Ontario Report Card Learning Skills Comments


Here at Ontario Report Cards, we have put together a nice representative collection of Report Card Comments for teachers to use on their report cards.  Please feel free to use these comments however you please.  These comments were designed to demonstrate achievement across the board for each learning skill for the Ontario Report Card, so each phrase in the report card comment represents either an N,S,G or E mark.









John Oliver on Standardized Testing in the USA

John Oliver Explains Everything That’s Wrong With Standardized Testing

Posted: 05/04/2015 5:36 am EDT Updated: 05/04/2015 5:59 am EDT


There’s one issue that has united parents, teachers and students alike in anger and outrage: standardized testing.

As those tests have become an increasingly important benchmark for the evaluation of students and teachers, the levels of frustration have also mounted. And as John Oliverpointed out on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” kids are now literally getting sick over it.

Kids throw up during tests so often that administrators actually have instructions for what to do when a child pukes on a test booklet.

“Something is wrong with our system when we just assume a certain number of kids will vomit,” he said. “Tests are supposed to be assessments of skills, not a rap battle on 8 Mile Road.”

Oliver went after the companies that make and grade the tests, focusing in particular on Pearson. It’s the largest standardized testing company, with nearly 40 percent of the market. Or, as Oliver put it, Pearson is “the educational equivalent of Time Warner Cable: Either you’ve never had an interaction with them and don’t care, or they’ve ruined your fucking life.”

See his full takedown of standardized testing in the clip above.

Finland schools: Subjects are out and ‘topics’ are in as country reforms its education system

Except from The Independent:



…Pasi Silander, the city’s development manager, explained: “What we need now is a different kind of education to prepare people for working life.

“Young people use quite advanced computers. In the past the banks had lots of  bank clerks totting up figures but now that has totally changed.

“We therefore have to make the changes in education that are necessary for industry and modern society.”

Subject-specific lessons – an hour of history in the morning, an hour of geography in the afternoon – are already being phased out for 16-year-olds in the city’s upper schools. They are being replaced by what the Finns call “phenomenon” teaching – or teaching by topic. For instance, a teenager studying a vocational course might take “cafeteria services” lessons, which would include elements of maths, languages (to help serve foreign customers), writing skills and communication skills.

More academic pupils would be taught cross-subject topics such as the European Union – which would merge elements of economics, history (of the countries involved), languages and geography.

There are other changes too, not least to the traditional format that sees rows of pupils sitting passively in front of their teacher, listening to lessons or waiting to be questioned. Instead there will be a more collaborative approach, with pupils working in smaller groups to solve problems while improving their communication skills.

Ms Kyllonen has been advocating a “co-teaching” approach to lesson planning, with input from more than one subject specialist. Teachers who embrace this new system can receive a small top-up in salary.

About 70 per cent of the city’s high school teachers have now been trained in adopting the new approach, according to Mr Silander.

Meanwhile, the pre-school sector is also embracing change through an innovative project, the Playful Learning Centre, which is engaged in discussions with the computer games industry about how it could help introduce a more “playful” learning approach to younger children.

Ms Jaatinen describes what is going on as “joyful learning”. She wants more collaboration and communication between pupils to allow them to develop their creative thinking skills.


Read more

Ontario teachers, what do you think of these changes?

Kahoot! Game-based blended learning

What is Kahoot!?

Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system for schools, universities and businesses.

How does it work?

Create and play quizzes, discussions or even surveys (which we call Kahoots) using any device with a web browser… including a laptop, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android, Chromebook, Windows Phone or PC and more — see full list.

Using our simple and speedy ‘drag n drop’ creation tool, create and manage ‘Kahoots’ in the form of quizzes, surveys or polls related to specific topics; either asking quick questions ‘on the go’ to get feedback or opinion, or more in depth questions for formative assessment. Content can be shared with educators, learners or colleagues globally.

