Kindergarten to Grade 4 English Language Arts: A Foundation for Implementation

Implementation Overview: K-4
Planning for Instruction and Classroom Assessment Using
Learning Outcomes - Part 1

Learning outcomes and standards assist classroom teachers and other educators to

  • plan learning activities that support student achievement
  • establish goals for learning, instruction, and assessment
  • monitor student progress in achieving learning outcomes and standards
  • communicate with students, parents, and guardians about student progress
  • develop a literacy plan for a school

Reading the Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes identify knowledge, skills and strategies, and attitudes that students are expected to achieve by the end of a grade. The kinds of learning described in the learning outcomes can be categorized as:

  • declarative knowledge — facts, concepts, principles, and knowledge about processes
  • procedural knowledge — skills, strategies, and steps in processes
  • attitudes and habits of mind — values and beliefs regarding literacy learning

Few of the learning outcomes refer to only one kind of learning, and because of this, they must be read carefully to determine the most appropriate:

  • content
  • learning materials
  • instructional methods
  • assessment tools and processes

See the examples below.

Reading Learning Outcomes to Determine Instruction and Assessment Purposes

Example: Grade 2: Outcome 1.2.1 (Clarify and Extend — Develop Understanding)

Connect new information, ideas, and experiences with prior knowledge and experiences.

This outcome indicates that the student is to understand the importance of connecting new knowledge to prior knowledge (declarative knowledge); it also indicates that the student will use background knowledge or experiences to help understand new experiences (procedural knowledge).

Example: Grade 4: Outcome 4.2.2 (Enhance and Improve — Revise Content)

Revise to create an interesting impression and check for sequence of ideas.

This outcome indicates that the student requires declarative knowledge about examining word choice and usage for effect and for sequence of ideas. It also indicates that the student will use that knowledge when revising work (procedural knowledge), and that the student is motivated to complete this task willingly and independently (attitudes and habits of mind).

Reading Learning Outcomes to Determine Texts and Purposes

The learning outcomes integrate the six language arts: listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, and representing. Students learn the similarities among the six language arts. They also develop knowledge, skills, and strategies specific to oral, literary, and media texts and to various purposes. Most learning outcomes require instruction in more than one of the language arts. Planning needs to include a careful analysis of the learning outcome statement to determine appropriate instructional materials. The following example shows how the six language arts are integrated in the instruction of one learning outcome.

Example: Grade 1: Outcome 2.2.3 (Respond to Texts — Appreciate the Artistry of Texts)

Share feelings and moods evoked by oral, literary, and media texts.

Students will be invited to respond with personal feelings after reading or hearing written text, after listening to oral text, and after viewing media or other visual text. The responses may be shared through talk, through drawing or other forms of representation, or through writing.

Reading the Bracketed Examples in Learning Outcomes

Many specific learning outcomes provide examples, enclosed within brackets.

  • Bracketed examples prefaced by "such as" indicate the range and variety of examples teachers need to consider when planning instruction.
  • Bracketed examples prefaced by "including" indicate mandatory aspects of the curriculum.

The following example illustrates the interpretation of the "including" clause of a learning outcome.

Example: Grade 4: Outcome 3.2.4 (Select and Process — Access Information)

Use a variety of tools [including indices, maps, atlases, charts, glossaries, typographical features, card or electronic catalogues, and dictionaries] to access information and ideas; use visual and auditory cues to identify important information.

Grade 4 students should be taught how to use indices, maps (and the other items mentioned) as tools to help access information. It also states that Grade 4 students should be using visual and auditory cues in oral, literary, and media texts, in the process of accessing important information.

By reviewing this learning outcome for Grade 3, teachers see that students were taught how to use titles, pictures, headings, labels, and so on. Grade 4 teachers would be expected to review and maintain knowledge, skills, and strategies in those areas.


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