School Name: Cataline Elementary School
School District: SD#27 Cariboo-Chilcotin
Inquiry Team Members:Carol Anne Dikur: email@example.com, Tanis Stewart: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tamara Smith: email@example.com, Sharon Allan: firstname.lastname@example.org, Janet Sandberg: email@example.com, Chris Armstrong: firstname.lastname@example.org, Jeremy Parkin: email@example.com, Steve Dickens: firstname.lastname@example.org, Darci Heard: email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOII (focus on core competencies, OECD learning principles, etc.)
Grade Levels: Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Not applicable
Focus Addressed: Growth mindset
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Developing students’ ownership of learning
Scanning: During the Scanning stage most of the teachers asked the 4 Key Questions to the whole class as a group.
1. Can you name two adults in this settling who believe you will be a success in life? 2. What are you learning and why is this important? 3. How is it going with your learning? 4. What are your next steps?
We learned that many of the students didn’t always answer the questions or answered the question with very little detail or had very surface level answers. Some students were very anxious about who would be reading their response and we worried about not answering them correctly.
Focus: We reflected on the students’ answers that they had given us and discussed things that concerned us, surprises we noticed, and responses we would have liked to have seen.
What we noticed was that:
• Students don’t seem to have a deep understanding of their learning and that they are responsible for being a part of their learning.
• Students don’t understand the importance of how their learning now will contribute to their success later in life.
• Students can’t articulate how they learn best.
• Students don’t realize that they have a role in learning how they learn.
• When asked about their learning, students don’t respond with how they truly feel but more so what they think is the right answer.
Hunch: We may be teaching in a way the makes students understand that their job is to listen and the teachers’ job is to teach.
We aren’t being specific enough in teaching students their role and the teachers’ role.
We may not be expecting enough input from the students about their learning.
We haven’t made an intentional shift in involving students with their responsibility for their learning.
New Professional Learning: The Growth Mind Set Coach resource
Growth Mindset & Successful Learner Traits picture books
Growth Mindset Videos – Train Ugly Series
Taking Action: After reflecting on the students’ responses to the 4 Questions the teachers quickly realized that the students were unable to answer these questions in a way that made us think that they had a good understanding of the role that they play in their own learning. We realized that the mindset that they had about learning was a fixed mindset. This caused us to reflect: Why was it this way?, What can we as teachers do about it?, and brainstorm actions we could take to address this.
Actions we took:
• Chose to dig deeper with Fixed and Growth Mindset
• Reflected on our own practice to look for evidence of when we were thinking or teaching with either a GMS or a FMS.
• Watched videos on GMS – using Train Ugly as a guide.
• Read picture books to help students understand the concepts of GMS.
• Used daily challenges to promote the understanding of GMS.
• Taught vocabulary around GMS.
• Big Life Journals resource/materials
• Class Dojo
• Teaching about the brain
• Team based approach – Sports Ed. Model
• 5 Day GMS Challenge
Checking: After implementing many of the above actions, and after the teachers reflected a lot on their own self and their practice, we started to see noticeable differences in both the students and the teachers. From anecdotal notes, observations, and conducting the final student survey of asking the 4 Questions or a version of the 4 Questions, teachers noted the following about their students.
• more willing to trying even when things are challenging
• starting to use the language around GMS more
• able to name what they are struggling with.
• more confident with taking risks.
• showing less anxiety.
• more able to see that “they can do it!”
Reflections/Advice: Throughout this inquiry this year we have done a lot of reflecting on ourselves and our teaching practice. We discovered that to change the mindset of the children that we are working with needs to start with reflecting and changing the mindset of ourselves. Mindset can be reflected in how we respond to a question, how we think about others, and even how we plan and teach. We need to believe in the power of change and that we are all capable of being better and doing better by working hard, using feedback to help us grow, and seeing mistakes as a learning opportunity. Changing mindsets of ourselves and that of others can take time. We know that we have only just scratched the surface with our understanding around fixed mindset and growth mindset, but we will continue to use this new lens to reframe our thinking. We have made an intentional shift to implement some links to Growth Mind Set and we will continue to dig a little deeper next year in this same area.