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Literacy Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Phase 1 - Focusing Inquiry

What do my students need to learn? The focusing inquiry establishes a baseline and a direction.

Melissa uses all available information to determine what her students have already learned and what they need to learn next. Students’ purposes for writing involve more complex concepts and understandings as they move from years 4 to 8. Therefore, they need to become increasingly independent in choosing the most appropriate process, content, structure, and language to suit their purposes. This requires specific support for the development of students’ metacognition so that their choices are informed and deliberate. Melissa asks herself what writing knowledge her students already have and what skills and strategies they need to learn. She also wants her students to have a clear understanding of their own strengths and needs.

An e-asTTle writing assessment was completed at the end of Term 2. The group is viewing and analysing their Individual Learning Pathway (ILP) reports. They use three key questions to keep them focused:

  1. Where am I going?
  2. How am I doing?
  3. Where do I go next?

From their ILP reports, and from their reflection of their other writing in class, the students all know their current curriculum levels and set goals based on their understanding of both the expectations of the curriculum and of themselves as learners.

Video clip 1: Focusing Inquiry - students

Questions for teachers:

  1. What has Melissa done to prepare for this group conference?
  2. How regularly do you plan for time to discuss goals and expectations for progress with your students?
  3. What does Melissa do to develop her students’ understandings of their own strengths and needs as learners?
  4. How would you create the culture of trust that enables these conversations to be honest and meaningful for students?
  5. How might you ensure children know what it means to be at a particular curriculum level and what the expectation is for your students?
  6. How do you use/share assessment information with your students?

Phase 2 - Teaching Inquiry

Published on: 15 Feb 2016

Shared clarity


“For students to progress confidently and be responsible for their learning, it is essential that both teacher and students have shared clarity about what is to be learnt. They need to be clear about the big picture of the learning, and the day-by-day learning steps towards it.” Assessment Online