Ontario Reveals New Math Curriculum for Elementary School Students

Ontario students who will be returning to elementary school in September through a mix of online and in-class learning will also see a new math curriculum. 

Speaking to Ontarians at Queen’s Park on Tuesday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford alongside the Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced a new “Back to Basics” math curriculum for elementary school students. 

Following with the promises of Premier Doug Ford’s government to update the math curriculum, the revised math education will include financial literacy and coding. 

“When I became Premier, I made a commitment to parents, I promised you that we would get back to basics,” said Premier Doug Ford. 

“I promised our kids would learn the fundamentals once again so they can succeed in today’s world because the system we inherited is failing them.”

“Starting in September, parents can look forward to a math curriculum that not only goes back to basics but equips our next generation of leaders and community builders with the math skills they need to build a bright future for all of us,” said the Premier.

The new math curriculum announced by the Premier and the Minister of Education was said to have been developed after two years of consultations with parents, math educators, academics, and math experts. 

The new math curriculum has been divided into six sections and this is what students will learn when they return to school in September 2020:

Financial Literacy

Between Grades 1 and 8, students will need to demonstrate an understanding of Canadian currency, financial management, and consumer awareness. 

An example of what students will be learning are as follows: 

Grade 1: Students will learn about Canadian coins up to 50 cents and bills up to $50.

Grade 2: Students will identify different ways of representing money up to 200 cents in coins and up to $200 in bills.

Grade 3: Students will estimate and calculate change for simple transactions.

Grade 4: Students will identify various methods of payments, estimate and calculate the cost of items. Students will also learn about the concepts of spending, saving, earning, investing, and donating. 

Grade 5: Students will learn how to estimate and calculate the cost of transactions including taxes, design simple basic budgets, and understand the concepts of credit and debit. 

Grade 6: Students will learn the advantages and disadvantages of payment methods, identify financial goals, and learn about interest rates and fees. 

Grade 7: Students will compare exchange rates, convert foreign currencies, and create a sample budget.

Grade 8: Students will create a financial plan to reach a long-term goal, accounting for income, expenses, and tax implications. 

Socio-emotional learning skills in mathematics and the mathematical processes

This section of the new math curriculum focuses on giving students the confidence needed to learn and think critically. 

Specifically, this section was developed to “promote a positive identity as a math learner”. 

The new math curriculum proposes that this section will help students identify and manage emotions, communicate effectively, and maintain motivation as they work through challenging math problems.

Numbers

The third section of the math curriculum will focus on learning basic math principles including numbers, fractions, percentages, and properties and relationships of numbers. 

Through this new section, students will be expected to develop an understanding of numbers and how they can apply what they learned into everyday life. 

Algebra

In the fourth section of the math curriculum, students will take their understanding of numbers and learn to identify patterns and make predictions. 

Earlier Grade school students will be learning how to determine and identify patterns, solve simple problems, and creating a “computational representation” of mathematical situations by writing code. 

Grade 8 students will be comparing different patterns, determine their pattern rules, evaluate algebraic expressions, and “read and alter existing code” involving analysis of data to inform and communicate decisions. 

Data

The Government of Ontario says that students would be able to “manage, analyze, and use data” to make convincing arguments and informed decisions with a context that is relevant to their daily life. 

Through this section of the curriculum, students will learn the processes involved in data collection, sampling, and organization of data. 

For example, Grade 1 students will learn how to display data set in charts. 

On the other hand, Grade 8 students will be expected to use mathematical language to describe relationships between variables and make arguments.

Spatial Sense

The final section of the new math curriculum focuses on describing and representing shapes, locations, and movement using geometric and spatial properties. 

Students will be able to construct 3D objects, plot and read coordinates, and learn how to measure length, area, and mass.

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