Monday, 16 October 2017

Implementing CRM week 4

Today was our fourth Collaborative Response Model (CRM) meeting. Last week, for the morning of our professional development day we worked together on our Pyramid of Interventions, which we refer to as a Continuum of Supports. We have now discussed the contents of the book. Last year, before summer break, we did an informal look through the book in groups. Some teachers read a chapter or two and some read it in its entirety. I had shared the jigsaw book study guide to use if they wanted, but the purpose was really just to have teachers familiar with the journey we would embark on this year.   
The goal for the meeting today was to reflect on the model thus far, explore the jigsaw  website and Google plus network for supports and new ideas and to continue some work that they had identified week 1. We began the meeting having each member share any thoughts, fears, insights, questions that they may have regarding CRM. Every teacher feels that they have a solid basic, foundational understanding of CRM, but also recognize that we are not even close to being “experts” or even overly confident in what we are doing. Teachers input ranged from “I want to get doing something” to wanting to ensure that we don’t rush anything. Another thing that I learned from the meeting today is the importance of keeping good “team meeting notes.” I had shared a template with each group and had volunteered to be recorder and facilitator, but had forgotten to add some things and the night before our meeting I was unsure where each group was and what they had committed to for this week’s meeting.
At Southview Community School we have three different CRM groups and each is at a different place. No group is ahead of another, they have just taken different paths. One group has decided that they want to do a 10 minute “mindfulness “activity before each meeting to help them “settle their minds” and get prepared to focus on their work. They are not all working on the same thing, but are using one another to collaborate on ideas, another group has focused on assessment and has spent a lot of time working on how to use it to inform practice, a third group is focusing on curriculum as a starting point to develop some literacy resources. They are recording a lesson for feedback, exploring different literary techniques and visiting each other’s classrooms. All three groups are working with one of our district’s Optimal Learning Coaches (OLC) who are referred to as instructional coaches in many other districts.
This week I asked one of the CRM groups to write a reflection from their perspective to share. CRM group # 3 consists of three teachers, Shirma Rose,Cassandra Silver, and Megan Westgarth. They teach grade four, five and six and combined have 24 years teaching experience.  
Our CRM team decided to focus our work around assessment.  We began our journey by administering the Math MIPI school wide. When presented the information about a comprehensive tool that only took 1 hour  to administer and would give us a comprehensive look at how our students are doing overall in math, we knew we had to utilize it in our class and throughout the school. The MIPI results helped identify basic skills our students are lacking in. These results will also drive our
instructional practice this year. After much discussion in our CRM meetings with administration and Michelle, our Optimal Learning Consultant, we decided to create a strong database of math strategies that can be used at all grade levels. Collecting common strategies from K-6 will provide consistency for students as they move throughout the elementary years. Two of our members on our CRM team are also attending a mathematical MIndset Professional development opportunity that is providing us with strategies we want  to offer to our students.  For example, the idea of increasing mental math abilities through daily games, problems and activities.  As a lead CRM team within the school our goal is to ensure we support all teachers with their chosen CRM journey. We will look forward to the triumphs and the challenges we will face as we travel on this exciting road.

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