DISCLAIMER: This blog is written as an advice to parents of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Follow this advice at your own risk. The Author of the blog, SMART CHOICE TUTORING™, and the owner of this website are not liable for any results, that may develop if parents follow the advice given in this blog. Parents are advised to discuss this with a qualified professional if they would like to implement some, or all, of the strategies described below.
The number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the world is rising.
If your child is diagnosed with ASD, the information below can help you better understand autism and make a difference in the life of your child.
Today, approximately one in every 200 (0.5%) world children is diagnosed with ASD. This number is higher in North America. It is very important to understand how family and friends can interact with, and support, autistic children.
The term ASD is currently used to cover the whole spectrum of disorders including autism, Asperger's syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).
Children with ASD typically have delays in communication and language development, social interactions, and behaviour. Usually one area of development is significantly more delayed than the other two. It is important to understand that each child with ASD presents very unique combinations of the typical characteristics. Strategies that work for one will not work for another. This makes teaching them challenging. Therefore, (as is advisable with any child, regardless of disabilities or challenges), each child must be considered individually to accommodate their unique needs.
Currently, children displaying at least 50 per cent or more of the symptoms or characteristics listed in each of the three categories, are diagnosed with autism. Asperger’s Syndrome is usually more common than autism, and does not involve the same language based delays as autism. Children with Asperger’s more often are having difficulty with social interactions, cues and moderating their own behaviour.
To support a child with ASD it is very important to understand child's strengths and weaknesses. It is important to understand a variety of strategies that are usually successful in supporting children with ASD and build resources to call upon, when the current strategy stops producing results. A support network is essential for building strategies.
Key strategies for children with ASD include (but are not limited to!) the following:
School year is not over yet, however, it is prudent to start thinking about next one and how to ease your child's transition from this grade into the next.
What goes on during your child’s day in school? Massive confusion, that's what. Each time your child switches classes, it might feel like stepping into another country. Each teacher has different rules, expectations, and customs. How am I supposed to behave in class? Do I raise my hand to go to the bathroom, or do I just go? Am I going to be penalized for handing in an assignment late? Can I call out an answer, or do I need to raise my hand? Can I eat in class? Imagine how much more overwhelming this is, for students with executive functioning and organizational issues. Below are a few pointers for parents and teachers that may help a child to ease back-to-school anxiety and navigate the academic jungle.
If, even after all of these, your child is still uncomfortable and unsure of the expected behaviors, and struggling with any particular subject, do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (416.727.4220 or 877.320.9357). We will be happy to assist you.
We wish you and your children a happy, successful year!
If your child will attend school next September, it is time for you to select a school.
If you live in Toronto you can choose from schools administered by Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, or private schools.
Most children in Toronto attend one of the schools administered by either Toronto District School Board or Toronto Catholic District School Board.
Generally, a child will attend a school, located in the "attendance area" in which the child lives. Attendance areas are administered by the District School Boards, and if parents want to send their child to a school outside their normal attendance area, they must request the local board for permission. Of course no such permission is required to attend a private school, no matter its location.
All schools are different and parents have to understand the differences in order to select a school, which will allow the child to develop to the best of the child's abilities.
Below are some pointers for the parents.
The curriculum policy in Ontario schools is set by The Ministry of Education to ensure a consistent province-wide curriculum. What teachers are required to teach and students are expected to learn in each grade and subject is also defined by the Ministry. However, teaching and assessment strategies are left to the professional judgement of teachers, which, in theory, enables them to address individual student needs and deliver the curriculum in a context that is locally meaningful. In practice, however, addressing individual needs of students is not always possible and depends on many factors, some of which are: class size, teacher's professionalism, and student's ability and willingness to learn.
So, it is up to the parents to determine if the school is the best for their child.
One of the most important questions parents can ask, is how to educate their child. A basic choice is that of public versus private school. Parents want to justify expenses and be sure they will ultimately benefit their child. After all, many public schools do an excellent job of educating students and are free, while cost of tuition in private school in Ontario ranges between $4,000.00 an $26,000.00 a year and this cost is rising year over year. In addition, some private schools require students to purchase textbooks, special computers, uniforms, and other supplies. However, the benefits of a private education can still far outweigh the costs depending on the local options parents may face (and in Toronto, there are a lot of options). Students, who attend private schools, can advance more academically, be exposed to clearer value systems, have greater access to teachers, and may simply feel safer than local public school options. If you do decide to pursue private schooling for your child, start the research process early. Admission to private schools is very competitive, and finding a school that is a perfect fit for your child where the child will also be accepted, may take some time.
