Demands: What are strands, progressions and steps?


Knowing the demands (5) As we learned in the first part of this course, the strands are the big content areas. These are the big grids that we’ll use for mapping.

Literacy has four strands and numeracy has three. These are as follows:

  • Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy
    • Listen to understand
    • Speak to communicate
    • Read with understanding
    • Write to communicate
  • Learning Progressions for Adult Numeracy
    • Make sense of number to solve problems
    • Reason statistically
    • Measure and interpret shape and space

Each strand then breaks down into a number of progressions. These are the smaller content areas that fit inside the strand. Some of the jargon here might be new.

For now, don’t worry if there are new words or you’re not quite sure about what they mean. We’ll get to that shortly. Just pay attention to how things are organised for now.

For example, here is a simplified version of the Read with Understanding strand and progressions. You might remember this from the first assessment as well.

Screenshot 2017-03-16 10.44.25

Here’s how the strand breaks down:

  • Read with Understanding
    • Decoding progression
    • Vocabulary progression
    • Language and text progression
    • Comprehension progression
    • Reading critically progression.

From here, each progression breaks down into steps. We also call these koru. Each step or koru describes different kinds of knowledge or skills.

Here’s an example of the steps from the Vocabulary progression in the Reading strand above:

Vocabulary Most adults will be able to
Koru / step 1 have a reading vocabulary of everyday words, signs and symbols.
Koru / step 2 have a reading vocabulary of everyday words that includes some compound words.
Koru / step 3 have a reading vocabulary of everyday words and some less common words, acronyms and abbreviations.
Koru / step 4 – 5 have a reading vocabulary that includes some general academic words and some specialised words.
Koru / step 6 have a large reading vocabulary that includes general academic words and specialised words and terms.

Some steps or koru are combined like steps 4 and 5 in the example above. But the important thing to know is that there are six possible divisions.  

One exception is that in the Make Sense of Number to Solve Problems strand, the knowledge progressions stop at step 5. There’s a reason for this, but we’ll come to it later.  

Koru/Step 1 indicates the initial learning step and as the learning builds and the demands increase so do the steps.

Another way to think about this is that step 1 or 2 skills or knowledge are basic and often developmental, while skills or knowledge at step 5 or 6 are more complex and need to be applied to real life.

Here’s an example. These are the steps in the Number Facts Progression in the Make Sense of Number to Solve Problems strand. 

Number Facts Most adults will know
Koru / step 1 addition facts with sums of 5 or 10.
Koru / step 2 basic addition and subtraction facts up to 10 + 10.
Koru / step 3 basic multiplication facts up to 10 x 10.
Koru / step 4 basic multiplication facts with tens, hundreds, and thousands.
Koru / step 5 fraction, decimal and percentage conversions for halves, thirds, quarters, fifths, and tenths.
Koru / step 6 Left blank

We will limit our focus in this training to just two strands for each of literacy and numeracy. You can go beyond this if you want to. But for your assessments, we only require you to look at reading, writing, number, and measurement.

2 thoughts on “Demands: What are strands, progressions and steps?

  1. Pingback: Demands: Thinking deeper about your big picture literacy demands | thisisgraeme

  2. Pingback: DEMANDS – New Content for the new NZCALNE Assessment 3 with ALEC | thisisgraeme

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