Demands: What are some specific reading demands?


We are going to be working with the Read with Understanding strand. Now… let’s go through it slowly. If you are already an experienced mapper, please skip ahead to the assessment task.

1. Print out the Read with Understanding strand.

Make sure you have the Read with Understanding strand in front of you so you can refer to the details for each step.

It looks like this, but it will have descriptions of skills and knowledge in all of the steps. You can Download the Read with Understanding Strand Chart if you need to.

Read with Understanding

Screenshot 2017-03-16 10.44.252. Choose a specific sample reading text or task from your teaching programme.

Choose some kind of teaching material that your learners have to work with, not NZQA unit standard descriptions.

Here are some examples of samples that you could choose:

  • Several pages from a workbook containing difficult vocabulary or new terminology.
  • Pages from a Code of Practice that people don’t always understand.
  • Content from a workplace induction procedure.
  • A health and safety compliance document.
  • A complicated notice that people have to read and understand.
  • Relevant pages from an Act of Parliament that is relevant to training and assessment.

3. Have clear reasons for choosing the sample

In the assessment template, you’ll need to say why you chose the sample. There are lots of reasons. Here are some:

  • You might have chosen some teaching material that you already know causes difficulties for your learners.
  • You might already know that you need to create some new material to teach a new part of your programme.
  • Your supervisor or manager may have asked you to focus on something in particular.

4. Start your mapping with the Vocabulary progression

In a nutshell, what you’re going to do at every stage is refer to the Strand charts and then shade in your own chart down to the relevant step.

We’re going to practice with the vocabulary progression. This is the easiest place to start.

For most training that has a technical aspect, like trades or employment focused training, it’s safe to start at around step 4/5 for reading. Look at the description for vocabulary at step 4/5.

You’ll see the following:

“… a reading vocabulary that includes some general academic
words and some specialised words”.

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.


5. Use what you know about your own subject

At this point, you need to use your own knowledge of your training material or work to decide whether this applies. In other words:

  • Does the sample require your learners to be able to use some academic words (like “measure”, “demonstrate”, “evaluate”, for example)?
  • Does the material require your learners to use some words that are specific to your trade or specialised training content (“listeria” for catering, “glyphosate” for farming or horticulture, or “Nogs and dwangs” for carpentry, for example)?

If your answer was no, then you need to drop back to step 3 and see if that fits better. Step 3 for vocabulary means there are no academic words and no specialised or technical words.

If you answered yes, then you should push ahead to step 6 and see if the answer is still yes to the description there.

Step 6 applies to vocabulary where you expect your learners to be working with a large bank of academic and specialised or technical words.

If you work in trades, your material is probably at least at steps 4/5 or 6 for vocabulary.

If you have a lot of technical jargon to deal with then go with step 6. If there’s just a bit, but it’s not too much then go with steps 4/5, which is a combined step.

If you’re not sure about what step, this process works well if you do it together with a colleague who knows what you know about what you teach or train.

6. Map the demands on paper first

If you’re working on paper, get a highlighter and shade down from the top until you’ve included the highest step that you identified for vocabulary. You’ll end up with something like this:

Screenshot 2017-03-20 17.32.43

This is mapping. Above, we’ve mapped the vocabulary demands for reading at steps 4 / 5.

You can download a chart and worksheet here for mapping your own reading sample. It’s exactly the same as section 3.3 of your assessment task. Print this out and you can use it as a rough draft and for notes.

7. Map your reading sample against the rest of the progressions in the strand.

Once you’ve mapped vocabulary, you can move on to Decoding and then other progressions. The system is the same. For each relevant progression:

  • Start somewhere in the middle of the steps – say around step 3.
  • Read the description from the Strand Chart for this step.
  • Use your judgement and decide of your sample matches the description. If it doesn’t drop down to a lower step. If it does, go to a higher step and repeat.

If a progression is not relevant you can skip it. But make sure you have a reason for this as your tutor or assessor may ask you.

There is also some subjective judgement involved. But also, you are the expert here. You know your own content. In the case of vocabulary, it’s easy… If you see technical jargon, you can’t map it at step 3. It has to be above this.

Also, many of the skills and knowledge required at steps 1 and 2 is very developmental. For trades and most courses, you’re going to be mapping at step 3 and above.

In fact, if you are a trades tutor, you may find that much of your course is at step 5 and 6.

When you’ve mapped all of the relevant reading progressions for your sample, you might end up with something like this:

Screenshot 2017-03-20 17.32.54

This is mapping in visual terms. From here you need to be able to talk about your results and what they mean.

When you complete the assessment task, you’ll need to answer a series of questions to show that you know what you’ve just done.

These questions are in the assessment template and in the worksheet if you download it. They’re also here below:

  • What text or task did you use?
  • Why did you choose this as your sample?
  • Out of everything here, what are the most important progressions and steps?
  • What about planning for assessment and teaching?

In the template, there are prompts to help you answer the questions. Feel free to ignore them if you like. But they are there to help you get started writing your answers and guide you in the right direction.