Many private (and some public) schools offer an alternative approach to education, whereas majority of public schools are intended to cater to all students. For example, Montessori model focuses on respect for the student and the development of self-confidence, while the Waldorf model emphasizes a holistic approach to learning. Parents can choose a learning philosophy that best meets their child’s educational needs. There are 885 private schools registered with the Ministry of Education in Ontario, so there is plenty of choice.
Most private schools have a stronger commitment to “customer service.” Smaller class sizes, individualized attention, and openness to parental involvement are benefits that tend to come with paying for tuition.
A major advantage of private schools is that your child will, most likely, be challenged to a higher academic standard. Private schools, in general, are more academically rigorous than public schools, and private school students may have to meet more and higher criteria to keep up their grade point averages. Private high schools typically have more demanding graduation requirements than do public high schools. Compared with public schools, private schools require more coursework.
In general. more is expected of private school students in terms of quality of work, course workload, and special requirements, such as community service or Arts participation. In some schools, what would normally be considered extracurricular activities, are prerequisites for graduation, which ultimately round out students’ high school experience. The push to meet this higher standard often results in a greater level of student performance. Students in private schools scored significantly above the national average in grades four, eight, and twelve. In general, a student attending a private school will most likely reach a higher level of academic achievement.
Private schools also tend to control their class sizes. On average, private high schools are less than half the size of public schools. The average size of a private high school is 398 students, compared to 1,083 for a public school. Students of private schools have more opportunities to form relationships with their teachers, which usually lead them to greater academic success. In private schools, student's specific academic problems are resolved quickly and correctly. Once any issues inhibiting a student’s progress have been addressed, the child can go on to higher achievements.
Placing students in small groups fosters close working relationships between teachers and students, enhances learning, particularly among at-risk students and those in the early grades. Small classes allow the teachers to have a better sense of who the child is, and what his or her specific strengths and weaknesses are. Your child has more opportunities to speak up and participate in class discussions. Students are usually offered office hours during which the teacher is available to provide help. Students who work closely with their teachers are less likely to feel intimidated about using such time to actively seek help from their teachers directly.
Smaller classrooms are, by their very nature, easier to control. In addition, most private schools put special emphasis on discipline. Even if your child does not have discipline problems, disruptive peers could take away from your child’s valuable learning time. Private school teachers are more likely, than public school teachers, to say that they had a lot of influence on setting student performance standards (63% versus 38%) and on student discipline policy (48% versus 30%). The discipline in private schools teaches children self control, which is a requirement in University where the student is far more responsible for his or her own attendance, behaviour, and achievement. Stricter disciplinary policies mean that any major problems is handled and eradicated quickly. Typical crimes that plague public schools are less common at private schools. Students in public schools (37.3%) were more apt to see hate-related graffiti at school than their counterparts in private schools (16.8%). According to a recent study by the Fraser Institute, students at private schools experience lower incidences of bullying, fighting, theft, drug use and racism. This may be because private schools get to pick and choose students with entrance exams and interviews, while public schools do not have this option. But these problems exist within private schools also – it comes down in every situation to the individual student and the choices they were taught to make.
Private schools can offer their own curriculum. Although, they must ultimately prepare students with the same basic course as any other school, private schools also have the option to add various elements to their programs. Private schools often develop programs that emphasize the Arts, perhaps more so than local public schooling options. Private schools may choose to produce elaborate plays and musicals, giving students unique opportunities to explore their talents and express themselves.
Government regulations do not allow public schools to spend more than a certain percentage of school funds on the Arts. Private schools are not subject to the same regulations, and they have more freedom to develop and expand these programs as they wish. Some private schools may even offer filmmaking or video production courses which are opportunities normally reserved for University or college students.
The tuition, that parents of students of a private school contribute, often goes toward developing and funding special programs that would be restricted in public schools. Private school may be able to offer other activities, such as special field trips that reinforce the school’s curriculum. Such trips can give your child opportunities to form close friendships and build independence. Private school may have more funds available to provide supplies to student-run clubs and may create programs that better tie the arts or sciences into the overall general curriculum.
Private schools can be more university-oriented than public schools. Many parents will choose a private school based on the acceptance rates and post-secondary destinations of graduating students. As a result, private schools take the university counselling and application process very seriously. Private high schools instill their students with the expectation of attending University. Students, who had attended private school in 8th grade, were twice as likely, as those who had attended public school, to have completed a bachelor’s or higher degree by their mid-20s (52% versus 26%) and far less likely to have had no postsecondary education. With University as a focus, students are more goal oriented, and often elements of the schools curriculum are specifically aimed at preparing your child for University. Many private schools are even referred to as “college preparatory”. Private schools often encourage their students to take an active role in their own University admission process. Students are given more access to information about University options, and they are made more aware of the requirements they must fulfill to qualify for a specific school.
