Fork in the Road: Intermediate to Senior Mathematics

When students transition from grade  10 to 11, they have opportunities to specialize in what they would like to study. This transition may be difficult for students who are not used to having much choice in the courses they select. In order for students to successfully transition from the fairly regimented intermediate grades to the more flexible senior grades, they will need guidance. Teachers, parents and students need to be equal partners in the planning process.

Teacher collaboration in supporting students through transition periods

For students going from grade 10 to grade 11, there are many directions they can go. Applied students will be able to choose College or Workplace Math, while Academic students will be able to choose University or University/College math.

Intermediate teachers should have discussions with Senior teachers, department heads as well as guidance teachers regarding course selection. Intermediate teachers can relay information to students before the course selection window so that students can think deeply about what course they decide to take the following year.

Opportunities for self-advocacy from students and their parents

With the information from senior-level, guidance and head teachers, students and parents should be advised on the pathways that are possible in mathematics (retrieved from OAME:

These pathways are not definitive, but represent a common flow from one course to the next. Students, parents and teachers should discuss the implications of taking these courses on college and university admissions. This is the time when a student should start considering possible post-secondary avenues.

There is still time after grade 10 to change, but it will require a lot more work from the student. If the student and parents are made aware of this early, the student has an increased chance of graduating on time and entering their desired post-secondary institution as soon as possible.

How do you assist students with the transition from grade 10 to grade 11 mathematics? Please share your story in the comments.

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