Archive for September, 2016

early learning inservice

Posted on: September 8th, 2016 by jnovakowski 3 Comments

Every September, our district hosts an afternoon inservice for our Strong Start facilitators and Kindergarten and K&1 teachers. Our early learning Teacher Consultant Marie Thom organizes this inservice and each year chooses a focus area for professional learning. This year, Marie invited me to share some ideas around early learning in mathematics.

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Richmond educators arrived to inviting tables and displays and gifts. After some welcoming comments, Marie spoke of the importance of infusing joy in our classrooms and to remember to begin with the child in mind.

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It is the only time during the year that all the early learning educators in our district have time together. In many of our schools, there is only one Kindergarten teacher so this is a chance to meet and form collaboration with colleagues across the district. Important to remember is that regardless of which program we teach and learn within Рneighbourhood, Montessori or French Immersion, our focus is on the learner. Also, the curriculum is the curriculum here in BC. We all have the same learning standards and are working together towards the same big ideas.

My segment of the afternoon focused on what I describe of the art of teaching mathematics Рthe intersection between what we are noticing about our students and the curriculum. This intersection is the lived curriculum of the classroom and our role as educators is to focus on a pedagogy of noticing and listening Рbeing present and paying attention to our students and then being responsive. Our afternoon together focused on five key elements of early mathematics: counting, subtilizing, decomposing numbers, spatial sense and patterning.  Pedagogical content knowledge booklets were shared with the attendees. These can be found HERE.

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We looked at big ideas, the key early learning mathematics concepts and how to develop the related curricular competencies through mathematics routines, structures and frameworks. The use of routines is important for so many reasons (and by routines I do not mean the “how we line up” or “how we wash our hands” routines…)…here is the slide where we discussed “why mathematical routines?”

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I shared examples from many Richmond classrooms who have been using three important routines: Counting Collections, Number Talks and Which One Doesn’t Belong.

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Blending the curricular content and competencies, I shared several ideas for mathematical provocations to inspire students’ engagement with mathematics, aligned with the learning standards and goals of the redesigned curriculum.

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We left educators with two questions to think about as they embark on their year with their students:

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~Janice

 

 

 

BC curriculum updates: August 2016

Posted on: September 3rd, 2016 by jnovakowski

Several updates happened to the BC curriculum website over the summer…when teachers are on holidays – so I thought I would put together a summary of the updates and changes with links to items that might be of use and interest.

An Educator Update pdf document was posted on the Ministry website this summer. There is an extensive Q&A section as well as an overview of curriculum updates.

Link to BC Educator Update document – August 2016

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All K-9 Curriculum Frameworks were posted in their final forms, including the recently developed Applied Design, Skills and Technologies curriculum.

K-9 Mathematics

The final updates to the K-9 mathematics curriculum were posted in August, although the BCAMT website has been hosting them for months.

Link to BC K-9 Mathematics Curriculum

The most significant changes the update of the big ideas to be more aligned with the structure of the big ideas in other curricular areas. The big ideas of changed from a two-part big idea (meta big idea and then a grade-specific big idea) to a one-part big idea. Also, elaborations for the big ideas have been added. These elaborations take the form of questions to support student inquiry. See the grade 4 example below:

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10-12 Mathematics

Drafts of the different courses for grades 10-12 mathematics were posted over the summer. They are available in pdf form with and without elaborations.

Link to draft documents for 10-12 Mathematics curriculum courses

The Ministry and curriculum development teams are asking for feedback on the 10-12 drafts. You can submit feedback here:

Link to online feedback form for 10-12 curriculum

 

Instructional Samples

K-9 Instructional Samples were posted over the summer. These samples have been submitted, invited or developed by the Ministry to support teachers as they enact the redesigned curriculum in their classrooms. There are some samples from Richmond included.

Link to Instructional Samples

 

Interim Reporting Order

The much anticipated interim reporting order was released mid-August. This is a one-year interim order as the Ministry seeks more parental consultation regarding report cards. We had hoped to get this information in the spring so plans could be in place for the start of the school year. Districts will now need to make a decision in how to enact the reporting order and decide which format of reporting/report card to use this year.

One of the “new” but not surprising components of the order is that all students from K-9 will do a student self -assessment of core-competencies that will be included in their summative report at the end of the school year. Until we know for sure what the format for that will be in our district, it is important that throughout the year that we notice, name and nurture the core competencies in our classrooms so that students develop an awareness of the language associated with them so that the self-assessments can be meaningful.

More detailed information can be found here:

Interim Ministerial Order on Student Reporting

Information about the principles of quality assessment has been on the curriculum website since its inception. The “report card” is just a means of documenting and sharing assessment and evaluation evidence – what we really need to devote our energies to is creating meaningful assessment tools and practices that are aligned with the goals of the redesigned curriculum.

Principles of Quality Assessment – link to BC curriculum website

It’s an exciting year for teachers and students in BC. We have been playing with/piloting aspects of the redesigned curriculum here in Richmond for three years now and I know that we are able to embrace and enact this curriculum together.

~Janice