Three subjects in province’s new K-6 curriculum ready for classrooms in September

All K-6 students will learn from new Physical Education and Wellness curriculum starting in September. The province noted that the approach to implementing the new K-6 curriculum is based on insight and advice from the Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group.

Alberta’s Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange said, “these three subjects in Alberta’s new K-6 curriculum are critical starting points that will set students on the best path for success.”

“We heard what Albertans and education system partners told us and, with their insight, we updated Mathematics and English Language Arts and Literature to make sure our youngest students have the literacy and numeracy skills essential for early years learning.”

LaGrange added that, “the Physical Education and Wellness curriculum fulfills our platform commitments of ensuring all elementary school students learn the importance of obtaining and providing consent as well as fundamental financial literacy skills.”

When it is finalized, the new K-6 curriculum will be implemented in three phases. Phase one will start at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. By September 2024, it is expected that all K-6 grades and subjects will be implemented. More information on implementation, further piloting of some subjects and engagement will be on the province’s website as details become available.

Albertans can access the final curriculum and see what has changed through the government’s website.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND LITERATURE CURRICULUM

The English Language Arts and Literature curriculum was refined using feedback from Albertans and partners in the education system, as well as after reviewing research on literacy in young learners.

A recent pilot project conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta and funded by Alberta Education helped inform the curriculum changes as well.

Results showed that 82 per cent of the students who were struggling to read saw major improvements after small group intervention. Resources supported by this research will also be available for curriculum implementation and researchers have continued to work with Alberta Education to advise on and support curriculum development.

George Georgiou led the research and pilot project. Georgiou is a professor in the department of education psychology, faculty of education at the University of Alberta.

He said, “the new English Language Arts and Literature curriculum is grounded in research and allows for explicit and systematic instruction in foundation skills such as phonological awareness, phonics, fluency and vocabulary.”

“These skills set children up for success in comprehension and reading enjoyment.”

FUNDING FOR TEACHERS

The Alberta Government said in 2022-23, $ 59 million is set to be invested in teacher professional learning and teaching resources to ensure teachers and students are equipped for the updated K-6 curriculum.

The funding is part of a $ 191 million investment over three years to support curriculum implementation across the province.

The province is providing the following supports and resources to teachers in Alberta on new.LearnAlberta.ca so they can continue preparing for the school year in September:

  • The final K-3 English Language Arts and Literature, K-3 Mathematics and K-6 Physical Education and Wellness curricula.
  • The Provincial Resource Review Guide, with new guidelines for selecting learning and teaching resources aligned with the new curricula.
  • Additional comprehensive digital resources, such as Gizmos (Explore Learning) and Jump Math, have been procured for use in classrooms.
    • Gizmos supports student learning through 400 labs and interactive simulations.
    • Jump Math provides access to research-supported, comprehensive mathematics resources, including teacher resource guides and lesson slides.
  • Bridging resources to assist with transitioning from the current curricula to the new curricula.
  • Videos and support documents with an overview and orientation to the new curricula.
  • Planning tools, such as sample lesson plans.
  • Functionality that allows for teacher planning, collaborations and sharing (boards).
  • Information about flexible professional learning opportunities that start in May.

School authorities will receive more information directly from Alberta Education to start planning and implementing the curriculum changes for September. They will also have flexibility to select resources to support implementation in their classrooms.

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