Course Design and Rationale
The English Language Arts A30 curriculum will be a new curriculum for me to work with next year. I wanted to create something that would benefit me and my students as I work on developing a new course. The class looks at Canadian perspectives and landscapes and students place themselves within those perspectives and landscapes. I am looking at this course in a broader context with the hope of being able to use it in the fall.
The ELA A30 course is a Grade 12 requirement in Saskatchewan. The target audience are the students within a Grade 12 class in my small town, rural Saskatchewan community.
A common concern among students right now is adapting learning to the needs of our learners. Not only is there a need to provide learning opportunities that are diverse, rich, engaging and provide the learning that is required, but we are also needing to adapt to the current climate of our educational world. So, concerns included appropriate flexibility to meet the needs of varying levels of mental and physical health (hello, record level flu season! And record levels of anxiety) as well as varying levels of ability of students. Digital content will be accessible for students facing absences and for those working synchronously.
A blended model with face-to-face instruction with supplemental information available online, as well as the ability to complete and submit assignments online. This would fit under the definition of a synchronous model.
The platform that will be used will be Google Classroom. Google Classroom is already used within my division and within my classroom. Students will be invited to the classroom and can access it with a class code. Two documents which I developed for students, will outline necessary information for them.
Need to Know Information – Taking a Class with Mrs Z
Students already have Google accounts for their personal and educational use. Our building also has chromebooks for students to use while in the building, and to sign out for use at home for those who do not have access to their own technology. During the pandemic we also got access to hot spots for students to take home and use for enhanced WiFi which was a major help to those in remote areas.
In addition to using Google Classroom, students will also have access and utilize Edsby, Google Calendar, and email. Google Classroom allows me to send emails individually or in bulk to students within the class. All of these will work to keep students informed, on track, and aware of impending deadlines.
For activities and instruction, tools like Flip, Quizziz, and content found on Curio, NFB and YouTube will be used, among other digital resources. The variety of tools might change as more planning for the course occurs.
Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes
The ELA A30 curriculum provides outcomes and questions for deeper understanding to guide instruction.
For this prototype, the unit of focus will be on Canadian Perspectives: Distinct and Rich (Celebrate the Glorious, Acknowledge the Scandalous)
(A few) Outcomes:
- View and evaluate critically information from Canadian visual and multimedia texts
- Read and apply knowledge from informational texts and literary texts from Canadian authors as a basis for understanding self and the multiplicity of perspectives that make up Canadian culture
- Present and express a range of ideas and information in formal and informal situations for differing audiences and purposes
- Reflect on personal growth and successes
(Some Key) Course Guiding Questions:
- Why is it important for Canadians to recognize, historically and currently, both the glorious and the scandalous aspects of Canadian life?
- How can we ensure that all perspectives and voices in Canada are seen, listened to, read, and celebrated?
- What contributions have Canadian individuals made to the character of the Canadian community?
- How can the individual or collective beliefs of Canadians influence Canada’s actions?
- How do we honour the histories of the many peoples who live in Canada while we forge landscapes that are contemporary and emerging?
- What societal issues concern Canadians? How have societal issues changed over the course of our nationhood?
Assignments and Assessments
In Google Classroom, students have the option to submit their work to any assignments that are posted. They can upload any type of document or attachment to submit for credit. It is easy to create and attach rubrics to assignments within the classroom for grading (that can be duplicated for future classes semester to semester). In addition, Google Forms allows for quizzes or assignments to be created within the classroom that can provide instant feedback to students and grades can easily be imported. Students can respond to questions for credit, or for formative assessment. Using Flip will allow students to learn in a social atmosphere, which can be used for formative or summative assessments.
My unit plan (and framework for this section of the course) can be found here: Unit 1 ELA A30 Perspectives.
The main focus of this course is a look at Canadian identity through the perspectives and landscape of our country. This includes looking at how that identity has developed and changed over time. This allows me to incorporate a number of cross-curricular possibilities with my personal affinity for History as well as being the History 30: Canadian Studies teacher. The hope is that offering a blended model to students, it will offer the possibility of success for all level of learners as well as all degrees of engagement. Diversifying the educational experience for students only gets more important as time goes on.
I think it’s really awesome that your school is able to provide devices and hot spots for students to use to access their learning materials from home. Creating a course that is going to serve you and your students in more than one subject is a great idea!
Awesome job Shayna. I have no experience with teaching high school or the high school curriculum so I am excited to follow along with your modules!
I really like your idea of putting “Need to Know Information – Taking a Class with Mrs. Z”. Even the chart for the marking scheme is a very good addition to the course format. I am looking forward to seeing your entire work.