Celebrating Inquiry Spring 2018

Welcome to the eighth issue of our online celebration of learning and achievement by University of Lethbridge intern teachers. Below you will find profiles of all projects presented at the Spring 2018 Professional Inquiry Project (PIP) Symposium. These projects were completed by by pre-service teachers in their final twelve-week practicum. Please be aware that external links are supplied by contributors and are not maintained or monitored by the University of Lethbridge.


Return to Past Issues of Celebrating Inquiry

Creating Active Lunch Recess Opportunities for Grade Three Students

How does additional movement opportunities help student's self-regulation in the classroom?

My school has a before school program (BOKS) where students are able to come and participate in various active games in order to be "ready to learn" when the school bell rings. The majority of the students in my classes, however, take the bus to school and therefore do not have this opportunity. I created an active lunch recess program where I invited 2-3 grade three classes at a time (from the 5 grade three classes in my school) to join me in an active lunch opportunity. My active lunch opportunities are also focused on helping students be “ready to learn”, as well as providing a way for them to learn self-regulation skills in order to have a successful afternoon of learning.  I found my project to leave positive impacts on the students as I got students moving, and most of the students who participated believe that it helped them become ready for their afternoon classes. For students who have anxiety about going outside for recess, it provided a safe place to go. 

Overall, I believe the project was a success as it positively impacted the students and the school community.

Megan is a fifth-year student majoring in a combined degree of Social Science/Social Studies Education. 

Growth Mindset

How can we use growth mindset in the classroom to help student attitudes toward learning?

I have been really interested in mindset lately and how it helps in many aspects of our lives. I have also noticed many students struggle in school and say that they can't do something. I used my project to explore mindset with my students and to encourage a positive outlook so that they can improve in the subject or area that they are struggling in. I chose 5 books and created lessons for them so that my students were exposed to the idea of mindset and what it means. We worked on positive talk and saying that we can't do something yet rather than just saying we couldn't do it at all.

Cayli’s PS III Internship was at an elementary school, teaching grade 1. Outside of teaching, she enjoys being active and has recently run her first half marathon. She also loves to travel with her family!

Intrinsic Motivation and Physical Education

In what ways and to what extent can the development of intrinsic motivation techniques in Physical Education contribute to the level of PE participation?

Student participation is crucial for physical education and for learning in general. As teachers, we can’t fully control participation, but we can mold the environment in support of this goal. This project looked at strategies to increase student participation, including the development of student leadership roles and reducing competitiveness. I also chose to focus on the idea of intrinsic motivation as relevant to physical activity and virtually any aspect of living. To involve students in a reflective process about their own levels of motivation, I collected data from short student surveys after each unit. I also compared their perceived levels of motivation to my own observations of their participation. Data was graphed for visual simplicity and compared over the months to see progressive changes.

Albert is a graduating student with an interest in the brain and body. He has always enjoyed working with athletes through coaching experiences, and has found that he also really enjoys teaching!


Strong Body and Mind

How does educating students about a healthy lifestyle impact their choice of food intake and physical activity?

I decided to explore this area of education after being part of a staff meeting in which a teacher stated that the school needed to start moving in the direction of health and nutrition. Being a kinesiology student, I quickly noticed the unhealthy food choices being sold at the school canteen during lunch. Through experience and education, I know that unhealthy food intake and lack of physical activity can affect the way you perform cognitively. I have asked my teacher mentor why the unhealthy foods were sold at the canteen and the response was that the students would not eat or buy any of the healthy foods when they were offered. The purpose of my professional inquiry is to explore ways to engage students in making healthy choices independently, which (over time) may help with their attention and classroom behavior. I have seen students more conciously articulate their food choices during lunch and recess. I have observed them distinguish between good and bad habits and as a result regulate their behavior.

Cybil Cheung is a PSIII Student teaching grade 2.


Influencing Self-Care Skills and Positive Interpersonal Relationships by Implementing a “Common Sense Skills” Club in the School

If everyday skills are implemented into the teaching environment, to what extent are students more efficient in creating positive interpersonal relations and influenced to further develop self-care skills?Common sense skills are said to be directly correlated with a person’s ability to understand self and others. Furthermore, common sense is related to efficiency in predicting, describing and understanding human behaviour. Developing common sense skills might positively influence a child’s ability to regulate their behavior and create/maintain more genuine interpersonal relationships.

Some students rely on schools to meet their basic needs. Schools have begun providing services such as breakfast/lunch clubs, and even some degree of medical and dental care. It seems clear that schools must continue adapting and evaluating the ways they care for students.

