What’s the big picture for embedding literacy and numeracy via the new NZCALNE (Voc)?


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What’s the big picture?

Here’s the big picture for embedding literacy and numeracy and an update on our work at ALEC.

This is the big picture for our revised embedding process and pipeline. And it’s the big picture for the new NZCALNE (Voc) training and qualification that we’re feverishly working on.

New content for Collections 1 to 4 are complete. We’ve also finished the Portfolio+ assessments for 5 to 7. We’re still working on the regular content for Collections 5 to 7.

What does that mean?

That means that you or your tutors should be working on the new version of this qualification now.

If you’re an experienced tutor, that means that we are now set up to work with you using a portfolio approach for the practical work. Get in touch if this is you – assess@alec.ac.nz

It also means that we’ll have this new content live on Pathways Awarua shortly. There’s a short video overview here on my blog in the meantime and all the new content is summarised here with links.

Also, stay tuned for new and revised content for Collections 5 to 7 covering diagnostic assessment, planning, facilitating, and assessing progress.

If you want to print out the new structure, just hit the link below for a PDF version:

Strategies: How do I make my strategies more learner centred?


Strategies (14)

To finish off writing your strategies and this assessment, there are some questions that you need to answer. These questions apply to your literacy and numeracy strategies.

As always, you can skip ahead to the assessment template, or download a worksheet if you want to take notes now.

How are you going to address the opportunities or constraints you identified earlier?

Earlier, you identified different opportunities and constraints. Some of these may be outside of what you can influence. While others may be partially or fully within your influence. You need to say how you will deal with these.

For example, you might say something like this:

  • One constraint I mentioned earlier relates to the fact that my learners seem disengaged. I think I can deal with this by including them in some parts of my planning. For example, I think I can negotiate some of the learning goals with them and put this in a learning plan that they agree to.
  • One opportunity relates to how I can contextualise the learning. For example, I have to teach a new module next month on small motors. There will be lots of “hands on” workshop teaching, but my students will have lots of new vocabulary to learn.
  • Another opportunity could be developing a new practical project that we decide together. I can still make sure that we cover the content I need, but we might be able to focus the whole group on a new project so that they feel more ownership over the direction.

How are you going to make your programme more learner centred?

In the first and second assessments, we talked about different approaches, concepts and frameworks that all contribute to a more learner-centred approach to teaching. What are you going to do to make your teaching more learner-centred? We’d like to encourage you to try things that might be new to you.

You need to say how this relates to what you’re planning in your literacy strategy. For example:

  • I think I can make my programme more learner centred by adopting a more holistic approach. I already do this, but I think I can be more explicit when it comes to using a buddy system, or some kind of peer learning with my group. This should also free me up to work with others who really need my help as well. Hopefully, that means me talking less, and, as long as they’re on task, my learners talking more.

How will you encourage learner independence?

Developing independent learners is one of the goals of adult education. It’s part of our learner-centred approach. What are you going to do to encourage your learners to be more independent?

Here’s an example of what you might write:

  • One idea I’ve got for increasing learner independence with regards to these skills is to try and shift my role from being at the front of the room to setting up more group work with fewer interruptions. I need to think about how to structure this properly though as some will still want to work alone as well.
  • Another idea I’d like to implement through the programme is to build in more learner evaluation of what we’re working on. I need to do this at the end of the course anyway, but I might build in some smaller opportunities for them to evaluate some of the new material that I’m working on.

How are your strategies informed by other key frameworks?

In the first part of this course, we looked several key frameworks that should underpin your teaching. You’ve already said in detail now how you will use the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

Next, you need to say how each of these other frameworks below will influence or inform your overall teaching approach as you implement your strategies. Skip back to Collection 1 and 2 if you need to refresh your memory.

Māori frameworks and approaches

Is there some aspect of Te Whare Tapawhā that you could implement? For example:

  • I’d like to have a look at my teaching using Te Whare Tapawhā and see where I’ve attended to all four domains and where I haven’t. I feel that we have provided the resources (Taha tinana), but perhaps some students are really lacking a strong belief that they can succeed in our programme (Taha wairua). I can work on building relationships with the group and allowing time at the beginning of this semester for people to feel comfortable to say who they are, where they are from, and where they stand.

Are there one or two particular approaches or concepts from Te Ao Māori that you could implement more explicitly? For example:

  • I’d like to be more explicit about how I use ako and tuakana-teina with my group. I know this happens naturally at times, but I think I can set up the conditions for it in a better way. I’d like to experiment with pairing up learners in different ways to see what works best for this group.

