Plain English Definitions for the Numeracy Progressions


Num Progs

In my reductionist quest to make things in education more accessible, I’ve started revising the definitions we use.

The reason for this is that they get in the way a lot of the time. And this is because they are too hard to understand. Or not explained well. Or used as a kind of mental battering ram.

I’ve already had a go at plain-English definitions for the literacy progressions. So this post is part 2 on the numeracy progressions. Part 1 on the literacy definitions is here if you missed it.

So… here’s a list of the numeracy progressions below, with my plain English explanations. As before, if this is something that you’re involved with using, either as a tutor or manager, I’d like some feedback.

I want to know if these make sense. I’ve tried to use a limited vocabulary, active voice, and no adverbs.

Some of this is just the language of maths and we have to use it. But I also want to cut anything that’s not needed.

Have I missed anything? If yes, how can I add critical aspects of meaning to these without making it sound like rocket science?

The audience is trades and vocational tutors who are non-experts in literacy and numeracy.

Here you go… Please direct any feedback to the comment section. Thanks…!

Additive Strategies Using + and – to solve problems
Multiplicative Strategies Using x and ÷ to solve problems
Proportional Reasoning Using fractions, decimals, %, proportions, ratios, rates to solve problems
Number Sequence Knowing the sequence of numbers forwards and backwards. Includes integers, fractions, decimals, %
Place Value Knowing the place and value of numbers. Includes tens, hundreds, thousands, fractions and decimals adding up to 1. Ordering and converting between fractions, decimals, %.
Number Facts Knowing +, -, x and ÷ facts from memory. Also knowing fraction, decimal, and % facts.
Preparing Data Sorting, organising, and representing data for analysis.
Analysing Data Describing and comparing data for interpretation.
Interpreting Data Interpreting and discussing data to predict and conclude
Probability Knowing about chance, likelihood, and possible outcomes.
Shapes and Transformations Describing and working with shapes. Includes shapes of two or three dimensions.
Location Working with  movement, distance, direction, bearings, grid references, maps, scales.
Measurement Comparing, ordering and measuring things. Includes using the right tools, systems, formulas, estimates and conversions.

Plain English Definitions for the Literacy Progressions


Lit Progs

I’ve started writing new course content for the new NZCALNE (Voc) – the latest version of our course. I want to revise the definitions that we use to talk about the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

The terminology is confusing for most people. And some of the existing definitions are not very helpful either.

Here’s a list of the literacy progressions below, with my plain English explanations. If this is something that you’re involved with using, either as a tutor or manager, I’d like some feedback.

I want to know if these make sense below. This is still a specialised area, but I’ve tried to use a limited vocabulary, active voice, and no adverbs.

Have I missed any critical aspects of the meanings? If yes, how can I add these without making it sound like rocket science? The audience is trades and vocational tutors who are non-experts in literacy and numeracy.

Here’s the list. Please direct any feedback to the comment section. Thanks…!

Vocabulary Knowing the meanings of words, how to use them, and how they relate to each other.
Language & Text Features Using and understanding language, texts, and parts of texts including speech.
Comprehension Understanding the messages, making connections with what you know, inferring meanings.
Listening Critically Understanding who is speaking and why. Aware of speakers’ purposes and points of view
Interactive Listening & Speaking Taking part in conversations and discussions. This includes taking turns, interrupting in a way that is appropriate and checking meanings.
Using Strategies to Communicate Getting ideas and information across to others in a way that is effective.
Decoding Knowing how to say written words out loud
Reading critically Understanding who wrote something, why, and for whom.
Purpose & Audience Having reasons and goals for writing. Knowing who you are writing for.
Spelling Writing words in a way that is correct and consistent.
Planning & Composing Deciding what to write about. Then recording ideas.
Revising & Editing Making changes and corrections to writing. The aim is that the writing is clear, meets your purpose and engages with the audience.

10 Reasons You Should Move to New Zealand, Not Canada


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Dear Smart People of America…

We’re much smaller than Canada, but we’re also far away from America. Some things to think about:

  1. We have the internet here too. This means that you can run your tech startup from the other side of the world.
  2. We would welcome your entrepreneurial thinking, your technology,  and investments in our small, but growing economy, and burgeoning start-up environment.
  3. We’re not perfect, but we’re a great, small, safe, liberal, tolerant country to raise your kids.
  4. We don’t have poisonous snakes, bugs, or really anything dangerous growing or lurking in the beautiful native bush.
  5. We make excellent wine, brew fantastic coffee, and grow grass fed beef and excellent quality fruit and vegetables.
  6. If you’ve seen the Lord of the Rings, you already know what the scenery looks like… You can hike up a glacier in the morning, surf in the afternoon. We are a country of sportspeople and we love the great outdoors.
  7. We don’t have nuclear weapons.
  8. We don’t have handguns or assault rifles.
  9. We don’t have any enemies either.
  10. Did I mention we’re about as far away from America as you can get?

You really should read the Productivity Commission report on the future of tertiary education…


productivity-cover2

I know that it’s a terrible title for a blog post.

But you really should read the Productivity Commission report on new models of tertiary education.

The report is 402 pages long, so here are your options:

And here’s why should you stop playing Candy Crush and read it…

It’s a damning indictment of the status quo and lack of innovation in tertiary education in New Zealand.

I might comment on this at some stage, but you need to read it for yourself and make up your own mind as to what next for tertiary education in New Zealand.

The report analyses the problems with the current system including over-regulation and control by government, but also presents some of the possible ways forward.

Opportunity knocks…