Most private schools tend to offer students a clear value system, which often is missing in the public system. Many private schools pride themselves on shaping students into well-rounded individuals, in addition to ensuring their academic success. Boarding schools in particular are known to develop self-confidence, independence and life-skills in a student. It is possible to find a school that incorporates a great deal of your own values into its everyday curriculum. Private schools often have honor codes and stricter behavioral standards that help students develop into mature adults. Parents are often have greater say in school policies at private schools.
Many private schools require that their students complete a mandatory number of community service hours. This provides the obvious benefit of instilling a sense of respect for the community and the importance of making a contribution to society, and it also happens to be something Universities especially favor. Students may also find possible career options while fulfilling this service requirement, such as political involvement to aid the community, or counseling for endangered teens. Community service experiences teaches students that education goes beyond the walls of the school, and that it sometimes requires action and initiative.
Teachers at private schools are not required to earn the same certifications as public school teachers. Some parents worry that the teachers are not as qualified. This is not necessarily true. Private schools must maintain their reputations and create positive word of mouth to survive. Private schools are generally very selective, and they choose educators with training, specific to the subject they will be teaching. Some teachers in the private school system do not have the provincially required bachelor’s of education, but may hold master’s or PhD degrees in their area of speciality.
When a family decides to enroll a child in a private school, this family becomes part of a network of families with the same goals. Parents at private schools are more involved in the lives of the students and various school events. Parents have the opportunity to connect with other parents to discuss the lives of their children. These relationships allow parents to learn from each other and support each other. The students also benefit from the community atmosphere of private schools. Due to very specific personalities of private schools, students often have a strong sense of pride and loyalty to the school and its community. Students also benefit from affiliation to the school far beyond graduation day. Many private schools have alumni mentoring programs that connect older alumni with newer ones. Recent graduates may find internship opportunities with alumni who have been working in their field of interest.
Despite all of the above, private school is not for every child. Some children would benefit from the diversity of a public school. Some parents would prefer their children to be more focused on the core subjects, rather than the arts and extracurricular interests. And, of course, the cost of a private education is considerable. No student is exactly the same as another, and only parents know what the best option is for their child. Any child, whether in private or public school, will need the active participation of parents in order to achieve true success.
The major advantage of private schooling is choice. Sending your child to a public school limits your choice to schools based on geography. Deciding to send your child to a private school opens up a selection of several schools that may have very different educational styles and emphases. Every private school has a unique personality, and with a little research, certain schools will emerge from the pool as having more features than that will benefit your child.
With the vast variety of private schools available, it is easy to select a school that will help your child to shine and develop the values you find most important.
No choice can guarantee that your child’s formative years will go smoothly. Parents should always be highly active participants in the education of their children. In the interest of giving a student the most advantages and opportunities, private school can possibly be an attractive option. Sending a child to a private school reduces worries about safety, increases a child’s exposure to discipline, offers reduced class sizes, and a good environment for high academic achievement. In many cases, a private school can prove to be much more than that, providing a community environment for your family and special opportunities your child would not have otherwise.
The term “private school” is an umbrella term for any school that charges tuition fees and is operated by individuals and groups outside of the public education system. Many private schools are for-profit organizations.
The term “independent” classifies a private school that is a non-profit organization and is often overseen by a board of trustees. In many provinces, independent schools receive a certain amount of public funding and are accredited either by a government body or an affiliated organization. Accreditation provides a third-party reference that the school meets certain standards.
Some accreditation organizations for independent and private schools include:
Below are some questions parents and students should ask when applying to private schools:
A common criticism of private schools is that they can be elitist and homogenous. While it was once true that private schools were the exclusive domain of the white and the wealthy, many now have well-funded bursary and scholarship programs to assist families with more moderate incomes. Private schools now host more diverse student populations, including increasing numbers of students from overseas. Some schools, such as Bayview Glen, even boast multiculturalism as one of their founding principles.
It has long been known that girls do better academically in all-girls’ environments, more recent research has shown that boys do even better than girls in single-sex classrooms.
The research is overwhelmingly consistent pointing to the advantages of single-sex schools. For example, a study at Stetson University in Florida showed that among fourth graders at a public elementary school in the state, 37% of boys reached proficiency levels in co-ed classes, while 86% of boys in single-sex classrooms did (the boys in the study were matched so that they were statistically equivalent). While 59% of girls reached a proficient level in co-ed classrooms, 75% did when they were only with girls. This type of research has been carried out and substantiated among students of different economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds in many different industrialized countries around the world.
