Category: Edci532

Curriculum…a Forest Worth Exploring

Photo from Pixabay

Initial Thoughts:

When I first considered a metaphor of  how I view curriculum I thought about how convoluted, over packed and dense it is. I considered how much there was to teach and how many various concepts there were to cover in the allotted time given. It seemed overwhelming and quite frankly, impossible. Although I think that time and practice is what makes navigating curriculum easier, I have found a new understanding of where curriculum comes from and what it is for. We first discussed where curriculum is derived at the beginning of the course. I had actually never asked myself or even considered how curriculums could be different. I didn’t realize that curriculum is created by each individual province. Furthermore, each province focuses on concepts that are specific to knowledge that space. When exploring this I looked at the difference between Quebec’s curriculum in relation to B.C.’s, where I live. I noticed that they were vastly different in how they were written, what they focused on and even how they looked. Quebec’s curriculum was very confusing to me, as it was difficult to understand the plethora of diagrams, paragraphs and even how Quebec’s school system functions. I suppose, that Quebec’s curriculum would actually be considered a forest in comparison to B.C’s simply because I’ve worked with the B.C. curriculum for several years.

                                       Comparison of Curricula:

Picture from Pixabay

I found it so interesting that Quebec has a large focus on religious learning and didn’t, until recently, have any focus on Indigenous studies. Whereas B.C.’s curriculum had a larger emphasis on Indigenous studies within all subject areas. B.C. has certainly done a good job of highlighting Indigenization and technology within it’s curriculum. However, it is still difficult to navigate all the resources available to aid educators within these areas. These key concepts are purposely integrated into each subject in the B.C. curriculum to make the connections simplistic. Yet, it is the responsibility of the educator to determine where the best connections exist between indigenization and the curriculum. Furthermore, technology doesn’t have to be a separate entity in itself but instead it should enhance the learning the students are already doing. When using technology they can learn how to type, how to use various apps for reading or math and develop skills such as coding. This being said, it is important that technology is available to all students within your classroom. My eyes have been opened to the realization that when teaching online, technology isn’t readily available to all. The Covid-19 pandemic has truly demonstrated the inequality of students and families when it comes to access to technology. Thus, when considering technology in curriculum one must also take into consideration those apparent inequalities.

Final Thoughts:

Photo from Pixabay

In conclusion, curriculum itself hasn’t changed for me. Instead, I have a new understanding and better connection to curriculum as a whole. I still believe curriculum is a forest and although there are many paths through, they are all beautiful in their own way. I have always known there is a connection between all subjects within curriculum but now I see where those connections derive from. I think there is something unique and liberating to engage with curriculum in your own way. It is an amazing thing to watch multiple people interpret one document in such different ways. I believe that how one follows and interacts with the curriculum demonstrates their own personal pedagogy and passion within teaching.

Created Resources

Co-Authored by experienced educators in online learning who teach at a distance learning school. These resources were created through experience and supported by academic research. The created resources are current (created July 2020), relevant (addresses assessment learning outcomes), authoritative (co-created by educators who are students in a Master of Education program), accurate and purposeful (instructional demonstration). 

myBlueprint Assessment Strategies:

The myBlueprint video below, is a resource that demonstrates how to utilize myBlueprint as an assessment tool. Students can reflect, explain, justify and demonstrate personal connections through written, video and audio submissions. It is important that teachers choose accessible digital tools for student assessment. Teachers can give valuable and timely feedback on all submissions. This platform allows for continual student-teacher communication, which directly improves student learning. 



Formative and Summative Assessment in an Online Environment: 

The infographic below outlines various assessment strategies for both formative and summative assessment. It details which digital tools are well suited to assess students in both online learning and classroom environments. It is important that both formative and summative assessment are embedded in all learning environments where teachers use a variety of assessment strategies to inform their teaching practices and evaluate students’ learning. 



Formative & Summative Assessment Graphic PDF


Moodle Formatting for Timely Feedback:

The instructional videos below demonstrate how to structure a class on the Moodle learning platform in order to achieve timely assessment.  Moodle was selected to demonstrate what the framework can look like under one central learning management system. Other systems such as Blackboard and Canvas, or combination like Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams can use the same formatting framework. 


1) Weekly Schedule

2) Tools

3) Student Activity

Cross-Curricular Teaching and Learning

Photo from Pixabay

About Me : I started teaching 4 years ago and as I worked through the curriculum I constantly found myself realizing that I missed several competencies throughout the year. This wasn’t the case with just one subject but what seemed like every subject. How does one manage to teach all concepts and competencies within the year to all students at a sufficient level? I knew there had to be a better way. I reached out to district level coaches and learned about cross-curricular teaching. I discovered that subjects areas weren’t separate but in fact overlapped by teaching literacy concepts during science lessons or teaching mathematical concepts during social studies lessons. I found when I started to dig deeper for myself into what the curriculum meant to me my students in return had increased engagement, excitement and practical understandings of what we learning within the classroom.