The teacher launches Kahoots on the screen at the front of the room, and learners join through their personal devices. In real-time and with gaming elements to increase engagement and motivation, learners answer questions through their personal devices. Educators get an overview of the current knowledge levels of everyone in the room for formative assessment, and can adapt their teaching accordingly.

Through their personal device, learners think up and answer their own questions through thorough research and the collation and/or self creation of imagery and video. Their learning is reinforced by thinking up potential wrong answers to questions, as well as the right ones.


Khan Academy Offers Cash to High School Teachers


All the technology you and your students love and use — mobile games, medical devices, YouTube videos — are all made with code. Imagine what your students could invent!

Thanks to a partnership with DonorsChoose.org and Google, you can earn $1,000 or more for your classroom by helping your students complete an online, self-guided, introductory coding course.

Register your class

Any public high school teacher can participate! Whether you’re teaching English, math, or art history — if your students can type, they can get started with this tutorial. You can offer extra credit, start an after-school coding club, or spend a week on programming in your classroom. Your students can discover the magic of coding in a 12-hour course at their own pace.

Here’s how it works:

  • Step 1: Register your class at https://www.khanacademy.org/donors-choose and invite your students to join it. Help them complete the Intro to JS course by March 17, 2015.
  • Step 2: In April, you’ll receive a DonorsChoose.org gift code equal to $100 per student (e.g. if you help 15 students, you’ll receive a $1,500 gift code).
  • Step 3: You’ll receive a wrap-up survey for your students. If 10 or more of you students self-identify as part of groups traditionally under-represented in computer science, we’ll send you an additional $1,000 gift code as a thank you.

Questions? See the full details, which also explain how to get help if any coding questions come up. Together we can help more students learn to code AND bring more funding into the classroom.

Let’s do it!

Pamela Fox
Khan Academy Computer Science Curriculum Lead & Lover of All Things Code

PO Box 1630, Mountain View, CA 94042 | Our Privacy Policy

If you’d prefer not to receive any emails from Khan Academy, unsubscribe from all of our user lists here.

P.S. Have questions? Take a look at our FAQ and start helping your students discover the beauty of coding, today

Conducting a Debate (+ Rubric)

A debate is a discussion or structured contest about an issue or a resolution. A formal debate involves two sides: one supporting a resolution and one opposing it. Such a debate is bound by rules previously agreed upon. Debates may be judged in order to declare a winning side. Debates, in one form or another, are commonly used in democratic societies to explore and resolve issues and problems. Decisions at a board meeting, public hearing, legislative assembly, or local organization are often reached through discussion and debate. Indeed, any discussion of a resolution is a form of debate, which may or may not follow formal rules (such as Robert’s Rules of Order). In the context of a classroom, the topic for debate will be guided by the knowledge, skill, and value outcomes in the curriculum.

Structure for Debate

A formal debate usually involves three groups: one supporting a resolution (affirmative team), one opposing the resolution (opposing team), and those who are judging the quality of the evidence and arguments and the performance in the debate. The affirmative and opposing teams usually consist of three members each, while the judging may be done by the teacher, a small group of students, or the class as a whole. In addition to the three specific groups, there may an audience made up of class members not involved in the formal debate. A specific resolution is developed and rules for the debate are established.

Debate Preparation:

• Develop the resolution to be debated.
• Organize the teams.
• Establish the rules of the debate, including timelines.
• Research the topic and prepare logical arguments.
• Gather supporting evidence and examples for position taken.
• Anticipate counter arguments and prepare rebuttals.
• Team members plan order and content of speaking in debate.
• Prepare room for debate.
• Establish expectations, if any, for assessment of debate.