Part of the magic of single-sex schools is that the teaching methods can be adjusted to the students. Well-trained teachers at girls’ and boys’ single-sex schools can take advantage of the specific ways in which girls and boys learn. For example, boys often need a higher level of activity, while girls might need more reassurance that they have something to offer to the classroom discussion. In a typical co-ed classroom, it is difficult for one teacher to use these specific strategies for all the students. Below are some other advantages of single-sex schools.
Studies show that one-quarter of the female members of U.S. Congress and one-third of the female board members of Fortune 100 companies attended girls’ schools. This statistic might be in part because girls in single-sex schools learn to feel confident about their ideas, and they more readily jump into class discussions when they are not self-conscious. In a girls’ school, students are not worried about what boys will think about them, and they shed the traditional idea that girls should be demure or quiet.
Boys in boys’ schools feel comfortable in areas that they learn to avoid in co-ed schools, such as literature, writing, and foreign languages. Many boys’ schools emphasize these subjects, and the teachers in these schools are able to plan the curriculum so that the themes in the books the boys read are geared towards their concerns and interests, as opposed to the usual “girl-centered” books in many co-ed schools. For example, boys may read stories about boys coming of age, such as Homer’s The Odyssey, and the students’ analyses of these works can be centered on boys’ concerns.
Girls in girls’ schools, on the other hand, tend to feel more comfortable in areas that they traditionally shy away from, such as math and science. In all-female schools, they can have female role models who enjoy these subjects, and they are encouraged to be interested in these areas without competition from boys.
In boys’ schools, boys fill every role — whether it’s a traditional role such as captain of the basketball team or whether it’s an untraditional role such as editor of the yearbook. There are no stereotypes about which types of roles boys should fill. Similarly, in a girls’ school, girls are the head of every sport and organization and can comfortably take on such untraditional roles as head of the student body or head of the physics club. In this way, students in these schools unlearn traditional stereotypes and do not tend to think of roles in terms of gender.
While sometimes all-girls’ and all-boys’ classrooms have a certain relaxed quality born of freedom to express themselves, single-sex classrooms have been shown overall to have fewer discipline problems, particularly for boys. Students are no longer busy impressing or competing against the opposite sex but can get down to the true business of learning.
Many parents who attended co-ed schools may feel uncomfortable at first exploring the single-sex school option for their children, but there is no doubt that many students learn better in these types of schools.
Each student is unique, and all schools, public and private, have unique strengths and offerings. It’s important to explore many options, and to closely examine curriculum, extra-curricular opportunities, career counselling and student body, in order to make the right choice for your child.
There is a greater awareness than ever before of the different ways in which children learn, and the recognition that some children, even those who are very bright, may need different settings than the traditional school in which to learn. Fortunately, special needs schools have cropped up around the country to educate children with developmental, behavioral, psychological, and cognitive needs that are not met in the general-education classroom. These types of needs include, but aren't limited to, the following types of diagnoses or conditions:
· dyslexia, or developmental reading disorder;
· language-based disorders or speech disorders;
· ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder;
· Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorders, including high-functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome.
If your child has been diagnosed with one of these disorders, you may need to educate him or her outside of the traditional school system, even if he or she is bright. Below are some tips to finding the right school:
Have your child evaluated by a qualified professional to ensure that you have the child had been diagnosed correctly and that you understand everything affecting the child, including emotional, cognitive, developmental, and other factors. Your doctor or school psychologist can recommend a person to evaluate your child.
Sometimes, your local school can offer your child services that may allow the child to stay in the general-education classroom. Staying in the general-education classroom is referred to as "mainstreaming." Your child will be surrounded by typical peers and may be eligible to receive services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, a paraprofessional, and a resource room.
Local organizations often offer workshops for parents that help them understand how to choose a school for their special-needs children. Look for organizations in your community that help parents evaluate and understand how to choose the right schools for their children.
When you visit a special needs school, make sure it is set up to help your child with the child's specific concerns and issues. The other children should be compatible with your child, and the staff should be trained in helping children like yours. The school should communicate with parents regularly about their child's progress. Investigate the school in the same way you would any other school-by talking with the teachers, visiting classes, and speaking with other parents.
Some parents may decide that no school within reasonable distance (or cost, if they are evaluating private schools) are acceptable and may want to school their children at home. In this case, we suggest to study the document at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/131.html/, so that you will act within the law and your child will get the best education possible. There is some support for families that decide to teach their children at home, however, there are, as always, some regulations, that they must follow.
If your child is already in school, and experiencing difficulties, please, do not hesitate to contact us either by phone at 416-727-4220 or 877-320-9357, or by e-mail at email@example.com for help. SMART CHOICE TUTORING™ will work with you, your child, and (with your permission) with your child's teacher(s) to determine the problem, what, if any, help is required, and will enable your child to continue on the road to quality education.
