It’s been a rocky year and students have experienced a lot of disruption. Term 3 is traditionally time to take stock of the year’s progress and do a big push towards learning in this last ‘big’ term of the year, before the end of the year’s festive calendar and tiredness set in (which seem to come earlier each year…)!
We thought we’d provide some areas of consideration in your child’s learning to focus your assessment of their progress, and what to focus on in Term 3.
Areas we all develop in: Check your child’s progress with this list
Because our students range widely in age and learning stages, we thought it most helpful to provide you with some broad categories and questions you should be thinking about when reviewing your child’s progress at school. While the questions are fairly general, there are some specific examples and some of these points may be more relevant than others for your child, depending on learning needs.
After reviewing the list, you can take any areas of concern and drill down further to isolate specific problems or skills needing attention. Ideally, you should be seeing fair progress in each of these areas each year, from early childhood right through to adulthood.
- Have reading skills progressed significantly this year (letter or word recognition, reading aloud, reading comprehension, research and ability to summarise key information)?
- Have writing skills progressed significantly this year (structure of informational texts such as essays, clarity of plot in spoken and written narratives and re-tells, depth and believability in characters, using punctuation to express ideas and conversation, spelling, grammar etc.)?
- Have spoken language skills progressed significantly this year (pronunciation/clarity in speech, expressing ideas clearly, framing questions, presenting a topic with consideration of the audience, use of inclusive language)?
- Have listening skills improved this year (ability to follow a series of spoken instructions, paying attention to the speaker and ability to retell information and to interject with questions for more information, ability to distinguish sounds, ability to focus listening in a noisy environment)?
- Is my child increasing the range of understanding around a major concept (e.g. numbers can be whole or fractional, measurement can include different attributes such as weight, length, volume)?
- Is my child applying their number knowledge in an increasing range of scenarios (e.g. applying the addition of quantities to objects, money, time)?
- Is my child deepening their understanding of numbers beyond the abstract numerals and formulae on paper (e.g. moving from reciting numbers to 10 to counting objects, resulting in ‘10’ meaning ‘a collection of 10 things’; do they know why they’re entering a formula into the calculator – what the numbers mean)?
- Is my child gaining enough skill in mental arithmetic and fact recall to keep them moving through complex problems efficiently, rather than being slowed down by the basics?
- Does my child display increased sophistication in reasoning skills when thinking problems through?
- Is my child applying new concepts and formulae to a range of problems and scenarios (or can they only use a rote-learned formula in one narrow context)?
- Is my child learning to ‘read between the lines’ to infer information, beyond the literal?
- Does my child display curiosity to understand concepts and learn more?
- Has my child’s confidence progressed this year (e.g. do they speak up more, appear more certain of their ability, willing to give things a go)?
- Is my child improving in their ability to communicate their ideas, feelings and challenges in constructive ways?
- Has my child made new friends or deepened friendships this year?
- Does my child readily ask adults for help?
- Does my child exhibit a positive attitude towards physical activity and exercise within their own abilities? Do they regularly engage in physical activity?
- Has my child progressed with any gross motor development skills relevant to them (e.g. balance, throwing and catching, dance)?
- Is my child given sufficient opportunities to develop fine motor skills, balanced with online learning (e.g. handwriting, writing quickly with pen and paper, not just typing on a keyboard)?
- Is my child able to concentrate, despite distractions in the environment, for longer periods of time?
While this is a handy checklist, it’s important to keep in mind that there will always be areas to work on: with progress comes new challenges!