W.L. McLeod Elementary SD#91 Nechako Lakes

I. General Information

School Name: W.L. McLeod Elementary

School District: SD#91 Nechako Lakes

Inquiry Team Members: Libby Hart: lhart@sd91.bc.ca, Candace Lawrence: clawrence@sd91.bc.ca, Kirsten Funk: kandersonfunk@sd91.bc.ca, Lori Gridley: lgridley@sd91.bc.ca, Lyne Gauthier: lgauthier@sd91.bc.ca, Susie Blattner: blattners@sd91.bc.ca, Donna Good: dgood@sd91.bc.ca, Kathy Marks: kmarks@sd91.bc.ca, Matthew Reimer: mreimer@sd91.bc.ca, Tracy Vienneau: tvienneau@sd91.bc.ca, Ashley Kennedy: akennedy@sd91.bc.ca, Miller-Gauthier: mmgauthier@sd91.bc.ca, Roberta Toth: rtoth@sd91.bc.ca, Nick Meads: nmeads@sd91.bc.ca, Nadyne Leclerc: nleclerc@sd91.bc.ca, Yoshi Sawatzky: jsawatzky@sd91.bc.ca, Shawna Tait: stait@sd91.bc.ca, Brianna Ko: bko@sd91.bc.ca

Inquiry Team Contact Email: lgridley@sd91.bc.ca

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: First Peoples Principles of Learning

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Developing a deeper and broader understanding of number sense, from K-6, with a focus on improving numeracy outcomes for Indigenous learners.

III. Spirals of Inquiry Details

Scanning: In September of 2021, all students in grades two and three were assessed using the counting strand of Marian Small’s Leaps and Bounds ½. Our Leaps and Bounds assessment of all grade 2 students revealed:
• 41 learners completed the assessment, 14 of those learners are Indigenous (34%)
• 18 of 41 (46%) learners were identified as not yet meeting
• 9 of 14 (64%) Indigenous learners were identified as not yet meeting

Based on those assessments, small groups of 2-4 students were formed for intervention. Through those assessments, we were also able to see trends in the learning of our students. For example, we found that the majority of students struggled with skip counting. That information was passed onto teachers so that they could target skip counting as a class. Students progressed through the strands in small groups. At the end of last year, all students in grade one were assessed on the first strand. This allowed us to begin small group intervention at the beginning of the year. This year we are looking at adding an assessment checklist for each of the interventions to track the growth of student learning.

Intermediate teachers are finding that these same learning needs are having an impact on learners’ understanding of multiplication and division. Some can conduct algorithmic math routines, but do not understand the concepts underlying them.

Focus: Decolonizing learning practices, including non-traditional pedagogies, will result in strengthening learners’ number sense, positive attitude and self-efficacy about numeracy.

Hunch: Closed-ended activities (worksheets, algorithm focused instruction, word problems with a single answer, traditional approaches to math with a focus on outcomes over process) and the way we taught math before, created learners who disliked math, didn’t trust numbers, memorized formulas, and didn’t make personal or meaningful connections to numbers in their lives. Math didn’t matter to them.

New Professional Learning:

  • PLC time involved teachers sharing and playing games. These games transferred to the classrooms almost immediately.
  • District numeracy support teacher brought in and taught games in classrooms.
  • Staff members attended the NOIIE Symposium, viewed NOIIE learning bursts, participated in the SD91 NOIIE learning celebration, and participated in the NOIIE numeracy/literacy network meetings.
  • Another staff member has had continual, self-directed professional learning by researching and sharing numeracy instruction resources such as the Central Okanagan SD23 number talk videos.
  • Time embedded into the schedule for numeracy teacher-lead and blitz lead collaboration.

Taking Action:

  • The numeracy blitz intervention
  • Playing numeracy games
  • Use of counting collections in primary classrooms
  • Taking our learning outside for experiential and place-based learning
  • Meaningful real-life numeracy experiences

Checking: Examples of quantitative and qualitative data includes:

  • In our grade 3 district number sense assessment, we noticed significant growth in relation to grade level expectations in the competencies since the beginning of the school year. Most learners are either approaching or meeting expectations, compared to before.
  • Our numeracy blitz intervention data demonstrates a positive trend in pattern understanding for grade 1’s (see data below). This will inform immediate intervention at the beginning of the 2023/2024 school year.
    • Identifying & Describing Patterns
      • (21-22) 9/32 28% success
      • (22-23) 17/41 43% success
    • Extending Patterns
      • (21-22) 29/32 91% success
      • (22-23) 36/40 90% success
    •  Creating Patterns
      • (21-22) 21/32 66% success
      • (22-23) 32/40 80% success
  • Intermediate teacher identified growth in the ability to manipulate decimal numbers directly linked to the games played in class that focused on that concept reflected in the grade 6 district numeracy assessment.

Reflections/Advice: Steps:

  • Implement a cross-school intermediate game time each week
  • Build a math-game lending library
  • Continue to share games during our PLC time
  • Continue the actions as listed above
  • Continue to explore ways to engage new staff members so they can find their way into this inquiry
  • Build opportunities to engage families (ie. family game night)
  • Build connections with the local Indigenous communities to Indigenize and decolonize our number learning

2022-2023 NOIIE Case Study Video: