Fraser School, K-6: Creative Strategies for Learning Using Limited Resources

Uploaded by edpublicschools on 21.09.2012

♪ ♪
(Judy Welch McCorquodale) It's a school that has tremendous
capacity, desire to help children be the very best
that they could be. And it's a very exciting place.
Inclusion is having everybody sitting at the table together.
It's making everyone feel accepted, part of the team.
That we're all here to help and support one
another in whatever way that looks like.
We're a team, we're going to make it together.
This year, our them is a geese because there's a huge
amount of leadership potential with that that geese
flying together create enough lift so that everybody can
fly together easily. You take turns being leaders.
Like the geese, we all have to be flying together.
If we're flying in different directions then we're
going to go all directions and we won't have the power
that we can have by flying together as a team.
♪ ♪
(Student) We need more wood on the bottom.
(Student) ....really working out that well.
Science Olympics was something that a friend of
mine and myself started. It was basically a fun day to
correlate with the Olympics. And so it's an opportunity for
all the kids in the school to come together and have a day
where they can work together, cooperate, have teamwork.
(Student) We're going to get a built in,
but it's going to look pretty cool.
(Carol Mott) I believe you have to be inviting and you also have
to be a really good role model.
If the kids are happy, the families feel it at home.
So school's a great place when the kids come home and they're
smiling and happy and they talk about their school day.
So you're building that positive communication
between home and school.
(Tom Jacques) We're almost done our unit on wheels and levers.
And this is going to be your opportunity to go through
the booklets in the Dacto booklets and choose a
project that you want to do.
(Tom) Well, I guess I'm a little closer to the community
in this school because I'm a five minute walk away.
So this is my community. I purposely chose this
because I go back to my roots and that's the teacher
lives in the community and gets to know the people.
I love walking down the street or going in the shop
and have somebody say "Hi Mr. Jacques."
And I say hello back, and uh, I find that very rewarding.
I do early interviews.
I do pre-screening testing for special needs right at the
beginning of the year so by the end of September I've already
met with the parents that I would have concerns for and
we've talked about putting into place some of the things that
would help their child to have a successful year.
We had quite a few issues with Alex's behaviour at that time
and so within the first week we had already contacted the
parents and both of them came in and they told us a story
that they'd gone to see Alex, that George had been estranged
from Alex for a lot of years.
And there'd been some troubled times for him that
prevented him from getting to see Alex.
Hey, how you're doing, George. Good to see you.
Both he and Amber said "We don't know how to be parents.
We'll take any suggestions that you can give us."
And so that's kind of how we started out.
(George Wilson) He was having a really hard time even spelling
his own name. I tried to get a hold of the school that he was
at in BC to discuss with the Principal and his teachers.
Like I, I tried to communicate with them and
try to get some sort of understanding where Alex was.
It didn't seem like anybody wanted to talk to me about it,
it was just like a problem and they just
didn't want to discuss it.
Tom really made me understand and made me take the time
to look at the things that I needed to concentrate more on.
Like with his homework, with his behavioural issues,
he really helped me understand Alex a lot more.
One of Alex's difficulties was his lack of
accountability and that's what we worked on.
We worked on to make sure that he was trying to do his best,
that he was organizing himself and putting forth his
best effort to the best of his ability. Like you
can't push somebody beyond where they're ready to go.
But we've seen a lot of growth in Alex, a tremendous
amount of growth in his reading and writing. Two years growth.
(Alex) I'm a really hard working student too.
(Tom) Sometimes there's little sweat and tears and blood that
go into it, but the reward at the end is worth the while.
(student) In the chair at the table.
(Tom) In the chair at the table, and at this time do we know
where the chair at the table is?
(Students) No.
(Tom) We don't. And so that's where we're going to pick up in chapter eight.
(George) He sat down and he actually explained how to do his
math homework, how to read his books with him, put a
ruler underneath the lines and he also said that every
child has different needs. And that, you know, it's up
to the parents and teachers to figure out what those needs are.
(Tom) We can't measure progress just in reading and writing.
We need to look holistically at the child.
And Alex has a very thick file and a thick history in terms of
where he's come from and uh, he had severe behaviour disorder.
And so Alex now has integrated into the classroom, I mean he's
not a perfect child, but uh, I'm not a perfect teacher.
So the progress that we have made has been sufficient
for him to settle in and begin to uh, to build a
foundation for his learning. And we had to go back to
find out just where does that foundation begin and
that's where the inclusive team comes in.
We have specialists that come in and help with testing to
pinpoint where is a good starting point for this child.
(George) Before he came he couldn't sit down and read a
book, now he can sit down and read it to me instead of me
reading it to him. His math, he sits down and explains
his math to me instead of me having to explain his math.
I had George and Amber, either one of them would come
in at the end of the day initially to help make sure
he had his stuff packed and he had everything that
he needed and that really helped him.
(George) And he's not afraid to say "You know what,
This is what I think the issues are, let's work on these."
And I think a lot of teachers now they have a hard time saying
to a parent "Ok, well I think these are the issues that you
have." And what's the problem with saying "You know what,
I think you're not being a part of your child's
life or you're not doing your homework with your son. Why?"
(Judy) Alrighty, keep going. Doing a good job.
Alrighty guys.
(Judy) Our classes are getting more and more diverse.
Our learners are having greater needs than we've ever had
before. No, we can't go out and hire 16 E.A's,
like that's just impossible. We have to
make it work with basically with what we've got.
So what resources do we have here?
We've got the teacher, we've got consultants, we've got lots of
reports, we've got parents, we've got lots around to help
and make sure that that's going to work.
Everybody wants to be like her?
(Student) Yes.
And so what Fraser decided to do is to look at it as a problem,
we're not going to get any more resources, we're not going to
get any more people, there's no more money coming.
What are we going to do? We have children that have needs.
What can we do differently with what we have?
One of the resources that we do have is we have the people in
the building and our time.
Let's take a look at how we can use those to maybe look at it
differently so we can help more children.
So what the staff came up with was this idea of having time
twice a day to work with small groups, a small group in the
classroom and the rest of the children went to what's called
"Intervention time."
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(Harvey Hiob) We wanted to find some way to spend a little bit
extra time with them. So what we did is we started sending
most of the kids down to the gymnasium to read with the
Principal and they would bring something to you,
like a book to read. We would keep a number of kids
behind and we would work with them individually.
So we started doing that. Uh, we did that just
a couple of times a week. And that worked well.
(Harvey) Reading group, I'm going to ask you guys
to stay behind with me, so you guys know who you are.
(Harvey) A lot of times they are reading.
They may be using that time to catch up on other work.
They may have some assignments that were given to them by
the teacher. It's not a time where they're fooling around.
They should be focused, doing something constructive,
something educational. So this is the first year I've
actually had my class where they all met the adequate
in the grade level, which is, which is really good.
So that's time that I've gained back.
♪ ♪
Ok, so what was in that one strategy I gave to you to
make the reading more smooth.
(Students) Chunking.
(Harvey) Chunking. Ok, let's work on the chunking.
Ok, go ahead.
(Student) Intervention is where you get to either or you have
some school work to catch up on.
(Student) We read in the morning in grade three.
And afternoon we do a booklet.
(Student) We do a little bit of everything.
(Student) I'm writing about Saturday because I'm going
to my friend's house.
♪ ♪
(Student) I'm in Dragon's Den.
(Carol) We are the Fraser Dragons. So we thought Dragon's
Den was a cozy name where kids can curl up with a good book.
We came up with the idea of having a reading club at a
school and we thought it was an extra opportunity for kids who
are either book worms to come and read, struggling readers,
kids who don't get to do home reading at home for a variety
of reasons. They come together every morning at recess time.
They come in, they take their own attendance by using a
T-chart. And they move their name from one side to "Ready to Read" side.
And then they come in, We paid them up and they read.
(Teacher) Samuel and Rita, do you want to read together today?
