Our theory of assessment and evaluation follows the Ministry of Education's Growing Success document, and it is our firm belief that doing so is in the best interests of students. We seek to design assessment in such a way as to make it possible to gather and show evidence of learning in a variety of ways to gradually release responsibility to the students, and to give multiple and varied opportunities to reflect on learning and receive detailed feedback.
Growing Success articulates the vision the Ministry has for the purpose and structure of assessment and evaluation techniques. There are seven fundamental principles that ensure best practices and procedures of assessment and evaluation by The Educators Academy teachers. The Educators Academy’s assessments and evaluations are,
are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French)
are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the course and at other points throughout the school year or course;
are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.
The following types of activities will be used to assess student learning: these fall under the assessments for and as learning and do not contribute directly to the student’s overall marks:
Group Analysis of a Text
Creating a Plot Synopsis of a text
Practice Oral Presentations
Peer Revision (written material)
Self Assessment Checklists
The following activities conducted throughout the course will be used as part of the student’s Assessment of Learning evaluation
Written Texts (Expository Paragraph, Literary Essays, articles)
Observation of Class
Media Creation -Media Analysis -Text Analysis
The Educators Academy will ensure that student’s work is assessed and/or evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories.
Knowledge and Understanding (K/U)
Thinking and Inquiry (T/I)
Student achievement is communicated formally to students and parents by means of the Provincial Report Card. The report card provides a record of the student’s achievement of the curriculum expectations in every course, at particular points in the school year or semester, in the form of a percentage grade. Report cards are issued upon completion of the course. Each report card will focus on related aspects of student achievement. The percentage grade will represent the quality of the student’s overall achievement of the expectations for the course and will reflect the corresponding level of achievement. The Educators Academy will record a final grade for every course, and a credit is granted for the course in which the student’s grade is 50% or higher.
Final Assessment and Evaluation = 100%
The teacher will also provide written comments concerning the student's strengths, areas for improvement, and next steps (E–Excellent, G–Good, S–Satisfactory, N–Needs Improvement). The report card will indicate whether an OSSD credit has been earned or not. Upon completion of a course, The Educators Academy will send a copy of the report card back to the student's home school where the course will be added to the ongoing list of courses on the student's Ontario Student Transcript. The report card will also be sent to the student's home address for parents’ communication.
Evaluation Instruments/ Strategies:
Checklist Project Work
Assessment and Evaluation:
Final Assessment and Evaluation = 100%
Achievement Chart – English ENG4U, Grades 11-12
Teaching & Learning Strategies:
Students are exposed to a variety of genres throughout the course and develop skills to analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of texts which may include poems, short stories, novels, non-fiction texts, plays, videos, and songs or other media texts from a wide range of cultures and time periods. Students identify and use various strategies including building vocabulary, learning to understand and use features and organization of texts, and developing knowledge of conventions. Throughout the course, students develop into stronger readers, writers, and oral communicators while making connections to the workplace and international events.
High-quality instructions for English Curriculum will include the following:
Instruction that is guided by formative assessment that takes into consideration students’ strengths and addresses their learning needs.
Instructions that clarify the purpose for learning and helps students activate prior knowledge.
Instruction that is differentiated to meet individual and small group needs.
Instruction that models learning strategies and encourages students to talk and reflect on their thinking and learning processes.
Instruction that introduces a rich variety of activities that integrate expectations and provides explicit teaching of knowledge and skills.
Instruction that provides opportunities for guided and independent practice.
Instruction that encourages higher-level thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation).
Instruction that encourages students to think about fairness, equity, social justice, and citizenship in a global society.
Some other teaching strategies may include:
Discovery Method Concept Teaching
Cooperative Learning Classroom Discussion
Portfolios and Narrative Description
Submission of Assignments
All assignments should be submitted for grading on the stated due date.
Any late assignments may be subjected to a 10% penalty.
Work not submitted within 5 school days after the stated due date will be assigned a mark of 0.
If a student is ill or away for a documented reason, all assignments must be submitted upon return to class, unless arrangements are negotiated with the teacher.
It is vital that the student realize the potential consequences of incomplete work and absences, including failure to gain the credit for the course. It is the responsibility of the student to catch up on all work missed from being absent.
Program Planning Considerations
The English curriculum is based on the premise that all students can be successful language learners. One of the keys to student success in mastering language skills is high-quality instruction.