If you can map a sample reading text and answer the questions above, you can move onto the next module. Keep your sample handy, though. You’ll need to scan it and upload it when you submit your finished assessment task.

CONTEXT – New Content for the new NZCALNE Assessment 1 with ALEC


new-stuff

Teach Better Now with ALEC in 2017

We’re in the middle of a transition from the existing NCALNE (Voc) to the newer version of this qualification – the NZCALNE (Voc). Most qualifications are now in the process of shifting from the old “National” quals to the current “New Zealand” quals.

It’s a bit of a messy transition as we’re all caught in the middle. We really like the new unit standards so we want to switch everyone to the newest version as fast as possible. This means that we’re writing the new content as we go.

If you have the old assessment 1 and you want to see the new one, please email us on assess@alec.ac.nz and ask for the new assessment 1 template.

If this is confusing, please email as well or ring Graeme on 0800-ALEC-1-2. There will be some teething problems to make the shift, but we’d rather roll out the new qualification now rather than later. It’s much better.

New course structure

The new course structure is similar to the old with a few changes to make it more streamlined. There’s a short explanation below and a longer one here.

  1. Context
  2. Approaches
  3. Demands
  4. Strategies
  5. Before
  6. Teaching
  7. After

New Assessment 1

You are welcome to stick with the old assessment 1 if you’ve already made a start. But if you haven’t, here is what you need to know below.

New content for assessment 1 is complete but it hasn’t made it’s way onto Pathways Awarua just yet. But it is on Graeme’s blog now.

The new assessment 1 no longer requires you to write a report and there are only three parts. There’s still work to do, but it’s a lot easy to focus on just the three content areas of definitions, frameworks, and factors.

Down below are the links you need for all of the new content for Assessment 1 including:

  • What do we mean? Definitions for literacy and numeracy
  • What’s under the hood? Frameworks we use in adult literacy and numeracy
  • Why do we have this problem? Factors associated with low adult literacy and numeracy.

Follow the links below for definitions and explanations

What do we mean?

What’s under the hood?

Why do we have this problem?

If you’re stuck, please get in touch with us assess@alec.ac.nz

 

Under the hood: ESOL Starting Points


screenshot-2017-02-17-11-49-05

The Starting Points framework allows tutors to focus on learning that happens at or before koru/step 1 on the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy. This is often in an ESOL context.

Where does it come from?

The ESOL Starting Points were created by The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). This was in response for a guide for working with learners who are pre-literate or very low level literacy learners.

What’s it for?

If we work with ESOL learners, the Starting Points allows us to focus on seven important areas that:

provide support for working out how to read and write words (decoding written words, forming letters, and writing or encoding words) to enable learners to access and work within the first steps of the learning progressions.

They represent critical skills and knowledge that are essential for supporting adult literacy development.

Without these skills and knowledge, it is unlikely a learner could advance significantly through the progressions for reading and writing (Starting Points, p. 3).

What is it?

It’s not represented by grid with strands and steps like the Learning Progressions. This is because the skills and knowledge are closely related and cross over.

Here are the seven knowledge areas:

  • Listening vocabulary. This includes the words a person recognises when they hear them in spoken language.
  • Phonological awareness. This refers to a learner’s ability to hear, recognise, and use the sounds that make up spoken words.
  • Sound-letter relationships. This is ability to make connections between sounds and the letters that represent them.
  • Print and word concepts. This refers to the rules that govern the use of the written language.
  • Letter formation. This relates to how well someone can form letters so they can write down words.
  • Environmental print. This refers to the words and images found out and about. This can include billboards, advertising, signs and labels.
  • High-interest words. These are words that are personally important that learners might recognise on sight. An example would be someone’s own name or a brand like McDonalds.

How is it relevant?

The ESOL Starting Points will not be relevant for everyone. For example, if you are teaching a trades or vocational training programme it’s unlikely that you will need to use the Starting Points.

However, if you are teaching a workplace literacy programme that involves new migrants, refugees, or other pre-literate learners then the Starting Points could be very relevant and useful.

What does it mean for me?

If you do have low-level ESOL learners, you will probably need to use the Starting Points reading assessment. This is part of the LNAAT.

If you’re unsure about this it could be a good idea to talk to the person in your organisation that administers the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT).

This assessment generates a report similar to the one’s we looked at earlier for the Literacy Progressions. For some courses, such as workplace literacy, doing this assessment will be a condition of your funding.

Embedding Literacy & Numeracy Case Study: Cashflow 101 – Part 1


cashflow-101

I’m trying an experiment.

I own this game above. It’s kinda cool… like monopoly on steroids. It teaches principles of investing and financial literacy.

Numeracy, in other words.

Anyway, I’m going to use it as a case study. I want to apply the embedded literacy and numeracy process that we teach in our professional development to the game.

Games are a great way to learn and I’ve got ideas on how to turn the course and qualification that I teach into a game as well. Perhaps a couple of games…

I’ve done an analysis of the language that the game uses. From this I designed contextualised pre and post assessments for the specialised vocabulary.

