PLT 2016: Aspects of Writing

I have written previously about one aspect of professional learning we engage in at Parramatta Marist High- Professional Learning Teams (PLT). During Term One we were introduced to the Literacy Continuum (Aspects of Writing) and asked to focus our attention on developing and improving the literacy skills of our students. Over the course of the term we planned, delivered and assessed student work based on the Literacy Continuum markers and placed each student in a category or ‘cluster’ on this continuum. Each week we would aim to develop a resource or in class task addressing the literacy weaknesses of the class or individual students. My predictions/expectations prior to beginning the PLT project are below and my next post will outline the results of the term long literacy focus.

The Literacy continuum K–10 identifies the literacy skills and understandings regarded as critical to literacy success. It maps how critical aspects develop through the years of schooling by describing key markers of expected student achievement. The continuum focuses on capturing the literacy connections that are critical to success, are applicable to all key learning areas and cannot be left to chance. It has been informed by an extensive range of international and Australian studies, reports and research.

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  • How might it benefit your students?

By identifying where our students are on the literacy continuum we can tailor our lessons and skills based activities to the learning needs of each student. Hopefully by referring to the Literacy Continuum my knowledge and teaching of literacy will improve because I will have a heightened understanding of the capabilities of each student.

  • What are some potential challenges?

This PLT project will be challenging as we will need to work holistically as a staff to determine where each student should be placed on the literacy continuum and eventually on the data wall. It will be interesting to see how my perception of individual students’ abilities change over the course of the term.

  • What do you plan to do with your classes during this PLT?

I plan on linking the requirements of this PLT in with the content I am teaching during the term. My allocated class is one of my Year 9 classes who are currently learning about Shakespeare and The Merchant of Venice and therefore I will base their writing tasks on that topic. The first task I will assess in accordance with the Literacy Continuum will ask students to discuss their understanding of who Shakespeare is and why he was an important figure.

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