This summer was a very exciting one because after much anticipation, the Ministry released the new Kindergarten Program as well as Growing Success — The Kindergarten Addendum. Since we’ll be implementing these starting in September, I wanted to take some time before summer ends to read and think about the documents. I’m a social reader (when it comes to professional reading especially), so not only did I read the two documents, but I shared a lot of my thinking, questions, and connections through the Twitter hashtag #framingfdk, which has been used by many to discuss these Kindergarten documents. After three days of curriculum reading, I finished both documents — at least for a first read through — and I thought about all of the great discussions I’ve had online about them. I think that these documents are incredibly powerful, for not only do they share what we need to teach and how we need to assess, but also a shared view of the child — as “competent, curious, and capable of complex thinking” — and a shared pedagogy — with the belief in the value of play-based learning and an inquiry mindset for children and educators.
As someone that’s taught every grade from Kindergarten to Grade 6, I’ve read many curriculum documents in the past, but I will admit, that in most cases, I’ve just looked at the list of overall and specific expectations. I may have skimmed the front matter, but I rarely spent time reading it. After I finished reading these new Kindergarten documents though, I realized just how much I would miss if I only looked at the appendix of expectations. I also realized how many people — from educators to administrators — are trying to do what I did this summer and make sense of these new documents and the philosophy embedded within them. That’s why I decided to Storify all of my tweets and discussions related to this curriculum reading because I’m hoping that they’ll be just a part of more conversations to come.
I wonder what others are thinking about these documents.
- What classroom changes are you considering? Why?
- What excites you about these new documents?
- What benefits do you think that this approach (play-based learning) will have for children?
- What questions or concerns do you have about these new documents?
- How are you planning on collaborating with others on the implementation of these documents?
- I think that there’s an even bigger focus on parent engagement in the new Kindergarten Program 2016. What are some different ways that you hope to engage all parents? What impact do you think that these might have on students?
- How do you plan on approaching prep time? How will prep coverage teachers extend the learning in the classroom, and how will they document this learning? What role might they play in reporting?
These are just some of my bigger questions that I have after reading and thinking about these documents. What are your thoughts and questions? I know that people are tweeting their thinking. I know that Joanne Babalis has already blogged about many of her takeaways. This is now my addition to the growing discussion. I hope that others will blog, tweet (#framingfdk), and/or comment with their thoughts, questions, connections, and ideas, for as we try to make sense of these new documents, it would be great if we could do so together!
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – One Addition
I think that the learning around these documents continue to evolve, and so while I don’t usually update a post after publishing it, I wanted to add this note. After attending an inservice at the Board office today on pedagogical documentation, I had a great discussion with two members of our Early Years Team, Sarah Roarke and Mary Elliott. Our conversation made me think about an important point in the Kindergarten document around teaching, learning, and expectations, and this point led to a number of new questions.
— Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca) August 17, 2016
A special thank you to Nancy Niessen, a retired Kindergarten teacher, for sharing a great modification to my final question.
— Nancy Niessen (@World_of_K) August 17, 2016
Nancy’s question and a message from an educator that I really admire and respect, made me re-think all of my “questions in blue” from yesterday. Here is my updated thinking.
— Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca) August 18, 2016
What are your thoughts on these wonders? Does this way of linking expectations to classroom learning give you other things to think about? I would love to have a conversation around this important topic!