My project targets the gap that exists between meeting students’ physical needs and their intellectual growth. I aimed to provide students with a more holistic understanding of skills they will need to achieve success in their personal and professional lives. So, I created The Common Sense Club. This club ran once a week for eight weeks. My group identified skills in the areas of self-care and wellness, including topics such as food sourcing and even recreational skills such as card-playing. Furthermore, I was able to complete a large-scale bathroom improvement project for my PSIII school that will continue to support student wellbeing on an ongoing basis.

Ashton is a graduating student of the combined Ba/BEd program at The University of Lethbridge. She is a lover of literature, and enjoys sharing this passion with others. In her free time, she has created and continues to run a hand-crafted jewelry company.


Learning to Move

How can whole-body movement be best used in an elementary setting to maximize students’ cognitive function and reduce undesired behaviours?

Welcome to our early elementary class where we team-teach over 40 high needs students, some of whom rely heavily on physical activity as their primary means to express boredom, frustration or excess energy. Particularly in the season of frigid air and indoor recess, our students sometimes struggle to restrict movement to safe, appropriate contexts and occasionally demonstrate a lack of spatial awareness. However, when presented with structured, whole-body movement activities, we observe that our students often experience higher levels of engagement, faster response time and an overall decrease in undesired behaviors such as calling out, yelling, hitting, spinning and pushing/shoving. This inquiry aims to explore a variety of content-related, whole-body movement activities and their ability to potentially heighten academic performance and minimize the above behaviours.

Kailee is currently finishing the last few weeks of PSIII and is set to be graduating in April with a B.Sci./B. Ed. (majoring in mathematics education and minoring in science education.)


Junior High Math Activities

How can engaging math activities increase middle school and high school students' interest in mathematics?

In my middle school and high school mathematics classes, I don’t remember participating in many interactive math lessons. Math class consisted of the teacher showing us how to do the math and then us, the students, doing textbook work. I can’t remember doing much more than this. Any applications that we discussed were from questions in the textbook. This is not to reflect negatively on my past math teachers; however, I realize now that this style of learning math does not interest or benefit all students equally. Reflecting on this led me to think about how I could incorporate a variety of activities into math classes to make them more engaging for students. I hoped this project would benefit students who find mathematics to be boring and pointless. In exploring ways to make mathematics more engaging, I hoped to increase student interest in mathematics.

My final product is a collection of resources and activities on a Weebly site. I gathered feedback from the students, which I included in my final product, and found that they generally liked the activities. This resource would be particularly useful for student teachers, intern teachers, and beginning teachers.

Cleighton (who also goes by Cleigh) is passionate about learning, and about mathematics. In addition to math, he is also interested in music and the outdoors. He states: “It is important to make connections between our interests and what we learn”.


Helping Parents Navigate the Changing Waters of Math Education

With new methods of mathematical education emerging how can we as educators keep parents informed and on board?

I often find myself speaking with parents who are dissatisfied and frustrated with the new methods being used to teach their children mathematical concepts. Through this PIP I have worked to craft educational videos to help parents understand these methods. I have found these videos to be very useful, not only for parents, but for students as well. The videos provided the students with an additional resource for practice as well as a means for catching up on material covered on days they were absent.

Michael is a Math and Science educator, looking to help people overcome their fears of Math.

Movement in Mathematics

How can I energize my students in Math class?

I was placed in a grade 4 classroom with 24 students. When I would teach math, I noticed how some students would get bored or tired of what I was teaching on the board. It was hard for a lot of the students to sit down in a seat for multiple hours in the day. Through teaching the Creative Movement Unit in P.E., I observed that a lot of the grade 4 students who had trouble in math thoroughly enjoyed movement and physical activity in general. It made me think that it would be beneficial to focus on involving movement games to energize and engage students in learning math. I became interested in the reasons behind why it was helpful in the classroom and started compiling a handbook of different math movement activities that benefitted student learning.

Lexi grew up in Calgary in a family of four. She has a younger brother that she used to make “homework sheets” for, even when she was as young as age six. She has many interests like waterskiing, dancing and dirt biking, but teaching is her true passion.


Differentiated Reading Programs and Student Success

What are the characteristics and benefits of regularly implemented reading programs in a multi-grade level setting?

