A Renewed Math Strategy for Ontario

Strategy At-A-Glance

Starting in September 2016, Ontario is dedicating more than $60 million to help support students achieve better results in math. Key elements of the strategy include:

  • Sixty minutes per day of protected math learning time in Grades 1 to 8
  • Up to three math lead teachers in all elementary schools
  • Coaching for principals of select secondary schools to lead improvement
  • Support for learning at home through parent resources
  • Better access to online math resources and supports such as Homework Help or SOS Devoirs
  • Math support for Grades 6 to 9 outside of the school day
  • Opportunities for educators to deepen their knowledge, including a dedicated math Professional Development Day.

Select resources to help your child succeed in math:

Building on the goals in Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario, the Ministry of Education is committed to helping students gain the math knowledge and skills they will need for the future.

This technology-driven world is changing rapidly, and students must have a wide range of skills and knowledge to succeed. Mathematical knowledge is a critical component of success. Ontario's goal is that at least 75 per cent of elementary students achieve a level 3 or higher on provincial assessments in reading, writing and math so that they are well prepared for success in the next grade.

With that in mind, Ontario's Renewed Math Strategy will help our students, teachers, schools and districts in achieving stronger math results and better position our young people for the jobs of today and tomorrow. The strategy includes a number of features that will respond to the various strengths and needs of our learners, schools and district school boards. It will promote greater collaboration between everyone, including educators, students, leaders and parents.

Focused on the Needs of Students and Educators

The Renewed Math Strategy is an Early Years to Grade 12 strategy that will benefit from and mobilize the latest research and lessons learned regarding effective math learning, teaching and assessment. The strategy will provide new forms of support to all schools, increased support to some schools with greater needs in math achievement, and intensive support to a select group of schools with the greatest needs in math achievement.

Support for schools will focus on professional learning opportunities for teachers and principals, and will support teachers in planning for effective learning and teaching that includes problem solving, direct instruction, investigation, assessment and practice. This will allow students to learn with understanding, develop proficiency, learn mathematical ways of thinking and attain an appreciation for how math is used in everyday life.

New forms of support to all schools:

  • In Early Years and Kindergarten, this will include a play-based model where educators identify and embed significant math learning through a range of experiences in order to support future learning.
  • In elementary schools, a focus on protected time each day for math learning and teaching will be combined with increased professional learning opportunities for teachers and principals.
  • In secondary schools, support will centre on students who are taking compulsory courses in applied math to address their individual learning needs.
  • Support will also draw upon what is known about culturally responsive curriculum in order to support all learners including French-language students and First Nation, Métis and Inuit students. 
  • The ministry will also support the use of more precise instructional strategies for children in care and students with special education needs.

Increased support to some schools:

  • Increased support to some schools will mean approximately 400 elementary and 400 secondary schools where fewer than 50% of students met the provincial standard in Grade 3 math over the last three years (with more than 30 students eligible to participate), where fewer than 30% of students met the provincial standard in Grade 6 over the last three years (with more than 30 students eligible to participate), or fewer than 50% of students in Grade 9 applied math over five years met the provincial standard, will receive increased supports.

Intensive support to a few schools:

  • Intensive support to a few schools will mean that approximately 150 elementary schools with more than 30 participating students and where fewer than 30% of students have met the provincial standard in the past three years and 100 secondary schools where fewer than 30% of students have met the provincial standard in the past five years, will receive intensive supports.

Implementing the Renewed Math Strategy

While student achievement in math is quite good in Ontario compared to other jurisdictions, there is more we can do to help foster deeper learning.

Ontario's math curriculum has been designed to help students build a solid conceptual foundation in math that enables them to develop skills which includes problem solving, investigation, assessment and practice to further their learning successfully.

Learning math results in more than a mastery of basic skills. It equips students with a concise and powerful means of communication. Mathematical language, structures, operations, and processes provide students with a framework and tools for reasoning, justifying conclusions, and expressing ideas clearly.

Through mathematical activities that are practical and relevant to their lives, students develop mathematical understanding, problem-solving skills, and related technological skills that they can apply in their daily lives, and eventually, in the workplace.

Over the coming months, the ministry will continue to engage in conversations with educators and our partners to work together to implement this strategy.

Starting in September 2016, key elements of the renewed strategy will be introduced, including

  • Sixty minutes per day of protected learning time for effective math instruction and assessment will be required for students in Grades 1 to 8, in addition to embedding the use of math across the curriculum. To support this, the ministry will work with education partners to develop resources that articulate evidence-based practices that should be implemented during this learning time.
  • Up to three math lead teachers will be established in all elementary schools. The math lead teacher will be a current educator in a school whose responsibility is to deepen their math knowledge through professional learning, to apply this learning in the classroom and to share strategies for learning with other teachers in their school.
  • Parent resources that provide helpful tips and information on the math curriculum.
  • Online access to math resources such as Homework Help or SOS Devoirs will be provided early in the semester during the school day to encourage students to use these resources at home when they need help.
  • Continued supports for students in Grades 6 to 9 not yet achieving the provincial standard in math will be provided to support successful transition to secondary school through tutoring and summer credit-bearing "reach ahead" opportunities.
  • Focused support will be provided to strengthen math learning, teaching and leading across Ontario for students with special education needs, particularly for students with learning disabilities. Professional learning to be provided for educators to develop student learning profiles and implement personalized and precise assessment and instruction based on individual learning strengths and needs, including the use of assistive technology as accommodation for students with learning disabilities and learning tools for all students.
  • More opportunities for teachers and principals to deepen their knowledge in math learning and teaching will be introduced. Supports for these opportunities will increase for schools with lower math achievement, including a dedicated math facilitator to work with the few schools with the greatest needs.
  • One dedicated math Professional Activity (PA) Day for educators. This supports a whole-child and whole-school approach to math improvement and capacity building in schools.
  • Support for teachers and principals to attend math Additional Qualifications (AQ) courses together as a school-based team.

LEARN MORE

Further Information Regarding the Renewed Math Strategy
Math: a parent's guide
Homework Help: free online math supports
Resources for parents and students
News: Ontario Renewed Math Strategy