The Kindergarten Program (2016 version) for Ontario early years educators is now available online. This has replaced the 2010 draft version, and from my understanding can begin being used in September.
After my maternity leave ends, I will be returning to a Full-Day Kindergarten homeroom classroom again, and have spoken with the principal about supporting my LTO (long term occasional teacher who is replacing me) in hopes that together we can make the transition a more seamless one for the students. With this in mind, and for my own preparation I am starting to review the training information. Since, I am beginning to wrap my head around it, I thought that I would share my thoughts, interpretation, and new learning on the blog. Perhaps it might require several posts over the Summer months!
It feels exciting to be returning to Kindergarten, during this important year!
Within this post, I will highlight what information is available to help you and you can use these links for further reading.
So first things first... How can you get access to the new program document and supporting documents?
It is located as a pdf on the Edugains website. The exact link for The Kindergarten Program can be accessed by clicking here.
You can also use the Spring 2016 training resources to support your understandings by clicking here.
Similar to some of you, this is my first experience with the new information. I hope that we can learn together! Please note that I did not attend this training in person, and as such have missed a lot of the discussion, expansion of ideas, examples, and handouts.
The powerpoint available to download from the K-3 Regional Capacity Building Spring Sessions entitled, "Support every child, reach every student" focused on the The Kindergarten Program 2016, Growing Success: The Kindergarten Addendum, and The Communication of Learning Templates.
Here is what I discovered from The Ministry of Education online resources for Kindergarten:
What stays the same from the draft document
- belief about children
- play-based and inquiry learning
- inquiry stance
- co-learners and co-constructors of learning
- the environment as third educator
- embedded literacy and mathematics
- moving from a culture of teaching towards a culture of learning
What has changed in the 2016 document
- HTML format - live document with links for supporting materials, educator team reflections, inside the classroom: reflections on practice, professional learning conversations, questions for reflection, misconceptions, resources
- Four frames
- Belonging and Contributing
- Self-Regulation and Well-Being
- Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours
- Problem Solving and Innovation
- Expectations and conceptual understandings - includes overall expectations, conceptual understandings, specific expectations, ways in which children demonstrate their learning, and educator interactions
- Enhanced front matter (all the pages at the front of the document) - communicates the key information, clarifies misconceptions, strengthens and enhances understanding, supports reflective practice and collaborative inquiry
Growing Success: The Kindergarten Addendum can be accessed here.
In Kindergarten, "evaluation involves the judging and interpreting of evidence of learning to determine children's growth and learning in relation to the overall expectations outlined in The Kindergarten Program."
From the powerpoint slide, it looks like our reporting is shifting toward a Kindergarten Communication of Learning with more space to share each student's key learnings, growth, and next steps under the headings from the four frames. Templates can be found under the Appendix section of Growing Success. A description of the four frames is also available.
Some ways to gather evidence:
- What do I know about this child?
- What is the child bringing to Kindergarten from their prior experiences?
- How can I find out?
- Pedagogical Documentation
Key Learning - Refers to the most important or significant skills and/or understandings (knowledge) that the child has demonstrated during the reporting period, using the overall expectations. The educators are encouraged to include their perceptions about the child's interests and learning preferences in their descriptions of key learning.
Growth in Learning - Refers to positive developments in learning that the child has demonstrated over the reporting period, in relation to the overall expectations. Developmental stage, learning trajectory, and/or other individual processes of learning should be taken into account when evaluating and describing growth in learning.
Next Steps in Learning - Refers to ways in which the child can move forward in developing knowledge and skills, in relation to the overall expectations, both at school and at home. Developmental stage, learning trajectory, and/or individual processes of learning should be taken into account when determining next steps in learning.
- links to program expectations
- assessment for learning both at home and at school
- zone of proximal development
- beyond an activity
Some criteria to consider when writing The Kindergarten Communication of Learning:
- postive tone
- clear, concise language
- vocabulary that is easily understood by parents
- personalized, referring to child's learning preferences and interests
Some other resources that I found on the Edugains website:
- Fundamental Principles of Play-Based Learning *The descriptions are very helpful and worth printing out to have up in your classroom!
- Appendix: Overall Expectations with Related Specific Expectations *Also something that I printed. It's a chart with the overall expectations and specifics that pertain to them, as well as a column for each of the four frames that it relates to.
- Summary of Changes to Expectations *This is a comparative chart of the changes from the expectations of the 2010 to the new 2016 and how they align with the four frames.
- Video Resources *Great to view and learn more about the key elements of the full-day kindergarten program.
- Definitions *Key Learning, Growth in Learning, and Next Steps in Learning are defined
- Package Sample Report Card Comments *Each area of the four frames includes some sample comments.
I ended up printing all of these resources! You can also save them as pdf's to refer to at a later date.
I am not sure if hard copies will exist, but I plan to print and bind The Kindergarten Program document at Staples. Call me traditional when it comes to using post-it notes and highlighters! I will also have it on my iPad for all of the embedded links.
Seems as though I have a lot of Summer reading and learning ahead of me! Looking forward to digging into this new learning opportunity.
Have a sunshine-filled day!
In the Kindergarten program,
four "frames," or broad areas of learning,
are used to structure thinking about learning and assessment...
... The frames reflect the integrated way in which learning
occurs during children's play and inquiry in Kindergarten.
(Ontario Ministry of Education, 2016, p. 13)
Ontario Ministry of Education. (2016). EduGains. Retrieved from http://www.edugains.ca/newsite/HOME/index.html
Ontario Ministry of Education. (2016). Growing Success - The Kindergarten Addendum: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/growingSuccessAddendum.html
Ontario Ministry of Education. (2016). The Kindergarten Program. Toronto, ON: Queen's Printer for Ontario.