My project focuses on identifying and explaining the effective design and delivery of a variety of differentiated reading programs. As part of my Special/Inclusive Education Specialization, I led two Reading Intervention groups within my practicum school’s larger reading initiative. The new initiative had all elementary students meet regularly with a staff or support staff member in levelled reading groups during a common time block, which allowed for flexible groupings within and across grade levels. Given this unique opportunity, I wished to increase my familiarity and comfort with the reading resources I was implementing and learn more about other reading programs’ objectives and structures.

Firsthand experience, input from colleagues and students, as well as research and professional development, contributed to my continued learning of the beneficial impacts of addressing reading instruction purposefully and systematically. Students’ enthusiasm toward the reading initiative was evident and they demonstrated growth in reading engagement, habits and comprehension. Furthermore, cross-curricular classroom experiences presented opportunities for the transfer of developing reading skills and strategies. My project’s culminating Reading Program Toolkit aims to identify important features of a balanced reading program. It includes differentiated strategies and activities appropriate to instruction along the reading continuum in small-group and whole-class settings.

Sophia completed her PS III internship in the Spring 2018 semester. She is an English/English Language Arts Education major with a minor in Modern Languages: French and a Special/Inclusive Education specialization. She is particularly interested in literacy instruction and development within different educational contexts.

Teaching Math for Newbies: Effective Math Instructional Strategies

Which instructional strategies can I use in my Math lessons to effectively engage a wide range of learners in the content?

Prior to this practicum I had very little opportunity to teach Mathematics. Knowing that a large portion of my teaching assignment for PSIII was grade 6 Math I was eager to expand my expertise. My goal was to explore and implement different strategies for teaching mathematics in order to meet the learning needs of all my students. I wanted to go beyond traditional teacher-centered instructional styles and instead build a repertoire of instructional strategies that put students at the center of instruction.

My project involved two distinct stages. The first stage was simply to implement various instructional strategies in my teaching. The numerous instructional strategies that I implemented stemmed from conversations with fellow educators and research. The second stage was to reflect on the instructional strategy used to determine level of student engagement and identity possible changes/modifications that could make the strategy more effective for the learners in my own classroom. To measure student engagement, I primarily looked at how well students remained on-task and whether the instructional strategy encouraged them to engage in meaningful conversation about the content.

Implementing various instructional strategies into my teaching has shown me that when it comes to teaching math the most important aspect is to find what works for the learners in your classroom. There is no one way to teach math. Just because an instructional strategy might work for one group of students does not mean that it is going to work for all classrooms. Taking the time to reflect and make modifications to fit the dynamic of your classroom goes a long way to ensure success for all students.

Barbra is an English Language Arts major. She is currently finishing her PSIII internship at an Elementary School where she is teaching grade 6. Barbra is a reader at heart who probably spends too much money on books. When she is not reading you can find her cross stitching mini portraits or crocheting afghans.


Life, Actually: Maximizing Your Middle School Drama Production

How can I maximize my middle school play production while minimizing my budget?

For my PIP project, I co-wrote a play with a previous teacher associate. Together, we adapted the film Love, Actually to be set in a middle school with typical middle school characters. We called the play Life, Actually. The idea to write this play came out of many questions, including: how can I balance my creative life with my teaching life? how can I minimize the cost and production requirements of a middle school drama production? and how can I coax the best performances out of middle school actors? By choosing to write about students, the actors – who, at the middle school level, are very new to the art of acting – have an immediate, close connection to the characters that will give their performances more believability. By writing the play, the production budget is minimized, as the school is not required to purchase the rights to a production. Additionally, through setting our production in a middle school, the budget for props and costumes is minimized, as many set pieces can be found within the school and the student actors are able to supply their own costumes at no extra cost to them.

During her Internship, Brittney taught English 10-1 and 20-1 in Calgary. She has a background in theatre, a knack for creative writing, and is passionate about bringing both these worlds into her practice.

What? Elementary Music?!

What are some effective musical resources that can be used in an elementary music classroom?

As a new music teacher, it can be difficult to find a varied amount of songs or activities that work to teach the Alberta curriculum. In order to advance my own practice and to help other new teachers, I created a website with a collection of multiple musical activities that can be used to support elementary music instruction. The site includes choral and classroom songs, ukulele music at different difficulties, recorder music for different levels, as well as French-Canadian musical resources.

Dan is a music major with a focus on vocal performance. His PSIII was in an elementary classroom.


Engaging Students in Art History, Creativity, and Critical Thinking

How can I deepen student engagement in art history, their own creative expression, and critical thinking about art?

