School Name: Brechin School
School District: SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith
Inquiry Team Members:Wendy Robertson: firstname.lastname@example.org, Jessica Dewarle: email@example.com, Jennifer Work: firstname.lastname@example.org, Kelly Clark: email@example.com, Laurie Mathieson: firstname.lastname@example.org, Lisa Brett: email@example.com, Marissa Bradley: firstname.lastname@example.org, Kyla Johnson: email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3)
Curricular Area(s): Language Arts – Oral Language, Language Arts – Reading
Focus Addressed: Differentiated instruction, Growth mindset, Social and emotional learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Fostering a love of reading culture in our school community so students will become engaged and enthusiastic readers.
Scanning: We expanded upon the four key questions to help gain an understanding of our students as readers during the scanning process.
We noticed that our students were disengaged as readers, lacked a reader identity and did not experience joy when reading.
In scanning our students, we drew upon both the OECD and First Peoples Principles. We wanted students to explore their identity as readers, foster a sense of well being and understand the importance and of story and how story can build community. The emotional aspect of learning was important to us as students became engaged readers, by making book choices and sharing their reading experiences.
Focus: Our school is demographically vulnerable and many of our students do not enjoy books with their family. We were also not seeing huge gains in reading ability even though reading has been our focus for four years.
We felt that by changing the angle/approach to reading our students would become more skilled readers.
Hunch: Our hunch was that by promoting a joy of reading, there will be increased motivation and passion for reading amongst our students.
We realized that we were so tied to the level of the books students read and the skill of reading rather than the purpose. This was impacting our students’ joy of reading as reading was almost like a mechanical process.
New Professional Learning: We explored how to make teacher read-alouds more engaging and interactive. In addition, we explored how to help students talk about books with their peers.
We found Richard Allington’s article, “Every Child Every Day” very useful as it helped us explore the impact that choice and the social experience of being part of a reading culture can have on our young readers.
Exploring, Jillian Heise’s, A Book a day approach (#classroombookaday)
Maria Walther, The Ramped up Read Aloud: What to Notice as You Turn the Page.
We formed a PLC and through collaboration and inquiry we discussed and explored this topic.
Taking Action: Created templates and rubrics (success criteria) to support student book talks. These evolved as we refined our focus.
Videoed the book talks and used peer and self-assessment to improve learning.
Bulldog (school mascot) approved books displayed in the library and classrooms. This was similar to Heather’s Picks at Chapters. Both teachers and students participated.
The Brechin Bulldog selected books had a lot of impact on the conversations and reading culture.
Checking: Baseline- reading surveys.
The difference we made was primarily in our students’ attitude to reading. However, the difference was not uniform in nature. Some students were highly impacted and became very excited about reading, while others are still reluctant and unenthusiastic readers. Although we saw progress, we do not feel that it was enough. We achieved a foundation on which to continue this inquiry next year.
Reflections/Advice: We learned that the enjoyment of reading results in increased reading skills. In addition, we learned that in establishing a love of reading culture, teachers need to lead by example, and a big part of this is knowing about great books.
Advice- We need to be well read about children’s books. Love the books that you share with students. Be authentic – it’s contagious.