And I’ve unpacked some of the calculations that you have to do to maintain your balance sheet during the game play. I’ve turned these into pre and post assessments for the numeracy content.

Today we administered the pre assessments to a group of (mostly) young people. I still have to analyse the results, but it’s looking interesting.

The plan from here is to look at delivery of a series of short, highly targeted teaching interventions based on what the results of the diagnostic tests tell us. This will include some self directed learning as well as face to face sessions with the group.

I want to look at how effective the combination of embedded LN teaching is combined with more extensive game play over a limited number of hours in a short space of time.

After the teaching + game play sessions we’ll do the diagnostic assessments as a post test. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see some improvements in the scores.

Pizza (or something) will be my shout.

The plan is to post the analysis and development here. No names will be mentioned…

But I want to share the development, resources and the process. The reason for this is so you can see how the embedding process could apply to your own context.

We need some good models for others to refer to… I’m not saying this is going to be exemplary…

But, in the absence of much else in the public domain for people to look at I’m hoping it will inspire you to copy the process and share it with others.

How To Develop Great Teaching Materials In 5 Steps


Screenshot 2015-08-25 22.11.00

It’s no secret that I love the process of developing new resources. That’s something that hasn’t changed over quite a few years of teaching and training.

My process for materials development has changed quite a lot of the last few years though.

I have 5 rules for myself for this process. Well, they’re more like guidelines.

  1. Solve a problem. My students tend to drive new resource creation. They just don’t know it. Most of my resource creation happens as a reaction to common problems in the learning process.
    • At the moment, many of my students are stuck on Assessment 4 in the course that I teach. In this assignment they have to collate several different kinds of evidence. I have a checklist, but I wanted to create something visual. Here’s the checklist. For my poster though, I’m only interested in the far left hand side.
      Screenshot 2015-08-25 21.56.19
  2. Start analog. I make a point of starting with my non digital tools first. I like to get the shape of the idea sketched out on the white board or in my journal. Or usually both.
    • Here’s my first draft of a poster for Assessment 4 on the white board. I started portrait and then redrew it in landscape on the left.
      WB
    • Here’s my second draft. I want people to see the different kinds of evidence they have to collect. And then make the links to their Study Guide and Assessment Guide. This time I’ve redrawn the poster in my notebook.
      Journal 2
  3. Finish digital. From the white board and journal, I move on to the digital tools. Currently, I’m learning to use Adobe Illustrator. This is a new tool for me and I’m still figuring it out.
    • Here’s a couple of printouts from early versions of the handout that I was working on.
      printouts
  4. Iterate as fast as possible. I go through many different versions before I’m happy with the final product.
    • Here’s the current version in Illustrator.
      Screenshot 2015-08-25 14.27.52
  5. Realise that it’s never finished. One of the things I realised early on in my teaching career was that my resources needed to be dynamic. The content needs to evolve, rather than remain static.
    • Here’s a screen shot of the PDF of the resource (for now anyway).
      Screenshot 2015-08-25 22.11.00

My Newest Addiction: Hand Stitched Leather Moleskine Journal Covers


cover 10

I have various addictions. One is bags. I love gadget bags, duffel bags, and backpacks. My current favorites are here.

But I also have another, newer addiction. It’s kind of related to the luggage issue (at least in my mind):

  • Hand stitched leather journal covers for Moleskine Notebooks.

Using a Moleskine journal for handwritten notes, drawings, and scribbling is my commitment to maintaining some analog skills in an increasingly digital world.

I should probably do a post on that some time, but it will have to wait.

Hand stitched leather goods is a kind of pornography. Especially, things like wallets and journal covers. I even started a Pinterest board. I know, right?

The wallet thing will have to wait until another post as well.

Anyway, here’s something to whet your appetite if you’ve never indulged in the voyeurism of hand stitched leather Moleskine journal covers.

Saddleback

This one is the most Indiana Jones… Their website is here and the journal cover is here.

cover 5

But it’s got this weird, cut out in the back… It’s not bad, but I’m just not sure…

cover 6

31Trum

I’m not even sure this one is for sale anywhere. They have a website here though.

cover 1

But check out the bold red stitching. And it has a pen holder. Pen holders are a big deal. Because you need somewhere to put your pen.

Hollows Leather

This one is also very stylish with simple clean lines. Website here but can’t see the product.

cover 2

Lovely photograph…

Etsy Wanderlust

These guys have the coolest Etsy Store here.cover 8 cover 9

GFeller Moleskine Cover

This one doesn’t look as Indiana Jones as the Saddleback or some of the others… Website here.

cover 3

But it’s actually the best design according to the review at Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools website and Wired Magazine.

cover 4

The only thing with it, is that it has a very plain natural finish. The colour is a bit like skin… However, the idea is that it picks up the natural oils in your skin and through everyday use. Over time it will darken up…

Decision time soon… Probably, it’s design that will win out, but I’ll let you know.