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Yesterday, in the blog, I described the International Baccalaureate® (IB) programs to consider.
One thing that I did not mention in that blog -- if your child is already in one of the IB programs, and experiencing difficulties, please, do not hesitate to contact us either by phone at 416-727-4220, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for help. SMART CHOICE TUTORING™ will work with you, your child, and (with your permission) with your child's teacher to determine the problem, what, if any, help is required, and will enable your child to continue on the road to quality education.
Parents with school age children should seriously consider one, or all, of the International Baccalaureate® programs for their child.
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) was created in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation by teachers at the International School of Geneva, with assistance from several other international schools. What started as a single program for internationally mobile students preparing for university, has grown into four programs for students aged 3 to 19.
The first IB schools were predominantly private international schools, however, today over half of all IB World Schools are public schools.
IB programs encourage international-mindedness in students and educators through the IB learner profile — a set of values that represent our mission and principles.
The IB is more than its educational programs and certificates. The IB organization is motivated by a mission to create a better world through education.
IB promotes intercultural understanding and respect as an essential part of life in the 21st century.
All of this is captured in IB mission statement.
With the development of a continuum of international education, the teachers, students and parents are able to draw confidently on a recognizable common educational framework, a consistent structure of aims and values and an overarching concept of how to develop international-mindedness.
With the addition of the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) in 2010, the IB is expanding the number of ways that students can benefit from an IB education. This is a career-related qualification that is specifically designed to provide a flexible learning framework tailored by the school to meet the needs of students and the local community as well as the world beyond.
The IB learner profile is at the heart of this common framework, as a clear and concise statement of the aims and values of the IB, and an embodiment of what the IB means by "international-mindedness".
The four IB programs are now available to students aged 3 to 19 from a wide range of cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds; and taught at almost 3,500 IB World Schools in 143 countries around the world.
The IB continuum of international education is unique because of its academic and personal rigor, challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal growth.
The MYP began as an initiative of the International Schools Association. The aim was to develop a curriculum encouraging international awareness with emphasis on the skills, attitudes, knowledge and understanding needed to participate in a global society. From 1994 it has been one of the four IB programs and has continued to grow in the same spirit of collaboration with and among schools.
The Diploma Program was established in 1968 to provide students with a balanced education, to facilitate geographic and cultural mobility and to promote international understanding. Since then, innovative and committed teachers and examiners from around the world have played a significant role in the development of the program.
The four programs form a coherent sequence of education by promoting the education of the whole person through an emphasis on intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth.
In all four programs, the education of the whole person is manifested through all domains of knowledge, involving the major traditions of learning in languages, humanities, sciences, mathematics and the arts.
Furthermore, all four programs:
The PYP is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of most national or local curricula and provides the best preparation for students to engage in the IB Middle Years Program.
The IB Primary Years Program:
In the PYP a balance is sought between acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, development of conceptual understanding, demonstration of positive attitudes, and taking of responsible action.
One of the most significant and distinctive features of the IB Primary Years Program is the six trans-disciplinary themes. These themes provide IB World Schools with the opportunity to incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum and effectively allow students to “step up” beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.
Since these ideas relate to the world beyond the school, students see their relevance and connect with it in an engaging and challenging way. They begin to reflect on their roles and responsibilities as learners and become actively involved with their education. All students will realize that a unit of inquiry involves them in an in-depth exploration of an important idea, and that the teacher will collect evidence of how well they understand that idea. They will expect to be able to work in a variety of ways, on their own and in groups, to allow them to learn to their best advantage.
The PYP offers a balance between learning about and through subject areas, and learning beyond them. There are six subject areas in the PYP — arts; language; mathematics; physical, social and personal education; science; and, social studies. These subject areas provide students with knowledge, skills, and concepts, which students can explore to understand the interconnected nature of the subject areas and the trans-disciplinary themes.
The PYP curriculum is defined to include an approach to teaching and learning, recognizing the fact that, in practice, the two are inextricably linked. The curriculum reinforces the pedagogy of authentic learning that is inquiry-based and conceptually driven. The program is committed to structured, purposeful inquiry that engages students actively in their own learning. In the PYP it is believed that this is the way in which students learn best. In this way, teachers can support them in constructing meaning.
The curriculum also touches on the approaches to learning (ATL) which are currently identified as “trans-disciplinary skills” in the PYP. The ultimate intention of ATL across the IB continuum is to develop self-regulated (self-managed, self directed, independent) learners through skill based, process focused teaching.
