Ontario Adds Coding and Personal Finance to New Math Curriculum for 1st Grade

The new elementary system hopes to improve the dwindling math scores in the province.
Fabienne Lang

Kids in first grade in Ontario, Canada, can expect to have an interesting and new math curriculum, come the start of the next school year. 

The new elementary school math system will include coding and personal finance as part of its teachings, also focusing on a more "back to basics" ethic to try and push up grades in the province. 

The new curriculum, however, has been met with some backlash. 


Updated elementary math classes

"I would argue from a competitive landscape, we must take action immediately to improve math scores," Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce,  said on Tuesday.

"I appreciate the broader challenge around us, but we must move forward with these necessary reforms to give hope to these students that when they graduate they can aspire to get a good-paying job," he added. 

The new math curriculum information has met some backlash, as those who oppose it state rolling it out during a pandemic is not the right way forward. They argue that it would be too much for teachers and parents to take on in the current environment, which is likely to carry on through until schools start back up in September

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The new math plan looks to introduce coding as early as Grade 1, adding fractions to Grade 5, and financial planning in Grade 6. Children will also have to go back to basics and memorize the multiplication tables up to 12 times 12, and remember number facts. 

It looks like the curriculum will be a mixture of going back to these basic maths teachings, as well as incorporating vital life skils for the future, which involve coding and finances. 

Teachers are due to learn the new curriculum material over the summer holidays by receiving resources and training over that period. 

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