Promoting and Supporting Teacher and Student Success in Literacy

Name of School:

Springbank Middle

Our school is considered:


In five words or less, describe your prototype

Awareness and Responsibility for Literacy?

Insert an image that showcases your prototype.

How might we?:

support students in increasing their awareness of and sense of responsibility for their own literacy? 

Describe the prototype(s) your school will focus on. Get creative. Be sure to describe the various approaches staff will take, what you will keep your eye on and how staff plan to document their results.

Having literacy as a priority and goal for Springbank Middle School may seem misplaced at the first look at our data.  Students typically do very well when assessed at the provincial level.  This was very evident in our 2019 results. With students who are academically strong across all subject areas, why did the SMS staff embark on a journey to learn about and implement a collaborative response model for literacy, at the middle school level?  


First our feeder school, Ecole Elbow Valley Elementary implemented a collaborative response model and has been using it for a couple of years. They were providing us with an in depth look at each student’s reading behaviours, and both areas of strength and needs. We needed to learn how to use that data.  Second, we needed to address our own approaches to assessment and understanding student reading behaviours, their strengths and needs.


The staff was introduced to the idea of using the RVS comprehension tool to gain better insight around reading behaviours, strategies and understanding. All teachers, across all subject areas were asked to make literacy a priority in their practice. All grade 5 and 6 teachers were asked to learn to use the tool and implement its use in their practice.  Next, timetables were created to allow for a collaborative literacy strategies block for each grade level from 5 to 8.  A daily fifteen-minute literacy block was also included in the schedule to promote our literacy priority and to build reading stamina. This was followed by rolling our collaborative response model up to the grade 7 & 8 levels.


Today teachers and learners in grade 5 and 6 are using the RVS comprehension tools to connect with each other around reading, understanding, strategies and behaviours. Those teachers are connecting with each other to develop collaborative guided reading plans and to assist each other in this work.  At the grade 7 & 8 level teachers are beginning to implement the use of the comprehension tool, some are co or team-teaching and some are collaborating in developing their skill in using a more comprehensive assessment tool for reading.  


Implementation of comprehension assessments requires a significant investment of time and resources. As a result, full implementation at grades 5 and 6, and partial implementation at grades 7 and 8, have been challenging.

The 15-minute reading block is very short, plus it backs onto lunch recess, so some time is lost in that transition.

Support teachers in utilizing the information gained through the comprehension assessments.

Collect some interim data on student reading habits and the impact of the 15-minute daily reading block.

Continue to pursue the possibility of a literacy walk for grade 7 and 8 ELA and FLA teachers.

Provide teachers with digital binders to collect and track literacy data; <font color="#4472c4" size="1">facilitates sharing information

<font color="#4472c4" size="1">with LS, colleagues, other subject teachers and following year teachers.  Provides anecdotal notes for use in assessment and for RTR. 

<font color="#4472c4" size="1">This is underway as of January 30, 2020.

<font color="#4472c4" size="1">Pursue guided reading training for our Learning Support Assistants

Provide more opportunities for teachers to share their successes and challenges in regard to this prototype.

Provide grade teams with a morning or afternoon of team planning in conjunction with their Literacy Strategies collaborative response time.