The deliberate use of ATL strategies reinforces a holistic experience that not only addresses students’ cognitive development, but their social, emotional and physical well being.
Assessment in the Primary Years Programme identifies what students know, understand, can do and value at different stages in the teaching and learning process. The direct link between assessment and the teaching and learning process means that they must function purposefully together. Assessing the result of inquiry as well as the process of inquiry are important objectives of the program.
The principal purposes of assessment in the PYP are to:
When assessing the process of inquiry, teachers consider whether:
Students who are in their final year of the program are expected to carry out an extended, collaborative inquiry project, known as the exhibition, under the guidance of their teachers.
The exhibition represents a significant event in the life of both the school and student, synthesizing the essential elements of the program and sharing them with the whole school community. It is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the Learner profile that have been developing throughout their engagement with the program. It is a culminating experience marking the transition from PYP to further steps in education.
Schools are given considerable flexibility in their choice of real-life issues or problems to be explored or investigated in the exhibition.
The MYP is designed for students aged 11 to 16. It provides a framework of learning which encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and to the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement, qualities that are essential for life in the 21st century.
The MYP is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of most national or local curricula. It builds upon the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) and prepares students to meet the academic challenges of the IB Diploma Program and the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC).
The IB Middle Years Program
Students are required to study at least two languages (as part of their multilingual profile), humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology. In their final year, students will also undertake an independent ‘personal project’ to demonstrate the development of their skills and understanding.
MYP assessment standards are consistent around the world. In order to maintain the rigor for which the IB is renowned, the MYP assessment model is criterion-related. Teachers structure varied and valid assessment tasks so that students can demonstrate achievement according to objectives defined by the IB. Tasks are assessed against established criteria, not against the work of other students.
The MYP’s core features five contexts for learning that provide powerful opportunities to engage in the study of issues that affect students today. Using a common language, teachers organize the curriculum through the following areas of interaction:
Approaches to learning (ATL) represents learning skills that students will develop and apply during the program and beyond.
Community and service considers how students can learn about their place within communities and be motivated to act in new contexts.
Health and social education is designed to help students identify and develop skills that will enable them to function as effective members of societies. They also learn about how they are changing and how to make informed decisions that relate to their welfare.
Environments explores how humans interact with the world at large and the parts we play in our virtual, natural and built environments.
Human ingenuity deals with the way in which human minds have influenced the world and considers the consequences of human thought and action.
Teachers organize continuous assessment over the course of the program according to specified assessment criteria that correspond to the objectives of each subject group. Regular school assessment and reporting play a major role:
The recording and reporting of individual levels of achievement are organized in ways that provide students with detailed feedback on their progress as it relates to the assessment criteria for each subject group.
The IB Diploma Program (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The program, has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.
The Diploma Program prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:
Students take written examinations at the end of the program, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in the school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.
The marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on theory of knowledge and the extended essay. The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole program and to satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, service requirement. The highest total that a Diploma Program student can be awarded is 45 points.
Assessment is criterion-related, which means student performance is measured against pre-specified assessment criteria based on the aims and objectives of each subject curriculum, rather than the performance of other students taking the same examinations. The range of scores that students have attained remains statistically stable, and universities value the rigor and consistency of Diploma Program assessment practice.
At least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level (240 teaching hours), while the other subjects are taken at standard level (150 teaching hours). Students can study and take examinations, in English, French or Spanish.
In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the Diploma Program features three core elements that broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) assesses student work as direct evidence of achievement against the stated goals of the Diploma Program courses.
The Diploma Program goals provide students with:
Assessment tasks are designed to support and encourage good classroom teaching and learning.
Student results are determined by performance against set standards, not by each student's position in the overall rank order.
The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) is preparing students to follow their chosen pathways in life. Life in the 21st Century places many demands on students. Enabling students to become self-confident, internationally minded learners must be integral to their education. The International Baccalaureate (IB) has developed a framework of international education incorporating the vision and educational principles of the IB into local programs to address the needs of students engaged in career-related studies.
The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) increases access to an IB education and is specifically designed to provide a flexible learning framework that can be tailored by the school to meet the needs of students.
The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) is an innovative education framework for students aged 16 to 19 incorporating the vision and educational principles of the IB into a unique program specifically tailored for students who wish to engage in career-related learning.
The IBCC’s flexibility allows schools to meet the needs, backgrounds and contexts of students with each school creating its own distinct version of the IBCC.
The aim of the IBCC is to provide students with both an academic and practical foundation to support both their further studies and specialized training, thereby ensuring their success in the workforce.
The IBCC combines highly regarded and internationally recognized IB Diploma Program courses with an approved career-related study and a unique IBCC core.
