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Early Years Learning Framework in Australia Essay

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Updated: Aug 7th, 2020

The development of students’ skills concerning literacy can be discussed as one of the priorities set for primary education in Australia. Still, in their day to day practice, teachers can pay a limited amount of attention to developing literacy concerning interactions with peers at the Kindergarten level. As a result, there is a need for planning a programme that can address this learning opportunity for children who are enrolled in Kindergarten.

The purpose of this project is to design a learning plan related to the Communication component of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and Literacy Goals listed in the Australian Curriculum. Additional purposes for the project include the description of assessment and monitoring tools in the context of the learning programme, the discussion of the necessary adjustments to address the needs of diverse students and the critical evaluation of the learning plan with a focus on future planning.

Learning Plan: Exploring Literacy

School Name:
XXX School
Unit title: Exploring Literacy KLA(s): English Year level(s): Foundation Year (Pre-School) Duration of unit: 4 days
Identify Curriculum
Ways of working Knowledge and understanding
Students can:

‘identify main ideas and the sequence of events, and make simple inferences’ (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007, p. 2).

‘recognise and select vocabulary to describe subject matter’ (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007, p. 2).

‘make judgments and justify opinions about their enjoyment and appreciation of texts using personal knowledge, experiences and direct references to the texts’ (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007, p. 2).

Speaking and listening:

‘The purpose of speaking and listening includes exchanging information, sharing and exploring ideas, entertaining, supporting relationships, giving opinions and getting things done’ (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007, p. 2).

‘In presentations, speakers make meaning clear by sequencing ideas and information and using visual aids, including objects and pictures’ (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007, p. 2).

Exploring literacy:

Awareness of specific purposes of narratives.

Awareness of ‘the literacies and texts used by children and families connected to their communities, cultures and heritages’ (Queensland Studies Authority, 2010, p. 61).

Awareness of reading behaviours and attitudes to the texts.

Interest in talking about texts.

‘The ability to make connections between meanings in texts and personal experiences’ (Queensland Studies Authority, 2010, p. 61).

Context for learning School priorities
The purpose of this unit is to help students to explore literacy in a personally meaningful way with a focus on developing the children’s ability to interact with others in the context of classroom situations.
Objectives are set according to the Australian Curriculum. By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

1. ‘listen to and respond orally to texts and the communication of others in informal and structured classroom situations (ACELY1646)’ (Australian Curriculum, 2016, para. 1).

2. ‘use interaction skills including listening while others speak, using appropriate voice levels, articulation and body language, gestures and eye contact (ACELY1784)’ (Australian Curriculum, 2016, para. 2).

3. ‘deliver short oral presentations to peers (ACELY1647)’ (Australian Curriculum, 2016, para. 3).

The priorities that are valued by the school community are the communication of the students, appropriate use of language and successful interaction.
Develop assessment Make judgments
Type of assessment What will be assessed When it will be assessed Purpose of assessment Assessable elements
Assessment instruments:

Answers to oral questions from the teacher.

Oral presentations.

Responses to other students’ presentations.

Strategies:

Observation.

Asking questions.

Consultation.

Peer assessment.

The evidence to be observed in the work of students:

Students can respond to questions related to the texts read aloud by the teacher.

Students can express their ideas concerning the texts by referring to their experiences.

Students can listen and respond to peers’ presentations.

Students can assess peers’ responses in terms of their association with the text.

Answers to oral questions from the teacher – lessons 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Oral presentations – lessons 2, 3 and 4.

Responses to other students’ presentations – lessons 3 and 4.

Observation – lessons 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The purpose of the assessment is to evaluate how students can respond to the texts read aloud, use verbal and non-verbal language to express their ideas, make oral presentations and respond to peers. Knowledge and understanding;

constructing texts (orally);

interpreting texts;

reflecting on texts (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007, p. 1).

Sequence learning
Learning experiences and teaching strategies Adjustments for needs of learners Resources
Day 1
Review the stories that were read and discussed during the previous lessons.
Describe stories that are planned to be read and discussed during the lesson (author, topic, characters). Explain why the stories were selected (regarding the community and cultural backgrounds).
Ask students to listen to the first story carefully and concentrate on the characters’ actions.
Read the first story aloud.
Show illustrations related to the story. Ask students to identify the characters.
Introduce ‘signal’ phrases, with the help of which students can answer questions about the story. Share the related illustrations. Repeat these phrases.
Ask students to answer questions about the story. Listen to each student’s answer. Encourage using ‘signal’ phrases.
Assess students’ answers.
Read and discuss the second story. Conduct the assessment.
Day 2
Review two stories that were discussed during the previous lesson.
Show illustrations and ask students about their impressions regarding those stories.
Ask students to explain their impression regarding the stories using more words. Guide the students’ reflection on stories and help to connect stories with the students’ personal experiences during the oral presentation. Ask students to listen to each other attentively.
Assess students’ activities.
Day 3
Review the stories that were read and discussed during the previous lessons.
Describe new stories that are planned to be discussed during the lesson. Explain why these stories were selected.
Ask students to listen to the first story carefully and concentrate on the characters’ actions.
Read the first story aloud.
Show illustrations related to the story. Ask students to identify the characters.
Ask students to answer questions about the story. Encourage using ‘signal’ phrases.
Assess students’ answers.
Read and discuss the second story. Conduct the assessment.
Ask students to explain their impression regarding the stories using more words. Ask students to listen to each other attentively.
Encourage students to ask questions of each other regarding the oral presentations.
Encourage students to express their opinions regarding peers’ presentations.
Day 4
Review stories that were read and discussed during the previous lessons.
Show illustrations related to the stories. Ask students to identify the characters.
Ask students to answer questions about the stories. Encourage using ‘signal’ phrases.
Ask students to tell about the story they like most of all. Ask students to listen to each other attentively.
Encourage students to connect their personal experiences with situations in the stories.
Encourage students to express their opinions regarding peers’ presentations.
Ask students to create (draw) their illustrations for the discussed stories.
In the class, one student is visually impaired, and one student has learning difficulties.