Fonofale Pasifika

Is there some aspect of the Fonofale Pasifika approach that you could implement? For example:

  • I don’t always have Pasifika learners, but I think I can incorporate aspects of the Fonofale approach. I can be more mindful of what my learners’ longer-term goals are. I might need to connect more with family members to learn this. I can make time for my Pasifika (and other learners) to work out how my training can connect with their cultural values and beliefs. On my side, I’ll need to do some learning here to find out more about what their cultural beliefs and values are.

ESOL Starting Points

This one is optional. Not everyone has ESOL learners who need support to learn the basics of how to read and write words. If you are a trades or vocational tutor, feel free to skip ahead if this does not apply to you.

If you teach a workplace literacy course, though, it might be very relevant. For example:

  • I teach refugees and migrants in a workplace literacy course. This means all of my learners are ESOL learners. I haven’t used the Starting Points framework before, but I’ve been working with this content for a long time. My challenge is to have a look at the framework and see how it can add structure to what I already do. Out of the seven knowledge areas, we already have a good focus on listening vocabulary, phonological awareness, and high-interest areas. I have to use the TEC Starting Points assessment now so it would make sense to see how I can apply the framework

What’s your timeline for your strategies?

Your timeline will depend on the length of your programme. Here are some examples. An appropriate timeline might be:

  • One academic year for a 120 Credit, New Zealand Certificate course.
  • One semester for a programme that you teach at a local private training establishment.
  • 10 weeks for a trades-related taster course.
  • 40 hours of small group training in a workplace literacy course.

What’s your approach to evaluation for your strategies?

Success means different things for different people. Also, the timeframe for your strategy is going to have an impact as well. Here are some examples of how you could measure the success of your strategies over the longer term:

  • I intend to look at the gains my learners make using the TEC Assessment Tool – the LNAAT.
  • Another way that I’ll be evaluating this strategy is by observing any changes in learner behaviour in the short term. I’ll be looking for different kinds of literate and numerate behaviour. Specifically, for literacy, I want to see my students using different kinds of reading comprehension strategies successfully and demonstrating that they know and understand how to use much of the new vocabulary that we’ll be covering.
  • I’m also going to add some questions to our end of year evaluation to ask learners if they think they have improved in areas that connect with my strategy. For example, for numeracy, I’ll get them to rate their confidence in using some of the literacy and numeracy skills in practical ways.

Up next: We’ll change gears and shift our focus from big picture strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy at the level of your programme, to learning outcomes.

And it’s the more narrowly focused learning outcomes that will help you embed literacy and numeracy into your teaching sessions.

Strategies: How to write your own strategy for embedding measurement into your programme


Strategies (11)

If you are going to focus on measurement, it makes sense to combine this with a focus on number as well.

For example, many learners need to strengthen their knowledge of our number system and how place value works if they have to use metric measurement and related calculations in their trade.

In other words, if you want them to use the tools for measuring, they have to understand how the number system works to use the tools effectively. 

You can download our worksheet for this, or just follow along as you like.

  1. Choose items from the boxes and then add your own context below.
  2. Write out a final draft summarising your strategy.
  3. If you need to, make any changes to ensure your strategy addresses the measurement or other skills you want to concentrate on.

Teach my learners to measure and interpret shape and space with a focus on…

how to apply their knowledge of shapes

how to apply their knowledge of shapes and location

how to use units, tools, estimates, and formulas to measure objects

and how to use additive strategies

how to use multiplicative strategies

how to use proportional reasoning strategies

strengthening number sequence knowledge

strengthening place value knowledge

strengthening number facts knowledge

in the context of…  (add your own programme here)

Here’s an example. I will:

  • Teach my learners to measure and interpret shape and space with a focus on how to use units, tools, and estimates to measure objects; and strengthening number facts knowledge in the context of an introduction to farming.

There are some more examples to follow. Feel free to use or adapt these if you like. Or create your own according to the guidelines we’ve discussed.

 

Strategies: How to write your own strategy for embedding number skills into your programme


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Time to do some work

It’s your turn again. Design your own numeracy strategy by choosing from the options below. Download the worksheet to record your ideas. As always, you can skip ahead to the Assessment template and get started on this part right away.

For your assessment, you only need to focus on one numeracy strategy. We suggest that you use the tools below to create a broad numeracy strategy for your teaching programme for developing either number or measurement skills.

How to write your own strategy for number

  1. Choose one or two items from the box and then add your own context below.
  2. Write out a final draft summarising your strategy.
  3. If you need to, make any changes to ensure your strategy addresses the number skills you want to concentrate on.

