Kei Tua o te Pae

Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars is a best-practice guide that will help teachers continue to improve the quality of their teaching.

The exemplars are a series of books that will help teachers to understand and strengthen children's learning. It also shows how children, parents and whānau can contribute to this assessment and ongoing learning.

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Assessment for Communication Aromatawai mō te Mana Reo

The exemplars in this book illustrate possible ways in which assessing, documenting, and revisiting children’s learning will contribute to educational outcomes in the curriculum strand Communication/Mana Reo.

  • Assessment portfolios provide teachers and children with something interesting to talk about together and with families and whānau.
  • Children are able to “read” and respond to some of the documentation to do with their learning because photographs and other visual cues support the documentation.
  • Assessment practices contribute to making the early childhood setting a place where children with English as an additional language feel comfortable communicating. Iram Siraj-Blatchford and Priscilla Clarke (2000) suggest that a supportive environment for such learners would have the following characteristics:
    • close relationships between teachers and family;
    • opportunities for pairs and small groups to work and play together;
    • a wide range of activities that encourage communication;
    • evidence of support and integration of the children’s own cultural and linguistic backgrounds;
    • language that the children can understand, that is meaningful to them, that is based on their concrete experiences, and that is supported by visual materials;
    • frequent interactions with adults and children;
    • support and feedback for children, encouraging their developing confidence in communicating;
    • focus on the meaning of the communication rather than the form of communication.3
  • Assessments include transcripts of children’s comments (often written soon after the event) and indicate that teachers have listened carefully to children’s voices.
  • Assessments indicate that adults have observed carefully and noticed, recognised, and responded to children’s non-verbal communication. Adults acknowledge any uncertainty about the meaning of non-verbal communications in the assessments, and documentation avoids speaking for the child.
  • One of the indicative outcomes for this strand is that children develop the expectation that verbal communication can be a source of delight. Assessments include examples of mutually delightful comments, such as the following, from an assessment not included in Kei Tua o te Pae: “Max and Izrael and I were moving bark and Max told me ‘I cut my leg and there was lots of blood and Mum drove like the wind to get me to the doctor.’”
  • Multiple ways of expressing ideas and feelings are represented in these assessments, including artwork, mathematics, music, drama, dance, and information communication technologies.
  • Families will “bring their wisdom into the classroom”, and stories will be helpful modes of encouraging talk.4