I wanted to create a space to grow and explore artistically with my students and to provide the school with an extra curricular activity that was not available before. I created, organized, and ran a weekly art club that was open to students in grade 3. We focused on studying famous artists in order to help students develop artistic creativity and an understanding of how formal elements of a work affect the subject matter. Our discussion included: unity, purpose, subject matter, media and techniques, and art appreciation. The understanding of these critical aspects of art was enhanced through strategies such as gallery walks, critiques, discussions, entry and exit slips, exhibitions and displays, student demonstrations, and surveys. Studying these famous artists furthered the students’ own capacity to work with art and critique art.

Brittany is finishing up her Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Art from the University of Lethbridge. Over the last five years she was inspired daily by her students and enjoys how they spark her love for life long learning.  As an art major, she wants to assist children in discovering their own talents. She believes that it is her job to guide, challenge, and encourage her students!


Elementary School Coding Club

How can we teach students computer programming knowledge in Elementary School?

I have always had a great interest in technology, and after taking a CTS Education class I became very passionate about giving students applicable career skills from an early age to generate interest in future occupations. I found out that my Elementary school had a niche of students who had some coding skills but did not have a regular time to practice and create projects, so I decided to make a Coding Club. The ability that elementary students have shown in programming skills blew me away, making projects that exceeded what I thought was possible in an Elementary setting.

Kevin is an English/Education major from Drumheller finishing his combined degree this semester.  He wishes to continue exploring interesting ways to incorporate technology applications into the school setting.

No Equipment? No Problem!: How to Run a Low-Equipment Intramural Program in an Elementary School Setting

To what extent can the teaching of low-equipment lunch hour games and activities help to reduce confrontation on the playground, leading to improved student safety and school wellness?

Our rationale for this professional inquiry project centres around the need for student safety out on the playground. The school population has grown substantially in the last few years, and the current student count is currently over 600. As there is only one playground for all 600 students to utilize, the volume of children on the playground has proven to be unsafe. Not only is there concern over the number of adults available for supervision, there is also concern with the playground equipment itself, as it is outdated and needs repair. In addition to this, students appear to lack an understanding of outdoor games and activities that they can engage in when the playground equipment is occupied. For these reasons, students are bored at recess and often find themselves in conflict with their peers. This carries over into classroom activities even after recess ends, and appears to be affecting the overall climate of the school as a whole. For these reasons, we believe that it would be beneficial to create a lunch hour intramural program that would focus on teaching students low-equipment games and activities that could easily be transferred to the playground.

Ashley, Kristen and Shannon completed their PS III Internship at the same elementary school in Lethbridge.

Implementing a Broadcasting Option in School

What is the best way to implement an exploratory CTF Challenge (Broadcasting) option class in school?

This option class provided students with an opportunity to explore broadcasting through an exploratory option class at Wilson Middle School. Students in grades 6-8 had the opportunity to explore how the broadcasting industry works through multiple projects. They performed related roles including reporter and news anchor, and gained valuable skills in literacy, public speaking, and technology. This option also gave students the opportunity to bring their interests and hobbies into the classroom and showcase their talents to a wider audience. Students planned and created news segments for a Shaw school news program, called Wilson Wonders, which was broadcast on TV and posted on Youtube. Students created scripts for audio/visual presentations and learned about various production and video techniques. The class was especially beneficial for students who sometimes struggle to find success in other mainstream classes.

Kate Bollum completed her PSIII Internship at Wilson Middle School in Lethbridge. She graduates this Spring from U of L with her Bachelor of Science and Education. Her teaching focuses on hands-on learning, blending disciplines together, and incorporating student interest into curriculum.

What Are the Benefits of Promoting Leadership Through a Student Council?

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work with the student council when I arrived to my practicum. My TM was running the student council at the time and asked me to transition into the role. I chose to focus my inquiry on the areas of resource utilization, team building, prioritization and confidence building. I noted some challenges that I faced as well struggles the students had. To better understand the students’ perspective, I interviewed a few of the members and got permission to post videos of their interviews on my website. Overall, I felt that having a student council was very beneficial to the grade 6 students and the school as a whole.

Brain Breaks With Limited Use of Technology

How does physical movement within the classroom extend concentration and learning?