Awesome. Go find...
(Carol) The other teacher and I supervise it every morning
and we basically just circulate. We encourage fluency,
expression, comprehension. Sometimes we work with a
small group, sometimes we read with the kids.
So do you see the crab traps in the picture?
(Student) No.
How is the family going to see the crab traps?
They go find it.
They have to take a boat because the traps are in the water.
Excellent, let's move on.
(Carol) So we just facilitate a reading group.
♪ ♪
<i> (Singing)</i> ♪ Days of the week. ♪
♪ Days of the week. ♪
♪ Days of the week. Days of the week. ♪
(Carol) So I do have a grade one class that is very
challenging. I have 24 students, 18 boys and six girls.
Out of the 24 students, I have two that don't speak a word of
English, they just moved here from other countries. I have
five behaviour boys, probably three with severe fine motor.
<i> (Singing)</i>
Eleven students with speech problems, two of which
are very severe. And I have one student in particular
who is very low with processing, visualizing.
He's an opportunity student, he's also a behaviour student.
So it is a very difficult group this year.
We've come a long way.
(Carol) How do you spell up?
(Student) Um, U.
(Carol) U.
(Student) P.
(Carol) P.
(Carol) This one student in particular, he came to me in
September and I really worked hard to keep him
in the class until 9:00 in the morning.
So 20 minutes was difficult. We could not work
academically with him until at least, probably December.
Thumbs up. Good job.
It became very obvious that any time he had to learn or work at
any kind of reading, writing or math, he would lose it.
Because he knew he couldn't write.
He felt he was a failure.
I had a lot new modifications in place that really helped Lloyd.
He would have learning goals and they were always goals
where he would be successful. So, I put a lot of things
in place for him such as he had a buddy to work with.
He actually has two buddies who Lloyd really looked up to.
I train them to, when they're working with Lloyd,
to never do the work for him, but always get him to
do the work verbally first. So they would talk, they,
Lloyd's always allowed to talk in class. So he would
say the answers verbally and then one of his buddies would
do the scribing or write it and Lloyd would copy it.
And then, or Lloyd would get to use scissors and glue type thing
and do his work that way. I have a volunteer student who
comes in every afternoon and works with the whole group.
She helps out a lot.
As far as with Lloyd, specifically in his work,
Lloyd gets a lot of praise no matter what he does.
One expression that works well with him is, "You don't
have to get it right, all you have to do is try."
(Interviewer) And uh, he tried.
Every day he tries.
♪ ♪
(Judy) You can say to people when they get discouraged,
"And where was he or she six months ago?"
Couldn't focus for a minute, now is focusing for 10 minutes.
Couldn't write a sentence, now is writing half a page.
So, let's look back to where they have come from and let's
celebrate where they are now.
(Student) Go Lucas.<i> (cheering)</i>
(Judy) Progress is small, but letting teachers know that lots
of times things don't have to be big grandiose things.
They can be small things like giving choices to children.
"You can do this, or you can do this." Lots of times it
doesn't matter what the final project is, it's helping the
teacher know whether a child knows a concept or doesn't.
So whether they say it or they write it, they're still letting
the teacher know whether they understand the concept or not.
So for teachers, it's helping us think differently and that's ok.
Because in the end of it, if we frustrate a child then the
child has a melt down and he's or she is frustrated and so
is the teacher, quite frankly, at that point. So by opening
the doors, giving some more choices, then it's a win/win.
The child's dignity is intact, they are able to
be successful and the teacher is feeling successful
at the end of the day to.
(Teacher) Fraser Olympic, Science Olympic Certificates.
This one is for?
(students) Hudson.
Good job, Hudson.<i> (applause)</i>
(Teacher) This one is for?
(Students) Lloyd.
(Teacher) Awesome job, Lloyd.
(Carol) Making them feel like really special people and
that what they do really matters. They feel that and
the more praise you give them, the more confidence they get.
And no one is seen as being unequal in any way.
So everyone's valued, everyone has strengths,
everyone has weaknesses.
♪ ♪