2008- 09 P.L.C Final Report School name – Upper Sumas Elem. School Facilitator name – Kari Hipwell PLC members – 3 groups: Intermediates 4-7— Bev Oliver, Garry Klassen, Stacey Andries and Jim Haigh Primaries 2-4 -- Charlotte Tommy, Dorothy Fultz, Debbie Dugdale Primaries 1 &2 – Susan White, Debbie Mar Area of Focus (What was the question/SMART goal?) Intermediates 4-7—How do we improve students’ abilities to identify and write a main idea and supporting details? Primaries 2-4—How do we improve quality of written expression through style and form? Primaries 1 &2—How can we develop students’ oral language to prepare them for story writing? Data Analysis (for Primaries gr. 2, 3, 4 PLC) PLC teachers (grades 2,3 & 4) were concerned that their students’ writing was weak. They decided to conduct a formative assessment in order to gather data on student writing. Lt. Governor Steven Point visited Upper Sumas Elementary and shared his literacy program with us. Next, our school decided to use his writing program as our School Wide Write and formative assessment. The Quick Scales for Impromptu Writing were used as criteria to assess the writing. Our formative assessment showed a weakness in the areas of form and style in students’ writing. As a result, PLC members decided to create a Smart Goal in order “to have 85% of students fully meeting or exceeding expectations in the areas of style and form in their writing.” During the year, PLC members collaborated in research and lesson planning to encourage growth in the areas of style and form in students’ writing. For example, they investigated Janine Reid and Betty Schultze’s book titled, “What’s Next for this Beginning Writer.” As well, they used wordless picture books to teach story development. In April, the Lt. Governor sent our school another set of pictures from his literacy program, which we used in our summative assessment (and final School Wide Write). Students were asked to create a story based on the 4 pictures provided. Their writing was then assessed using the Quick Scales for style and form. The results of the summative assessment show that of the 67 students assessed, 22 of them went up an achievement level (i.e. from minimally meeting expectations to fully meeting expectations). It is evident that our students still have much room for growth in the area of writing style. 33.8% were fully meeting or exceeding in the fall and 38.8% were fully meeting or exceeding in the spring. More growth was noted in the area of written form; 55.4% of students were fully meeting or exceeding in the fall and 62.6% were fully meeting or exceeding in the spring. In looking at this data, it is evident that students’ writing style (especially) will need ongoing support. . . and that our 85% goal was set too high. Something to note though, is that our data was slightly altered with the move of several high achieving students who were replaced with students new to the school (that struggle academically). This change in student population partially altered our summative results. As well, the question was raised whether teachers’ interpretations of the Quick Scales was partially subjective. For example, the Quick Scale says, “variety of connecting words” and “may be brief.” Some teachers may have measured the words “variety” and “brief” differently. Baseline data & Current results: Writing Form: Fall 2008—6.2% not meeting, 38.5% minimally meeting, 46.2% fully meeting and 9.2% exceeding Writing Form: Spring 2008---4.5% not meeting, 32.8% minimally meeting, 55.2% fully meeting, 7.5% exceeding Writing Style: Fall 2008---9.2% not meeting, 57% minimally meeting, 24.6% fully meeting, 9.2% exceeding Writing Form: Spring 2008---6% not meeting, 55.2% minimally meeting, 32.8% fully meeting, 6% exceeding Reflection on action research: See reflection included in section titled “Data Analysis” Resources purchased or developed for action research: Janine Reid and Betty Schultze’s book titled, What’s Next for this Beginning Writer – purchased for our primary PLC teachers Janine Reid and Jan Wells’ book titled Writing Anchors -- purchased our intermediate PLC teachers Recommendations: Given that so much growth is still required in order to have students exceeding or fully meeting expectations in writing style and form, it is an option to carry on with this PLC goal next year. Reflections on current math assessments has also led our staff to question whether they should have a math focus for their PLC next year. I have found PLC to be an insightful experience and am interested to see how I can carry my learning as a school facilitator forward into the next school year.
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