Peter Greer's Learning Story
Staff gathered on the first day of school in September 2022 to review the focus areas we had established in the previous year. It was clearly evident that most staff felt we had more work to do in meeting our objectives for the five established priorities. They are:
Priority # 1 Continued reading success in grades 1-5.
Priority # 2 Excitement for and with learning.
Priority # 3 Student leadership and students helping each other.
Priority # 4 Connections amongst staff, students, and parents.
Priority # 5 Fun and laughter.
Priority 1 - Reading
We will continue our focus on core literacy skills in order to support the development of the core competencies. We will do this using a Response to Intervention (RTI) model to support guided reading in every primary classroom. Our team meets bi-weekly and collaboratively with classroom teachers, and district-based support staff to help facilitate informal discussions about student learning as well as more formal class reviews in October and again at the end of February. We feel this approach/structure literally changed life trajectories for children and helped build collective efficacy within the school as classroom teachers benefit from the various sources of expertise on the team. We also use this model/structure to determine support and resource allocations.
Teachers in Grades 1-5 assess each student's reading level in October using the PM Reading Assessment for English and GB Plus for French. Teachers enter this data into the Ed Plan Insight program and class summaries of this data is used by the SBT to guide our discussions about 'what is going on for our learners.' The target for Tier 3 students (our most vulnerable) is to have them read one on one with an adult at school at least 7 times per week. In order for this to happen, teachers, with support of the SB/RTI Team help them implement structures (i.e., Daily 5) to allow them to provide guided reading in every primary classroom.
We want to express our gratitude to our teachers and School Based Team. Classroom teachers are constantly reading with their student, and we feel so excited when we walk from class to class and see small group instruction happening everywhere - this is how we give kids the next steps to their learning. And all support team members (basically everybody who is not a classroom teacher), we see reading with kids on a regular basis - this helps classroom teachers get to the “7 hits per week” with their tier 3 kids. This is the work that changes life trajectories and helps students reach their full learning potential and fulfill their passions with dignity.
Priorities 2 – 5:
Students will acquire the tools to recognize and regulate their emotions, show empathy for others, show kindness to others, and establish and maintain relationships with others to support these goals. We have a SEL Team that meets monthly to work on this priority.
We will work alongside teachers to build structures and strategies whereby Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is integrated into instruction and daily practices. We will co-plan, co-teach, and co-assess self-regulation lessons, create resources, and explicitly teach SEL skills such as self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, strong decision-making, and positive relationship building.
Following18 months of uncertainty during the pandemic, our staff got together to scan our thoughts, feelings and hopes for the coming school year. Our Social-Emotional Learning Team facilitated a staff activity, gathered feedback and collated the infomration using the CASEL schoolwide indicators. to sort them into categories. Here are the results of that scan.
Since September 2019, our staff have been meeting after school and online around the following inquiry question: How can we meaningfully integrate learning in our natural and local environment throughout the year while embedding Indigenous ways of knowing and doing?"
Update: June 2019
At our year-end Staff Meeting, we came together to discuss where we were at with regards to our School Goals. We noticed that we were at a bit of a crossroads in terms of our school focus, especially since the full implementation of the redesigned curriculum. Our discussion centered on the following questions?
Do our current goals or 'areas of focus' as identified in the last 4-5 years, actually reflect the 'action' or 'work' that we are currently engaging in both in classrooms and as a school?
We also agreed that the 'literacy' and 'numeracy' pieces are critically important and in many ways, the reason schools exists. The question is, instead of literacy and numeracy being identified as 'goals,' should we not simply assume they underscore all the work we are doing? Thoughts?
It is evident that we are still focused on the social-emotional piece. Social-Emotional Learning continues to be a top priority in all feedback we receive from staff, parents and students. The social emotional learning journey began in September 2016, when staff participated in and were trained in Play is the Way activities. Play is the Way is a program designed to support and develop social emotional learning.
As a result of our discussions, we identified our goals for 2019-2021. Click here to view.
School Goals 2016-2019
During this time, our school goals focused on three key areas: literacy, numeracy and social emotional development. Teachers chose an area of focus and collaborated throughout this time to move themselves, and one another, forward in their learning.
Social Emotional Learning: To support students as they develop and strengthen their social and emotional abilities.
Literacy: To support students as they learn to improve comprehension by reading fluently and strategically, and to communicate clearly by writing/presenting purposefully to an identified audience.
Numeracy: To support students as they become competent and confident numerate thinkers.
Throughout the 2018/2019 school year, our team has also been focusing on Communicating Student Learning (CSL) and building an Innovative Learning Community (ILC) for our grade four, five and six students. Please visit the Learning Evidence Page by clicking HERE to learn more about the exciting work being done in all of these areas. We welcome your feedback as we continue to collaborate with our Learning Community.
Peter Greer believes in the attributes of a 21st century learner: thinking, learning, innovating, collaborating and contributing, and we do our best to model these attributes on a regular basis.
The social emotional learning journey began in September 2016, when staff participated in some Play is the Way activities. Play is the Way is a program designed to support and develop social emotional learning, so it ties in well to our goal in supporting social emotional learners at our school. Play is the Way also builds resilience and perseverance, providing students with authentic opportunities to practise these skills. Learn more about Play is the Way by clicking on this link http://www.playistheway.ca/
Peter Greer has been working on building consistent language to use and support our students. Using the Zones of Regulation, alongside Play is the Way, has allowed us to work with students on being able to identify their emotions and better understand how to manage them. See our inquiry process for more information on our learning journey in the area of social emotional learning. Classes participate in these learning opportunities in large groups, which include up to four classes at a time. Students also participate in small groups in many classrooms. Literacy has also been an important focus for Peter Greer throughout the year.
Our literacy team has also been collaborating with a goal of increasing student interest and engagement in reading and writing at Peter Greer. These teachers coordinated a survey of both primary and intermediate students to gauge their feelings and experiences around literacy. From these findings, they realized that our greatest need is in a few key areas: increasing student interest in writing, increasing parental involvement in reading, and making reading and writing relevant to students. After a few collaboration sessions, the team determined a plan of action to support our learners. They decided to host ELFF nights, co-create literacy stations, host an in-class “parent read”, and invite the district Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) to meet, share ideas and recommend resources. In collaboration with the ILT, these teachers developed a pilot project in an effort to engage reluctant writers using Lego. They are very excited to see the end result!
Our numeracy team, in response to a scan of Peter Greer teachers and students, found that students are enjoying math. The implementation of math stations has allowed for differentiation and increased engagement. Although students were now liking math, students reported that they were unable to communicate their thinking, therefore the numeracy team shifted its focus to target mathematical thinking and communication. BC's New Education Plan places an emphasis on core competencies, including critical and creative thinking and communication.
sfu Faculty of education