Exploring literacy and numeracy through the teaching and learning cycle

Activity description

This is a video presentation including a narrated slideshow and video animation.

It is targeted towards teachers with limited experience and/or expertise in integrating targeted literacy and numeracy teaching into classroom practice, as well as leaders planning ongoing professional learning and support for their staff in literacy and numeracy.

The purpose of the presentation is to highlight how a range of literacy and numeracy resources and professional learning opportunities can be used to support effective teaching practice throughout the four phases of the teaching and learning cycle in the context of NSW syllabuses K-12. This learning includes a primary and a secondary scenario to illustrate the application of the resources to the teaching and learning cycle in both settings.

There is an accompanying template for participants to record insights as they engage with the presentation as well as a Microsoft Form 'exit slip' to capture reflections and next steps. Participants can use the content to inform planning for literacy and numeracy teaching in 2021.

Insttruction - watch the video below and download the accompanying template.

Exploring literacy and numeracy in the teaching cycle overview

- [Narrator] Welcome to 2021 and the new school year. We would like to officially start this presentation with an acknowledgement of country. I acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land where the Aboriginal people have had ceremonies, storytelling, music, dance, and celebration. I acknowledge and pay respect to the elders past and present and to those of the future for they hold the memories, traditions, and hopes of Aboriginal Australia. We must always remember that under the concrete and asphalt this land is, was, and always will be traditional Aboriginal land. Today we will be using the teaching and learning cycle to reflect when and how the resources developed within literacy and numeracy can be incorporated in your teaching practice to support students' literacy and numeracy development in all learning areas. We will start with the importance of teaching literacy and numeracy skills in all classrooms from kindergarten to high school. We will then delve into the teaching and learning cycle supported by links to the resources from literacy and numeracy that will support you in the classroom when making effective decisions about teaching and learning for your students. You will then be led on a guided tour of the literacy and numeracy web pages. The tour will lead you to where you can find information to support your students throughout the year. Finally, we will explore two classroom examples of applying the resources from literacy and numeracy to a teaching and learning cycle. One primary and one secondary. As you engage with this professional learning, pause to note your insights on the template provided either on a device or in printed form, and if you've not yet downloaded it, you may get the template from the webpage where you access this video. We will now start our exploration of how the teaching and learning cycle can help you to create and embed quality literacy and numeracy learning for every student in your classroom and school. Our goal is to give our students the best start in life by equipping them with the skills to be independent and successful citizens, and therefore able to fulfill their potential in adult life. The development of literacy and numeracy skills are fundamental to this. Therefore our role in schools is to ensure every student is given every opportunity to be their best, to unlock every student's academic potential and to improve overall academic outcomes beyond school, to achieve our priorities around improved reading and numeracy outcomes for students. The Premier's priorities are to bump up education results for all children as well as increasing the number of Aboriginal young people reaching their learning potential. The overall focus is on increasing the proportion of all New South Wales students in the top two NAPLAN bands for reading and numeracy, and achieving the Premier's priorities will result in close to 20,000 students with improved literacy skills and close to 14,000 students with improved numeracy skills. There are a number of literacy and numeracy online resources that will support you in working towards achieving the Premier's priorities and the goals of the State's strategic plan. These resources are outlined as we delve into the teaching and learning cycle in the following video. As you watch, you may find it valuable to pause and take notes on your reflection template after each phase of the cycle. Think about what is important in each phase in supporting your students' literacy and numeracy development, and what resources you can access to help you.