I will: Teach my learners to use number to solve problems with a focus on…

how to use additive strategies

how to use multiplicative strategies

how to use proportional reasoning strategies

strengthening number sequence knowledge

strengthening place value knowledge

strengthening number facts knowledge

and
in the context of… (add your own programme here)

Here’s an example. I will:

  • Teach my learners to use number to solve problems with a focus on how to use multiplicative strategies and strengthening number fact knowledge in the context of the New Zealand Certificate in Employment Skills.

There are more examples coming shortly. But we’ll have a look at how to write a strategy for measurement strategy next.

And don’t forget: for your assessment task you only need to write one strategy for literacy and one strategy for numeracy.

Mapping literacy and numeracy demands: Some things to think about before we move on


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From here we can move on to the fourth section in the NZCALNE and how to teach better. Up next you’re going to use your knowledge of the literacy and numeracy demands to lay out some broad strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy into your training.

And once you’ve got your strategies in place we can move on to the super practical parts of this course:

  • Collection 5 – BEFORE: Looking at diagnostic assessment and learning plans.
  • Collection 6 – TEACHING: Planning and facilitating embedded activities.
  • Collection 7 – AFTER: Measuring learner progress in literacy and numeracy.

First, though, have a think about your answers to the questions below.

The questions aren’t assessed, so you don’t have to hand in your answers. But talking about what you think with someone, particularly a colleague who already knows how to use the Learning Progressions, will help you engage with this more deeply.

Mapping demands

  • Do you feel confident that you can map and analyse the big picture literacy and numeracy demands of your programme?
  • What about when it comes to mapping and analysing specific samples and tasks from your programme? How confident do you feel about that?
  • Were there any surprises for you when you did your analysis?
  • You’ve just mapped the demands of your training, but have you started thinking about where your learners might sit on the steps and progressions in relation to these demands?

Under the hood: Learning progressions for adult numeracy


Num Progs

The Learning Progressions for Adult Numeracy are part two of the Learning Progressions framework. We use the numeracy progressions to help us understand how to embed numeracy. Part one is the Literacy Progressions discussed in the last section.

Where does it come from?

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

What’s it for?

The numeracy progressions are

  • A guide to identifying the next numeracy steps for adult learners.

As we saw with literacy in the last section, the Numeracy Progressions provide a framework that shows what adult learners know and can do at successive points as they develop their expertise in numeracy learning.

The progressions describe what is learned in the order that it is usually learned. And just as we can with the Literacy Progressions, we can use the Numeracy Progressions to:

  • Identify the numeracy-related demands of a specific workplace, community, or personal tasks and texts.
  • Gain a basic picture of an adult learner’s current skills, strategies and knowledge in numeracy.
  • Decide on a sequence for teaching and learning specific numeracy skills.

What is it?

Like the Literacy Progressions, the Numeracy Progressions are best understood visually as three grids. These grids are the numeracy strands. There is one for number, one for statistics, and another for measurement.

Together these three strands are the framework we use for numeracy. Here is the number strand.

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The Number strand has six columns or progressions. In the strand above, the first column is the Additive Strategies Progression. We’ll talk about the details later, but for now all you need to know is that this includes addition and subtraction. And that there are six koru or steps going down from top to bottom.

Something else that’s good to know at this stage is that this strand has three strategies progressions on the right-hand side. And then you can see three other progressions on the left in grey. These grey ones are knowledge progressions.

This means that the koru or steps on the right includes all the things you need to know, in order to do all the things on the left. So the knowledge needs to come first.

Here’s the strand that includes shapes, space, and measurement.

screenshot-2017-02-15-22-05-57

As with the literacy strands we showed you before, we’ve taken out the details. All you need for now is to have an idea on how the framework is put together.

Module 3 is where we will fill in the details and show you how to work with it to work out the numeracy demands of your teaching or training.

To sum up, The Learning Progressions for Adult Numeracy are organised into three strands:

  • Make Sense of Number to Solve Problems
  • Reason Statistically
  • Measure and Interpret Shape and Space

As with literacy, each strand contains a group of progressions. Each progression highlights a particular area of knowledge or learning within a strand, for example, measurement.

And as before, each step or koru in a progression represents a development step as learners strengthen or build their expertise.

How is it relevant?

Everything that we said before about the Literacy Progressions applies here. Except the focus is on numeracy. The underlying idea is that the numeracy progressions can help you teach better.

Our focus in this course, involves you using the numeracy progressions to do the following.

  • Work out the numeracy demands of your teaching (Module 3 – Demands).
  • Design strategies for embedding numeracy into your programme (Module 4).
  • Assess and understand your learners’ numeracy needs better (Module 5 – Before).
  • Plan how to embed numeracy into teaching and activities (Module 6 – Teaching).
  • Assess learner numeracy progress (Module 7 – After).

