DEMANDS – New Content for the new NZCALNE Assessment 3 with ALEC

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Kia ora ano and welcome back

You’re up to the third assessment task in the new and improved NZCALNE (Voc). Kai pai you…!

We’re working hard to get all new content for this and other modules live on Pathways Awarua, but until then you can find the first draft here.

The new Assessment 3 still focuses on mapping the demands of your programme using the Learning Progressions. However, the format is simpler and easier to use.

There are six short sections to complete in the new assessment task.

  • What are the big picture literacy demands?
  • What are the big picture numeracy demands?
  • What are some specific reading demands?
  • What are some specific writing demands?
  • What are some specific number demands?
  • What are some specific measurement demands?

Follow the links below

If you already know what you’re doing with mapping, please skip ahead to the assessment template. Email us if you don’t already have it. You can always come back and dip into these resources as you need to.


The Learning Progressions

Looking at the big picture for literacy

Looking at the big picture for numeracy

Getting more specific

If you’re stuck, please reach out by email here: or call Graeme on 0800-ALEC-1-2

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?

Demands: What are some specific Number demands?

By now you might feel that you’re an old hand at mapping. Or at least, you might feel that you have an idea about how the process works. Here’s something to remember:

  • All you’re doing is applying what you know about your own subject as an expert in your own field.

The only thing that might be new is that you’re using the progressions as a kind of lens to filter your judgements through.

If you know what you’re doing, just get on with the assessment task. If you’re not sure or you feel less confident about mapping numeracy then don’t worry. We’re going to go through it in detail next.

1. Print out the Make Sense of Number strand.

Make sure you have the Make Sense of Number strand in front of you so you can refer to the details for each step. Sometimes, we’ll just refer to this as the Number strand.

It looks like this, but it will have descriptions of skills and knowledge in all of the steps. You can download the Number strand here if you need to.


There are six progressions in this strand. The first three are about how to do things (strategies) and the second three about what you need to know to do those things (knowledge).

You only need to think about the first three when you map demands. What you need to know (the second three) will sit one step behind the highest step of the first three

2. Choose a specific sample calculation or task involving number work from your teaching programme.

Choose some kind of teaching material that your learners have to work with, not NZQA unit standard descriptions. Choose a task where your learners have to do a basic calculation or work with numbers in some way. This might include reading some material, but the focus should be on using basic maths.

Here are some examples of samples that you could choose where your learners have to use number skills:

  • Working out the percentage of something For example, calculating a 20% discount or working out GST on an amount of money.
  • Working out how long it takes to travel somewhere.
  • Adding up hours worked for a timesheet.
  • Costing a job.
  • Adding together measurements such as weights or lengths including decimals.
  • A task where it’s necessary to converting fractions into decimals or vice versa.
  • Working out how much fertiliser to use on a garden.
  • How to work out the average weight of a mob of stock.

3. Have clear reasons for choosing the sample

In the assessment template, as with all of your samples, you’ll need to say why you chose to analyse this calculation or task. There are lots of reasons. Here are some:

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

4. Start your mapping with the strategy progressions

At every stage, we refer to the relevant Strand charts and progressions and then you shade in your own chart down to the relevant step.

This time, the best place to start mapping the number demands is with the three strategy progressions on the left-hand side of the chart. The ones on the right are the knowledge progressions and we can leave those for now.

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Unless you are teaching a very low level foundation class, the number demands for your programme are likely to be at step 3 or above. Steps 1 and 2 are very much developmental.

You’re the expert though. Remember: you know your subject. The framework is just a lens or tool to look at your programme.

Here’s what you’ll see in the number strategy progressions:

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Before we go any further, what’s a partitioning strategy?

That’s an excellent question…! Partitioning is splitting numbers into parts, for example, by place value. Here’s an example.

  • 365 is three hundreds, six tens and five ones.

Partitioning strategies are strategies that are based on splitting numbers into two or more parts and then recombining them in a different way. This is how people in the real world do maths. For example:

  • 26 + 9 can be split up (or partitioned) into  26 + 4 + 5 and then 30 + 5.