Some things I’ve learned so far:

Cross-curricular teaching is not a new concept; in fact, it has been researched and developed since the before the 1990’s. In both Denis

Photo from Pixabay

Haye’s 2010 article The Seductive Charms of Cross-Curricular Approach and Robert J Marzano’s 1991 article Fostering Thinking across the Curriculum through Knowledge Restructuring the inherent need for cross curricular teaching was born from the lack of higher level thinking demonstrated by students. This concern was brought to the government level in both Hayes and Marzano’s articles which highlights that there were fundamental aspects of education that were missing from the current system. Despite these articles being 20 years apart, they both still note that simply teaching content isn’t enough of an education to create a holistic and well around citizen of society. Hayes argues “[a]s children are continually on a self-discovery tour, it is essential for them to know who they are, how they should best relate to others and their role as ‘world citizens’, rather than just being able to reach academic targets” (p. 386). To aid this, cross-curricular teaching focuses on concepts such as meaning, peer projects, higher level thinking, student lead interests, inquiry, themes and issues. It allows students to take control and defend their thinking about the content as opposed to simply regurgitating information that was given to them. Marzano states “that for knowledge to be restricted and higher level thinking fostered, students must use knowledge within tasks over which they have some control and which match personal goals or needs” (p.519). Cross-curricular learning allows for this to happen by providing student choice and peer interaction. Not only are they learning the content required of their grade level, but they are learning skills such as time management, organization, communication and compromise which are concepts that are hidden within the curriculum. So why is it not done in every classroom?


Reference List:

Hayes, D. (2010). The Seductive Charms of a Cross-Curricular Approach. Education 3-13, 38.(4), 381-387.                                                                                                         DOI: 10.1080/03004270903519238

Marzano, J. Robert. (1991). Thinking and Learning Across the Curriculum through Knowledge Restructuring. Journal of Reading, 34. (7), 518-                           525.





Unlocking Assessment

As educators, assessment is a large part of our job and there are a vast number of tools and pedagogies available. Therefore, as a group we chose to look at the specific aspects of assessment and online assessment tools for the current time we are in, during the COVID-19 pandemic. We first created a set of learning outcomes for assessment (see below), then our curated list and finally we collaborated on a blog post. The Key to Unlocking Assessment seeks to provide educators with ideas of how to transition into the blended and online learning environment that will likely be our reality in the fall. These sources, strategies, and tools were chosen with a critical lens in order to provide practical resources for the everyday educator. The remainder of this post provides our rationale behind this curation. We focused on a range of resources from connections to ministry curriculum, different types and formats of assessments, tools to conduct them, and opportunities for professional development. To achieve this, we examined government and university articlescommercial enterprises, as well as public/private blogs. The CRAAP test was applied to each entry, to evaluate whether they were: Current, Relevant, Accredited, Accurate, and Purposeful. There were only a few resources in our curated list that did not meet every aspect of the test, however they were included for the following reasons.  

  1. Old ministry document: This document is not considered current as it was created in 1994. However, the PDFs are still useful as a starting point for educators; although some adjustments will need to be made in order to address updated curriculum. Included in the list are the updated curriculum resources. 
  1. Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment: 2001 summary of a 1998 literature review that provides a detailed outline of the important building blocks of assessment by answering the questions of why assessment is important and how it aids learners. It focuses specifically on formative assessment for learning. Although the literature review was written over 20 years ago the information provided is still applicable to today’s learners and educators.  
  1. Assessing the Online Learner: Does not contain a specific date but does contain referenced work from 2007, therefore we can reasonably conclude that it was written sometime after this. The information shared is applicable, purposefulreliableaccurate and could be a very useful resource for teachers.  
Learning Outcomes for Assessment: 

Identify self-assessment tools that allow students to engage with content through:  

  • Explanation
  • Justification
  • Personal connection 

Build and apply rubrics and scales to assess curricular competencies.  

Investigate and utilize various forms of formative and summative assessment for online learning environments.  

Develop a variety of assessment methods to engage students in a subject area using technology. 

  • Consider teaching/learning environment (online vs blended)
  • Personalized to consider student needs. 
  • Voice and choice
  • Use assessment to inform instruction

Construct timely assessment or appropriate support to ensure student success.  

  • Check-ins
  • Support Blocks
  • Office Hours 
  • Communication Home
What’s Next? 

Our next step is to create resources and evidence informed content that will authentically assess student understanding, in our new learning context. Additionally, we aim to aid educators in developing their own assessment skills, strategies, and tools, that will fit both in-class, blended and online environments.  


Co-Authors: Faune, Jerry, Leanne, Rhyanon and Rochelle.  

What is Curriculum:

Fog, Coniferous Forest, Spruce, Forest, Green


To me curriculum is a forest.

The Why?

It is heavy and dense with knowledge that as a professional and educator you must circulate your way through. The more you learn about this forest the more trails become clear and the better you are able to navigate these pathways. A forest also connects and lives off of itself. Everything is connected, the soil provides nutrition to the trees, the trees capture sunlight etc. all things are intertwined. Curriculum is not just a mandated place of concepts provided to teachers. It is a well thought-out forest of learning that can be interpreted and explored in a vast amount of ways.

Avenue, Away, Nature, Walk, Trees, Forest, Landscape