What does it mean for me?

Once you have a working knowledge of the Learning Progressions you’ll be able to focus on better teaching by understanding the demands of your training, the strengths and needs of your learners, and what you need to do to move your learners on to the next step.

As with literacy there are implications for you relating to assessment. If you use the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT), you’ll need to do a numeracy assessment as well.

This one also generates a detailed report for each learner showing key numeracy strengths and needs. It looks like this.

num-assm

Make sure that you have access to these reports. In an ideal world, you should have electronic access to the tool itself. But if you don’t, then ask your tool admin person to email them to you.

We’ll show you how to make sense of the information later. This will be a key part of Module 5 when we cover the kinds of diagnostic tools and processes you can use to be a better, more informed educator.

Under the hood: The Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy


Lit ProgsThe Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy are one of the main frameworks we use for understanding how to embed literacy. We often refer to it as just the Literacy Progressions.

It’s part of a pair of progressions we use in adult teaching. The other one is the Learning Progressions for Adult Numeracy. More on that in the next section, though.

Where does it come from?

The Learning Progressions were created by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). The TEC directs and funds much of tertiary education in New Zealand.

What’s it for?

The Literacy Progressions are

  • A guide to identifying the next literacy steps for adult learners.

The progressions provide a framework that shows what adult learners know and can do at successive points as they develop their expertise in literacy learning.

The progressions also describe what is learned in the order that it is usually learned. This means it’s a tool for helping us teach better. This includes:

  • Identifying the English-language demands of a specific workplace, community, or personal tasks and texts.
  • Working out a basic picture of an adult learner’s current skills, strategies and knowledge in oral and written English.
  • Deciding on a sequence for teaching and learning specific literacy skills.

What is it?

The easiest way to understand what the Literacy Progressions are is to see them. There are four grids. One for each of listening, reading, listening and speaking. These four grids are called strands. Together they are the framework we use for literacy.

Here is the reading strand.

screenshot-2017-02-15-21-29-49In the reading strand above you can see five columns. These columns are the progressions. If you look across the top, you can see what they are called. For example, in the reading strand above, the second column is the Vocabulary Progression.

Each progression has several boxes. These boxes are numbered. At the top, the first box is called koru 1 or step 1. As we go down, the koru or steps increase. At the bottom of the progression is step 6.

Sometimes several koru or steps are combined. For example, in the vocabulary progression you can see koru 1, 2 and 3, but then a combined koru 4/5 which is a larger box. These double steps mean that the learning at this step takes some time to develop and really sink in.

Here’s the writing strand.screenshot-2017-02-15-21-33-29

Again, you can see some single steps and some double. The full version of each strand has a lot of information at each step. We’ve taken out all the details for now. We just want you to get the idea without getting bogged down. We’ll come back to this detail in module 3. Feel free to skip ahead if you think you need it, though.

We’ll come back to this detail in module 3. Feel free to skip ahead if you think you need it, though.

To sum up, The Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy are organised into four strands:

  • Listen with Understanding
  • Speak to Communicate
  • Read with Understanding
  • Write to Communicate.

Each strand contains a group of progressions. Each progression highlights a particular area of learning within a strand, for example,  vocabulary. And each step or koru in a progression represents a development step as learners build their expertise.

How is it relevant?

The literacy progressions are relevant because they can help you teach better. In this course, you’ll learn how to use the literacy progressions framework to help you do the following.

  • Work out the literacy demands of your teaching (Module 3 – Demands).
  • Design strategies for embedding literacy into your programme (Module 4).
  • Understand your learners’ literacy needs better (Module 5 – Before).
  • Plan how to embed literacy into teaching and activities (Module 6 – Teaching).
  • Assess learner literacy progress (Module 7 – After).

What does it mean for me?

What it means for you is that you can better understand the demands of your training, the needs of your learners, and what you need to do to bridge any gaps between where the course is at and where your learners are at.

Another implication for you relates to assessment. Many tutors already assess their learners using the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT).

This assessment tool generates a detailed literacy report for each learner that looks like this.

lit-assessm

Some tutors assess their learners using the tool but never get to see the results like this. If that you, then ask for the reports. Otherwise, it’s a wasted opportunity for better teaching and learning.

As a teacher or a trainer, you can’t make sense of this information if you don’t understand the literacy progressions. If you do understand how the progressions work, then you can use the information to help you make better decisions in your teaching.

Better decisions mean better teaching.

We’ll take a good look at this assessment tool and how it works in Module 5. This is when we’ll look at how you assess your learners’ literacy needs. And this includes using the LNAAT, but also using your own tools for your own context.