At The Educators Academy we provide quality instruction respect students’ strengths and address their learning needs, using assessment information to plan instruction. They clarify the purpose for learning, help students activate prior knowledge, and differentiate instruction for individual students and small groups according to need. Teachers at The Educators Academy explicitly teach and model learning strategies and encourage students to talk through their thinking and learning processes. They also provide many opportunities for students to practise and apply their developing knowledge and skills.
Effective teaching approaches involve students in the use of higher-level thinking skills and encourage them to look beyond the literal meaning of texts and to think about fairness, equity, social justice, and citizenship in a global society.
Motivating students and instilling positive habits of mind, such as a willingness and determination to persist, to think and communicate with clarity and precision, to take responsible risks, and to question and pose problems, are also integral to high-quality language instruction.
Language is best learned through activities that present stimulating ideas, issues, and themes that are meaningful to students. Since no single instructional approach can meet all the needs of each learner, we select classroom activities that are based on an assessment of students’ individual needs, proven learning theory, and best practices. At The Educators Academy, teachers introduce a rich variety of activities that integrate expectations from different strands and provide for the explicit teaching of knowledge and skills. They also provide frequent opportunities for students to rehearse, practise, and apply skills and strategies, and to make their own choices.
Planning Program for Special Education Needs
The Educators Academy classroom teachers are the key educators of students who have special education needs. They have a responsibility to help all students learn, and they work collaboratively with special education teachers, where appropriate, to achieve this goal.
The Educators Academy is committed to ensuring that all students, especially those with special education needs, are provided with the learning opportunities and supports they require to gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to succeed in a rapidly changing society. The context of special education and the provision of special education programs and services for exceptional students in Ontario are constantly evolving.
The Educators Academy believes that:
All students can succeed.
Universal design and differentiated instruction are effective and interconnected means of meeting the learning or productivity needs of any group of students.
Successful instructional practices are founded on evidence-based research, tempered by experience.
Classroom teachers are key educators for a student’s literacy and numeracy development.
Each student has his or her own unique patterns of learning.
Classroom teachers need the support of the larger community to create a learning environment that supports students with special education needs.
Fairness is not sameness.
At The Educators Academy, students may demonstrate a wide range of learning styles and needs. Teachers plan programs that recognize this diversity and give students performance tasks that respect their particular abilities so that all students can derive the greatest possible benefit from the teaching and learning process. The use of flexible groupings for instruction and the provision of ongoing assessment are important elements of programs that accommodate a diversity of learning needs.
In planning English courses for students with special education needs, our teachers will begin by examining the current achievement level of the individual student, the strengths and learning needs of the student, and the knowledge and skills that all students are expected to demonstrate at the end of the course, in order to determine which of the following options is appropriate for the student:
no accommodations or modifications; or
accommodations only; or
modified expectations, with the possibility of accommodations; or
alternative expectations, which are not derived from the curriculum expectations for a course and which constitute alternative programs and/or courses.
There are three types of accommodations:
Instructional accommodations are changes in teaching strategies, including styles of presentation, methods of organization, or use of technology and multimedia.
Environmental accommodations are changes that the student may require in the classroom and/or school environment, such as preferential seating or special lighting.
Assessment accommodations are changes in assessment procedures that enable the student to demonstrate his or her learning, such as allowing additional time to complete tests or assignments or permitting oral responses to test questions
If a student requires “accommodations only” in English courses, assessment and evaluation of his or her achievement will be based on the appropriate course curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in this document. The IEP box on the student’s Provincial Report Card will not be checked, and no information on the provision of accommodations will be included.
Program Considerations for English Language Learners
Ontario schools have some of the most multilingual student populations in the world. The first language of approximately 20 per cent of the students in Ontario’s English language schools is a language other than English. Ontario’s linguistic heritage includes several Aboriginal languages; many African, Asian, and European languages; and some varieties of English, such as Jamaican Creole. Many English language learners were born in Canada and raised in families and communities in which languages other than English were spoken, or in which the variety of English spoken differed significantly from the English of Ontario classrooms. Other English language learners arrive in Ontario as newcomers from other countries; they may have experience of highly sophisticated educational systems, or they may have come from regions where access to formal schooling was limited.
When they start school in Ontario, many of these students are entering a new linguistic and cultural environment. All teachers share in the responsibility for their English language development.
English language learners (students who are learning English as a second or additional language in English-language schools) bring a rich diversity of background knowledge and experience to the classroom. These students’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds not only support their learning in their new environment but also become a cultural asset in the classroom community. Teachers at The Educators Academy find positive ways to incorporate this diversity into their instructional programs and into the classroom environment.
