Welcome to the December 2010 newsletter for English, ESOL and Literacy Online. Just up are three new National Standards Illustrations for Levels 1, 7 and 8 so take a moment to check these out – there will be more coming in the first half of next year.
We hope you enjoy our final newsletter for the year before taking a well deserved break. Thank you for your valuable feedback and support of the three websites during 2010 and we look forward to engaging with you all again in 2011.
Dr Phil Coogan – Project Director
Maria Lute – Project Manager
Cognition Education for the NZ Ministry of Education.
Kia ora and welcome from Denise Hitchcock
This month has seen further discussion and clarification of the Literacy Unit Standards for NCEA Level One. The Guidelines for Assessing Literacy and Numeracy Standards provide further detail. A reminder that you can also find supporting materials regarding the planning implementation and assessment of these standards here.
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international standardised study that assesses and compares how well countries are preparing their 15 year-old students to meet real-life opportunities and challenges. In July and August 2009, 4,643 New Zealand 15 year-old students from 163 New Zealand schools took part in PISA 2009.
This report provides a high level picture of New Zealand’s 15 year-old performance in reading literacy (main focus), mathematical literacy and scientific literacy. It compares New Zealand’s results with other top and high-performing countries.
Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday.
Facilitator: Secondary Literacy
Kia ora and welcome from Mike Fowler.
Looking back over 2010, it’s been a busy year on English Online. Many more of our 800 members have become occasional or regular contributors over the last few months. During December there has been a final flurry of requests followed by many prompt and helpful responses, which is a pattern that has typified English Online conversations. The generosity and collegiality of EOL members reinforce for me that the secondary English community is in good heart.
Level 1 standards exemplars update
There has been interest over the availability of exemplars for the new standards on the mailing list. The 6 December update [on the standards alignment home page] indicates that the NZQA Subject Specific Resources pages will in future contain all the relevant materials relating to the new Level 1 achievement standards. Exemplars for all Level 1 externally assessed [and hopefully internal] standards will be published on the NZQA website over the next two weeks.
A New Year resolution for your English department?
Subscribing to the mailing list offers a quick way of staying in touch with things English, like keeping up-to-date on what’s happening with the new standards, what’s currently on English teachers’ minds, as well as accessing an increasing resource base through the Teacher Resource Exchange and the Teaching and Learning Sequences. My pick are the new English Online resources for the information literacy and the making connections standards which make best practice explicit in these areas of our learning area – watch out for these very soon.
Best wishes for what I hope will be a restful break and a great start to 2011. Looking forward to seeing you online in 2011.
Facilitator: Secondary English
ICTs in English
Kia ora and welcome from Claire Amos
ICTs in English mailing list discussion
Over the past couple of months there have been two topics discussed in depth: the future of books vs. e-books and free interactive literacy, spelling and grammar sites. Whilst many acknowledged the increasing role that e-books will play in the future, there was a definite feeling that paper books will retain an important role for some years yet. Derek Wenmoth highlighted in his blog post about the 2010 Horizon Report that it is time to adopt the e-book. There was also a flurry of suggestions for interactive literacy, spelling and grammar sites which we will collate on English Online in the New Year. Meanwhile you can check out the forum archives here.
Free professional development opportunities for ICT in English
Now the school term is over, you might like to take up this opportunity for some free professional development. There is a growing number of online tutorials and webinars available. Here are a couple of links to get you started.
- Taking the Core features of Google Apps to the next level. Check out this webinar to learn tips and tricks on Search, Documents, Forms/Spreadsheets, Sites, and Calendar.
- K12 Online 2010 - Or check out the great range of presentations from the recent K12Online conference. The schedule provides links to all presentations.This is a rich source of free ICT PD.
There are two important conferences on the horizon, particularly for educators interested in using ICT to support teaching and learning:
- Learning @ School Conference , 23-25th February 2011
- Much Ado About English IFTE /NZATE Conference 2011, 18-21st April 2011
Of particular interest to this forum is the strand 'New Technologies, New Practices'. Check out the details (and consider presenting a workshop as well!)
Facilitator: ICTs in English
Kia ora and welcome from Breda Matthews.
Mailing list discussion
This month on the mailing list has seen discussions on course planning, assessment and tracking tools, class sizes, textbooks, unit standards assessments and the relationship between NCEA, ESOL and literacy standards. Resources for studying New Zealand have also been discussed and shared. A group of proactive teachers in Auckland are about to start work on updating NCEA ESOL level 1 assessment resources.
Considerable work has taken place on the New Zealand Curriculum Online which lists resources alphabetically. Under the NZC curriculum updates, NZC update 3 looks at the available instructional series and NZC 4 exemplifies integration of the key competencies into teaching.
It is always good to know what is happening in mainstream subjects and other schools as we strive to move our learners towards meeting age appropriate outcomes. NZC Online provides a link to Albany Senior High School curriculum plans and English Department Guidelines.
We have also made a few small changes to help you find resources more easily. Our Changing World can now be found at this page where you will find the formative teaching and learning sequences, the formative assessments and the summative assessments all organised by their ESOL unit standard number. If you can’t locate a resource, send me an email and I will endeavour to help you find it.
Some further thoughts on assessment
Our mailing list discussions on assessment have prompted me to revisit the text ‘ 'Inside the Black Box’ by Black and Williams “… assessment refers to all those activities undertaken by teachers … which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged. Such assessment becomes formative assessment when the evidence is actually used to adapt the teaching to meet the needs.”
A later report, ‘ Assessment for Learning: Beyond the Black Box’ summarises the “characteristics of assessment that promotes learning”
These are that:
- It is embedded in a view of teaching and learning of which it is an essential part;
- It involves sharing learning goals with pupils;
- It aims to help pupils to know and to recognise the standards they are aiming for;
- It involves pupils in self-assessment;
- It provides feedback which leads to pupils recognising their next steps and how to take them;
- It is underpinned by confidence that every student can improve;
- It involves both teacher and pupils reviewing and reflecting on assessment data.
Have a happy and safe holiday.
Facilitator: Secondary ESOL
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