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Year in Review: Did our Actions Make a Difference

As we say goodbye to the 2022-2023 school year, we have taken some time to reflect on if our actions made a difference to our students.

This year, we chose to collect anecdotal evidence through interviewing randomly selected students in grade 4-6. We used questions from the book Developing Tenacity: Teaching learners how to persevere in the face of difficulty by Bill Lucas and Ellen Spencer.

Our questions:

  • What does resilience mean to you?
  • What does perseverance mean to you?
  • Can you think of a time when you were doing a hard thing?  What did you do to finish the task?
  • How good are you at learning from mistakes?
  • Can you give me an example of when you did this?

What we learned from these students we interviewed:

They have a hard time articulating what perseverance and resilience mean, but can show their understanding in the examples they give.

Everyone could think of an example of when they were doing a hard thing. Some of the examples given:

"When I was learning English.  I was not very good. My vocabulary made it hard."

"Learning to swim was hard for me."

"I was playing a new song on the piano."

Some of the strategies shared:

"I kept practicing."

"I asked for help."

"I kept practicing."

"I took deep breaths."

What we noticed

  • The strategies we explicitly taught, named and noticed were the ones most frequently shared by students.
  • Students were very comfortable talking about a hard thing they were learning or had learned.

Next steps

  • Continue to explicitly talk about strategies for working through hard things.
  • Break down the steps we take when we are learning a new skill
  • Have students reflect on their strategies



Updated: Friday, June 30, 2023