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EPCI Learning Journey

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Tracey Walsh

on 10 June 2014

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Transcript of EPCI Learning Journey

The Goal
EPCI Learning Journey
Bruce-Grey Catholic

Building our Knowledge
How did research inform our inquiry?
Research and professional resources greatly informed our inquiry. Some of these provided philosophical and theoretical supports for the work of our inquiry, while others were more practical supports and resources.

Research influence came from findings reported in
The Early Expert Panel on Math
and individuals such as Deborah Loewenberg-Ball. Both of these sources maintain that educators' knowledge greatly impacts student success in Math.
What Evidence Did We Collect
"New learning happens by building three key capacities:
a specific learning focus
collaboration
instructional leadership"


"Real professional learning takes place when there is a permanent change in practice."

Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board's Early Primary Collaborative Inquiry on Counting was a successful demonstration of real
professional learning.

In Conclusion:
Grow Forth
"A central factor for improving the teaching and learning of mathematics is increasing a teacher’s pedagogical content knowledge." (p.51)
Expert Panel on Early Math
in Ontario
Starting From Where We Were...
Think
Evolve
Act
Reflect
-to examine the impact of changes in instructional practice in mathematics on student learning through collaborative planning, teaching, and assessment.
Plan
Observe
The Process
Through 3 face to face sessions and 2 half-day in-between sessions, kindergarten teams developed their understanding of the big idea of counting (PARTICULARLY THE KEY CONCEPTS), developed an informal counting assessment and were introduced to a more formal counting assessment (the Continuum-Based Assessment from Durham Catholic School Board). Teams used these assessments to gather data and brought documentation of student work to each session so that progress could be monitored and recorded on a profile/planning page for 3 target students.
Component One:
At the launch session of the inquiry, learning teams explored the 8 key concepts of counting. They used the Number Sense Guide to Effective Instruction to explore these and come to a deeper understanding of these key concepts. They defined the concepts and chose the target students they would monitor overtime to see their progress with counting.
Very quickly, teams came to their own decision that it would be necessary to use a consistent
assessment tool to determine their target student needs. At that very session, the teams worked together to create an assessment tool that they would all use to measure student progress with the key concepts of counting.

The following is the key concept and assessment tool summary page that teams developed and used to monitor student growth throughout the inquiry.
The profile page that Kindergarten teams used for data analysis and for planning next steps and assessment opportunities. These profile pages would come to show target student progress, in the area of counting, over time.


Component Two:
The Process
Between face to face sessions, support was given to Kindergarten teams by Instructional Coaches, administrators and members of the investigating team
teams continually monitored the progress of their target students, reflected on and modified plans and assessed their students based on observations and conversations they were having
teams co-planned and co-reflected with coaches and other members of the inquiry team to collect data and evidence of the work they were doing
feedback was collected and used by the investigating team to plan next steps

An example of some planning and video documentation that was done by one kindergarten team, back at school, between face to face sessions.
Examples of work done at our sessions:
Sample compilations of feedback from teams used for planning next steps.
(Press play to view)
Co-investigators of the inquiry consisted of :

One learning team per school. Eight teams were from English-stream
classrooms and three were from French Immersion Classrooms. Nine of the
eleven classrooms involved were from Full-Day Kindergarten and two were not. Teams consisted of the following members: a classroom teacher, an RECE (full-day teams), a school administrator and in one case, a Special Education Teacher.

In total, there were 11 teachers , 9 RECE's, 10 school administrators, 4 instructional coaches, 1 SWST teacher, the Math consultant, the French Lead Teacher, 1 Supervisory Officer and 2 Student Achievement
Officers who participated in this inquiry

The co-investigating team consisted of: 1 Supervisory Officer,
1 School Principal, 1 School Vice-Principal, the Math Consultant,
the French Lead and 1 Instructional Coach
Our Learning Team
Our Inquiry Question:
What impact will there be on student confidence and proficiency in counting if teachers use current data to plan intentionally, based on a solid mathematical knowledge foundation?
The Process
Component Three:
School administrator support was ongoing and essential
They were involved in full-day face-to-face sessions and attended half-day sessions as available
They supported teams back at the school by providing
opportunities for planning together or for sharing with other teams within the school. This was done at PLT's within the school or at other times when teams were freed up to work together to continue the work from the inquiry sessions.
"Principals are the key to creating the conditions for the continuous professional development of teachers and, thus, for classroom and school improvement" (Fullan, 1992, p. 96).
What Did We Learn?