Accommodations for the visually impaired student:

The student with visual impairment should be located near the teacher.

Audible cues should be provided instead of working with illustrations.

Accommodations for the student having learning difficulties:

The student with learning difficulties should be provided with more time to answer questions.

More attention should be paid to working with illustrations.

The use of short, simple sentences is accepted.

The oral presentation is guided by a series of simple questions asked by the teacher.

Four different age-appropriate stories.

Large illustrations related to the stories.

Illustrations to support ‘signal’ phrases.

Observation sheets.

Assessment sheets.

Peer-review sheets.

Instruments for drawing.

White paper sheets.

Audible cues for the stories.

Use feedback
Ways to monitor learning and assessment
The students’ progress should be monitored during each lesson. The results of observation should be recorded every day. Formal feedback will be provided to students with the help of cards that will be filled in for families to inform them of the students’ progress in communication. The informal feedback will be provided verbally during the lesson. This unit also involves peer evaluation.

Diversity Justification

The learning plan can be discussed as being most effective when the needs of diverse learners are addressed. The teacher’s task is to make the classroom environment comfortable for all students who study in the class (Arthur, Beecher, & Death, 2014). In the proposed learning plan, certain adjustments should be made to address the needs of two groups of diverse learners: students with disabilities and students with learning difficulties (Arthur et al., 2014; Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2014).

The needs of children with disabilities are usually addressed regarding making adjustments in the following areas: timing, instruction and activities, setting and feedback or assessment (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2014). The adjustments proposed in the learning plan for the student with visual impairment address the listed criteria.

Thus, the changes are proposed in terms of the student’s location, and the student is expected to be placed near the teacher. In this case, the teacher will be able to assist the child in working with the proposed materials. Besides, the visual cues are replaced by or supplemented with the additional audible cues that are necessary to provide the context for the student. From this point, the adjustment in terms of the instruction can be observed.

To address the needs of the student with learning difficulties, the teacher is expected to provide the child with extra time when it is needed by the student to think over questions and answers (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2014). The instruction is adjusted in terms of focusing on using illustrations that are more understandable for the child.

The assessment procedure can also be changed, because the student with learning difficulties is allowed to use short, simple sentences in his answers, and he can receive any necessary additional assistance from the teacher while responding to the questions about the discussed stories. These adjustments are necessary to make diverse children feel comfortable in the classroom and develop their skills in literacy and interactions with peers.

Effectiveness of the Learning Plan and Future Planning

The proposed learning plan can be discussed as an effective approach to develop students’ skills regarding literacy with a focus on interactions with others, as it is stated in the Australian Curriculum. While evaluating the learning programme from the perspective of the EYLF, it is possible to state that the plan provides such activities as are useful to promote the students’ communication, build connections between students, families and communities, contribute to the learning progress and develop children’s skills in reflection and peer evaluation (Council of Australian Governments, 2010). The proposed plan is based on age-appropriate activities that are important to develop students’ skills in identifying the purposes of texts, expressing opinions and interacting with other students while discussing texts.

The plan also demonstrates an effective approach to assessing the students’ knowledge and skills. Age-appropriate assessment tools and strategies are selected to evaluate the children’s progress in developing their literacy (Australian Government Department of Education, 2014; McGregor, 2013).

Records and notes made by the teacher on the students’ cards can be provided to parents to illustrate the children’s progress regarding their communication with peers, as well as concerning their interest in discussing texts. The traditional way to share the results with parents is the use of notes on paper (Arthur et al., 2014). Still, for further activities, it is important to plan the use of digital versions of records and notes that can be sent to parents with the help of e-mail.

Even though the presented learning plan is effective to achieve the set goals, more improvements are required for the future, because the current programme refers to Essential Learnings in English that are expected to be completed by the end of year 3 (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007). However, the achievements typical of children in Kindergarten and children in Year 1, 2, or 3 can differ significantly.

Therefore, the Knowledge and Understanding section of the plan also includes skills that are listed in the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline (Queensland Studies Authority, 2010). As a result, while planning other activities related to developing literacy in the future, it is necessary to refer to the standards that are presented in both of the documents that were published by the Queensland Studies Authority.

Conclusion

The project proposed in this paper presents a learning plan where the purpose is to develop skills that are associated with the Communication component of the EYLF framework. The goals of the programme are taken from the Australian Curriculum, Foundation year, to create an age-appropriate plan that can be used in the schools of Queensland.

Also, the project includes a description of the specific assessment and monitoring tools that should be used to evaluate the students’ progress. The discussion of the adjustments that are necessary to address the needs of diverse learners is also provided in the paper. The important part of the work on the learning programme is the critical evaluation of the set goals, presented activities and the listed assessment tool with the focus on future planning. Therefore, the critical assessment of the plan is also provided as a section of the project.

References

Arthur, L., Beecher, B., & Death, E. (2014). Programming and planning in early childhood settings. Sydney, Australia: Cengage Learning.

Australian Curriculum. (2016). .

Australian Government Department of Education. (2014). Assessing children’s learning – work in progress!

Council of Australian Governments. (2010). Belonging, being, and becoming: Educators’ Guide to the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.

McGregor, D. (2013). Assessing children’s learning. Professional Development in Education, 39(5), 868-869.

Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2014). .

Queensland Studies Authority. (2007). .

Queensland Studies Authority. (2010). .

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