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Action research is a process in which a question, arising from data, is the focus for all staff for at least a year. (Sharratt & Fullan, 2012, p. 202)

Beliefs are our assumptions and convictions that are held to be true: they ground our understanding and reflect what we value.

Collaborative inquiry is when teachers work together to define problems, co-plan, co-teach, co-monitor and interpret outcomes and then consider the next steps together.

Cross-curricular literacy occurs when literacy curriculum expectations or concepts or skills are specifically taught in the subject areas. (Sharratt & Fullan, 2012, p. 205)

Climate is the state of collective interpersonal relationships at a school in the moment. (Collins & Portner, 2014)

Culture is a combination of the relationships, beliefs, values, interactions, trust levels and collaboration that shape and influence the whole school community that works together to increase effectiveness, efficiency and enjoyment for staff, students and their families. (Routman, 2014)

Diagnostic assessment is used to determine an individual’s understanding of language concepts and ability to use language skills and strategies. These assessments allow the teacher to determine how to build or deepen the student’s understanding of the concepts, skills or strategies. Diagnostic assessments include miscue analysis, informal inventories and individual reading, listening, speaking, writing, viewing and representing tasks. (English Language Arts: A Curriculum Guide for the Elementary Level (K-5), 2002)

Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) – The ESSP, developed collaboratively with public school divisions, Catholic school divisions, Conseil des écoles fransaskoises, First Nations, Métis, Ministry of Education, school boards and students, provides short and long term outcome goals for education leading up to 2020. It is the action plan that will prioritize and deploy the work the sector needs to do in order to achieve the common goal of supporting every student to reach their full potential, as well as fulfilling the targets in the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth.

First Nation education organizations – This term has been used to refer to the First Nation schools and Tribal Councils in Saskatchewan.

Formative assessments (assessment of learning) involves the use of information about student progress to support and improve student learning and inform instructional practices. Formative assessment is teacher driven  for student, teacher and parent use. It occurs throughout the teaching and learning process, uses a variety of tools and engages teachers in providing differentiated instruction and feedback to students to enhance their learning. Formative assessment provides information to parents in support of learning. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)

Instructional approaches are curriculum-related professionally informed decisions teachers purposefully implement to enhance learning opportunities for students. Approaches may include instructional models, strategies, skills, methods, etc. used to meet the needs and styles of all students. (Saskatchewan Instructional Approaches, 1991)

Instructional capacity is an investment in the development of the knowledge, skills and competencies of individuals and groups to focus on assessment literacy and instructional effectiveness that leads to school improvement. (Sharratt & Fullan, 2009, p. 8)

Instructional walk is an intentional informal visit (not evaluation) by the principal to a teacher’s classroom to notice, record and affirm strengths, build trust, offer possible suggestions or coach-all for the purpose of
increasing student literacy and learning across the curriculum. (Routman, 2014, p. 306)

Interventions involve more intensive or supported instruction, beyond whole group classroom instruction, provided to small groups or individual students who need extra support with an aspect of their learning. (Saskatchewan Reads, 2015)

Job embedded professional learning is the collaborative and ongoing sharing of knowledge grounded in inquiry and reflection. It is supported by modelling, coaching and solving of problems so teachers can implement their new learning and sustain changes in practice. (Ontario Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, 2006)

Literacy lead refers to an individual who is responsible for supporting the implementation of Saskatchewan Reads within the system reading plan.

Literacy teams consist of teams of teachers and leaders who come together on a regular basis to influence and improve teaching effectiveness and student learning. Effective school-based PLC’s are literacy focused meetings where participants collaboratively view, discuss, read, study, analyze, reflect, plan and apply effective reading and writing practices across the curriculum in their own classrooms. (Routman, 2014) Page 59

Levelled texts are texts that have literary merit and are suitable for the age, skill level and social maturity of students. Teachers typically use the following criteria to level texts: content and sophistication, length of text,
sentence length and structure (pattern), vocabulary difficulty (sight words), predictability, illustration support. (English Language Arts: A Curriculum Guide for the Elementary Level (K-5), 2002)

Observational inquiries (usually made during instructional walks) involve non-judgmental surveying of observable classroom practices. They are used to engage principals and teachers in dialogue and reflection about teaching practices and school-wide goals.

Reading behaviours are the essential tools (e.g. oral language, print concepts, phonemic awareness, letter sound relationships, vocabulary, semantics and syntax, metacognition) students need to actively engage with content, construct meaning, and grow their comprehension of big ideas in the world. These skills are not taught in insolation; they are interrelated components that support and build on each other.

Responsive instruction promotes the intellectual, social, physical and emotional development of all students. Responsive instruction adapts to students’ needs and presents students with a variety of developmental  experiences, learning experiences and supports to advance their learning potential. Responsive instruction incorporates curriculum, instruction and assessment to support all students to achieve the knowledge, skills  and attitudes required to succeed in school and in life. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)

Self-assessment (assessment as learning) actively involves student reflection on learning, monitoring of her/his own progress. Self-assessment supports students in critically analyzing learning related to curricular outcomes, is student-driven with teacher guidance and occurs throughout the learning process. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)

School administrator refers to the in-school principal or vice-principal. (School Improvement Planning, 2000)

School improvement plan is a road map that sets out the changes a school needs to make to improve the level of student achievement and shows how and when these changes will be made.

Strategy is a systematic plan for solving a problem or executing a task. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)

Summative assessments (assessment of learning) involves the teacher’s use of evidence of student learning to make judgments about student achievement. Summative assessment provides opportunity to report evidence of achievement related to curricular outcomes, occurs at the end of a learning cycle, uses a  variety of tools and provides the foundation for discussions on placement or promotion. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)

Teacher leader refers to teachers who have an informal role as literacy leaders within the school.

Text(s) is any form of communication, whether visual, oral, written or multimedia (including digital media), that constitutes a coherent, identifiable unit or artifact (e.g. poem, poster, conversation or model) with  a definable communicative function. It refers to visual communications such as illustrations, video and computer displays, oral communications, (including conversations), speeches, dramatizations and printed
communications in their varied forms. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)

Tier one intervention is embedded within effective instructional approaches. It builds on student strengths and creates a foundation for further learning and achievement. Instruction may occur in whole group, small group or individual settings. Students are assessed often and student progress is monitored regularly. (Saskatchewan Reads, 2015)

Tier two intervention identifies students through ongoing and frequent informative and summative assessment. Students receive additional opportunities to improve comprehension, fluency and engagement in small  groups. Instruction is targeted and short term. The goal of tier two intervention is for students to be engaged readers who read fluently, comprehend grade level text and who no longer require support. Saskatchewan  Reads, 2015)

Tier three intervention involves planning by a school based team along with specialists (Speech and Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Educational Psychologist) who determine necessary further assessment and plan for intensive individual programming. An action plan is implemented that meets the need of the individual student. (Saskatchewan Reads, 2015)

Triangulated data means using three different sources of data, including conversations, products and observations, to ensure sufficient proof of a student’s learning and an accurate description of a student’s progress. (Saskatchewan Reads, 2015)