Delving into Inquiry

As term one is rapidly coming to a close I have had the opportunity to reflect on what has been a whirlwind of term 1. This term during staff meetings we delved into an inquiry unit ourselves asking:

How can we best serve the needs of students with more than one teacher in the space?

The inquiry was choice driven and could have been individual or grouped but as a stage we knew we had the same question that we had been battling for the first 5 weeks of the term.

How can we best track our students across the stage as a team?

Step 1: Referring to Research

Our first step was to look at what research could tell us which proved somewhat difficult. We tried to liken our situation to job sharing where teachers would need to share information about multiple students but we fell short when we realised this would generally only be 20-30 students not close to 100. We wanted to minimise our workload while ensuring that a hand over of each student was comprehensive and maintainable. Through our research we came up with the following options:

  • a data tracking wall
  • spreadsheets
  • visual displays
  • data to be collected regularly to be used often (because what’s the point of data if it isn’t used?!

Step 2: Goals and Structures

Putting structures and goals in place. We decided as a cohort on some tracking strategies just starting with literacy. We would as a team, use a tracking sheet in a google document which everyone would collaborate using a colour coded system. Our goal: to provide all teachers with a ‘snapshot’ of every child in the stage for when a student moves or when we need information for parent meetings.

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Reading Performa

This is the basic concept for our reading tracking that our learning coach, Belinda Geelan, created. We have detailed information about their running record so it becomes more than merely a percentage. Our focus has shifted on how we can improve individual elements for individual students with our goal to always hit students at their point of need.

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Writing Performa

Our writing performa is a lot more basic allowing teachers to track whatever their focus is for their specific group of students however all students are still on the same document and we are colour coded with the same colours we use for reading but also in our program.

Step 3: Observation and Feedback

feedback-1825508_1920We were provided time to observe others in their pursuit of answering their inquiry question but also to be observed in ours. For myself this was perhaps the most beneficial step. When you are in your world of stage 1 you struggle to get clarity on what could work best. Having the chance to visit stage 4 gave me outlook on how things could be done differently.

Our feedback:

Although our inquiry question was hard to observe in the classroom our observers came back with some interesting wonderings:

  • Who sees this document?
  • How does it transfer to 2 or 4 teachers?
  • How often?
  • How do you know?
  • What are the teacher time requirements for teaching across a team of 4?
  • How is literacy managed across all groupings?

Step 5: The Where to Next? directory-1273088_1920.jpgWe will continue to inquire into how we can best meet the needs of our students so that student need is targeted and responsive. Our observers wonderings will help drive the next steps to ensure we are best answering “how can we best track students across a stage as a team?”

Do you have a way to track students? I’d love to hear it! Share this link and tag @angelaryall93

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