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Using "kidspeaked" literacy progressions

When teacher Juliet Dickinson wanted her students to be actively involved in assessment, she joined a group that set out to simplify the The Literacy Learning Progressions "terms of criteria".

Teaching inquiry

Juliet, deputy principal of Te Kowhai School, recognised the importance for teachers to understand what "makes their students tick". She noted that a considerable amount of time goes into finding this out at the beginning of the year, particularly for their target students, and was eager to find quicker and simpler ways to do this, involving the students.

The process

Juliet joined the group set up by Natasha Jacobs from Irongate School, to recraft the literacy reading progressions into 'kidspeak'.

Teaching and learning

In this VLN discussion thread: Literacy progressions matrix, Juliet shared how teachers from within her school used the recrafted progressions with their students, and how they supported their students to use them with each other. (Note: If you aren't already a member of the VLN you will need to register first).

Kidspeaking the Literacy Progressions 6
Kidspeaking the Literacy Progressions 2
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''

For us at Te Kowhai, it is about making sure our students understand their roadmap for learning.

''

Juliet Dickinson – Deputy principal, Te Kowhai School

By encouraging students to take more ownership of evaluating and assessing their own and others' work, they are able to make informed decisions about what they need to learn and why. Teachers need to find out:

  • What are the students' preferred learning styles?  
  • What contexts are going to engage students and motivate them to want to learn?

Juliet acknowledges that this involves lots of 'learning talk' and the chance for students to work collaboratively together to define and broaden their thinking and ideas.

She stresses that engagement alone is not solely responsible for student achievement. 

''

For too long we have 'told' our students what they need to learn. By giving them a structured environment that allows some flexibility and choice the pathway they choose has more meaning and relevance for them.

''

Juliet Dickinson - Deputy principal, Te Kowhai School

Outcomes

As Te Kowhai are still in their embedding phase, they are noticing:

  • students are more engaged as they gained a better understanding of their learning "roadmap"
  • students are becoming clearer when articulating their learning – this was having a direct and positive result with the parent community. For example, during student-led conferences, students are able to share their learning goals with their parents, and are able to point to evidence in their books or e-portfolios
  • increased motivation for students who are producing work in online spaces, and 
  • increased attempts by students to produce a higher volume of better quality work after being encouraged to give feedback on their specific goals/progressions.

Key messages

For teachers at Te Kowhai, it is about making sure their students understand their roadmap for learning. Teachers there agree it is also important to understand what makes their students tick – a considerable amount of time goes into finding this out at the beginning of the year, particularly for Te Kowhai's target students:

  • What are their preferred learning styles?  
  • What contexts are going to engage and motivate them to want to learn?  

This involves lots of 'learning talk', and the chance for students to work collaboratively together to define and broaden their thinking and ideas. However, engagement alone is not solely responsible for student achievement. By encouraging students to take more ownership of evaluating and assessing their own and others' work, they are able to make informed decisions about what they need to learn and why.

Next steps

Juliet notes their next steps are to:

  • Facilitate students to engage with the progressions with their peers (giving specific and purposeful feedback).
  • Explore a range of assessment opportunities, particularly when using eLearning tools to share work and give feedback.
  • Share these progressions with parents so they too can understand what their child is learning.
  • Continue analysing the impact of progressions throughout our Teaching as Inquiry process.

Links to other information and stories

Read the related story: Kidspeaking the Literacy Progressions

View the recrafted literacy progressions.

Listen to these podcasts with similar messages: