Throughout the Spring of 2022, Byng staff and children continued to build community and relationships in order for students to feel safe, happy, and engaged in their learning. The staff was surveyed in June and came together to discuss how important it was for us to continue this relationship building so that children felt connected to others. Having students that feel taken care of in their school home, would help their minds be ready for learning.
As a staff we are being intentional with building school community. We are connecting students to more adults in the school so that children have more comfortable access to adult supports and relationships. We are bringing in the Social Emotional Consultant to work with the staff on the November Pro d day to help us gain a deeper understanding of why our relationships and getting to really know our students, is so incredibly important for children's development. We will survey students in late October and in May to see if there is an increase in students feeling connected to two or more adults in the building.
We have a group of teachers working on a District Innovation Grant with the focus on Social Emotional Learning. We will be having a monthly book club and will be reading "Teachers These Days." We are hoping to get more insight into how teachers themselves can self regulate in order to help their students self regulate.
Literacy skills of course have always been important, and with some assessment done in this area in the spring, we found that students needed more intentional teaching around literacy strategies so that they are better prepared to read and get more meaning from what they are reading.
With this information, we developed a plan to begin the school year with a school wide reading assessment (the DART) in order for teachers to know what students need in order to plan for instruction for the term. On our September Pro D day, we worked with the District Literacy Consultant to help us plan the term instruction to increase literacy fluency and comprehension. We will continue to work with the consultant throughout the year. We hope to increase the numbers of students who are Proficient in reading by the end of the year and we will compare numbers from October to May.
Throughout all that we do, we continue working with the students on developing Core Competencies and how these intertwine throughout learning and generally being with others in the world. Again, children will be asked during the school year, what Core Competencies they are working on and what their next steps in learning will be.
Late 2021 - Present A focus on ASSESSMENT
The BC Ministry of Education's use of the Know-Do-Understand curriculum model fosters the opportunity to re-look at classroom assessment practices. As most of Byng's classes are engaged in the Student Reporting Policy Pilot for it's second year (for some it's their third year as we enter the 2019-2020 school year), we feel it is our collective responsibility to shift our thinking to assessment. This does not mean that all of our hard work with Social Responsibility will disappear rather it means we plan to turn our attentions to weaving a new story about what assessment looks like and sounds like to us while continuing to value our "I feel" language since it is a part of the core competencies that we live by daily. Collaboratively we ask what do powerful, ongoing and relevant classroom assessment practices look like in communicating student learning AND how do we support our students in understanding teacher feedback so that learners know WHAT they need to do and HOW they need to do it in order to be the best learner that they can be?
The slideshow above shows some of our early stages of learning and collaborating.
2017 - 2019 A focus on SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
For the past several years at Byng, students have been engaged in social responsiblity lessons. In 2017-2018, staff and students used the anchor text Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. Language from the text developed kindness and a sense of community as students learned to "fill each others' buckets." Staff worked collaboratively to create inclusive language ("I feel") and visuals to facilitate deep thinking when explicitly talking about "bucket-filling".
Students continue to be encouraged to use this language, and the "I feel" words, in talking about how other people's actions make them feel. Using stories, loose parts, buddy classes, sharing assemblies, and visuals around our school, students foster a deeper appreciation for kindness in our community. With the new school year, 2018-2019, we checked-in to assess how we are doing with our focus and asked ourselves What next?
It became clear that the "I feel" language developed and practiced as a school was supportive but not necessarily manageable since there were so many "I feel" options thus making it challenging for learners to weave in to their daily vocabulary. We decided a good starting place for the 2018-2019 school year, is to help students choose 2-4 "I feel" statements that mean something to them (intrinsically personalize it) with an effort to take student thinking and learning deeper by connecting the "I feel" language with the core competencies.
Our school focus was How can our students use the "I feel" language in connection with the core competencies to further develop community and a better sense of self?