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Chief Tomat Elementary
Home of the Wolverines
Our Learning Plan


  • "One thing"

    • In April of 2018, staff and parents where asked to respond on three questions:
      • What's one thing you are proud of at Chief Tomat Elementary School
      • What's one thing that you would like to grow?
      • What's one thing that we should know?
    • Based on this feedback and an Appreciate Iquiry model, we have come up with the following to represent our growth for the 2018/2019 school year
      • The circle in the center represents what we are proud of at CTE
      • The four cicles on the outside represent areas we would like to grow
      • The notes represent specific topics of focus
One thing.pdf
  • Finding Joy

    • Education should be a joyful experience.  In order to find joy, we believe that our students need to find their "flow" 
      • We will use the following chart as a way to assess our students, as well for our students to assess themselves, to determine if they are in the "flow," which in turn will make their education experience more joyful

  • Creating a Culture of Character

    • Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed, makes the case that character traits such as grit, curosity, conscientiousness, and optimism are more vital to suceess than IQ.  What's more, he suggests that these traits can be taught to children not only by their parents but by their teachers, coaches and mentors.
      • How do we find joy and flow?  Our inquiry question we want to explore in the upcoming years:  Is creating a culture of character the key to success?
    • We will use the KIPP model of the Seven Character Counts as a starting point: Grit, Zest, Self-Control, Optimism, Gratitude, Social Intelligence, and Curiosity

2016/17 Learning Journey (Evidence)

  • Implementing Redesigned Curriculum

    • CTE staff have invested significantly in learning/implementing the redesigned curriculum
    • Implementation Day: Collaborating with ILT (Instructional Leadership Team) and Glenrosa Elementary Staff - integration of provocation tables, science and language arts
    • scaledILT Photo 1.jpg
    • Implementation Day: Inclusive Planning Model (Shelley Moore)
    • scaledILT Photo 2.jpg scaledMoore planning 3.jpg scaledMoore planning 2.jpg

  • Early Literacy Intervention

    • Small group instruction and intervention driven by Early Learning Profile data
  • Intermediate Math Lab

    • Small group instruction and intervention driven by Early Learning Profile data

The purpose of the Learning Plan page is to synthesize the outcomes of each phase of inquiry from a school perspective. The criteria for each phase have been provided below to guide the description of the work in each phase.


  • Scanning involves:

    • A wide perspective on learning, informed by learning principles (OECD)
    • Finding out what learners think and feel about their learning and
    • what their families and communities perceive about their learning
  • Scanning is NOT:

    • seeking evidence to reinforce the status quo
    • Only looking at aspects of academic learning that are easily mesaured
    • exclusively what the professionals think


  • Focusing involves:

    • Using information from the scan to identify an area for concentrated team learning
    • Gathering more information if you need it to understand the situation
    • Building on strengths or positives, as well as clarifying challenges
    • Identifying a common area that the team can work on together
  • Focusing is NOT:

    • The time to introduce completely new areas disconnected from the scanning process
    • About assuming you have it all figured out and don’t need to investigate any further
    • Just about problems or challenges
    • About everyone choosing his/her own area of interest

Developing a Hunch

  • Developing a hunch involves:

    • Getting deeply held beliefs and assumptions out on the table about your own practices
    • Focusing on things your team can do something about
    • Checking your assumptions for accuracy before moving ahead
  • Developing a hunch is NOT:

    • A general brainstorm of all possibilities
    • Being obsessed with the actions of others or with issues over which you have limited influence 
    • Venting about the past, fuming about the present, or finding someone to blame


  • New Learning is:

    • Tailored to the situation
    • Directly linked to the focus identified earlier in the spiral
    • Exploratory—testing how new approaches could be better than previous practices
    • Sustained and supported over time
  • New Learning is NOT:

    • Pursuing the latest trends 
    • Disconnected from the context
    • Uncritically adopting new ways without understanding the purpose
    • A short-term or quick fix

Taking Action

  • Taking action involves:

    • Learning more deeply about new ways of doing things and then trying them out
    • Evaluating the impact on learners and seeking their feedback
    • Building trust and cultivating a growth mindset
  • Taking action is NOT:

    • Trying something new without considering its value and relevance in your situation
    • Implementing without monitoring the effects on learners
    • Assuming everyone feels OK about the change


  • Checking involves:

    • Knowing what you want to accomplish for your learners and having specific ways to determine how you are doing—early in the inquiry process
    • Setting high expectations that your actions will make a substantial difference for ALL learners
    • Setting the stage for what comes next
  • Checking is NOT:

    • A routine to follow at the end
    • Seeking some difference for some learners
    • Judging the capacity of learners to succeed
    • Justifying your actions