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

Effective literacy practice and the Ready to Read series

Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1 to 4 presents information about literacy learning within six dimensions of effective practice.

Knowledge of literacy learning

Knowledge of literacy learning.

Teachers need to continually update their knowledge of literacy teaching and learning. This includes the strategies, processes, knowledge, and awareness that students need when they are learning to read. It also includes knowledge of effective teaching, for example, how to pick up the pace for students who are not progressing as expected.

Learners need teachers who:

They reflect on their own practice, through teaching as inquiry, and support their students to self-monitor and to develop metacognitive awareness.

Background information

  • For more information about literacy learning, see chapter 2 of Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1 to 4.

Knowledge of the learner

Knowledge of the learner.

Teachers gather and analyse information about a student to inform the next teaching and learning steps. A combination of general day-to-day observations, focused monitoring, and sharing information with partners, such as families and whānau, builds a picture of each learner. This includes finding out about the language and literacy practices of their homes and communities.

>>Read more about the Knowledge of the learner dimension.

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Instructional strategies

Instructional strategies.

Teachers are mediators of instructional texts. They create the supportive classroom environment in which their students learn.

They draw on their knowledge to  select appropriate texts to use with the students. They support students to interact with those texts, adapting their teaching in response to each student’s behaviours.

The Ready to Read teacher support materials help teachers to mediate the student materials in effective ways for diverse students.

Background information

  • For more information about instructional strategies , see chapter 4 of Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1 to 4.

Engaging learners with texts

Engaging learners with texts.

Literacy learning only occurs when learner readers engage with texts.

Be strategic in  selecting texts that will engage the students. Ready to Read texts are highly  motivating and engaging for students. They are often humorous and have topics and themes that reflect students’ interests, experiences, and cultures.

Engage students in rich classroom conversations about texts they have read. This helps to build a community of readers.

Background information

  • For more information about engaging learners with texts, see chapter 5 of Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1 to 4.

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The Ready to Read series supports students to build the foundation for becoming confident, proficient, lifelong readers. Strategic use of these materials helps students to meet the demands of the New Zealand curriculum and the expectations for progress described in:

Background information

  • For more information about the impact of expectations on achievement, see chapter 6 of Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1 to 4.



Teachers work in close partnerships with all those who have a stake in a student’s learning: most important are families and whānau. They are a student's first teachers, and much of the literacy learning continues outside the classroom. It’s important for teachers and parents to share information about literacy learning and work together to foster each child’s learning. Their roles are complementary.

>>Read more about the Partnership dimension.

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Updated on: 20 Nov 2014