- [Narrator] Building strong literacy and numeracy skills is important to give our students the best start in life. These skills prepare them to be independent and successful citizens who are able to fulfill their potential in adult life. The New South Wales Department of Education's Strategic Plan 2018 to 2022 articulates the goal that "All young people have a strong foundation in literacy "and numeracy." To support you to work towards this goal, the literacy and numeracy team have developed a range of resources that can be used through each phase of the teaching and learning cycle in K-12 classrooms. These resources support the provision of effective evidence-based literacy and numeracy learning experiences for students in the context of the New South Wales syllabuses. New South Wales syllabus outcomes and content are the focus for planning, programming for quality teaching and assessing within the teaching and learning cycle. In support of this, the "National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions" describe a trajectory of literacy and numeracy development. They support you to determine students' strengths and needs, and plan for next steps in teaching. Use of the progressions is supported in New South Wales schools by PLAN2, an online tool that assists you in recording observations of students' literacy and numeracy progress and monitoring improvement. The teaching and learning cycle has four key phases that are accompanied by questions that guide you when planning, implementing, and evaluating the effectiveness of your teaching. The question, "Where are my students now?" leads into the phase of analysis for decision-making. "What do I want my students to learn?" drives the planning programming phase. "How will my students get there?" connects to classroom practice. The question, "How do I know when my students get there?" anchors the phase of assessment, feedback, and reporting. "Where are my students now?" When gathering information about your students, you collect multiple sources of evidence of students' learning in literacy and numeracy. The "What Works Best 2020 Update" states that, "The use of evidence to inform instruction "is the most effective teaching and learning practice "we have in school." Evidence can be gathered from classroom observations and discussions, as well as through more formal methods, such as completion of work and assessments. In assisting you to action assessment, there are a number of literacy and numeracy assessments and supporting tools that are available through the department's website, such as PLAN2, Best Start Kindergarten Assessment and Best Start Year Seven. Asking yourself the question of "What do I want my students to learn?" allows you to refine the teaching priorities for the learning sequence. In the context of the New South Wales syllabus outcomes and content, in this phase, you will determine next steps for students literacy and numeracy learning. You will make decisions about the teaching and learning activities that will best support your students with their identified needs and their areas for growth, and develop programs and plans collaboratively and individually that step out this learning. You may require professional learning to support your understanding of literacy and numeracy, and the evidence-based practices that have been shown to have impact on student learning. You can explore the range of professional learning courses available to build your knowledge and capabilities in literacy and numeracy. "How will my students get there?" is embedded in effective classroom practice. Classroom practice involves you implementing your plan and delivering quality teaching and learning experiences targeted towards students' identified literacy and numeracy learning needs. "What Works Best" identifies explicit teaching and feedback as key components of this effective classroom practice. This includes co-constructing learning intentions and success criteria with students, engaging them in relevant learning activities and using feedback to support them to achieve their literacy and numeracy learning goals. Literacy and numeracy have a number of classroom resources available that support effective teaching and learning aligned to evidence-based best practice. Asking yourself, "How do I know when my students get there?" prompts you to consider the ways you can assess the impact of your teaching on your students' literacy and numeracy learning. This includes formative assessment that occurs all the way through the cycle, and the summative assessment at the end of a sequence. You will use a variety of methods to assess student learning. You will consider assessment in the context of the New South Wales syllabus outcomes in the relevant learning area and reflect the success criteria established with students. Different forms of assessment include formative or summative formal or informal, diagnostic, peer and self-assessment. Your assessments could include work samples, teacher observations, and conversations as informal assessments or formal assessments such as written responses to questions. Online assessments such as the Phonological Awareness Diagnostic, Phonics Screening Check, and Reading Language Conventions and Numeracy short assessments can support you to gather information about your students. The collation of this data and your observations can be documented and monitored in PLAN2. This brings us, of course, back to the start of the cycle as the gathering of evidence allows us to consider the question, "Where are my students now?" The teaching and learning cycle begins again. Explore the literacy and numeracy website to investigate the range of resources that are readily available to support you as you design, deliver, and assess during your journey through the teaching and learning cycle. For further information and support, contact Literacy and Numeracy.


- [Narrator] We will now explore some of the sections of the Literacy and Numeracy website. These sections link to resources that you can incorporate into your quality teaching practice through your teaching and learning cycle. The sections that we will look closely at today are professional learning, resources for schools, classroom resources, and assessment resources. Ongoing professional learning allows teachers to develop and use best practice in the classroom, and gain the specialized knowledge and skills to teach literacy and numeracy. The professional learning resources are available to support teachers and school leadership teams in the teaching of literacy and numeracy in primary and secondary schools. You can filter the search for specific literacy or numeracy professional learning. The tiles on the professional learning pages outline the title of the professional learning, the suggested age range from K to 12 as well as the type of professional learning, that is, whether it is online, blended, or a podcast. The section titled resources for schools includes key literacy and numeracy tools as well as showcasing effective practices that schools have developed to support literacy and numeracy learning. Here, you can learn more about the national literacy and numeracy learning progressions and PLAN2, see examples of literacy and numeracy in practice, and access literacy and numeracy resources to support the development of EAL/D learners. In classroom resources, you will find what you need to support the teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy in your school. This section is divided into literacy and numeracy and has links to web pages around key concepts as well as comprehensive lesson activities with accompanying learning materials. The last section that we will look at today is the assessment resources. Here you will find a suite of tools that you can use to assess students' literacy and numeracy skills at different stages throughout schooling. The student responses are mapped to New South Wales syllabuses and the national literacy and numeracy learning progressions. Feedback from these assessments allows for targeted teaching that meets students' specific learning needs. Resources are available to assist you to access and analyze assessment feedback, inform teaching and learning, and communicate with parents and carers about student progress. You may wish to pause now to add some more notes to your reflection template regarding resources you will find useful to support you in teaching literacy and numeracy this term. We will now listen to how a primary teacher has integrated the use of the literacy and numeracy resources within the teaching and learning cycle in her classroom.


