Key Ideas in the Ontario Curriculum
Elementary: Arts, Language, Social Studies
Primer on Ministry Curriculum in Ontario: PED 3141 Student Resource
How are the Ministry Documents Organized?
Also, there is a very useful Achievement Chart. For the Arts Curriculum, as for Language and Social Studies, there are four categories on the Achievement Chart: Knowledge and Understanding, Thinking, Communication, and Application. These delineate the levels (1,2,3,4) which students are placed in according to the Achievement Chart.
Key Terms to Become Familiar With:
Achievement Levels: Description of the four various levels of achievement. Level 3 is the provincial standard, therefore teachers should model what all levels look like in order to encourage students to meet provincial standards. Readers can see models for each level and strive to achieve higher levels for efficient learning.
Overall Expectations: A few key points that state what students must learn from each subject. For example, the Language Curriculum for Grade 1 states that by the end of Grade 1, students will:
1) listen in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes;
2) use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes;
3) reflect and identify their strengths as listeners and speakers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in oral communication situations.
Readers can have a clear view of what students should be learning and teachers can plan around these objectives to ensure all points are covered.
(The Ontario Curriculum, Language, Ministry of Education, 2006. pg. 36)
Specific Expectations: The specific expectations are categorized into many sections which explain specific elements of the student's learning in that subject. Readers can understand each specific component of the strands.
Strand: Strands are specific categories of subjects that students must learn. Teachers can integrate their lessons with multiple strands in order to cover material more frequently.
Social Studies Curriculum
Social Studies Curriculum
How are these documents made and who makes them?
For more information about the Ministry of Education or FAQs, click here http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/index.html#display
How should overall expectations, fundamental concepts and specific expectations drive lesson design?
For example, in Grade 1 social studies, students examine 2 strands:
A) Heritage and Identity: Our Changing Roles and Responsibilities
B) People and Environments: The Local Community
The overall expectations of application, inquiry, and understanding concepts are used by teachers in lessons with the specific expectations. These should drive teachers' lessons by providing a basis for activities, discussions, reading, writing and much more.
A teacher could for example take strand B (People and Environments) and plan a lesson for specific expectation B.2 by reading a book about people and occupations, which could then lead to discussion about the students' own communities and jobs they observe within them. From this, an activity could be done using concepts from B2.2 (Inquiry: Interrelationships and Their Impact), where the teacher would take a survey about people and their different communities. As an integrative lesson, this activity could include an art project. Using overall expectation D1(Creating and Presenting), students could construct a 2 or 3 dimensional artwork about a rural or urban community. Also the teacher's lesson could include a word bank that is made during discussion about the storybook, which would implement the writing strand of language, specific expectation 3.3 (Vocabulary).
How is student learning in Ontario Assessed?
How Curriculum Documents expect teachers to design learning experiences that are culturally responsive:
Activities implemented by teachers are meant to reflect diversity in Canada, especially throughout the Social Studies curriculum. A good example of a Social Studies activity that could be part of lesson planning would be to read a storybook about multiculturalism and hold a class discussion and survey of different cultures.
Theses lessons plans are to be more than a lesson for students, they should be experiences for students. Students should feel a sense of community and appreciation of cultural aspects of the world.
How Curriculum Documents expect teachers to design instruction so that it meets the needs of every learner:
As the Ontario Curriculum Documents state that all students can succeed and the school support team is dedicated to be active contributors to a student's overall academic success. Also, teachers provide alternate instruction to the lessons, which will enrich the learning opportunity for students with individual education plans as well as other learning needs.
For additional information about planning for special needs children, click here
Ontario Ministry Curriculum Documents
More information about planning for special needs children
Ontario Arts Curriculum
Ontario Language Curriculum
Ontario Social Studies Curriculum