as students. Be patient, be kind to yourselves, keep trying!