The new elementary math curriculum teaches students fundamental math skills and connects them to real life, to prepare students for learning success, according to the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario. In June 2020, the Ministry of Education released the new digital platform for the elementary mathematics curriculum for grades 1-8. The new mathematics curriculum is part of a four-year math strategy which includes new curriculum content with a digital format, and embedded tools for educators.
Nancy McIntyre, Principal of Curriculum and Crystal Lake, Numeracy Consultant for CDSBEO, provided an overview to Trustees at their recent meeting about the implementation of the new math curriculum. Released in June for implementation in the Fall, the new curriculum, said Ms. McIntyre, provides rich context with clear expectations and teacher supports. It has been 15 years since the Ontario math curriculum had been updated.
“The new curriculum provides rich content and clear expectations, teacher supports as well as real-world examples to help develop cross-curricular connections along with a new focus on re-modelling, coding, financial literacy, infographics and STEM,” noted Principal McIntyre. “Our team continues to develop resources and professional learning to support our educators with these changes.”
Educators from Kindergarten through Grade 8 have participated in a half-day of professional development to help them discover the changes, resources, and expectations around the new curriculum. Teachers also had an opportunity to review and compare the 2005 expectations with the new 2020 expectations, to see what new content was added to the grade they teach.
“Feedback has been very positive, and primary teachers commented on the value of the Financial Literacy curriculum as well as the continuum format, which allows teachers to see learning expectations not only for the grade they are teaching, but also for the grade before, and the grade following,” explained Crystal Lake.
EQAO data collection has demonstrated that students in Grades 4 through 6 experience the most learning challenges in math. In response, the Board has developed a gap-closing resource for SERTS and junior math teachers which provides diagnostics that teachers can use to identify gaps in student understanding. Once identified, the binder provides lesson plans and activities to help build foundational understanding where needed.
The Curriculum Department has also developed a weekly resource for educators which includes engaging activities for student learning around the new Social Emotional Learning strand.
“There is strong evidence that developing social-emotional learning skills at school contributes to all students’ overall health and well-being and to successful academic performance. It also supports positive mental health, as well as students’ ability to learn, build resilience, and thrive,” noted Nancy McIntyre.
Board curriculum consultants will continue to support educators with the development and delivery of the new curriculum content.