- [Teacher] Having recently administered the phonics screening check with my year one students, I analyzed the results and discovered which students were on track with their learning, as well as identified those students that required careful monitoring or additional support. I also used the class summary report to group my students according to their learning needs. I then drove down into the student assessment analysis responses to identify areas of strength and those skills that required targeted teaching. From this information, I was able to make clear links to the progression indicators reflective of the students' observable behaviors. All of this information was used to inform my programming for explicit and systematic phonics instruction. I felt I needed to improve my professional knowledge and deepen my understanding of phonics. So I explored the professional learning offered by literacy and numeracy and decided to enroll in the Effective Reading Phonics. During the professional learning, I learned about the importance of explicit and systematic teaching of phonics based on current research and best practice. I was able to take what I learned from the professional learning and incorporate it into my planning and programming to ensure that I embedded this evidence-based best practice into my classroom. I was able to access a range of resources for explicit and systematic teaching of phonics on the literacy and numeracy webpage. I used the sample sequences guide my planning as well as explicit teaching PowerPoints, student independent practice sheets, decodable text, and handwriting sheets to support my students' learning. During the cycle, I made observations while students were reading and working in class. I tracked and monitored individual student progress using PLAN2. I also revisited indicators aligned to the "Phonics Screening Check," which were identified as areas of need during the assessment to ensure that students were developing their phonics knowledge and skills. Upon reflection, my teaching was successful. I felt this was due to incorporating the resources available on the literacy and numeracy website alongside the teaching and learning cycle as it helped me to identify where my students were in their learning, where I wanted them to go, and how I was going to get them there.


- [Narrator] You may wish to pause the video and add to your reflection template any ideas you gained from the primary scenario. We will now listen to how a secondary teacher has used the literacy and numeracy resources within the teaching and learning cycle in his science classroom.


- [Teacher] My school participated in the Best Start Year 7 assessment for the second time this year, and I was one of the teachers in my school who administered the assessment. I completed the e-Learning course, Best Start Year 7 preparing for the assessment, and then I completed Best Start Year 7 e-Learning 2, which prepared me for accessing and analyzing feedback. Some of my colleagues will be attending the Best Start Year 7 strengthening practice for continuing schools this year, and I know that there'll be a whole-school approach to the areas of need highlighted by the feedback from the assessment. The Best Start Year 7 feedback appeared in both Scout and PLAN2. So the first thing we did as a school was look at the cohort performance report in Scout, which highlighted that vocabulary was one area of need. This was confirmed as an area of need for my own class when I looked at the feedback in PLAN2. So I created an area of focus for my class in PLAN2. As a science teacher, considering my students' needs, I selected earth and space as a focus alongside developing their literacy skills. When I looked at the science syllabus, I could see the literacy demands of my subject. My students needed the vocabulary skills to be able to read, understand, and compose texts about earth and space. I decided I needed to improve my knowledge of how to teach students vocabulary. So I had a look at the Literacy and Numeracy homepage and followed the links to professional learning. I'd already completed the professional learning about the progressions and PLAN2, so I enrolled in Focus on Vocabulary. This course showed me how to plan for explicit vocabulary instruction across all curriculum areas, how to establish a culture that supports word-conscious learners, and how do you use PLAN2 to monitor my students' literacy and numeracy development. I took what I'd learned from the PL and incorporated it into my planning and programming to ensure that I embedded this evidence-based practice into my classroom. I was further supported by accessing the classroom resources found on the Literacy and Numeracy webpage. And then I monitored individual student progress using PLAN2 focusing specifically on those vocabulary indicators assessed by Best Start Year 7. I used a variety of formative assessment tools such as student work samples, questioning, assignments, pop quizzes, exit slips, and parents' self assessment. At a whole-cohort level, year 7 teachers also used the short assessments to assess our students' vocabulary skills. And now, not only do I have the feedback from Best Start Year 7, I also have the formative assessment information I've gathered during my lessons. I'll continue to implement the strategies I learned in the professional learning and to monitor my students' progress in PLAN2. Now it's time to focus on another literacy or numeracy area of need so I'll begin the teaching and learning cycle again.


- [Narrator] Reflect on your notes and what you have learned from today's presentation. How will you integrate the literacy and numeracy resources into your teaching practice? What are your next steps? Where will you visit on the literacy and numeracy page? What do you need to know more information about? Add any final thoughts to your template. Use the link or QR code to access the exit slip. This is an opportunity to reflect on your learning, identify your next steps, and request further support. You may need to log in to your Department of Education account to access the exit slip. This presentation has demonstrated how a range of resources can be used to support effective literacy and numeracy teaching throughout the teaching and learning cycle and in the context of New South Wales syllabuses in all learning areas, K-12. For more information, visit education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning and follow the path through curriculum to literacy and numeracy. We wish you a productive and rewarding 2021.

Return to top of page Back to top