Writing out the explanation for this makes it sound more complicated than it is. But here have a think about this:

  • Working out 26 + 9 is hard for some learners. But splitting up 9 into 4 + 5 is easy.
  • Then adding 4 to 26 to get 30 is also easy if you know your number facts that add up to multiples of 10.
  • After that it’s also straightforward to add on the other 5 to get 35.

5. Use what you know about your own subject

Use your own knowledge of your training material or calculations to decide which step applies for each of the strategy progressions.

Here are some things to think about. Does the calculation require:

  • Addition or subtraction? Use the Additive Strategies progression.
    • Multi-digit problems? Then look at step 4.
    • Adding or subtracting decimals as well? Then look at step 5
  • Multiplication or division? Use the Multiplicative Strategies progression.
    • Multi-digit problems? Then look at step 5
    • Multiplying or dividing decimals, fractions and percentages as well? Look at step 6
  • Fractions, decimals and percentages? Use the Proportional Reasoning Strategies progression
    • Converting between fractions, decimals, and percentages? Look at step 5.
    • Working with proportions, rates and ratios? Look at step 6.

Keep in mind at all times that when we’re working out the demands of a task or calculation in this case, we are only interested in the task or calculation. We’ll get to what your learners can actually do later on.

If you work in trades or do any kind of vocational training, the calculations that you have to work with are probably at least at step 3 or 4 and most likely at steps 5 or 6.

As always, if you’re not sure about what step, do this mapping together with a colleague.

6. Map the demands for the three strategies progressions 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 each of Additive Strategies, Multiplicative Strategies, and Proportional Reasoning Strategies.

You can download a chart and worksheet here for mapping your own sample calculation on the Number strand. It’s exactly the same as section 3.5 of your assessment task. Print this out and you can use it as a rough draft and for notes.

Once you’ve mapped the three strategies progressions, you’ll end up with something like this:

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7. Map your calculation against the rest of the progressions in the strand.

There’s a quick way to do this. It only works with this strand. But it goes like this:

  • Map the three knowledge progressions at one step less than the highest strategy progression.

So in our example above, the highest step mapped on the strategy side is step 6 for Additive Strategies. This means that we can map all of the knowledge progressions at step 5. Like this:

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The reason we can do this is that the three strategy progressions require that all of the knowledge is place at the previous step.

In other words, you need to know things at step 5 in Place Value, for example, in order to do things at step 6 in Additive Strategies.

Once you have mapped your calculation visually, you need to be able to talk about your results and what they mean.

As with your literacy samples, you’ll need to answer a series of questions to show that you understand what you’ve just done.

These questions are in the assessment template and in the worksheet if you download it:

  • 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?

If you can map a sample calculation or other task involving numbers and answer the questions, you can move onto the next module.

Make sure you keep your sample handy, though. You’ll need to scan it and upload it when you submit your completed assessment task. If it’s a calculation, you can write out an example and scan this.

Demands: Thinking deeper about your big picture numeracy demands

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Time to do some work

Let’s pause here again. Here’s what you need to do next:

  • Download the worksheet for numeracy, or use the chart below to get started on mapping the big picture numeracy demands for your situation.
  • As you did for literacy, say what each numeracy progression is in plain English and then rate it for importance for you. Justify your rating.
  • Then if you’ve rated a progression as important, say which tasks, calculations or what kind of work is affected. This might include work in the classroom or more practical work in other kinds of environments.

This task is not assessed, but it will help with the first part of your assessment.

Again, make sure that you keep your notes. You’ll need them for when you write up your answers in the assessment.

What are key N progressions?What are key N progressions continued?

Writing up the big picture numeracy demands

Make sure you keep your notes as you’ll want to refer to them when you write up your answers to the first part of Assessment 3.

In your assessment template, in section 3.2 you’ll need to identify the top two overall numeracy skill demands for your teaching.

Don’t forget that at this stage we are just interested in the strands and progressions that are relevant – in broad terms – to your teaching programme.