Conducting Debate:

Debate opens with the affirmative team (the team that supports the resolution) presenting their arguments, followed by a member of the opposing team. This pattern is repeated for the second speaker in each team. Finally, each team gets an opportunity for rebutting the arguments of the opponent. Speakers should speak slowly and clearly. The judges and members of the audience should be taking notes as the debate proceeds. A typical sequence for debate, with suggested timelines, is as follows:

  • the first speaker on the affirmative team presents arguments in support of the resolution. (5 – 10 minutes)
  • The first speaker on the opposing team presents arguments opposing the resolution.
    (5 – 10 minutes)
  • The second speaker on the affirmative team presents further arguments in support of the resolution, identifies areas of conflict, and answers questions that may have been raised by the opposition speaker. (5 – 10 minutes)
  • The second speaker on the opposing team presents further arguments against the
    resolution, identifies further areas of conflict, and answers questions that may have been raised by the previous affirmative speaker. (5 – 10 minutes)
  • The rules may include a short recess for teams to prepare their rebuttals. (5 minutes)
  • The opposing team begins with the rebuttal, attempting to defend the opposing arguments and to defeat the supporting arguments without adding any new information. (3 – 5 minutes)
  • First rebuttal of the affirmative team (3 – 5 minutes)
  • Each team gets a second rebuttal for closing statements with the affirmative team having the last opportunity to speak. (3 – 5 minutes each)
  • There cannot be any interruptions. Speakers must wait their turns. The teacher may need to enforce the rules.


Criteria 1 2 3 4
  1. Organization and Clarity:

viewpoints and responses are outlined both clearly and orderly.

Unclear in most parts Clear in some parts but not over all Most clear and orderly in all parts Completely clear and orderly presentation
  1. Use of Arguments:

reasons are given to support viewpoint.

Few or no relevant reasons given Some relevant reasons given Most reasons given: most relevant Most relevant reasons given in support
  1. Use of Examples and Facts:

examples and facts are given to support reasons.

Few or no relevant supporting examples/facts Some relevant examples/facts given Many examples/facts given: most relevant Many relevant supporting examples and facts given
  1. Use of Rebuttal:

arguments made by the other teams are responded to and dealt with effectively.

No effective counter-arguments made Few effective counter-arguments made Some effective counter-arguments made Many effective counter-arguments made
  1. Presentation Style:

tone of voice, use of gestures, and level of enthusiasm are convincing to audience.

Few style features were used; not convincingly Few style features were used convincingly All style features were used, most convincingly All style features were used convincingly


Source: http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/socstud/frame_found_sr2/tns/tn-13.pdf

Additional Resource:  http://csdf-fcde.ca/UserFiles/File/resources/teacher_debate_guide.pdf

Peer Evaluation checklist: http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/socstud/frame_found_sr2/g_blms/g-15.pdf


Post your “Be it resolved that …” statement below.

Report Cards go home February 20, 2015

To assist teachers in completing the Elementary Provincial Report Card, the following supports are available:

1) Growing Success Assessment, Evaluation & Reporting in Ontario Schools

[http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/growsuccess.pdf ]Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting Handbook, 2011 Edition. Every teacher should have a copy of this document. Please note pages 9-17 (achievement levels and evaluation), 19-21 (reporting on learning skills/work habits), 24-27 (completing the report card), 28-29 (writing effective comments) and 30-35 (considerations for students with Special Education needs, and English Language Learners).

2) Assessment, Evaluation & Reporting Handbook, 2011 Edition – ADDENDUM #1.

Sample comments for a range of subjects/strands and grade levels, demonstrating the criteria for effective comments outlined in Growing Success (p. 64). These samples are meant to inform and guide the writing of Provincial Report Card comments by teachers.

3)Completing the Elementary Provincial Report Card – Rev 2014  This poster-sized support document provides information about completing the Elementary Provincial Report Card in visual form.

4) “Connecting Planning to Reporting” web cast: http://adobeconnect.wrdsb.on.ca/connectingplanningtoreporting – this 15-minute web cast links the creation, use and tracking of learning goals and success criteria in planning and assessment, to the creation of report card comments and the use of comment banks in TWEA.