Most English language learners in Ontario schools have an age-appropriate proficiency in their first language. Although they need frequent opportunities to use English at school, there are important educational and social benefits associated with continued development of their first language while they are learning English. Our teachers also encourage parents to continue to use their own language at home in rich and varied ways as a foundation for language and literacy development in English. The Educators Academy teachers find opportunities to bring students’ languages into the classroom, using parents and community members as a resource.
During the start of education at The Educators Academy, English language learners receive support through one of two distinct programs from our teachers who are specialized in meeting their language-learning needs:
English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are for students born in Canada or newcomers whose first language is a language other than English, or is a variety of English significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools.
In planning programs for students with linguistic backgrounds other than English, teachers at The Educators Academy recognize the importance of the orientation process, understanding that every learner needs to adjust to the new social environment and language in a unique way and at an individual pace. For example, students who are in an early stage of English-language acquisition may go through a time during which they closely observe the interactions and physical surroundings of their new learning environment. They use body language rather than speech or they use their first language until they have gained enough proficiency in English to feel confident of their interpretations and responses. Students thrive in a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment that nurtures their self-confidence while they are receiving focused literacy instruction. When they are ready to participate, in paired, small-group, or whole-class activities, some students begin by using a single word or phrase to communicate a thought, while others speak quite fluently.
Responsibility for students’ English-language development is shared by our classroom teacher, our ESL teacher and other staff at The Educators Academy. Sometimes volunteers and peers are helpful in supporting English language learners in the language classroom. Teachers at The Educators Academy adapted the instructional program in order to facilitate the success of these students in their classrooms. Appropriate adaptations include:
modification of some or all of the subject expectations so that they are challenging but attainable for the learner at his or her present level of English proficiency, given the necessary support from the teacher;
use of a variety of instructional strategies (e.g., extensive use of visual cues, graphic organizers, scaffolding; previewing of textbooks, pre-teaching of key vocabulary; peer tutoring; strategic use of students’ first languages);
use of a variety of learning resources (e.g., visual material, simplified text, bilingual dictionaries, and materials that reflect cultural diversity);
use of assessment accommodations (e.g., granting of extra time; use of oral interviews, demonstrations or visual representations, or tasks requiring completion of graphic organizers or cloze sentences instead of essay questions and other assessment tasks that depend heavily on proficiency in English).
Helping students become environmentally responsible is a role assumed by The Educators Academy. Good curriculum design following the resource document - The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9-12: Environmental Education, Scope and Sequence of Expectations, 2011, assisted The Educators Academy staff to weave environmental education in and out of the course content. This ensures that the student will have opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills, perspectives and practices needed to become an environmentally literate citizen. The course will provide opportunities for each student to address environmental issues in their home, in their local community, or even at the global level.
Anti Discrimination Education
The implementation of antidiscrimination principles in education influences all aspects of school life. It promotes a school climate that encourages all students to work to high standards, affirms the worth of all students, and helps students strengthen their sense of identity and develop a positive self-image. Antidiscrimination education encourages students to think critically about themselves and others in the world around them in order to promote fairness, healthy relationships, and active, responsible citizenship.
The Educators Academy ensures that school-community interaction reflects the diversity in the local community and wider society. Consideration is given to a variety of strategies for communicating and working with parents and community members from diverse groups, in order to ensure their participation in such school activities as plays, concerts, and teacher interviews. Families new to Canada, who may be unfamiliar with the Ontario school system, may need special outreach and encouragement in order to feel comfortable in their interactions at The Educators Academy.
Learning resources that reflect the broad range of students’ interests, backgrounds, cultures, and experiences are an important aspect of an inclusive English program in The Educators Academy. In such a program, learning materials involve protagonists of both sexes from a wide variety of backgrounds. Teachers at The Educators Academy routinely use materials that reflect the diversity of Canadian and world cultures, including those of contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, and make them available to students. Short stories, novels, magazine and newspaper articles, television programs, and films provide opportunities for students to explore issues relating to their self-identity. In The Educators Academy’s inclusive programs, students are made aware of the historical, cultural, and political contexts for both the traditional and non-traditional gender and social roles represented in the materials they are studying.
Stories, novels, informational texts, and media works relating to the immigrant experience provide rich thematic material for study, as well as the opportunity for students new to Canada to share their knowledge and experiences with others. In addition, in the context of the English program, both students and teachers at The Educators Academy become aware of aspects of intercultural communication – for example, by exploring how different cultures interpret the use of eye contact and body language in conversation and during presentations.
