Friday, 22 July 2016

Ontario Focused Intervention Program (OFIP)

Description of Program

“OFIP Tutoring supports school boards in initiating or extending programs that help students in Grades JK to 6 to strengthen their literacy and numeracy skills beyond the regular school day. This includes programs such as before and after-school tutoring, homework clubs and cultural programs that focus on literacy and numeracy skill development. Partnerships with existing community-based programs that provide tutoring for students are encouraged” (Ministry of Education, 2016).

The Process

Trista Dutt (my teaching partner) approached me to be part of this wonderful learning opportunity as one of 6 educators to implement the OFIP tutoring program in Moraine Hills Public School for our Senior Kindergarten Students. We then created a Proposal that outlined different learning opportunities and how we were going to assess learning, communicate with students/parents, etc. After conducting observations and assessments in the area of Literacy, we developed a program that aimed to support and strengthen Literacy skills based on students’ individual needs. 

My Role
  • To support students with their literacy development in providing them with a variety of play-based learning opportunities

  • To conduct Assessments: PM Benchmarks, Guided Reading, Anecdotal Observations, etc.

  • To communicate with parents and teachers about the students’ progress/strengths/needs

  • To collaborate with co-teachers and shared lesson planning

  • To model and encourage a Growth Mindset!


Overall, I felt that this was a great learning opportunity, not only for my students but for myself as well. I was able to further strengthen my communication skills, organization skills, planning and assessment skills, observation and documentation skills, as well as instructional strategies. I was overjoyed to observe the process of my students as they achieved so much in such a little time (2 month period, 3 times per week). This experience truly showed me that focused support and differentiated instruction that is tailored to your student’s individual strengths, needs, and interests improves academic achievement. It also strengthened my belief that a Growth Mindset is key to all learning and well-being. In the beginning, I had students saying, “why am I here?” “I can’t do that” “I can’t read that” “I cant spell that”. After modelling a Growth Mindset and fostering a respectful, supportive, and inclusive learning community, my students began to say, “Look, Ms. Marcelli, I can do it!” “I can read that word and I used the stretching out strategy” “I sounded out the letters and chunked the words” “That word is part of the ing family” “I can make a text to self connection”. The words “I can’t” were replaced with “I can”, followed by examples of “heres how I did it”. I was utterly impressed and proud of my students and how far they have come, not only academically, but within their over-all well-being and mindset as well.

Resonating Video

There are many inspiring quotes and videos but I really enjoy watching TEDTalk videos and I have found one that highlights the benefits of a growth mindset through sound research and thought I would share! A few main points I took away from this video were:
  • Abilities can be developed
  • We all learn from mistakes and embrace the yet
  • People who have a growth mindset responds well to challenges
  • When educators create growth mindset environments, equality happens
  • When the process is praised and encouraged it provides students with a greater confidence, persistence, greater use of strategies, and the power of positivity
  • Growth mindsets ignite the power of learning- neutrons in the brain form stronger connections
I hope you enjoyed reading about how myself and a team of educators have implemented the OFIP Tutoring program in our school and how much the students gained from this experience. Growth Mindsets were encouraged throughout the process, which allowed our students to re-frame their thinking from "I can't" to "I can" and I will continue to embrace Growth Mindsets within any learning community I am part of!

Click here to read more about the program from Trista Dutt of KindieKorner!