You’ll need to answer the following questions:

  • Why are these numeracy skill areas so demanding?
  • What does this affect?
  • What does this mean for learners?
  • What does this mean for teaching?
  • What does this mean for programme design?

If you’ve done enough thinking about this and you want to skip ahead to the assessment module and get started on section 3.2 you can. Just make sure you download and save the assessment template. Then come back to here when you’re ready for the next stage.

Like last time, if you want a bit more time to think about this, you can download the questions and some prompts as a worksheet here. The questions are the same as in your assessment template in section 3.2. The worksheet looks like the image below.

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Demands: Writing up your big picture literacy demands

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Make sure you keep your notes as you’ll want to refer to them when you write up your answers to the first part of Assessment 3.

In your assessment template, in section 3.1 you’ll need to identify the top two overall literacy skill demands for your teaching. Remember, at this stage, we are just interested in the strands and progressions that are relevant in broad terms to your teaching programme.

You’ll also need to answer the following questions:

  • Why are these literacy skill areas so demanding?
  • What does this affect?
  • What does this mean for learners?
  • What does this mean for teaching?
  • What does this mean for programme design?

If you’ve done enough thinking about this and you want to skip ahead to the assessment module and get started on section 3.1 you can. Just download the assessment template and go for it. Then come back to here and carry on with the next stage.

If you want a bit more time to think about it, you can download the questions and some prompts as a worksheet here. The questions are the same as in your assessment template in section 3.1.

Demands: Understanding what the literacy progressions are…

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What are the big picture literacy demands?

From here you’ll be working towards completing Assessment 3. In the first part, we look at the big picture demands. By the end, you should have an idea about:

  • Which literacy strands are relevant for your teaching.
  • Which progressions from these strands are relevant.

Not everything is going to be relevant so we need to make sure of a couple of things. These are that you:

  1. Understand what each literacy progression is in plain English.
  2. Can eliminate any progressions that are not relevant for your situation.
  3. Identify which literacy progressions are important for your teaching and programme and know why.

There are a couple of tasks coming up which will pull all this together.

Understanding what the literacy progressions are

If you’ve already had a look at the strand charts, you’ll have noticed that some of the progressions pop up again in different strands. For example, each of the four literacy strands has a vocabulary progression.

Below is list of all of the literacy progressions and our “plain English” explanations of what they mean. Have a read through and then see if you can complete the task that follows.


  • 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


  • Understanding the messages, making connections with what you know and 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


  • 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.


  • 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.

Demands: Things you need to know about the Learning Progressions

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The most important thing here is to know how to use the progressions. We’ll get that shortly. But some background information is also useful. Feel free to skip ahead if you already know it.

What do I need to know?

The Learning Progressions:

  • Cover both literacy and numeracy.
  • Are a national resource.
  • Can help you identify the literacy and numeracy demands of a training programme.
  • Can help you identify your learners’ strengths and needs.
  • Can help identify the next learning steps for your learners.

Here are some other reasons why you need to take the time to familiarise yourself with the progressions.

  1. The Learning Progressions form part of New Zealand’s national infrastructure for embedding literacy and numeracy.
  2. If you teach anything at levels 1, 2, or 3 on the national qualifications framework (NQF), or if you teach a course funded by the Workplace Literacy Fund (WTF) or Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (ILN), the funding that your organisation receives from the TEC may require your teaching to be informed and underpinned by the Learning Progressions as a compliance requirement.
  3. You may have to report learner progress against the progressions using the Literacy and Numeracy for Adult Assessment Tool (LNAAT). If you’ve been doing this for a while, you might be surprised to know that it’s difficult to interpret your learners’ results if you don’t understand them in relation to the Learning Progressions.

How are the Learning Progressions organised?

Just like the word “mapping” might be new to you in this context, there are a couple of other words that might also be new or strange. These relate to the way that the progressions are organised.

You can skip back to the Collection 1 if you want to refresh your memory, but we’re going to review them below anyway.

These words are:

  • Strands
  • Progressions
  • Steps.

More on how these work next…!