Strategies: What are some examples of literacy strategies?

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Here are some examples of literacy strategies developed by tutors for embedding literacy into their programmes. These are one sentence summaries. You’ll need to write something similar.

Teach my learners how to read with understanding with a focus on technical vocabulary and comprehension strategies in the context of my fitness and sports science programme.

Teach my learners how to read with understanding with a focus on vocabulary and reading comprehension in the context of my Ready For Work course for new migrants and refugees.

Teach my learners how to write to communicate with a focus on planning and composing short paragraphs in the context of the New Zealand Certificate in Employment Skills.

We’ll look at numeracy shortly as well. But, first, you need to have a go at writing a literacy strategy that you could apply to your own programme.

Strategies: What are your broad strategies for literacy and numeracy?

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You’ve had some time to think about your own context for teaching, and to look at what opportunities and constraints you’re facing.

Now you need to design at least two broad strategies that you intend to use for embedding literacy and numeracy into your programme.

These should be “big picture”, high-level strategies that apply across your whole programme. You should develop one for literacy and one for numeracy.

Remember, these are longer-term, broad strategies. We’ll get to the specifics soon when we talk about learning outcomes. These learning outcomes will apply to your project work. This project work takes you through Assessments 5, 6 and 7. Here’s a sneak preview:

5. BEFORE you teach: Using diagnostic assessment including the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool

6. TEACHING: Planning and facilitating the kind of embedded activities that your learners need for your training.

7. AFTER you teach: Measuring learner progress

Ok… back to strategies and learning outcomes. Strategies next.

Developing programme-level strategies

So… how do you put together a programme-level strategy for embedding literacy or numeracy into your training?

Well, it’s easier than you might think. In this module, we’ll have a look at some examples of strategies and then we’ll take you through the process of developing them for your own context.

In the next module, we’ll zoom into the kind of learning outcomes that should inform your teaching. First, though, we’ll walk you through the process of writing a short summary of your programme strategies.

Strategies: What are your opportunities & constraints?

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In order to develop some working strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy, you need to do an analysis of opportunities and constraints.

This means looking at the opportunities that might be in front of you for embedding, but also what the potential roadblocks or barriers are as well.

As part of this, we need you to think about practices or process inside your organisation that will either help or hinder you.

As you write up your responses, we’d like you to describe concrete examples of what you’re thinking about.

So… you need to:

  • Identify and summarise what you see as the most important opportunities and constraints for embedding literacy and numeracy within your context.
  • Provide examples or illustrations from your experience

Here are the questions you’ll need to answer:

  • What are some of the main constraints or barriers you’re facing?
  • What are some organisational practices or processes that impact on your teaching? These can be positive or negative.
  • What are the opportunities to contextualise the learning and teaching?
  • Are there any other opportunities?

If you feel that you can answer these right now, feel free to skip to this section in your assessment template.

If you want to have more of a think about it, Download our worksheet and let’s spend some time brainstorming. The worksheet questions are similar to what you’ll find in the assessment template. You can use the worksheet to make some notes as you think about your response.

Here are the questions. Think about your answers and record your thoughts on the worksheet. Keep your notes so you can write them up later in the assessment template.  

Constraints and barriers

  • What’s the main thing that makes this work difficult for you?
  • What else gets in the way of you providing the kind of embedded literacy and numeracy teaching that your learners need?
  • Are there any other barriers you can think of?

Organisational impact

  • Are there any practices or processes inside your organisation that impact the content or the teaching in a positive way?
  • What about organisational practices or processes that impact your teaching in a negative way?
  • Is there any other kind of organisational impact that you can think of?

Opportunities to contextualise the learning and teaching

  • What are some of the opportunities you see to really contextualise the literacy and numeracy learning?
  • Out of these, what would you call the “low hanging fruit”? In other words, which opportunities would be easiest to tackle first.
  • Are there any ideas for contextualising the learning that you’ve had floating around in your head for a while that you’d like to explore?
  • What do you have to teach anyway in the next few weeks or months that might be good to focus on?

Other opportunities

  • Aside from contextualising the learning in new and better ways, can you think of any other related opportunities that might present themselves during the project work for this course?

4. Strategies for embedding LN into your programme

Knowing the demands (16)

Kia ora and welcome…!

This is the fourth of seven collections covering the knowledge and skills you need to teach better by embedding literacy and numeracy into your training.

By the end of this fourth section, you will have covered:

  • What you need to know to develop broad strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy into your programme.
  • How to structure specific learning outcomes for embedding literacy and numeracy into your teaching sessions.

This next content area breaks down into four modules. Here’s what’s ahead:

  • What’s your context?

Here you’ll need to reflect on what kind of teaching or training you do, what kind of learners you have, and what your main objectives are. These objectives might be formal, like achieving unit standards. Or they might be more informal, like understanding health and safety requirements or being able to fill out a form.

  • What are your opportunities and constraints?