IBCC students engage with a challenging program of study that genuinely interests them while gaining transferable and lifelong skills in applied knowledge, critical thinking, communication, and cross-cultural engagement. They are well prepared to succeed at institutions of higher learning.
As the IB’s fourth program, the IBCC provides a comprehensive link between the academic challenge of the Diploma Program and the international-mindedness of the IB classroom into a tailored, career-focused pathway.
The IBCC framework is built around three interconnected elements:
The IBCC enables students to:
For more information refer to http://www.ibo.org/
Are you graduating this year? Good for you! You are nearing a major milestone. The knowledge and skills you gained in school will help you in your chosen field. Your knowledge is being testified to by the fact that you passed your final exams and received your diploma. But what about your skills? If all you have is knowledge, and no other skills, you are not ready for what lies ahead.
So, what skills should you have? Below, there is a list of some of them. Of course, there are more. These are just what came to mind at the moment..
Banking skills -- You should be able to select accounts most appropriate for your situation, open checking and saving accounts, Listen to your advisers, but make your own decisions regarding your money. Start savings as much as possible. Open an RRSP. Try to avoid debt (including student loan) if possible. If in debt, pay it off as soon a s possible, starting with a debt bearing the highest interest rate.
Budgeting skills -- keep tack of your income and expenses. Budget, and stick to your budget.
Driving skills -- Learn to drive and clean and maintain your vehicle.
First aid skills -- Learn how to administer first aid to yourself and others.
Household skills -- Learn to do laundry, cooking, washing dishes, do minor repairs, etc.
Learning skills -- You need to be able to learn independently. Use resources available to you. Libraries, internet, lectures, etc. Be critical in your use of resources. Originals are always better, but sometimes hard to understand and require explaining.
Listening skills -- Learn to listen attentively, be able to understand what is being said, try to paraphrase it in your own words, and seek confirmation from the speaker.
People skills -- learn to choose your friends and associates wisely. Look for people you can learn from. Cultivate friendship. Friends will encourage and support you in your endeavors.
Planning skills -- Set your personal goals and work toward them. Plan for emergencies and remember your plan, if the emergency happen
Self-defense skills -- Learn how to defend yourself and others, what is appropriate to do when threatened.
Speaking skills -- You will face different audiences, from one-on-one conversation to presenting to large (sometimes in the thousands) audience. Always speak clearly and project your voice so, that even people in the last row of seats in the auditorium can hear and understand you. Minimize the use of words, that do not convey any information (such as ah, like, etc.)
Stress management skills -- be calm in times of crisis.
Thinking skills -- Think critically, do not believe everything you hear, check the facts and do your checking at the source, not second hand.
Time management skills -- plan your days and monitor your accomplishments.
Writing skills -- Depending on your chosen field of endeavor, you will have to write correspondence, reports, essays, articles, books, etc. Write clearly, address your writing to a specific audience. Use spell- and grammar-checkers. Always proofread. If possible, have somebody you trust, proofread it for you.
Work skills -- Your ability to hold the job will dependent not only on what you know and how well you can apply your knowledge to the task at hand, but also on your interactions with your colleagues, co-workers, team mates, etc. You need to be able to work well independently and as a member of a team.
Understand what you enjoy doing and what makes you happy. Do this as much as possible -- the best way to avoid stress.
Choose your field of endeavor according to what you enjoy doing and what you are good at.
Do not hesitate to call 416.727.4220 or e-mail us at email@example.com if you need help. We will work with to determine what help and to what extent is required, and will be glad to help your child on the road to quality education.
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For children (and parents) graduating from Junior High's the question is -- what program do I enroll into in the High School.
The answer is simple. If you did well in Junior High, try to enroll in the Advanced Placement (AP) Program. If you are not familiar with it -- it is provided by the College Entrance Examination Board to high schools, giving students the opportunity to complete college-level studies and consists of course descriptions, curriculum material, and tests.
Many parents are intimidated by this program. It is not easy to help your child with homework, especially homework of AP program. Approximately 50% of parents say they struggle to help their kids with homework. But even you have never taken AP yourself, you can still help your child. Your child's success depends on the right selection of AP classes, time management skills, ability to work under pressure and stress management.
Let's begin with selection of classes. AP program is designed to prepare students for college level work. It cover more material than regular program, require higher level thinking, independent work, research, and writing. It allows students who pass standardized AP tests to either be eligible for college credit or to eliminate some college-required courses. This can reduce the time a student will spend in college and reduce the tuition (and textbook) cost. If your child knows the area he/she wants to major in, AP program is a way to eliminate the need to take foundation classes and focus immediately on the specialization area.
