School Name: Brackendale Elementary School
School District: SD#48 Sea to Sky
Inquiry Team Members:Beth Smith; firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquiry Team Contact Email: email@example.com
Type of Inquiry: AESN (focus on Indigenous learners or Indigenous understandings)
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3)
Curricular Area(s): Applied Design, skills & Technology, Arts Education, Language Arts – Literacy, Language Arts – Oral Language, Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing, Social Studies
Focus Addressed: Aboriginal understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation), Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Differentiated instruction, Experiential learning, First Peoples Principles of Learning, Formative assessment, Growth mindset, Inclusion and inclusive insructional strategies, Indigenous pedagogy, Inquiry-based learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Will student created art, books and videos about the land, people and culture of Squamish increase students ability to share, connect and build cultural understanding?
Scanning: When talking with students it became evident that they lacked confidence to try new things and share the knowledge they have with others. I wondered how I could increase student confidence and support students as they learn how to take risks and learn from their mistakes. When thinking about how students could share knowledge they had learned I was curious about how to provide an entry point for all learners.
Focus: While working with and talking to my students I could see the difficulties they were facing when trying to share their knowledge and learning. There are a wide range of abilities when looking at the skill to create written output. However the students who find writing difficult also have a lot of knowledge to share. I wanted to find new ways to support all learners to share their learning. Also students need to be taught that mistakes lead to new learning and it is ok to not know things yet, a growth mindset is an essential skill.
Hunch: I believed that students should be provided with a range of ways to share their knowledge. Traditional learning strategies do not work for all and they are impacting our students. The access to technology should be put to good use as a tool to support learners when necessary. Also students should be provided with opportunities to lead the learning and become the teacher of others.
New Professional Learning: I explored the different technology supports that were available to our students. I looked at and researched a variety of different apps and functions of the I-pad that could be used to support students when looking for new knowledge and ways to support sharing their knowledge with others. I looked more into growth mindset using “A mindset for learning” by Mraz and Hertz. I read “One without the other” by S. Moore to learn more about inclusion and diversity.
Taking Action: As a class we used technology to create connections with others; to share our culture and community. We used a variety of digital tools to explore and share our knowledge of the area that we live in.
OUR PROJECT GOALS and ANTICIPATED OUTCOMES:
a) Students will be able to use digital tools to support the independent access of information about their local community and culture.
b) Students will be able to use digital tools to create and share information about their local community and culture to share with others.
c) Increase student engagement through voice and choice.
d) Increase students’ ability to read and interpret information through the use of digital supports.
e) Increase students’ ability to write through sharing information gathered, in their own words.
We used I-pads to gather and share information about our community. The apps and online programs we used were:
b) book creator
c) imotion pro
d) Do Ink
e) Pic Collage
f) parrot teleprompter
The students also learned how to use the accessibility features of the I-pad such as text to speech and speech to text.
Learning about the technology available to us was a learning journey for everyone. As we worked through the project I used apple TV and a smartboard to screen mirror my ipad in order to show the apps we were learning about, to the class. Students were given time to explore each app when it was introduced and then guided through how the technology was going to be used to gather information and share knowledge learned. When looking at an app or technology tool for the first time we worked in pairs so the students to discuss and learn from each other. This worked well and students who felt confident were able to take the lead with their partner. When ever technology was used we worked hard to create access to our work though bulletin board displays, a class blog, hard copies (printed out posters and books) and electronic copies of our work in ibooks.
Checking: The biggest success for us during this project was the growth in the students learning. This learning crossed many boundaries. The number of subjects that were brought in to this project was great as it linked together all our daily learning from Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math and Art. Students also grew in the core competencies especially creative thinking, critical thinking and communication. Students have grown in their ability to share with each other, communicate, create and collaborate. Another great success was the engagement of students that usually find reading and writing difficult. The use of technology provided access to the curriculum and learning that can be frustrating and create dis-engagement from class.
Student self-assessments of the core competencies, peer critique and reading and writing assessment where used as evidence of change.
I am so proud of all my students.
Reflections/Advice: Through out this inquiry there were both challenges and successes.
It can be difficult to teach new tech to a whole class with only one adult in the room. There can be problems with WiFi, keeping the iPads updated, solving problems as they arrive so that students don’t become frustrated and many other things. The biggest problem I faced was supporting all students when teaching as a whole class – fortunately our students gained confidence quickly with technology and were able to support each other. We implemented the three before me rule – check in with three students for support before the teacher. This was the biggest help with our learning. Our second challenge was how were we going to get our work off the iPads. We used drop box and air drop to move our work from one ipad to another and print out our work from a computer when it was finished. I also had to learn about QR codes for sharing videos made by students.
For anyone thinking of taking on a project like this try to remember the following things. Our students come with a lot of technology knowledge but need to be shown that tech is a tool and not always for play. When choosing the apps you want to use pick a few and use them often in different subject areas so that students have time to get confident with them. And finally remember that it is OK to learn along side your students, it is OK to tell them you don’t know how to do something yet. A growth mindset is key.
Next year I would like to use the same technology support in an inquiry focusing more on students as individuals. “What make you unique?” I am looking forward to see where next year takes me.