"We learned that there are many components to counting and found that
the assessment helped identify gaps students had in their counting
abilities. As a result, we could fine-tune our teaching and make it more precise in order to meet specific student needs. We now have a clear understanding of counting, how to assess it, identify student needs and plan next steps to meet these needs."

-Bruce- Grey Catholic FDK Educator







Intended Impact
Unintended Impact
Mathematical knowledge for teaching, as we have conceptualized and measured it, does positively predict gains in student achievement
(Hill, Rowan, and Ball, 2005).
Capacity Series monograph
"Maximizing Student Mathematical Learning in the Early Years"
also provided a more theoretical understanding of our work.
Practical Resource Supports included:
The Guide to Effective Instruction
(K-3) which helped us choose our focus on counting and develop our understanding of the key concepts.
The FDK Document
Cathy Bruce's work in Math 4 Young Children
Marian Small's
Making Math Meaningful

Evidence collected reflected all 3 components of collaborative inquiry.

Student engagement and learning, building pedagogical content knowledge and integrating collaborative dialogue and classroom experience were all essential to consider when collecting and reflecting on the following evidence:

Conversations with students and colleagues
Student observation
Product- such as pedagogical documentation

The next slides show samples of evidence gathered. These include:

target student data analysis/planning/assessment monitoring templates)
teacher quotes and feedback forms
an FDK team's work sample which was created to consolidate their inquiry learning
student created activities related to their learning



Target Student Profile: Evidence based on conversations, observations and product
Target Student Profile page and this teacher's comments about her team's learning (Evidence based on Conversations, Observations and Product)
Evidence based on Conversations: Teacher Interviews
This voice memo includes comments from one of our FDK learning teams
Evidence Based On Product
Feedback forms
Student generated counting games
Teacher generated curriculum mapping- key concepts, program expectations and the ELECT document
Evidence Based on Conversations with and Observations of Students
What was the impact of our learning?
On Educators:
increased pedagogical content knowledge and confidence in recognizing, assessing and planning next steps in teaching key concepts of counting
greater precision in analyzing data for counting using the Assets model
greater precision in targeted teaching; if we get better data, it will make a difference in our programming and then make a difference for our teaching
an increased familiarity of the FDK document and numeracy expectations
an increased familiarity of the Guides to Effective Instruction and other pertinent math resources
interest in continuing to develop a deeper learning of mathematical content in other areas besides counting
On Students
needs being met based on assessment data; programming was specific to them; differentiated tasks were based on their needs
success in consolidating various concepts of counting
growth in proficiency and confidence in several areas of counting
increased confidence and engagement in learning tasks which were precise to them
Several things happened as a result of our new learning in the inquiry that the investigating team didn't predict.
These include:
school level PLT's where participating EPCI teams took their learning back to other Kindergarten and Grade One educators
Teacher leader development- Participating Kindergarten educators became a resource back at the school level to support others
an understanding of developmental trajectories for counting and other areas of numeracy- which allowed for precise planning based on individual needs in these other areas
increased confidence and precision in communicating about counting strengths, challenges and next steps with parents- evident in class newsletters and report card comments (as noted by school administrators)
teachers looking for counting throughout their school day, in relevant and play situations; they now have the knowledge and know the expectations more thoroughly so are able to identify it more confidently
parent information sessions about all that's included in counting, it's significance and how they can support their children at home
increased educator curiosity about inquiry in math
Press play to
view video
Intentional Interruptions, Stephen Katz
Intentional Interruptions, Stephen Katz
Full transcript