AP program is fast paced and requires a lot of independent work. Even in a regular program, teachers usually do not have time to provide individual help for students struggling with complicated material. It is even more so in the AP program.
Your job, as a parent, is to guide your child in the selection of AP courses. Students who enroll into AP course must be interested in the subject, must have been studying the subject in the past (either independently, or in school) and done well with it. Student should also have strong organizational skills, advanced study skills, and be willing to work hard.
Some high schools limit the number AP classes to three. This is done to prevent students to overload themselves by taking more AP classes in the hope for acceptance at best colleges. Colleges are looking for students who can manage college workload, but also who have interest in other activities.
AP coursework can be stressful. As a parent, you should look for signs that your child may be getting overwhelmed. Each child reacts differently to the amount of work he or she is facing. Some are loosing sleep, not only to have the work done, but also worrying about the homework, tests and exams. Some children are getting withdrawn and angry. Other subjects may start to suffer. Some children will change their behavior patterns. It is your job to notice the change and let your child know that he or she can talk to you about anything, and, as the case may be, about schoolwork and his or hers feelings about it.
If you uncover a problem, help your child to find ways to manage time better. You and your child may want to consider alternative courses. Schedule a meeting with your child's teacher to discuss the situation (have your child to participate in the meeting and voice his or hers concerns). Let your child know that you are there to help with challenges he or she is facing.
If you think that your child may benefit from on-on-one tutoring, do not hesitate to contact us either by phone (416.727.4220) or by e-mail @ firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be glad to provide a tutor for your child. SMART CHOICE TUTORING™ is here to help.
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According to the US National Mathematics Council, Algebra is a demonstrable gateway to later achievement. Algebra I is a prerequisite for all higher-level mathematics in high school -- Geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry, and Calculus. According to research, students that complete Algebra II for the most part succeed in college and earn more from employment. It’s critical to make sure your child is ready for this course. The US Educational Testing Service says that “the skills essential to success in college are much the same as those it takes to get ahead in the workplace. Just as courses like Algebra II are the gatekeepers to higher education, we must now come to understand that they are gatekeepers to well-paying jobs, as well.”
Depending on your chosen program in College or University, mathematics can be very important in achieving college readiness. Colleges and Universities look for higher-level courses when reviewing high school transcripts, so early proficiency in Algebra can be an indicator of college readiness. In fact, students who complete Algebra II are more than twice as likely to graduate from college compared to students with less mathematical preparation. Many students, who graduate the high school with weaker math preparation have to take remedial math courses in college, making getting a degree a longer, more expensive process. 2008 U.S. Department of Education report indicates that 21 percent of all first year students have taken at least one remedial course in College. A report from the US National Center for Academic Transformation indicates that at many community colleges it takes students about 2½ tries to pass introductory math courses. The situation is not significantly different in Canada. It is much easier and cheaper to learn the math first time than to relearn (and pay more for) it later!
By some estimates the math-dependent employment fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are outpacing overall job growth at a rate three times faster than other fields. The increased implementation of technology in all aspects of life has increased the need for math in all fields, including fields that were not math dependent before, such as car mechanic, dental technician, marketer, musician, movie director, nurse, race car driver, teacher, and so on. You name it, and you will name a field of human endeavor that is math dependent. Students that are prepared in mathematics will be better equipped in any career they choose.
Even if your child is not planning to pursue a career in any of the STEM fields, he or she should still take Algebra. A well-educated, cultured professional in any field, must be proficient in Mathematics, and especially in Algebra, because it permeates all aspects of life, business, and employment.
Before your child takes Algebra course, make sure that he or she is proficient in:
Comparing and converting
Ratios and proportions.
Problems develop when a child takes Algebra without developing critical skills. Once your child encounters difficulties in understanding in Algebra, it becomes more difficult to counter the negative view of mathematics and the child's inability to solve mathematical problems.
Once your child begins Algebra, monitor your child's progress. Ask to see the homework and the classwork and have your child explain a few of the problems and solutions to you. A successful student should know definitions, be able to prove relevant theorems, and be able to apply the knowledge to problem solving. Regularly check with your child’s teacher and do not hesitate to contact us either by phone (416.727.4220) or by e-mail @ email@example.com to seek help if you notice that your child is beginning to struggle.
There are many resources (either in print or on the web) which includes video lessons, fun and engaging online mathematical challenges, entertaining games, interactive concept tutorials, books, question and answer sites, and tutor pages. If you’re looking to help your child get strong in Algebra (or any other subject for that matter), SMART CHOICE TUTORING™ is here to help.
We will work with your child and (and with your permission with your child's teacher) to determine what help and to what extent is required, and will be glad to help your child on the road to quality education.
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