My PIP idea came from my Teacher Mentor as it was one her professional goals as well as a school-wide initiative. The idea of gathering a list of brain breaks that do not require technology developed because technology is used minimally in this classroom. My TM shared some simple ideas of what she was already doing to get students moving in a small space. As I was researching movement in the classroom I realized how impactful it can be for students’ learning and I created a research question based on that information. My readings pointed toward a need for instructional time to be “chunked” in order to create more effective learners. They suggested that, compared with 45 minutes of solid instruction, students learn more with two 15/20-minute blocks of instructional time and a 5-minute brain break. This difference is because focus is lost after about 20 minutes; the rest of the time is not used effectively without regaining focus. When considering how to use classroom time effectively, it is more beneficial to incorporate movement than to have students sitting the entire class time.

Agatha’s major is Social Studies Education and her minor is Drama Education. Her PSIII placement is in a Grade 1 class teaching Social Studies, Writing, Math and Guided Reading. She enjoys reading picture books to her students.


Using "Take-Home Pets" to Motivate Students

How can educators use principles of the Reggio approach to foster student engagement, motivation and learning?

When considering my PIP I asked several people, "What is your favourite Kindergarten experience?" A friend and her mother shared that their kindergarten class had a classroom "puppy" called Puddles and each student got a weekend where they had to take care of Puddles. I chose to use this project as a way to explore aspects of the Reggio approach to early childhood and primary education, since my internship school offers a “Reggio Inspired Fine Arts Program” to the elementary grades. I also incorporated curricular outcomes to create my own "Take-Home Pet" Project, as documented in an accompanying online resource. This initiative promoted literacy, responsibility, leadership as well as motivated students!

Cassidy Shostak did her PS III Internship during the Spring of 2018.


Embedding the Circle of Courage

How can the Circle of Courage, a model of positive youth development, be embedded within an elementary classroom?

Investigating how the Circle of Courage can be embedded within an elementary classroom developed into a project that was near and dear to my heart after my practicum school adopted it as their philosophy. After looking deeper into the virtues/values of the Circle of Courage, I began to wonder what this would look like at a grade 1 setting. How could my students embody belonging? Generosity? Independence? Mastery? It quickly became clear that these values had already been instilled within my students, so how could we explore them even further? The best way I could think of bringing these values to life was through literature. As a class, we explored numerous books on the topic, from here the project grew and grew. Students began researching animals linked to the values of the Circle of Courage, they created research books, they sang songs, they created art pieces, they wrote to old folks homes, they used the rhetoric on the playground, ultimately they embodied the values wholeheartedly. This collage of rhetoric, projects, activities, and acts, snowballed into the project I am now left with. A project that guided my students into become well-rounded citizens for the future.

My name is Abbey Hakin and I am currently in my fifth (and final) year at the University of Lethbridge working my way towards my Bachelor of Science in mathematics and my Bachelor of Education with a focus in Early Childhood Education. I was born and raised in Lethbridge, AB, where I attended French Immersion schooling. I am passionate about helping students develop into well rounded citizens, with aid from the MindUp Curriculum and the Circle of Courage. I also have a keen interest in fostering of mathematical literacy in every classroom I step foot into. Outside of the classroom I enjoy spending time with my family, taking my dog for walks along the river, and exploring the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Teaching With Technology!: How Can Educators Effectively Integrate Technology Into Their Classrooms?

How can teachers effectively incorporate technology into their curriculum, instructional and assessment practices?

Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in our society as our world develops and so it is important to educate our students and provide them with opportunities to increase their digital citizenship. With all of the different technology that is available to educators, we are also able to enhance and individualize student’s learning to provide them with an optimal learning experience. Integrating technology into my teaching practices has been a continuous goal of mine within every practicum. I would try to implement technology but never felt like I was doing enough or going through with the implementation effectively. I was fortunate to be put into a classroom that was a part of a division-wide technology project and so it was a fitting beginning for my inquiry project. I also had the opportunity to attend an EDtech Google Summit Conference in Saskatoon, which provided me with an endless amount of ideas that I am able to share with other educators.

I chose to create a Weebly resource guide so that I can provide educators with examples of how they can use technology to enhance their curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices. I have included a variety of apps, websites, and tools that educators can use to put into their classroom to develop engaging and meaningful learning activities.

As a result of this project, I saw students develop and strengthen their skills as 21st-century learners. I saw more engagement when students were working with technology as well as instances of deeper understanding of content without any direct instruction. I observed that their leadership, independence, and collaborative skills greatly increased.

Leah is currently finishing her final practicum teaching grade 3/4 at a rural Southern Alberta School. She will be finishing a combined degree of Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education majoring in Mathematics Education with a specialization in inclusive education. She was born and raised in Tilley, Alberta and enoys spending time with friends and family.