The Educators Academy ensures that resources should be chosen not only to reflect diversity but also on the basis of their appeal for both girls and boys in the classroom. According to some different recent researches, many boys are interested in informational materials, such as manuals and graphic texts, as opposed to works of fiction, which are often more appealing to girls. Both sexes read Internet materials, such as website articles, e-mail, and chat messages, outside the classroom. Our teachers use a number of useful literacy strategies that focus on engaging boys in reading and writing and that can enhance the learning environment for both female and male students.
The development of critical thinking skills is integral to the English curriculum. In the context of what is now called “critical literacy”, these skills include the ability to identify perspectives, values, and issues; detect bias; and read for implicit as well as overt meaning. In the English program, at The Educators Academy, students develop the ability to detect negative bias and stereotypes in literary texts and informational materials. When using biased informational texts, or literary works containing negative stereotypes, for the express purpose of critical analysis, our teachers take into account the potential negative impact of bias on students and use appropriate strategies to address students’ responses.
Critical literacy also involves asking questions and challenging the status quo, and leads students to look at issues of power and justice in society. The program at The Educators Academy empowers students by enabling them to express themselves and to speak out about issues that strongly affect them.
Literature studies and media studies also afford both students and teachers at The Educators Academy a unique opportunity to explore the social and emotional impact of bullying, violence, and discrimination in the form of racism, sexism, or homophobia on individuals and families. Teachers at The Educators Academy help students to link the understanding they gain in this regard to messages conveyed through the school’s antibullying and violence-prevention programming.
Critical Thinking and Critical Literacy in English
Critical thinking is the process of thinking about ideas or situations in order to understand them fully, identify their implications, make a judgement, and/or guide decision making. Critical thinking includes skills such as questioning, predicting, analysing, synthesizing, examining opinions, identifying values and issues, detecting bias, and distinguishing between alternatives. At The Educators Academy, students are taught these skills so they become critical thinkers who can move beyond superficial conclusions to a deeper understanding of the issues they are examining. After this, they are also able to engage in an inquiry process in which they explore complex and multifaceted issues, and questions for which there may be no clear-cut answers.
Students use critical-thinking skills in The Educators Academy course for English when they assess, analyse, and/or evaluate the impact of something and when they form an opinion about something and support that opinion with a rationale. In order to think critically, students need to examine the opinions and values of others, detect bias, look for implied meaning, and use the information gathered to form a personal opinion or stance, or a personal plan of action with regard to making a difference. In this way, students approach critical thinking in various aspects. Some students find it helpful to discuss their thinking, asking questions and exploring ideas. Other students may take time to observe a situation or consider a text carefully before commenting; they prefer not to ask questions or express their thoughts orally while they are thinking.
The development of these critical-thinking skills is supported in the English course at The Educators Academy. As students work to achieve the curriculum expectations in their particular course, our students frequently need to identify the possible implications of choices. As they gather information from a variety of sources, they are able to interpret what they are listening to, reading, or viewing; to look for instances of bias; and to determine why a source might express a particular bias.
Literacy, Mathematical Literacy and Investigation (Inquiry Skills)
Literacy, mathematical literacy, and inquiry/research skills are critical to students’ success in all subjects of the curriculum and in all areas of their lives.
The acquisition and development of literacy skills is clearly the focus of the English curriculum at The Educators Academy, but the English program also builds on, reinforces, and enhances mathematical literacy. For example, clear, concise communication often involves the use of diagrams, charts, tables, and graphs, and the English curriculum emphasizes students’ ability to interpret and use graphic texts.
Inquiry is at the heart of learning in all subject areas at The Educators Academy. In English courses, students are encouraged to develop their ability to ask questions and to explore a variety of possible answers to those questions. As they advance through the grades, they acquire the skills to locate relevant information from a variety of sources, such as books, newspapers, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, interviews, videos, and the Internet. The questioning they practised in the early grades becomes more sophisticated as they learn that all sources of information have a particular point of view and that the recipient of the information has a responsibility to evaluate it, determine its validity and relevance, and use it in appropriate ways. The ability to locate, question, and validate information allows a student to become an independent, lifelong learner.
The Role of a Library
The school library program can help to build and transform students’ knowledge to support lifelong learning in our information- and knowledge-based society. The Educators Academy supports student success across the language curriculum by encouraging students to read widely, teaching them to read for understanding and enjoyment, and helping them to improve their research skills and to use information gathered through research effectively.
