Although I knew that a new Ontario Math Curriculum was in the works… I was not expecting it to be launched amidst a pandemic. At first, I was a bit annoyed by some of the changes. It wasn’t until I finished writing this post that I realized that there are a lot more pros than cons. This surprised me! I came up with so many pros that I had to divide it into 3 sections, haha!
If you’re here for the FREE Curriculum Comparison Guide, feel free to scroll down to the bottom of the post. Otherwise, grab a coffee and listen to me babble about my thoughts on the changes! The process of creating the guide allowed me to take a really close look at the new document so I figured I why not blog about it! Here we go…
New Ontario Math Curriculum: PROS
- Layout: I love that the site is dynamic (versus the static, old version). I know others prefer to scroll down a list of expectations, but as they add examples and more resources, having the ability to interact with content that relates to relevant sections will be amazing.
- Compare Grades Feature: I love, love, love, the side by side grade comparisons. That’s all I have to say about that. Just love it.
- The Wording: Now, this wasn’t on my pros list before. But, I reached out to my Facebook page and asked teachers what they liked/disliked. One teacher, Kari, commented about how the wording can open up a ‘variety of ways for students to demonstrate understanding’. Incidentally, this can lead to a variety of ways to assess. She makes a valid point!
- Numbered: I always used to number the old expectations, because it helped me keep track of things. I’m so happy to see that the new expectations are already coded with a number/letter combo (e.g., B1.2, etc.)
- Coding: Curriculum revisions are needed so that the content can reflect current times. Coding is very relevant and I am happy to see it added to the curriculum. It is a new language – and students should become familiar with it. Love this addition!
- Social-Emotional Learning Skills: Students’ attitudes towards math can play a huge role in their success when it comes to tackling complex math concepts. Having this component planted into the new math curriculum serves as a good reminder that as educators, we also need to explicitly teach and model a growth mindset and a positive attitude towards math.
- Financial Literacy: In the younger grades, the focus is still on money concepts. However, when you look at the older grades you see a much-needed focus on concepts like “Financial Management” and “Consumer and Civic Awareness”.
- Some Good Omissions: I can’t recall the last time I had to check a thermometer. With everything moving to digital, this could be a good omission. However, I do think it is still relevant to teach students what symbols like ºC mean, as well as concepts like freezing points and boiling points. But, analyzing whether the mercury is rising or falling probably needed a boot!! So I’m OK with this change.
New Ontario Math Curriculum: CONS
- Some Gaps: I noticed gaps in some expectations from year to year. For instance, now we go from not learning how to tell the time in grade 1 and then right down to the second, in grade 2. I loved how the old curriculum gradually built upon previously taught content from grade to grade – especially for concepts like telling the time. I am a huge believer in the benefits of spiralling content, so this part made me wonder. Overall, it seems like other expectations build upon each other nicely. So this is a medium “con” haha!
- Specific Expectations: The expectations as they are, feel very vague. As stated earlier, this can be a pro, but it can also lead to confused teachers. On the new site, it does say, “Additional teacher supports will be added to the site prior to September”, but it’s not clear if this means that examples will be added to the expectations. I sure hope so!!
- Teacher Prompts: In the past if I was ever confused about an expectation, the teacher prompts always helped guide me. I think this is an important feature. Hopefully, this comes in future edits. 🙂
How to Use my Curriculum Comparison Guide
Whether you love the changes or hate them, either way, we will need to become familiar with the new document. I think my Curriculum Comparison Guide will help you A LOT!
Check out my video to learn more about it, then sign up below to get the Curriculum Comparison Guide delivered to your inbox! I only share these amazing freebies with my email subscribers, so it’s worth it to sign up!
Update: Due to high demand, I will be creating a Grade 5 Comparison Guide. I can not promise when it will be finished, but you can definitely sign up to be on the waitlist!