In our province the English Language Arts curriculum is loaded with numerous outcomes at every grade level. While looking throughthese outcomes last week my attention was drawn to the concept of clarifying and extending thoughts and ideas, which is included throughout the K – 9 Program of Study. In grade 5, for example, students are expected to be able to clarify and extend by:
1. seeking others’ viewpoints to build on personal responses and understanding
2. combining ideas by using talk, notes, and personal writing to explore relationships among their own ideas and those of others, and
3. extending understanding by searching for further ideas and information from others.
Not only are teachers expected to “cover” these (and all other) prescribed outcomes, today we are wanting them to do it in such a way that 21st century competencies are being built at the same time. I blogged about the difficulty with this earlier. What follows is a simple yet innovative example of how these outcomes are being met through competency based learning.