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Westminster's Intensive Comprehension Project ICP

Over the last few weeks our school has been participating in an innovative project in an attempt to increase the comprehension skills of our students. We call it ICP, Intensive Comprehension Project.  At Westminster we believe that all our students are everyone's responsibility and we all work together to support their academic, social and emotional growth. 

With that view in mind, all students were grouped according to the comprehension skill that they have been finding most challenging i.e. summarizing, literal comprehension, reflection, interpretation or metacognition awareness. We mixed up and combined students from different classrooms and grades in same-ability, cross-grade groupings, at the primary grades, junior grades and intermediate grades. We created smaller groups taught by different teachers that they may not have worked with before (Mrs. Joseph, the principal even taught a group!). For four lessons we focussed on providing clear explicit instruction on the reading strategy through modelled reading, discussions, shared writing and descriptive feedback to increase each child's understanding of the reading strategy and enhance their comprehension of the text. 

Honouring our students' voice we also asked for their feedback about this initiative. Overwhelmingly, our students told us that they found the experience interesting, exciting and helpful to their understanding. Preliminary results, of their final independent responses have shown a large majority of students improved in their achievement in their area of focus.That's very encouraging!!  Why don't you ask your children who their teacher was for ICP and how they liked it?           

This project was proposed to our Superintendent who supported this initiative by providing us with funding to allow for professional dialogue and planning time. 

We are now working on ICP Part 2 where we will be be extending our students' new comprehension skills to help them understand math problems. Our hope is that by improving their literacy comprehension skills we will help them improve their math comprehension skills as well. Going forward, we will be analyzing the data collected for this research project to see if we were able to make a sustained impact on our student's comprehension skills. 

We at Westminster are always pushing our own professional learning to provide the best possible educational strategies for our students. In this way, we are developing our own growth mindsets in the hope of benefitting your children. We thank the staff at Westminster for their dedication to their professional growth and to our students.   


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