School Name: Park Avenue Elementary School
School District: SD#68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith
Inquiry Team Members: Robbie Dhillon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Smith: email@example.com
Stephanie Pickerell: Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquiry Team Contact Email: email@example.com
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Language Arts – Literacy, Language Arts – Oral Language, Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing
Focus Addressed: Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Differentiated instruction, Growth mindset
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? What level of impact will focusing on reading engagement and developing a positive reading identity have on overall student reading progress?
Scanning: The Park Avenue staff have scanned what is happening for all our learners from a variety of frameworks and perspectives. Throughout this scanning process, the Spirals of Inquiry in conjunction with NLPS screener data, classroom reviews, parent teacher conferences, professional learning community meetings, and student self-assessments have been considered. The Seven Learning Principles from The Center for Educational Research and Innovation, specifically those that put the student’s at the center of all learning, continuously inform the questions we make as educators. We continuously ask questions around the level of engagement students have in their literacy, the diversity of resources we have, and the level of responsibility and ownership students feel with regards to their literacy progress. We have discovered that we need to further support students in building positive, proficient reading identities.
Focus: Our team determined the focus of our inquiry by utilizing the information we gathered during the scanning process. We aspire to build on the strengths of our students and to obtain further knowledge around their reading identity in order to support them in choosing literature that aligns with their interests and ability.
Hunch: We have discussed how the beliefs and assumptions we hold around our practices contribute to a need for change specifically at our professional learning community meetings. We believe that students have unique interests and that they need to see these interests within their resources to truly develop their reading engagement during independent reading and their overall personal awareness. It is our hunch that we need to diversify our resources, provide students with opportunities to “book shop” and implement “good fit” book lessons to explicitly teach them how to choose literature that connects to them and that is within their ability level. When we look at the current book selection process, we have a hunch that students require more books that are high interest and low reading ability. We also have a hunch that once students develop proficient book selection practices, their reading achievement will accelerate as will their knowledge of themselves as readers.
New Professional Learning: We explored professional learning that connects to our focus question by consulting the professional resources “Daily 5” by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. In addition, we will be considering the lessons in the “CAFÉ Professional Resource” that is also written by Boushey and Moser. Throughout this process, we will be considering the research of Regie Routman in “Read, Write, Lead”. We truly discovered the significance of collaboration throughout the learning process, the importance of student self-assessment, and the impact of explicit reading strategies. We found read aloud is an excellent format for teaching these strategy lessons.
Taking Action: After we examined the data and doing student self-assessments, we determined we needed to focus on matching students with “good fit” books, building reading “stamina” among the students, implementing suitable flexible seating, and providing reading strategy lessons through read alouds. The strategy lessons were responsive to student needs which were monitored in an ongoing basis.
Checking: Both our data and anecdotal observations showed that students increased both their reading comprehension and their reading identity significantly improved. The student self-assessments showed a large difference in each child’s ability to find books they enjoy and that fit with their reading level. Students provided more detailed information about what books they prefer and many told us that they could settle into a book and read for longer periods of time with the introduction of flexible seating and books that the students actually shopped for.
Reflections/Advice: Moving forward, we wonder how we can continue to build student reading stamina near the end of the school year? We have also given thought to what resources (books, flexible seating options) will we need moving forward. Lastly, we are exploring ways that we can each build our own capacity in this area.