The Educators Academy library program enables students to:
develop a love of reading for learning and for pleasure;
acquire an understanding of the richness and diversity of literary and informational texts produced in Canada and around the world;
obtain access to programs, resources, and integrated technologies that support all curriculum areas;
understand and value the role of public library systems as a resource for lifelong learning.
Our classroom teachers develop, teach, and provide students with authentic information and research tasks that foster learning, including the ability to:
locate, select, gather, critically evaluate, create, and communicate information;
use the information obtained to solve problems, make decisions, build knowledge, create personal meaning, and enrich their lives;
communicate their findings for different audiences, using a variety of formats and technologies;
use information and research with understanding, responsibility, and imagination.
The Role of Information and Communication Technology
Information and communications technologies (ICT) provide a range of tools that can significantly extend and enrich teachers’ instructional strategies and support students’ language learning. ICT tools include multimedia resources, databases, Internet websites, digital cameras, and word-processing programs. Tools such as these can help students to collect, organize, and sort the data they gather and to write, edit, and present reports on their findings. Information and communications technologies can also be used to connect students to other schools, at home and abroad, and to bring the global community into the local classroom.
At The Educators Academy, therefore, according to the needs of students, they are encouraged to use ICT to support and communicate their learning. For example, students working individually or in groups use computer technology and/or Internet websites to gain access to museums and archives in Canada and around the world.
At The Educators Academy teachers will find the various ICT tools useful in their teaching practice, both for class instruction and for the design of curriculum units that contain varied approaches to learning to meet diverse student needs.
Although the Internet is a powerful learning tool, there are potential risks attached to its use. At The Educators Academy, our teachers make sure to aware the students about the issues of Internet privacy, safety, and responsible use, as well as of the potential for abuse of this technology, particularly when it is used to promote hatred.
The Ontario Skills Passport and Essential Skills
The OSP is a bilingual web-based resource that enhances the relevancy of classroom learning for students and strengthens school–work connections. The OSP provides clear descriptions of Essential Skills such as Reading Text, Writing, Computer Use, Measurement and Calculation, and Problem Solving and includes an extensive database of occupation-specific workplace tasks that illustrate how workers use these skills on the job. The Educators Academy engages the students by using OSP tools and resources to show how and what they learn in class can be applied in the workplace and in everyday life.
Expectations in the English program at The Educators Academy include many opportunities for students to apply their language skills to work-related situations, to explore educational and career options, and to become self-directed learners. To prepare students for the literacy demands of a wide array of postsecondary educational programs and careers, The Educators Academy English courses enable students to develop research skills, practise expository writing, and learn strategies for understanding informational reading materials. Making oral presentations and working in small groups with classmates help our students to express themselves confidently and work cooperatively with others. Regardless of their postsecondary destination, our all students realize that literacy skills are employability skills. Our teachers realize the students that powerful literacy skills equip students to manage information technologies, communicate effectively and correctly in a variety of situations, and perform a variety of tasks required in most working environments.
PLANNING PROGRAM PATHWAYS AND PROGRAMS LEADING TO A SPECIALIST HIGH-SKILLS MAJOR
The Educators Academy courses are well suited for inclusion in programs leading to a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) or in programs designed to provide pathways to particular apprenticeship or workplace destinations. In an SHSM program, courses at The Educators Academy can be bundled with other courses to provide the academic knowledge and skills important to particular industry sectors and required for success in the workplace and postsecondary education, including apprenticeship.
Health and Safety
Although health and safety issues are not usually associated with language education, they may be important when the learning involves fieldwork. Out of school fieldwork can provide an exciting and authentic dimension to students’ learning experiences. The Educator Academy teachers preview and plan these activities carefully to protect students’ health and safety.
The Educators Academy courses provide varied opportunities for students to learn about ethical issues and to explore the role of ethics in both public and personal decision making. During the inquiry process, students may need to make ethical judgements when evaluating evidence and positions on various issues, and when drawing their own conclusions about issues, developments, and events. Teachers at The Educators Academy help students in determining appropriate factors to consider when making such judgements. Our teachers provide support and supervision to students throughout the inquiry process, ensuring that students engaged in an inquiry are aware of potential ethical concerns and address them in acceptable ways. Teachers at The Educators Academy will ensure that they thoroughly address the issue of plagiarism with students. In a digital world in which there is easy access to abundant information, it is very easy to copy the words of others and present them as one's own. Students are constantly reminded, even at the secondary level, of the ethical issues surrounding plagiarism, and the consequences of plagiarism. The skill of writing in one's own voice, while appropriately acknowledging the work of others, is taught to all The Educators Academy courses.