You’ll need to identify some of the opportunities where you could contextualise literacy and numeracy in your teaching. But also, you’ll need to look at what some of the constraints or barriers to implementing this approach in your work.

  • What are your broad strategies for literacy and numeracy?

In this module, you’ll design a couple of broad strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy into your programme.

  • Thinking about learning outcomes

Once you’ve got an idea about the broad strategies you want, you’ll learn how to focus on some specific parts of these. You’ll do this by learning how to write learning outcomes for embedded literacy and numeracy teaching.

We’ll focus on learning outcomes here so that in the next stage, you’ll be able to develop your own specific assessments and teaching activities that relate to these.

Just to sum up, this stage takes us from the more general, big picture strategies which apply across your programme, down to specific learning outcomes for particular aspects of literacy and numeracy that you want to embed into your teaching sessions with learners.

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 measurement demands?

If you know what you’re doing, please skip ahead to the assessment task and finish this off. If you want to walk through the process one last time with the measurement progression, please carry on!

1. Print out the Make Sense of Number strand.

Make sure you have the Measure and Interpret Shape and Space strand in front of you so you can refer to the details for each step. Sometimes, we’ll just refer to this as the Measurement strand.

For our purposes here, we’re just going to look at measurement. You can decide if the Shapes and Transformations, and Location Progressions are relevant. For now, we’re going to assume that they are not relevant.

The Measurement progression looks like this, but it will have descriptions of skills and knowledge in all of the steps. You can download the Measure and Interpret Shape and Space strand here if you need to.


2. Choose a specific sample task involving measurement from your teaching programme.

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

It’s often a good idea to choose a task where your learners have to estimation and then use a measuring tool or measure something for a purpose.

Here are some examples of tasks that you could choose where your learners have to use measurement:

  • Estimating and then weighing the amount of flour needed to bake a cake using a set of scales.
  • Estimating and then measuring length in metres and millimetres using a tape or steel ruler.
  • Calibrating a workshop tool and then using it to measure something.
  • Recording units of length, weight, temperature or time for a work-related or other purpose.
  • Converting from metres to millimetres and vice versa. For example, in a carpentry or engineering context.
  • Converting from kilograms to grams and vice versa. For example, in a cooking context.
  • Using tools, units, and formulas to measure side lengths, perimeters, and areas. For example, measuring a rectangle of land and then calculating the area available for planting.
  • Calculating volume or capacity. For example, in a farming or engineering context.
  • Converting between measurement systems. For example, converting from metres to inches.

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 measuring task 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 measurement or calculation that requires measurement.

4. Start your mapping with the strategy progressions

Refer to the Measurement progressions and then you shade in your own chart down to the relevant step.

This time, the best place to start mapping the measurement demands is at steps 2 / 3.

Step 1 is very basic. If your measurement task was to compare the length of two sticks and say which was bigger, you’d be at step 1. Most trades and vocational courses will have measurement demands from steps 2 / 3 up to step 6.

Here’s what you’ll see on the Measurement progression.

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5. Use what you know about your own subject

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

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

  • Comparing two objects for length and weight? Have a look at step 1.
  • Doing simple measurements and recording the measurements in standard units like millimetres? Have a look at step 2 / 3.
  • Using tools like scales or tape measures to measure things for a specific purpose? For example, use electronic scales to weigh 200 grams of butter for a cooking recipe. Have a look at step 4.
  • Doing simple conversions? For example, working out that 100cm = 1m. Have a look at step 4.
  • Using a formula to calculate area from measurements of length? Have a look at step 5
  • Doing more complicated conversions? For example, converting 1.25L to 1,250 millilitres? Also, step 5
  • Calculating volume? Have a look at step 6.

Remember that when we’re working out the demands of a measurement task or calculation, we are only interested in the task or calculation. As we mentioned earlier, we’ll get to what your learners can actually do later on when we look at diagnostic assessment.

If you work in trades or do any kind of vocational training, the measurements that your learners have to work with are probably at least at step 2 / 3 for basic measurement, at step 4 if they have to use tools like scales or tape measures, or if you use formulas most likely at steps 5 or 6.

We often find that in trades and vocational training that the measurement demands are quite high.

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

6. Map the demands for measurement

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 measurement.

You can download a chart and worksheet here for mapping your sample measurement or measurement related calculation. It’s exactly the same as section 3.6 of your assessment task. Print this out and you can use it as a rough draft and for notes.

Once you’ve mapped the measurement progression, you’ll end up with something like this:

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7. Answer the questions and finish of the assessment task

Once you have mapped your measurement task visually, you need to be able to talk about your mapping means.

As with your other 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 measurement or measurement-related calculation and answer the questions, you can finish of this assessment and hand it in.

Make sure you keep your sample handy. You’ll need to scan it and upload it when you submit your completed assessment task.

If it’s a measurement task or activity that is not something you can easily scan, you can write down what learners have to do and add this to your responses in the template.

If it’s a practical activity you might be able to take some digital photos and upload those for us to see.