How do you get started mapping literacy and numeracy demands with the Learning Progressions (and for Assessment 3 of the NCALNE (Voc)?

Lit Progs

Ok… so you’ve enrolled in the NCALNE (Voc) training to upskill yourself around literacy and numeracy. Or perhaps someone has twisted your arm and now you’re up to your neck in this stuff.

If you’re lucky you’ve been to one of the ALEC workshops and been introduced to the Learning Progressions and had a chance to have a play with the system and how it works.

Perhaps you’re doing the training by distance and you’ve only had access to Pathways Awarua where you can view an entire interactive module on mapping for free. And you might have had a look at our Youtube Channel which also has some tips on what to do.

But you’re still trying to figure out what to do to map the literacy and numeracy demands of your course…

Here’s the first problem: You can’t map everything... there’s not enough time in the day.

Here’s the second problem: There’s so many little nitty gritty details that you instantly become overwhelmed.

Well here’s the solution:

  1. You don’t map everything. You pick and choose some general stuff and a couple of specific but representative samples.
  2. You take a relaxed approach that we call “best guess – don’t stress”
  3. You get familiar with the main literacy and numeracy strands that you think are relevant to your context and eliminate any that aren’t. Work with just the strand charts if the books are too much.
  4. At every point through your analysis, whether looking at the big picture demands or the specific samples you’ve chosen, ask yourself the question: What do I need to know in order to be able to do this?
  5. You start off mapping the “big picture” general literacy and numeracy demands.
    • Map the general literacy demands of your training. This is the big picture stuff. E.g. For a horticulture course I’d expect to see there are lots of technical  words and plant names which would create high demands around progressions like decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension.
    • Map the general numeracy demands of your training. Again, work with the big picture stuff. E.g. For my horticulture example, probably measurement and calculating area are things you might have to get your learners to do in order to learn the trade or complete the course work.
  6. Next you get specific with several samples that target key literacy areas. We usually suggest reading and writing, , but you could pick others like listening and speaking too. You need sample tasks and text to go with these.
    • Map the Specific reading demands of some sample of your course work. E.g. is there a particular reading text that always causes a lot of difficulty for your learners. E.g. this might be something from a course book, a code of practice, a label from the back of package or container. We just need to focus on one thing that your learners need to read that they struggle with. Whatever you pick, keep a copy as evidence because you’ll need that for your NCALNE (Voc) course work.
    • Map the specific writing demands of some sample of your course work. E.g. is there something that they have to write for you that causes problems. E.g. in a work context this could be an accident report. Or in a course context it might be something like a work diary or a short research report that gets assessed.
  7. Then you get specific with several samples that target key numeracy areas. We usually suggest number and measurement, but you could add statistics if it was relevant. You need sample tasks and text to go with these as well.
    • Map the Specific number demands for some kind of calculation that they have to perform. E.g. this could be something that happens mentally (e.g. count all the seedlings in the nursery), or something that you expect them to work out physically (a planting bed for potatoes measuring 2.8m x 1.2 m).
    • Map the specific measurement demands for something that they have to measure. Measurement here can be linear, area, volume, time, weight, mass or anything else that is practical and relevant.

That’s it… that’s usually enough for our purposes. You can always come back and focus again on a particular area of your course, training or work that needs development, but to get started and get basic idea of the course demands for your training or education programme just a basic look at the general demands as well as couple of specific samples is enough. Ok… off you go…!

Num Progs

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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