Grade 1 children use the four ELA practices as they speak, listen, read, write, view, and represent for meaningful purposes to
An Example of This in Action
Children notice a sign at their local playground that says they are no longer allowed to play there because it is not safe. The teacher designs a rich learning experience during which, as a class, the children discuss and share their thoughts and feelings about not being able to play there anymore. They ask many questions and share their experiences and opinions with their classmates. In partners, with teacher support, they create interview questions to gather information from family, community members, and experts about why it is not safe and how the problem could be solved. In this real context, children use both pictures and print conventions such as upper and lowercase letters, spacing between words or pictures, moving from left to right, and noticing the differences between letters, words, and sentences, to record their findings and propose solutions to the problem.
To find out more about what your child is learning in English language arts, talk to the teacher. You may also refer to the English Language Arts Curriculum Framework: A Living Document.
Your child’s learning and progress will be assessed in many ways. The teacher will look closely at their learning by collecting samples of work, listening to them in conversations, and observing them using language in many situations for different purposes.
The teacher will consider the following:
Comprehension (Reading, Listening, and Viewing)
Communication (Writing, Speaking, and Representing)
WHY ARE CRITICAL THINKING AND CRITICAL LITERACY IMPORTANT?
Critical thinking helps students focus on developing their ability to reason, analyze, evaluate, and create in a way that expresses their thoughts, feelings, and actions in a reasoned and clear manner. It includes the ability to clarify problems, determine viewpoints, and distinguish between facts, opinions, and preferences. It is necessary for students to understand that how we interact with new ideas and the texts we read, view, and experience is as important as what these texts and ideas are. When children think critically, they ask questions, discuss ideas and opinions, and identify the authors’/artists’ message and why they are communicating it.
Critical literacy involves questioning our own viewpoints and those of others, and focusing on social and political issues. Critical literacy encourages us to recognize and state contradictions and biases. It means asking questions that challenge commonly accepted social practices, and questioning our own understanding, beliefs, assumptions, and values.
HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD?
There are many ways to help your child be a listener, speaker, reader, writer, viewer, and representer.
Talk to your child’s teacher. You can also talk with local artists, librarians, web designers, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and others in the community. They can provide insight about helping your child to use language in meaningful ways. Here are some topics you could discuss with the teacher:
Language learning is happening all the time and everywhere! At home and in the community, you can help your child notice, play with, and practise using language. Spend time reading stories, playing word games, and writing grocery lists, birthday cards, or everyday messages with your child. You can view and discuss television programs and websites with your child. As you discuss, ask many questions, make predictions, and encourage your child to tell you their thoughts and feelings about what is going on in the story.
Use the world around you to spark your child’s curiosity by discussing community and world events and issues. When you are out in your community, talk about and use signs, labels, symbols, and objects to show your child how and to encourage your child to use them. Encourage your child to call friends and relatives to stay connected and share their experiences. Your child will gain insights, gather information, and learn about the world.