Embedded Formative Assessment

How can I use formative assessment techniques to inform my teaching and improve student learning?


Assessment has always been an interest of mine, but as I began my internship in January I quickly became aware that I had little understanding of how to use formative assessment effectively to shape my own teaching and help my student learn. I chose to focus on formative assessment techniques for my inquiry project because while I was putting formative assessment checks into my lesson plans, I really had little understanding of what I was looking for or what I would do with the information once I retrieved it. Knowing that my classroom of learners are all at different levels with different strengths and weaknesses, I wanted to focus on using embedded formative assessment to inform my teaching and help me differentiate student learning.


My project involved research, implementation, and reflection. Through reading academic articles and blogs and having conversations with other teachers, I developed an understanding of the purpose of formative assessment and built a repertoire of formative assessment techniques I wanted to try in my classroom. Next, I implemented a variety of different techniques throughout my practicum and reflected on both the process and effectiveness of each tool. Finally, I created a formative assessment handbook outlining my key learning insights and effective formative assessment techniques.


Through this project I gained a better understanding of how formative assessment fits into teaching and learning. I built a repertoire of formative assessment techniques that I can use with multiple grade-levels in various contexts. But perhaps more importantly, I was able to experience the constant and intentional process of adjusting and modifying instruction and maintaining a clear objective of what I was asking of my students and what success would look like.

Below are three key insights gained through this project:

  • Ensuring that students understand what they are meant to be doing and what constitutes "quality work" is the first step to ensuring that students are successful. I learned that only when my student understand the “why” and “what” could they be successful and chart their own learning.
  • While formative assessment is often done “on the fly” it is important that such opportunities are also embedded into daily instruction. Planning for multi-level questioning and opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and communicate their level of understanding takes time but it is essential to eliciting evidence of student learning.
  • A key goal of formative assessment is to activate students as owners of their own learning. We want to equip students to take responsibility for their own learning by showing them where to go and helping them understand how to get there.

My final product is a handbook (created in Google Slides) that summarizes my findings and outlines various formative assessment techniques what I have found to be effective in the classroom.

Naomi Entz is first and foremost a life-long learner! Naomi has just completed her PSIII internship in Lethbridge, teaching literacy, social, and science. She is very excited to be completing her degree and beginning her teaching career.


Using Rubrics to Help Students Grow as Assessment-Capable Learners

How can single-point rubrics be used to help students grow as assessment-capable learners?

I saw single-point rubrics used in my university classes and was interested in learning more since I had not been introduced to them before. Going into PS3 I knew I wanted to see how these rubrics could be used in an elementary setting. When I got to my school the admin. mentioned how excited she was to have interns who came from good assessment pedagogy. Since I wanted to explore this topic more, and my school was also interested, I knew I had my topic.

One of the school-wide goals at my school was to design and implement performance tasks that would help students become assessment-capable learners. I used this to come up with the wording of my specific question. Many of my students naturally understood the formatting of the rubrics and were able to reflect deeply with little to no prompting from me.

Elizabeth completed her internship in a grade 4 classroom in Okotoks, Alberta. She loved having the opportunity to combine her passion for reading and science with her passion for teaching!


Effective Self-Assessment Implementation

How can teachers effectively implement self-assessment in the division one classroom?

At the beginning of my practicum I really debated how I wanted to assess art. For my first lesson I got the students to self-assess their work. I liked this concept but could see that I needed to do some research in order to make this an effective process for my students. My division (Foothills School Division) is really looking at teaching students to be assessment-capable learners and this project tied in nicely to that topic. Additionally, I have found through past experiences that there is sometimes the assumption that division one students are too young to effectively self-assess. Teaching in grade 2 for PS III, I wanted to look at the research behind this as I believed otherwise. I also documented my own observations and collected pieces of student work. The growth is mostly seen in our Art class through comparing the students’ first self-assessment to their final, but I also used this in a variety of different subjects (science, LA, math).

Alana is a fifth-year math and education student. She has completed practicums in kindergarten, grade 2, grade 3, and grade 7. She has been part of the ATA student local (Education Undergraduate Society) for two years as Director of Volunteer Services, Vice-President Internal, and President. She has done a lot of work on mathematics and problem solving throughout her degree through research assistant positions and volunteering. This experience has made her fascinated with metacognition and its relationship to learning. She wanted to dive into this topic deeper, and a PIP related to self-assessment was the perfect opportunity.